Hong Kong style Pineapple bun recipe (港式菠罗包)

A pineapple bun is a kind of sweet bun predominantly popular in Hong Kong and can also be found at the Chinatown bakeries worldwide. In Rotterdam (The Netherlands) you can buy this from St. Anny Bakery or QQ Bakery. You might think that this bun consists of pineapples, however pineapple is not one of the ingredients. Instead, it just refers to the look of the topping that resembles the texture of a pineapple.

My recipe is based on myhiddenkitchen‘s, I love her recipe as it doesn’t require food grade ammonia bicarbonate and lard, which are ingredients that are rather more difficult to obtain in the Netherlands. All my family and friends who have tasted this bun all said that it tastes better than the store bought ones from Chinatown. So I highly recommend this recipe to everyone who loves to eat pineapple buns (菠萝梦).


  • If you have a kitchenaid or bread machine, I recommend to use those to knead the dough. This recipe contains Tangzhong, so it’s really sticky when you start to knead the dough. But don’t worry, I did add some instructions in case you want to knead if by hand.
  • The recipe of myhiddenkitchen contains too much milk, if I use 125 ml milk, then my dough is still sticky after it comes out of the bread machine.
  • If you are using a bread machine like me, prepare this before the topping. My dough program takes a bit more than 2 hours, if yours only takes 1 hour, then go ahead and prepare the topping first.

Print Recipe
Hong Kong style Pineapple bun recipe (港式菠罗包)
Keyword Recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Passive Time 2.5 hours
Tang Zhong:
Crispy pineapple topping:
Keyword Recipe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Passive Time 2.5 hours
Tang Zhong:
Crispy pineapple topping:
  1. Add the water and flour in a small pan and mix them well until no lumps remain.
  2. Heat the mixture on medium-low fire (or 65 Celsius degrees) while stirring often.
  3. When you can see your spoon or whisk start leaving a visible trail all the way to the bottom of the pan. Then your Tangzhong is ready, so turn off the stove and let it cool.* (For the source of the picture, see recipe notes below. Your Tangzhong should by the way be white, I think that lightning in that picture made it look yellowish.)
Crispy pineapple topping:
  1. Whisk the butter with a whisk and add the sugar when butter is not one large piece anymore. Mix the butter and sugar with a whisk.
  2. Sieve all powder and add it one by one into the butter mixture. Mix everything together (TIP: use a plastic bag and put your hand into it to mix, as the mixture is greasy).
  3. Add the beaten egg in 2-3 times, knead each time after you have added the beaten egg. Then it should turn out like this:
  4. Put it in a plastic foil and form a dough ball, see picture below:
  5. Put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  1. Bread machine step 1: Put everything in order in the bread machine as noted in the ingredients list. Turn on the dough program. Please note to not put yeast on top of salt or the other way around. See below image for the amount milk I put in it, the cup size below is 125 ML.
  2. Kneading by hand step 1: Mix all the dry ingredients together with (I recommend) chopsticks in a large bowl.
  3. Kneading by hand step 2: Add egg and Tangzhong to the mixture and add milk to it slowly. Each flour is different, so better add it slowly to ensure that you will not put too much liquid in the mixture.
  4. Kneading by hand step 3: When the ingredients are mixed well, add butter to the mixture. Knead with your hands until the surface of the dough is smooth. TIP: If your mixture is too wet, rest the dough for about 10 minutes and then proceed with the kneading process.
  5. Kneading by hand step 4: Shape the dough into a ball. Let the dough rise until the size is doubled (should take around one hour, but it really depends on the temperature). To test if the dough has finished rising, you can put your finger in the middle of the dough and the dough is ready if an indention remains when fingertips are removed.
  6. Bread machine step 2/Kneading by hand step 5: When the program has finished, take the dough out of the bread machine and push the air out of the dough caused by the first rise. This should take no longer than 2-3 minutes.
  7. From here on, it's the same for both knead by hand and bread machine unless otherwise mentioned: Divide the dough in 9 pieces (78-79 grams per piece). I suggest you to use a scale when doing this.
  8. Flatten the divided pieces with your hand palm.
  9. Shape the divided pieces into a ball (see pictures below and/or video 1 below the recipe). The second picture should be the bottom of your bun. If you knead by hand, then let the dough rest for 15 minutes --> push the dough to release air and shape it into a ball again.
  10. Rest for second fermentation (around 30 minutes, don't let it ferment too long, otherwise the bun will not expand in the oven, which will not lead to a pineapple crispy topping)
  11. In the mean time, you can prepare the crispy topping. Divide the crispy topping dough in 9 pieces, approx. 31 grams per piece.
  12. (I also filmed this step in video 2 below the recipe.) Shape it into a ball, put it between the plastic foil and flatten the ball.
  13. Use a roll pin to shape the topping into a round format.
  14. Add egg wash on top of the BUN, so at this point the crispy topping is not put on top of the bun yet.
  15. Preheat oven at 185 Celsius degrees.
  16. Put the toppings on top of the buns and put egg wash on top of the topping.
  17. Bake the pineapple buns at 180 Celsius degrees for 18 minutes (each oven is different, I have an hot air oven at home, so adjust if necessary).
Recipe Notes

* Source of the picture: https://oventales.com/tangzhong/

Video 1 (this is from the sausage bun, but the technique for this part is the same).
Video 2.

I hope that you will give my pineapple bun recipe a try! If you do, take a picture and tag me on @angiesrecipereview in your feed or stories and I will share your creations on my story.

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