Pumpkin & Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns with Pumpkin Glaze

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns

We’re on a roll with the coconut theme on this blog. This time, we’ve got coconut milk guest starring in this delicious cinnamon bun recipe. And in true Halloween fashion, we had to make this one extra special by mixing in some pumpkin purée. It gives these soft, fluffy, ooey-gooey scrolls a pretty hint of orange. Of course, there are countless recipes out there for pumpkin cinnamon buns (come on, everyone’s done ’em), but I like to think this one’s a little bit special because it incorporates some coconut milk into the dough and you end up smothering the buns in a sweet pumpkin glaze.

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns

That said, I believe we’ve found the most amazing smell in the world: creamy pumpkin purée + fragrant coconut milk. Stir the two together and the resulting aroma is intoxicatingly luscious. And it only gets better when the gorgeous blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom is added. With such potent ingredients, you will not get a better smelling cinnamon bun dough.

Unbaked Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Unbaked Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Baked Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Baked Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns

To be honest, we kind of decided to make these because James had never tried a sticky cinnamon bun before in any way, shape or form. At first, I wanted to make them simple – classic cinnamon scrolls without the extra flavours of pumpkin or coconut – so that James would know exactly what he’d been missing out on his whole life. But James was adamant that the very first buns he wanted to try would be these special ones. And seeing as they all vanished within two days, I’d say it was a big hit with him (and everyone else who tried them).

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns

Pumpkin & Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns with Pumpkin Glaze
adapted from smitten kitchen’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls.


for the dough:
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dried yeast
1/2 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup pumpkin purée
1 egg, lightly beaten

for the cinnamon filling
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

for the pumpkin glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
a pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugars and spices. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add the 1/4 cup melted butter to the dry ingredients and combine.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, coconut milk, pumpkin purée and egg. Stir well, then add to the flour mixture and mix until a dough starts to form.
  4. Using a dough hook, mix on low for 5 minutes, or until elastic and no longer sticky.
  5. Place dough in a large well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size.
  6. Line a large rectangular baking pan with non-stick baking paper.
  7. Once the dough has risen, generously flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a 16 inch x 11 inch rectangle.
  8. Lightly brush the rest of the melted butter over the top of the dough. Combine all the ingredients for the cinnamon filling and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
  9. Lengthwise, carefully roll the dough into a tight spiral. Cut into 1 inch pieces with a sharp serrated knife (sawing slowly with very minimal pressure) and lay them spiral-side-down in prepared pan, just touching each other. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for another hour.
  10. Bake at 175°C for approximately 25 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and leave buns to cool in the pan while you make the glaze.
  12. To make the pumpkin glaze, combine all the ingredients until a smooth mixture forms. Add more/less icing sugar or coconut milk for desired consistency.
  13. Drizzle the glaze over the buns. Serve warm for an extra sticky, gooey, delicious treat!

Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Cinnamon Buns

Melonpan メロンパン (Soft Milk Buns with Cookie Dough Crust)


Despite being familiar with melonpan for quite some time, I’d never actually had the opportunity to try one until our trip to Japan last year. During an excursion around bustling Tokyo, we chanced upon a little café located along a quiet alley in Asakusa. As soon as we laid eyes on their cookie dough encrusted buns on display out the front, we stopped and bought one. Since then, I’ve always wanted to make my own.

Yeast and Flour Equipment Instant Yeast

In a recent post about red bean buns, I quite ardently mentioned that I’ve been craving bread. Preferably soft, sweet Japanese bread. To continue with this theme, I attempted (finally!) to make some melonpan. Like anpan, melonpan is another popular type of sweet bun from Japan, made by covering a soft bread dough in a thin layer of sugar-sprinkled cookie dough. Despite its name, the buns are not traditionally melon flavoured (though it is becoming popular for people to add melon flavouring, among others). The sweet cookie-covered bun actually gets its name from its cross-hatched appearance, which supposedly resembles the rind of a rock melon/cantaloupe.

Kneading Bread Dough After Dough Has Risen Dividing Dough

Melonpan is similar to Hong Kong bo luo bao (pineapple bun) and Korean soboro ppang (streusel bread) in appearance, but is typically not so heavy, with a lighter crust and less buttery bread. This doesn’t make the Japanese variant any less tasty though!

Unbaked Melonpan Unbaked Melonpan Melonpan in the Oven Oven Temperature

Melonpan is not overly complicated to make, though there is a fair bit of waiting involved. But it is definitely worth it. Plus, there is something truly magical about lightly carving diamonds into the soft, pre-baked cookie shell and making them glitter with sugar crystals. Best eaten fresh out of the oven, when the sugar cookie crust is still crunchy and the bun is soft and fluffy!

Baked Melonpan Baked Melonpan Melonpan Crumb Shot

Melonpan メロンパン (Japanese Melon Bread)
soft milk buns topped with a crisp cookie dough crust | yield: 6 small buns

Cookie Dough Layer (Pâte Sablée):

3/4 cup cake flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons egg, beaten

Milk Bread Dough:

1 1/2 cups bread flour (high protein flour)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons full cream milk, warm
4 tablespoons water, warm
1 tablespoon egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, softened

for the shell:
previously prepared cookie dough (from above recipe)
some large-grain sugar, for dipping
Unbaked Melonpan


The full recipe has been moved to our new website, Milk & Dust.

Check out the recipe here: Homemade Melonpan メロンパン: Perfect soft milk buns with cookie dough crust

Anpan あんパン (Japanese Sweet Red Bean Buns)

Red Bean Buns

I’ve been craving bread. Sweet and impeccably soft Japanese bread in particular. Not quite sure what started this recent desire for pillowy soft buns, but with a severe lack of Japanese bakeries on the Gold Coast, I’ve been forced to get into the kitchen and bake whenever the craving strikes. I guess that’s not such a bad thing.

Anko, Red Bean Paste Dough Dough

Anpan are essentially delicious Japanese bread rolls filled with sweet, moist, melt-in-your-mouth anko (red bean paste), and honestly, they taste much better when baked at home. Nothing beats warm, fluffy, fresh-out-of-the-oven anpan! That satisfaction when you bite into one and find that gooey, sticky, sweet red bean centre… so indescribably good.

Anko, Red Bean Paste Filling the Buns Filled Buns

If you’ve never had anko before, it’s a rather dense paste made by boiling and mashing earthy red beans (also known as azuki beans). Sugar is than added to sweeten the paste. It is a very popular ingredient featured widely in Asian desserts. For this anpan, I used the chunky version of the paste (tsubuan). If you prefer a smoother paste, look for koshian. Both of these can be easily made at home or found in certain Asian supermarkets.

Red Bean Buns Red Bean Buns Red Bean Buns

Just look at how cute the little anpan are, especially with those itty bitty sesame seeds sitting pretty on top! I’ve found that these buns make a great breakfast, accompanied by nice hot coffee or smooth hōjicha to cut through the sweetness of the anko.

Red Bean Buns Red Bean Buns

Anpan あんパン (Japanese Sweet Red Bean Buns)
soft bread buns filled with sweet red bean paste | yield: 8 small buns


1 1/2 cups bread flour (high protein flour)
3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon milk powder
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons egg, beaten
100ml water, warm
2 tablespoons butter, softened

for the filling & topping:
350g anko (red bean paste/azuki bean paste)
Egg mixed with a bit of water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling


The full recipe has been moved to our new website, Milk & Dust.

Check out the recipe here: https://milkanddust.com/lifestyle/recipes/anpan-recipe-japanese-red-bean-buns/

Red Bean Buns