Pumpkin Kaya Pau (Steamed Pumpkin Buns)

by - March 07, 2018

Making pau or steamed bun is fun as takes a much shorter time compared with bread.  Our family loves pau.  I always get so tempted every time I see the white and soft paus sold at coffee shops.  I don’t buy any as I am afraid of the possible unhealthy ingredients and additives that may have been used. Making them at home, I know exactly what goes into the recipe. I used unbleached pau flour instead of Hong Kong Pau flour.  Hong Kong Pau flour will yield the nice white colour and a fine texture.  However, unbleached flour is healthier.  

Initially, I wanted to make Tau Sar Pau.  But, I don’t have red bean at home.  So, ended up making Pumpkin Kaya Pau instead.  My mother in-law bought a big pumpkin and we made good use of it by turning it into Pumpkin Kaya.  I prefer to make everything from scratch.

This steamed bun is so delicious.  The Pumpkin Kaya goes very well with this slightly salty pau dough where I reduced the sugar and added a little bit of salt. My family loves it so much it disappeared the same night.  I hope you will like it too.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Pumpkin Kaya Pau

Yields:  12 Buns


Dough for Bun:
300g pau flour (low protein flour)
20g caster sugar
¼ tsp + 1/8 salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
160g - 170g water
1 tsp double action baking powder
24g vegetable oil (I used canola oil)

Pumpkin Kaya:
Please refer here for recipe.

12 pieces (2.5” X 2.5”) baking parchment paper

  1. The night before freezes the pumpkin kaya into the ice cube mould in freezer. 
  2. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl of electric stand mixer.  Let it sit for 2 – 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients.  Knead the dough until all come together, around 10 minutes with the dough hook attached.
  3. Cover the bowl with kitchen towel or cling wrap and let the dough rest for 60 minutes.
  4. Lightly dust the working surface with flour. Gently punch down the dough to deflate. Roll the dough to form a log.  Cut and divide into 12 equal portion, approximately 43g per portion.  
  5. Shape each dough into a ball.  Flatten the ball with your palm into a circle.  Place the frozen pumpkin kaya in the centre.  Gather up the edges to seal and shape into round ball.  Place the bun on the prepared parchment paper.
  6. Spread the buns on the bamboo steamer about 1 inch apart as the dough will rise. Let the buns rise until 60% - 70%  from its original size about 15 to 20 minutes in semi warm area. 
  7. Prepare the steamer, wrap the steamer cover with a clean cloth.  This will prevent steamer water dropping on the bun, to get a smooth skin.  Steam for 10 to 12 minutes over the medium heat.
  8. Once it’s done, open the cover slightly to release the heat for few minutes. Transfer the bamboo steamer away from the water and let it stand for another few minutes before removing the cover. With this, the buns will not shrink after cooling down.

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  1. Hi, as i understand, low protein flour= cake flour. do i need to buy pau flour to make pau. Or i can use cake flour. Tq

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for dropping by. I have not tried cake flour to make pau. But, it should work too. I have seen people used cake flour to make pau.

      Cheers & happy baking :)