Home Vegan Baking Steamed Snowman Buns – Rainbow Nourishments

Steamed Snowman Buns – Rainbow Nourishments

Steamed Snowman Buns – Rainbow Nourishments



These cute steamed snowman buns are made with a straightforward and fluffy Chinese language mantou dough and an non-obligatory custard filling. They’re vegan-friendly, dairy-free and the proper snack for the vacations!

Seven steamed snowmen buns upright in a bamboo steamer.

Elements you may want

Flat-lay of ingredients for steamed mantou buns and optional custard filling.

The complete listing of ingredient portions and directions are within the grey recipe card on the backside of this publish.

Notes in regards to the elements

All-purpose plain flour. Or for extra conventional, softer and whiter buns, you should utilize bao flour purchased from a Chinese language grocery retailer.

On the spot yeast is the best yeast to make use of. I additionally added baking powder so the steamed buns are additional fluffy!

Sugar helps feed the yeast (which makes the buns rise), and to sweeten the custard filling. Historically, mantou buns are a bit candy.

Custard powder when you’re making the filling. A number of mainstream manufacturers are unintentionally vegan as they do not comprise milk or egg powder (for instance, Chicken’s and Foster Clarks). Alternatively, you possibly can a mix of cornstarch/corn flour and some different elements, though it will not style the identical (see the recipe notes).

Dairy-free milk. I want utilizing soy milk because it provides richness to the bread and custard. We’re utilizing chilly or room-temperature milk so the bread would not rise too rapidly.

Meals dye (pure or synthetic) to brighten the lovable snowman buns. I additionally used charcoal powder for the eyes and buttons.

Close up of one steamed bun shaped like a snowman.

Optionally available: Making the custard filling

First, I like to recommend combining the dry elements with a part of the milk, to stop the combination from getting lumpy. Then you possibly can add the remainder of the milk! It additionally helps to make use of a non-stick pan because the custard filling can follow the saucepan.

Whereas mixing continuously, prepare dinner the custard over medium-low warmth, till it has thickened right into a paste-like consistency. For a softer custard, you possibly can add a touch of milk (nevertheless, do not add an excessive amount of because it’ll be tougher to assemble the buns). Lastly, let the combination cool within the fridge or freezer.

Two image collage of custard filling in non-stick pan. First image shows custard as a runny yellow liquid and second image shows custard with a paste-like texture.

Making the mantou dough

Mantou dough is simple to make because it solely requires one lengthy rise, not like different bread recipes, similar to my vegan brioche or cinnamon buns.

You may knead the dough utilizing a stand mixer (advisable) or by hand on a floured floor. Initially, the dough will probably be a bit shaggy, however simply hold kneading till it is clean and silky.

For delicate cake-like buns, knead the dough till it varieties a clean ball. The dough needs to be barely cheesy however should not follow the aspect of your bowl or work floor.

For barely chewier buns, knead the dough till it reaches the windowpane stage. That is the place you possibly can stretch a bit of dough and it would not break. You must also be capable to see gluten membranes within the dough, similar to the examples in King Arthur Baking’s publish.

Two image collage showing ingredients for the mantou dough in one bowl and final smooth dough.

The right way to form steamed custard buns

You may form your snowman decorations and buns with out resting the dough!

First, I like to recommend making the decorations to your snowman buns. I made a sweet cane scarf and some small balls for the eyes, nostril and buttons.

There are just a few methods to form plain mantou buns. I want to roll out the dough right into a circle and fold the perimeters into the center till the beneath is clean and taut. Merely Recipes exhibits a step-by-step information for shaping bread rolls.

Should you’re making custard buns, roll each bit of dough right into a ball (like above) then flatten it right into a tough circle. Place the custard ball within the center and fold the perimeters into the middle. One other technique is to wrap the dough across the ball as seen on this YouTube video.

Lastly, for tremendous clean steamed buns, roll out any ‘wrinkles’ within the dough by rotating the balls in between your arms and/or work floor. It could actually take a bit follow to get tremendous clean buns, however simply do what you possibly can!

Four image collage of decorations for the snowmen buns and how to wrap the custard filling with the dough.

Assembling the snowman buns

I like to recommend placing collectively the snowman buns on little items of parchment paper because it makes them simpler to switch to your steamer!

Listed below are my high ideas for adorning the lovable snowman buns:

  • If it is a scorching day, beautify one snowman at a time and hold the remaining in your fridge.
  • Use water as ‘glue’ if you might want to stick a ornament in your snowman buns.
  • In case your eyes, noses and buttons don’t remain in place, use a toothpick or sharp object to indent your snowmen. In case your little colored balls are nonetheless falling out, add a bit water to the indents.
  • The buns will increase after they relaxation and are steamed, so hold this in thoughts when putting the decorations. The snowmen’s eyes, nostril and buttons will area out!
Two image collage of snowmen being decorated with candy cane colored scarf and little black and orange balls for the eyes, buttons and nose.

Ideas for steaming the buns

To steam the buns, I used a wok, bamboo steamer and a curved wok lid.

Crucial factor for steaming the snowman buns is to make sure that they don’t seem to be uncovered to sudden temperature adjustments. So, we’re beginning with chilly water, steaming the buns, then letting the buns relaxation within the steamer for at the very least 5 minutes.

Additionally, the mantou or steamed custard buns develop in measurement by round ½ inch (1.5cm every) on all sides so be sure to area them aside! The image beneath exhibits the buns earlier than steaming.

Three uncooked snowman buns on pieces of parchment paper flat in a bamboo steamer placed in a large wok.

Professional ideas for making actually clean buns

Whereas this recipe is simple to make, the trickiest factor is to make steamed buns which might be as clean as those from yum cha. I examined these steamed buns round 7 occasions and that is what I like to recommend:

  • Be sure to knead any air bubbles out of your dough, the primary time you knead the dough and while you’re shaping every bun.
  • In case your kitchen is scorching, hold the dough within the fridge. Overproofed dough will make bubbly steamed buns.
  • Form every bun so its floor is clean. It sounds apparent however a clean floor will extra possible steam right into a clean bun. Uneven dough will make the buns dimply.
  • Steam the buns slowly. As talked about earlier than, sudden temperature adjustments will make these buns wrinkly.
One steamed bun broken into half showing custard filling. The bun has a soft, white and fluffy texture.

Extra cute vacation recipes

Or see my different Asian-style desserts, together with my coconut peanut mochi and vegan egg tarts.

Comply with Rainbow Nourishments on Instagram, Fb, TikTok and Pinterest, and subscribe through e mail to obtain all of our newest recipes!

Seven steamed snowmen buns upright in a bamboo steamer.

Print Recipe

Steamed Snowman Buns

These cute steamed snowman buns are made with a straightforward and fluffy Chinese language mantou dough and an non-obligatory custard filling. They’re vegan-friendly, dairy-free and the proper snack for the vacations!

Prep Time1 hour

Prepare dinner Time20 minutes

Resting Time1 hour

Complete Time2 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 8 snowman buns


Vegan Custard Filling (non-obligatory)

Forestall your display screen from going darkish


Make the vegan custard filling (non-obligatory):

  • Add the custard powder, sugar and flour and round ½ cup of milk to a saucepan. Whisk till there are not any lumps. Add the remainder of the milk and the butter and blend till mixed.

  • Place the saucepan over medium warmth and blend continuously. When the combination begins to thicken, flip off the warmth and proceed mixing till your custard turns right into a thick paste. Place the custard in a bowl and chill within the fridge or freezer till wanted.

Make the mantou dough:

  • Add all of the dough elements (besides the meals colouring) to a stand mixer (with the dough hook) or a mixing bowl. If utilizing a stand mixer, knead the dough on medium velocity for 5-10 minutes. If mixing by hand, combine the elements in your bowl then switch the dough to a floured floor and knead till clean.

  • Your dough is prepared when it is delicate, silky and barely cheesy however not sticky. In case your dough is sticky, add a bit extra flour and knead once more. If the dough is simply too dry, add a touch of milk and knead once more.

  • Take away round 50g of dough and put aside the remaining in an hermetic container within the fridge.

  • Divide the 50g of dough into 3 tons so you could have round 45g for the snowmen scarves, 4g for the eyes (round 1 teaspoon) and buttons and 1g for the nostril (round ¼ teaspoon). Knead every dough together with your desired meals color till nicely mixed. Form every colored dough as desired then retailer them in an hermetic container within the fridge till wanted.

Shaping the buns:

  • Divide the dough into 16 items, so you could have round 8 x 35g items for the snowmen’s our bodies and eight x 15g items for the snowmen’s heads.

  • Should you’re making plain mantou buns: Fold the perimeters of the dough into the center to provide a ball with a clean outer floor. Or hold repeating till you could have a clean ball. Roll and rotate the ball in between your arms and work floor to clean out any wrinkles.

  • Should you’re making custard buns: Divide the custard combination into 16 items, so you could have round 8 x 18g items for the snowmen’s our bodies and eight x 7g items for the snowmen’s heads. Gently roll them into balls. Flatten the dough into spherical circles and place a custard ball within the center. Wrap the dough across the custard and pinch the perimeters. Roll and rotate the ball in between your arms and work floor to clean the dough floor.

Assembling the snowmen:

  • Reduce out 8 rectangular items of parchment paper to suit your snowmen. Pair the snowman our bodies with the snowman heads and place them on the parchment. Beautify the snowmen with the scarves, eyes, noses and buttons as desired. If any of the decorations aren’t ‘sticking’ the snowmen, dab the dough with a bit water. If wanted, use a toothpick to evenly indent the snowmen for his or her eyes, noses and buttons.

  • Cowl the snowmen and allow them to relaxation at room temperature for 1-2 hours or till they’re puffy and jiggly.

Steaming the snowmen:

  • Rigorously place your snowmen into your steaming basket. Should you can solely steam few snowmen at a time, retailer the remaining snowmen in an hermetic container within the fridge.

  • Replenish your wok or steamer with 2-4 cups of water (relying on the dimensions of your steamer). Place your steaming basket into your steamer. Cowl with a curved lid or bamboo lid. When you’ve got a flat lid, wrap it in a tea towel.

  • Place your steamer over excessive warmth. When steam begins to come back out of the lid, instantly cut back the range to medium warmth (I used 5 out of 10). Flip in your timer and steam the buns for 10 minutes.

  • After 10 minutes, flip off the warmth. Depart the steamer on the range and let it sit for about 3-5 minutes with the lid on. After then, take away the lid and repeat for the remaining snowman buns.

Serving and storing:

  • Benefit from the buns heat or barely cooled down. They may agency up as they cool.

  • Retailer the buns in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days or within the freezer for as much as 1 month. To reheat and soften the buns, steam on medium warmth for five minutes or till heat. You too can warmth them up within the microwave however they are going to be drier.


  1. Many manufacturers of custard powder are unintentionally vegan and pre-sweetened for instance, Chicken’s and Foster Clarks. If utilizing one other model, double-check the elements to ensure it would not comprise milk or egg solids. Alternatively, you should utilize the identical quantity in cornstarch / corn flour, a pinch of turmeric and enhance the sugar to ⅓ cup (65g). It will not style precisely the identical however will probably be related.
  2. Bao flour is much less absorbent than all-purpose flour so you might want so as to add extra flour to make your dough a workable consistency.
  3. On the spot yeast would not must be ‘proofed’ beforehand. Should you use lively dry yeast, mix it with the milk from the recipe and a pinch of sugar beforehand. Wait till it bubbles then use it within the recipe.

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