Easy Steamed Pandan Hot Cross Buns

Easy Steamed Pandan Hot Cross Buns

Course: Steamed Buns
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 15 medium buns
Author: Marvellina
Steamed hot cross buns are the twist from the traditional baked hot cross buns. They are soft, fluffy, and infused in with incredible pandan flavor or whatever flavor you like.
Print Recipe


  • 300 gr all-purpose flour plus more for dusting. See notes
  • 60 gr Wheat starch or use cornstarch
  • 4 gr Instant yeast About 1 1/4 tsp
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 150 ml pandan juice make sure it's room temperature or cold. About 1/2 cup, you may need to add a bit more water if the dough is too dry

Sweet filling options:


Preparing the dough:

  • Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and cooking oil in a mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment. Gradually add in pandan juice (or water or milk, if you don't want pandan flavor). You may need more than 150 ml or not. Add more teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes together and continue to knead for 5 minutes. If you are kneading by hands, about 10 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and smooth. Then add in the salt and continue to knead until the dough is smooth again
  • Pinch of about 30 grams of the dough to make the cross later


  • Lightly dust your work surface with cake flour. Not too much. If you use a silicon pastry mat, you may not even need to dust with flour. Divide the big dough into 15 equal portions and the little dough that you pinched off earlier into 30 little balls. Keeping the dough covered and work with one dough at a time
  • Then roll the dough into a smooth round ball in between the palm of your hand or as I did in the video. REALLY make sure the dough is smooth. Flatten the dough with your palm and then use a rolling pin to roll it out to form a circle about 4-5 inches, with a slightly thicker middle part
  • Place about 1 to 2 Tbsp of filling in the middle¬†
  • Gather the edge to enclose into a round ball and place the seam side down
  • Cup the dough with both palms and move the dough in a circular motion to shape it taller. This part is important so your steamed buns come out tall instead of spreading to the side after steaming
  • Place on a piece of parchment paper. Lightly dab the surface of the bun with some milk using your finger to smooth the surface. Loosely cover with a saran wrapper to prevent drying. Work with another dough and do the same
  • Once you have all the buns shaped, work on the little dough balls. Each buns will need two to make a cross. Roll each little ball into long strips (long enough to go across the buns)


  • Let the shaped buns proof until about 50% double its original size. They don't have to double in size. This may take about 15-20 minutes, but please don't go by the time, just observe to make sure the buns have puffed up to half its original size before steaming or the buns will be tough. Don't overproof them as well.


  • Most likely your steamer won't be able to accommodate steaming all buns at one go. You may need to steam in 2-3 batches, which means, the rest of the batches will sit longer and continue to proof while waiting for the steamer. Not good for the buns! Here's what you can do: Make sure the cover them with plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator to slow down the yeast activity or halt it all together until they are ready to be steamed
  • Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Lower the heat to LOW (not medium). Wrap the lid of your steamer with a kitchen towel to prevent moisture dripping on your buns creating burn spots. Place the buns inside the steamer and steam for 8 minutes
  • Turn off the heat. Do not open the lid of the steamer. Let the buns sit there for 1 minute like this. The buns will not sink or wrinkle due to the sudden change in temperature. Transfer to cooling rack to let them cool down so the bottom of the buns won't be wet and soggy


  • If you make extra and plan to store them, once the steamed buns have cooled down, place them on a baking sheet not touching each other and put them inside the freezer for 1 hour then transfer to a freezer bag


  • They can be reheated in the steamer without thawing. Steam over high heat for 5 minutes


You can also replace all 300 gr of all-purpose flour with cake flour or premixed Hongkong/Vietnamese bao flour and omit the wheat starch/corn starch.