Healthier Custard-Filled Baked Buns (Vegan, Meal Prep)

Growing up I used to love having custard-filled steam buns (Chinese style custard baos) for snacks or dessert after dinner. I was craving the custard in these buns the last week and decided to make my own custard buns. And so, I decided to use my baked bun recipe and fill it with some delicious homemade custard. And I am very proud of this creation as I even made the custard powder scratch. Custard powder is easier to make than you think – it’s just some corn flour, milk powder (or coconut flour for vegan option), sugar, yellow food colouring and vanilla powder πŸ˜€ And the plus side of these buns are they are healthier as they are made with wholemeal flour, have some seeds for some healthy fats and have very little added sugar (I used coconut sugar for a caramel-y taste)!

And bonus is Dorian loves these buns, so I will be making these buns again! (He has been having them for afternoon tea everyday this week. He warms them up a little in the microwave and adds some butter for an extra decadent bun! Yum!) Who’s going to make these bun? πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have. As always, please let me know what you think of this recipe. If you like what you see on this blog, you can follow me on my blog, Facebook or Instagram for some food porn. Also, if you do recreate this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @subz_foodie πŸ™‚

Makes 12 delicious custard-filled buns


For the buns:

  • 1 cup luke warm almond milk (or milk of your choice) – ensure it is not too hot as it will kill the yeast and your buns won’t rise (I warmed my refrigerated almond milk for a minute or room temperature milk for 40 seconds);
  • 7g dried yeast;
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice);
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour;
  • 1 cup self raising all purpose flour;
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar;
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil (or melted coconut oil, vegetable oil or olive oil);
  • 1-2 tsp ground mixed spices;
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • Optional: 1.5 tbsp mesquite powder – gives a sweet-honey flavour (available from most health food stores/aisles in the supermarket);

For the custard filling:

  • 4 tbsp custard powder*;
  • 4 tbsp corn flour;
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar (or more if you prefer sweeter custard);
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence;
  • 1 tsp yellow food colouring;
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (I used soy milk);
  • 3 tbsp margarine/butter; and
  • 3-4 tbsp water (may need).

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey); and
  • 2-3 tsp hot water.

*For Homemade Custard Powder: Mix 1/2 cup corn flour, 1/2 cup milk powder (or coconut flour for vegan option), 1/2 cup sugar and optional vanilla powder & yellow food colouring.


  1. In a medium bowl, place the almond milk, yeast and 1 tsp coconut sugar and stir until well combined. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture becomes foamy;
  2. In a separate large bowl, place all the remaining bun ingredients except the walnut oil and mix until well combined;
  3. Once the yeast mixture becomes foamy, pour this mixture into the large bowl with the flour mixture. Also add the walnut oil and mix all with a wooden spoon to form a sticky dough;
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth in warm place for an hour or until doubled in size;
  5. Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celsius and grease or line a baking tray with baking paper;
  6. Whilst the dough is resting, in a small saucepan, stir together the custard powder, corn flour and sugar. Whisk in the milk until it’s as smooth as you can achieve. Set the saucepan on low-medium heat and add the margarine, food colouring and vanilla essence, stirring until the margarine melts;
  7. Gently cook and stir the custard, scrapping the bottom and sides of the saucepan to prevent it from burning. Continue until the custard is thick and gluey, about 10 minutes and turn off the heat. the custard thickens too much, add some water and stir vigorously. Beat out any lumps in the custard vigorously and set the custard aside to cool;
  8. When dough has doubled in size, punch dough with your fist and turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece into a log. Cut each log into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a ball;
  9. Flatten each ball into a circle/rectangle, slightly thinner around the edges. Spoon 1-2 tsp of custard into the centre and gather up the dough edges to fold it around the custard filling, pinching it together to close. Place custard-filled dough onto the prepared tray – ensure you leave some space between the dough as they will expand. Cover and set aside the baking tray in a warm place to rest for 20-30 minutes;
  10. In a small bowl, place all the glaze ingredients and mix until well combined;
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the buns with the prepared glaze;
  12. Enjoy warm with some butter πŸ™‚

Happy baking,

Suba πŸ’•

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