Gai Mei Bao

In my research there were conflicting claims as to the origin of these cocktail buns. They are known as Hong Hong Cocktail buns but many sources said they were Chinese in Origin.

I consulted one of my Chinese friends and she stated that from where she comes (Southern China), there are no baked goods which they make. And she couldn't even tell me what the name means. She explained that she knows only Mandarin and that probably means something in Cantonese which is mainly spoken in Hong Kong. She could only tell me that Bao means Bun. 

So whatever be the meaning, wherever the origins of these buns lie, these are some of the best cocktail buns we have enjoyed. I made it mildly sweet so we could enjoy the natural sweetness of the coconut.

G for Gai Mei Bao.

The previous posts in this Mega Marathon are..

A for An Pan - A Sweet Bread From Japan
B for Broa - A Rustic Bread From Portugal
C for Ciabatta - A White Bread From Italy

D for Date And Walnut Bread - A Traditional Bread From Scotland

E for Epi - The Wheat Stalk Bread from France

F For Focaccia Caprese - A Flatbread From Italy

Gai Mei Bao

Recipe Source here and here
Ingredients -
For the Dough - (This made about 12 buns)
Milk 2/3 cup
Yogurt 1 Tbsp
Sugar 1/4 cup
Bread Flour or All Purpose Flour 2 cups
Cornstarch or Custard Powder 1 1/2 Tbsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Active Dry Yeast 1 heaped tsp
For the Filling - (This was enough for only 7 buns)
Butter at room temperature 3 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar 2 Tbsp
All Pupose Flour 2 Tbsp
Milk Powder 1/8 cup
Coconut, grated 1/3 cup (fresh or frozen)
For the Topping - 
All Pupose Flour 1 Tbsp
Butter at room temperature 1 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar 2 tsp
Milk 2-3 tsp
Sesame seeds 1 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

To Prepare the Dough - 
Warm the milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and add yeast to it. Set aside in a warm place for the yeast to froth up.

In a stand mixer add the flour, custard powder, yogurt, salt and the remaining sugar. Pour in the milk with the yeast.

Knead for about 10-12 minutes until the dough is soft and pliable.

Roll the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it and set in a warm place until it gets doubled. [about 90 minutes].

To Prepare the Filling - 
Mix all the ingredients listed under 'For the filling' .
Knead well to make a stiff dough. Refrigerate until needed.

To Prepare the Topping - 
Mix all the ingredients listed except the sesame seeds under 'For the topping'. Make sure it is in a batter consistency. Pour it in a piping bag and set aside until needed.

To Make the Cocktail Buns -
Punch down the dough, and divide the dough into small portions as per preference. [I made 12 portions]

Divide the filling into tablespoon portions. (I got only 7 portions).

Flatten each of the dough portions made and place the filling and close the edges making sure the filling doesn't ooze out.

[Since I hadn't enough filling, I set aside the remaining dough for another bake :).]

Arrange all the buns in a lined baking tray, cover and set aside for a second rise (about 30-45 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 360 °F.

Gai Mei Bao - prep

Brush the prepared bun with milk and pipe 2-3 lines with the topping mixture which we set aside in a piping bag.

Sprinkle sesame seeds and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Remove from the oven, brush with butter and enjoy them warm.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Preparation Time 20 minutes + Resting time 2 hours + Baking time 20 minutes
Makes 7 buns + 5 more without the filling


  1. i am sure like india, china has so many recipes that most chinese would be unaware of...i credit our BM group for exposing me to the indian cuisine of every nick and corner...these buns look very homely and i could imagine the sweet flavor of the coconut sweetness filled inside...bookmarking them

  2. Priya Suresh Says:
  3. I baked this cocktail buns for a baking event and simply fell in love with it, especially the stuffing, tempting me again.

  4. Namratha Says:
  5. Nice filling in the buns! Beautifully baked.

  6. Sowmya :) Says:
  7. Coconut filled sweet drooling right now! Looks awesome...bookmarked!

  8. veena Says:
  9. These buns look so good and I loved the filling . Got to try this soon

  10. Nice bake.. Awesome work.. Love all you breads!!

  11. Srivalli Says:
  12. I guess there are so many dishes that we still need to explore, this one looks classic!..

  13. The buns look fantastic , beautifully baked . Love the stuffing too. There are many recipes where we get lost when we look for country specification.

  14. Every cuisine has long forgotten recipe and thanks to bloggers like us we bring them back to life. I made the Gai mei Bao just couple of months back and loved it. Your buns have come out amazing and I am now tempted to bake them again!

  15. Srividhya Says:
  16. I need to second Valli. :-) I learnt a lot about the history and origin of these recipes via this BM... Whatever the origin, love these buns. Great pic.

  17. Pavani Says:
  18. I have had the same problem with my Chinese cookies recipe. My Chinese friend could not even recognize the name of the dish -- just like you, I just went with it any way.
    Those buns look amazing. I'm bookmarking them to try soon.

  19. The buns looks so yummy. Same thing happens with me all the time when it comes to some specific recipes.

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