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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Pumpkin Bao

Pumpkin Bao

Provided by: Chef Joe Ng
Served at: Chinatown Brasserie

  • Type of Dish: Desserts: All, Desserts: Other
  • Cuisine: Chinese
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Photo by Kang Kim
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4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons cake flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut milk
8 ounces canned organic pumpkin
1/2 cup whole milk

2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
Powdered sugar


In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cornstarch, and cake flour. Stir in the egg and, when combined, mix in the coconut milk.

Whisk the pumpkin purée in a small bowl until smooth. Add a third of the butter mixture to the pumpkin, then whisk the pumpkin into the butter mixture along with the milk. Pour the mixture into a double boiler and cook until the custard thickens, stirring constantly after the first 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Add the flour, yeast, milk, and sugar to the bowl of a food mixer and beat until combined. Add the butter and mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow the dough to proof for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. On a floured surface, roll the dough into 1-inch-diameter logs and cut into pieces to form 1 1/2-inch-diameter balls. Flatten each ball of dough with a rolling pin, place about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture in the middle, and wrap the dough around the pumpkin, pinching the dough together to cover the pumpkin. Set on a sheet pan seam side down, about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let the pumpkin balls proof again for 20–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush egg over the buns. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, turning the trays after 5 minutes, until the dough is firm and golden. Sprinkle the top of each ball with powdered sugar and serve warm.

(Published 2007)