Best Pineapple Bun Recipe – Just 3 Steps

by Ella

Pineapple buns, known as “bo lo bao” in Cantonese, are a beloved pastry that holds a special place in Hong Kong’s culinary heritage. Despite their name, pineapple buns do not actually contain pineapple; rather, they are named for their distinctive crisscross patterned topping, which resembles the texture of a pineapple. With a sweet and buttery flavor and a soft, fluffy texture, pineapple buns are a popular snack, breakfast treat, or dessert enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the history and characteristics of pineapple buns, as well as provide a detailed recipe and step-by-step instructions for crafting the perfect pineapple bun at home.

Origin and Characteristics of Pineapple Buns:

The exact origins of pineapple buns are shrouded in mystery, but they are believed to have emerged in the early 20th century in Hong Kong’s bustling bakeries and tea houses. Influenced by traditional Cantonese pastries and European baking techniques brought to the region by colonial settlers, pineapple buns quickly became a beloved staple of Hong Kong’s culinary landscape. What sets pineapple buns apart is their unique topping, made from a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs, which forms a crumbly, golden-brown crust reminiscent of the texture of a pineapple.


List of Raw Materials and Equipment:

To make pineapple buns at home, you will need the following raw materials and equipment:


Raw Materials:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Active dry yeast
  • Warm milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs


  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Stand mixer or mixing spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven

Preparation Steps and Final Plating Method:

Now, let’s dive into the preparation steps for making pineapple buns, along with the final plating method:

1. Prepare the Dough:

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.

Add the melted butter, egg, and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.

2. Prepare the Topping:

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and softened butter until crumbly.

Add the egg and mix until smooth.

3. Shape and Bake the Buns:

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into equal portions.

Shape each portion into a round bun and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving space between each bun.

Divide the topping into equal portions and flatten them into discs slightly larger than the buns. Place a disc of topping on top of each bun and gently press down to adhere.

Using a sharp knife, score a crisscross pattern onto the topping of each bun.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is preheating, let the buns rise for another 30-45 minutes until slightly puffed.

Once the oven is preheated, brush the buns with a thin layer of egg wash.

Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and fragrant.

Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Tips and Suggestions (Troubleshooting):

Use high-quality ingredients for the best flavor and texture.

Make sure the yeast is fresh and active to ensure proper rising.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic to develop gluten and achieve a soft, fluffy texture.

Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place to encourage fermentation and yeast activity.

Score the topping with a sharp knife before baking to create the signature crisscross pattern.

See Also: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Famous Dishes

Description of Taste and Recommendation:

Pineapple buns are characterized by their sweet and buttery flavor, soft and fluffy texture, and crisp, crumbly topping. With a perfect balance of sweetness and richness, pineapple buns are a delightful treat enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether enjoyed fresh from the oven for breakfast, as a midday snack, or as a sweet treat with a cup of tea, homemade pineapple buns are sure to delight your taste buds and bring a taste of Hong Kong’s vibrant culinary culture to your kitchen. I highly recommend them to anyone who enjoys trying new and delicious pastries with a unique twist.



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