Chinese Cocktail Bun (Gai Mei Bao)

Preparation time: 3 hr Cooking time: 15-18 min Serves: 8


A sweet Chinese bun with coconut filling. Found in many Chinese bakeries. Modified from Chinese Cooking Company's Coming. (Their bun recipe was great, but the filling recipe was changed).


  • Bun dough
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) very warm water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) boiling water
  • 1 large egg, fork-beaten
  • Approximately 2 1/4 cups (550 ml) white bread flour
  • Coconut filling
  • 1 1/3 cup (325 ml) Coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oil or melted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Egg wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Honey wash
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Stir warm water and first amount of sugar in small dish until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over top. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast.

  2. Stir second amount of sugar, salt and cooking oil in large bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in egg and yeast mixture.

  3. Slowly work in enough flour until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in large greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with greased waxed paper and tea towel. Let stand in oven with light on and door closed for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down. Cover. Let rest for 5 minutes.

  4. While waiting for dough to rise, make the coconut filling. Process coconut flakes and sugar together in a food processor for about 1 minute or till grainy. Pour into a bowl and mix with flour and cornstarch. Stir in egg and oil. Add enough milk (~2 tablespoons) and stir till paste-like consistency. Refrigerate till use.

  5. Grease 2 oblong cake pans (5 x 8 in) with oil. Shape dough into a log and divide into 8 portions. Roll out each piece and fill with 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut filling. Roll dough up and form bun. Place in greased pan. Put two lines of coconut filling along ends of the buns and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Set pans aside, covered with waxed paper and tea towel for 15 minutes.

  6. Egg wash: Beat egg and water together for egg wash and brush tops of buns. Bake in 350 °C oven for 15-18 minutes, or till tops are golden brown.

  7. Honey wash: Mix together honey and water and brush on tops of warm buns. Serve warm. Makes 8 buns.


Chinese  · Bread  · Coconut  · Bun

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