Easy-peasy coconut buns

Andrew and I have often talked about how amazing the bakeries in Chinatown are. They have hands down the best pastries, at wonderfully affordable prices. They’re magical places.

And one of my favourite things to get? Coconut buns.

But sometimes you also just want to know how to make something at home, right?

Enter these bad boys. Inspired by the coconut buns I love, I can’t guarantee they’re going to be cheaper to make than it would be to buy. It’s also important to note that these aren’t exactly the same as you might expect from a Chinese coconut bun. They’re very much an approximation, and something I’ve been trying to make as an alternative dessert option so that I don’t feel like I’ve eaten a whole meal in one small pastry.

To make these,  I adapted the dough recipe from Skinny Taste’s bagel recipe (which I’m pretty obsessed with), which makes the bun a bit lighter alternative to your standard sweet bun. Plus, using limited larder ingredients means these can be made at the drop of a hat, without having to venture out into the February cold. I’m delighted by them.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: (Makes 4 buns)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup greek yogurt
2 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons margarine (I used Earth balance)
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Quarter cup of dried coconut

1 egg, beaten for glaze
Extra coconut for sprinkling


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Add yogurt and stir to combine. You’re looking for a doughy consistency that isn’t too wet – you want the dough to combine but not stick to your hands. Add more flour if your mixture is too wet.
  3. Using a blender, combine your margarine, sugar, flour, and coconut until you have a paste-like consistency.
  4. Dust a dry surface with a little flour. Separate your dough into four even balls. You’re then going to roll each ball out until it is a rectangle shape. Spoon your coconut paste into the centre of the rectangle and then fold the corners in until the paste is covered. You can then reshape by hand into a dough shape.
  5. Place the prepared buns on a lined and greased baking tray.
  6. Whisk one egg in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, give the buns a light coating of egg, and then sprinkle coconut on top of your buns.
  7. Cook in the oven for 30 mins, or until risen and lightly browned.

And that’s it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. In less than an hour you too could be enjoying one of these, fresh out of the oven.


Welcome to Penny Gourmet


Hello and welcome to Penny Gourmet: a blog focused on cost conscious cooking for food lovers.

Why did I decide to make this blog? Well, it’s simple. I love food. Maybe a little too much at times. I love the way food brings people together. I love the simple act of putting together a meal that puts a smile on a loved one’s face. I believe food can provide nourishment far beyond the simple nutrients and calories listed on the nutrition label.

Food lover on a budget

But, for a food lover on a budget, eating well can seem like an impossible task. Eating out? Forget it! Dining on delicious home cooked meals at home? Pshaw! Haven’t you heard of ramen noodles!? Our stereotype is that eating cheap means eating poorly – that good food is a luxury reserved for the rich.

I’ve fallen into that trap. Just recently I was horrified to see how much I was spending on groceries every month. Now, I am lucky enough to not be living on the breadline by any stretch of the imagination, but money can be tight. I certainly shouldn’t be spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on groceries every month. I felt a momentary panic. I was going to have to give up everything I loved and subsist on brown rice for a month! No more avocado on toast for me! (*Disclaimer: I don’t actually eat avocado on toast, sorry millennial-haters)

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