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+ servings
Baked Custard buns on a pan.

Custard Buns

Custard buns are soft milk bread filled with a creamy custard filling in the centers. They are delightful soft buns that make perfect snacks or breakfasts.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Asian
Keyword sweet buns recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
rise time for the dough 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 16 buns
Calories 285kcal
Author sanna



  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water 105-115 F
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus up to 5 tbsp extra


  • 4 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Brushing on the Baked Buns

  • 2 tbsp melted butter



  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, yeast and about 1 tsp of the sugar. Let this sit for about 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  • Add the warm milk, cream, the remaining sugar, egg, and salt. Stir this until the ingredients are incorporated. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer.
  • Add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, beating at low speed to incorporate the flour after each addition. Add the remaining cup of flour, and starting on slow speed, beat the mixture until the flour is moistened. Gradually increase the mixer speed, and beat for 5-8 minutes, until the dough starts to gather in the center of the bowl.
  • Beat for 5-7 minutes more on high speed, until the dough starts to slap the sides of the mixer with actual slapping sounds. You can sprinkle up to 3-5 tbsp. of flour gradually to help the dough release from the bottom of the bowl. The dough should now be elastic and smooth.
  • Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let this rise for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in bulk. Meanwhile, make the custard filling.
  • Gently deflate the dough. Shape it into a log and cut unto 16 equal portions. Flatten each portion into a flat circle using your palms. Spoon about 1-2 tablespoon of custard in the center. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling. Twist the seams to seal, shaping the dough into a smooth ball.
  • Transfer the remaining custard into a piping bag fitted with a straight piping tip. Arrange the filled dough into a light 9x13 inch baking pan that is lined with parchment paper, spacing them evenly. Cover the dough with a clean towel and let it rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until the buns are now touching and are puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pipe the remaining custard on the surface of the risen buns, drawing a spiral design (see photos in the post). Bake the custard buns at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, it until the tops are lightly golden. Brush with melted butter. Enjoy warm.


  • In a medium saucepan, stir together flour, sugar and milk until lump-free. Cook this over medium heat, sitting constantly, until it begins to bubble on the sides. Turn off heat.
  • Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the heated milk mixture. Pour this in a steady stream over the egg yolks while beating the yolks constantly. Pour back the yolk-milk mixture to the sauce pan. Turn the heat to medium and continue to cook the mixture, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Once the custard is thick like a paste, turn off heat, Stir in vanilla extract and butter. Allow this to cool completely.


  • Watch the stand mixer during kneading at high speed as it may move and fall off the counter.
  • Make sure to stir the custard constantly when the heat is on to prevent the mixture from sticking at the bottom.
  • Thicken the custard to the point that it s not pourable anymore. It needs to to be thick enough to stay in place when filling the dough. Additionally, it is easier to pipe the custard if it has a thick consistency.
  • Use a light colored pan to bake the buns. darker buns can brown the bottom of the bread too quickly.
  • To store the baked buns, place them in a container with tight lid at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage. If needed, reheat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 448IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg