These rich and delicious Coffee Buns (also called RotiBoy, Kopi Roti, and Papparoti) are slightly sweet yeast buns with a crisp coffee cookie topping! The contrast of flavor and texture in these sweet buns is such a delight that they are a hugely popular take on the traditional Mexican concha!
These Tasty Buns Are Rich, Buttery And Topped With A Deliciously Crisp Coffee Cookie Crust!
Rich and buttery, my Coffee Buns are decadently delicious. Only slightly sweet (think not-as-sweet as Hawaiian rolls), these buns have a unique coffee cream topping that’s incredibly amazing.
If you love coffee and carbs (who doesn’t?) these coffee buns will win you over in an instant. They are perfect for a quick breakfast, teatime nosh, or after-dinner treat.
When you are not in the mood for something super sweet but still crave something that isn’t too savory, these coffee buns hit the spot. I’m never not in the mood for one, and once you bake a batch, you’ll learn why.
This recipe makes 8 servings of coffee buns, so adjust your measurements accordingly if you care to make more. I generally make at least two batches, as I can always freeze some and defrost when I run out of fresh ones.
- Bread Flour (or all-purpose flour) – A baker's staple for bulk and the base for the buns.
- Sugar – Sweeten up your coffee buns just enough!
- Salt – A bit of salt to bring out the best flavor of any bread.
- Instant Yeast – This easy-to-work-with yeast makes the buns rise beautifully.
- Milk – Moistness and richness throughout.
- Eggs – Add to the dough’s texture and taste.
- Butter – Smooth and silky, adding that extra something to every blissful bite.
- Instant Coffee Powder – The stronger, the better. You can use decaf if desired.
- Water – Needed to dissolve the powder.
- Cake Flour – Get that pastry topping texture that’s simply scrumptious.
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
- To make your own bread flour, remove 1 ½ teaspoons of all-purpose flour from 1 cup flour. Add in 1 ½ teaspoons of vital wheat gluten and sift to combine the flour with the vital wheat gluten. Sift twice, then spoon and level your bread flour portion.
- To make your own cake flour, remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour from 1 cup flour. Add in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and sift to combine the flour with cornstarch. It is best to sift twice, then measure your needed cake flour portion. Spoon and level.
- Freeze the cubed butter before starting your dough to get the best coffee buns. It helps to layer the flavors - you get the coffee topping (exterior), rich bun texture (middle), then the buttery soft center.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
It takes patience to make coffee buns, but the wait is well worth it. The resulting treats are so tempting and tasty, that you’ll be anticipating just how awesome they’ll be.
You must let these buns rise for 2 hours total before baking, so don’t get started on an empty stomach! The scent will have you salivating as they bake to perfection.
- Start out with cubing 6 tablespoons of cold butter into 8 equal pieces (one cube for each coffee roll). Place them onto a dish or into a storage container and chill in your freezer while prepping the coffee buns.
Making The Dough
- In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, add 2 ½ cups of bread (or all-purpose) flour with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of instant yeast over the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add in 1 cup of heated milk and 1 beaten egg and mix until the flour is fully incorporated into the wet ingredients and you have a wet and sticky dough.
- Cube the second portion of softened butter (2 portions of ¼ cup, ½ cup total) and add it to the wet dough. Mix to combine, then knead for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand. The dough should go from sticky to smooth and elastic as you knead it.
- Cover your bowl with plastic cling wrap or a damp kitchen towel or cloth and allow the dough to rise for about one hour or until it has doubled in size on your countertop.
Making The Rolls
- Press the dough about halfway down with your fingertips and roll it out onto a floured flat surface until smooth and even and cut into 8 equal portions.
- Flatten each portion of dough into a disc shape and place one of the eight chilled butter cubes into the center of the dough. Pull the edges of the dough around the butter cube and seal into a roll shape.
- Place each roll onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, with 3-4 inches between each roll so they have room to expand as they bake.
- Cover the shaped rolls with plastic cling wrap or a damp towel for a second proofing where they will expand to just about double in size. This should take 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Making The Coffee Cookie Topping
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon of instant powdered coffee in a tablespoon of hot water. Set aside. *You can also use very strong brewed coffee, but it needs to be STRONG and thick (not runny or watery).
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream together ¼ cup softened butter and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Add a beaten egg and whisk or mix until smooth. *You can add a tablespoon of the cake flour to prevent the egg from curdling.
- Add the dissolved coffee and mix until smooth, then sift in ⅔ cup cake flour.
- Using a spatula, fold into the wet ingredients until just combined. No need to overmix. Move onto assembling the buns, refrigerating the coffee pastry topping if you need to set it aside for a while.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Transfer the coffee cream topping into a piping bag or a plastic storage bag with the corner snipped off for piping.
- In a coiled pattern, start at the top center of each coffee bun and pipe the cream topping outward in rings, covering about ½ to ⅔ of the bun.
- Bake the assembled coffee buns for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), then remove them from the oven and allow the buns to cool down on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Your cookie crust will be hardened and ready to enjoy in 10 minutes after baking.
Serve the coffee buns warm or once they’ve cooled to room temperature. Delicious! I enjoy mine with a frothy cappuccino or iced coffee on a warm day.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Store your baked coffee buns in an airtight container or plastic storage bag at room temperature for up to a week. The coffee layer will lose its crispness within one day, so you will need to return it to the oven to renew that crispness (if desired).
They're still awesome even without refreshing the crispness of the coffee coating! However, to get 'em nice and crispy again preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (162 degrees C).
Heat the coffee buns for 5 minutes in your preheated oven, then serve nice and toasty. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave for a warm bun. This only takes about 15 seconds on high power.
The bun was reportedly created by the Ng family, which were Mexican immigrants to Hong Kong. The Mexican Bun was based on the traditional concha bun that is a soft bun topped with a cookie crust. While the current location of the Ng family is unknown, the coffee bun has remained a popular staple in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Yes! Definitely! And I love baking my coffee buns up fresh rather than eating them once they are day old (or more). Simply place the shaped and butter-filled buns into the refrigerator, covered with cling film. Likewise, cover the bowl of coffee topping and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before piping the topping and baking the next day or so.
- 6 Tbsp butter (cubed and frozen)
Coffee Buns Dough
- 2 ½ cups bread flour (all-purpose flour works too!)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp instant yeast (or 3 teaspoons, each packet contains 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast)
- 1 cup milk (heated to between 100-105 degrees F (38-40 degrees C))
- 2 large eggs (2 portions of 1 large egg each - beaten, at room temperature)
- ½ cup butter (2 portions of ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons each - softened, at room temperature)
- 1 Tbsp instant coffee (powder form, strong variety is recommended)
- 1 Tbsp water (hot - to dissolve the instant coffee)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup cake flour
- Start out with cubing 6 tablespoons of cold butter into 8 pieces (one for each roll). Place them onto a dish or into a storage container then chill in your freezer while making the coffee buns.
Make the Dough
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the 2 ½ cups of bread flour with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of instant yeast over the dry ingredients, then whisk to combine again.
- Add in the 1 cup of heated milk and the first portion of 1 beaten egg then mix until the flour is fully incorporated into the wet ingredients and you have a wet, sticky dough.Cube the second portion of softened butter and add it to the wet dough. Mix to combine, then knead for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand. The dough should go from sticky to smooth and elastic as you knead it.
- Cover your bowl with plastic cling film wrap or a damp kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise for about one hour, or until doubled in size.
Make the Rolls
- Using your fingertips, gently press into the dough about halfway to 'punch' it down. Roll the dough out onto a floured working surface then cut into 8 equal portions (approximately).
- Take a piece of the divided dough and flatten it into a disc shape. Place one of the eight frozen cubes of butter into the center of the disc of dough, then pull the edges around the butter and seal the dough in a roll shape. Place the shaped rolls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of space between the rolls (3-4 inches). Repeat until all of the rolls are ready.
- Cover the shaped rolls again and allow them to proof. They should not quite double in size, usually between 30 minutes to an hour.
- Dissolve the tablespoon of instant powdered coffee in an equal tablespoon portion of hot water. Set aside. *You can also use strong brewed coffee, but it needs to be STRONG and kind of thick (not runny or watery).
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream together the ¼ cup softened butter and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Add one beaten egg and whisk or mix until smooth. *You can add a tablespoon of the cake flour portion to keep the egg from curdling.
- Add the dissolved coffee and mix until smooth again, then sift in the cake flour. Use a spatula and fold into the wet ingredients until just combined. *Move onto assembling the buns, or refrigerate the coffee cream topping if you need to set it aside.
Assemble & Bake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Transfer the coffee cream topping to a piping bag or to a plastic storage bag and snip a small corner off for piping the buns. In a coiled pattern, start at the top center of each bun and pipe outward in rings. Continue until approximately ½ to ⅔rds of the bun is covered with the topping.
- Bake the assembled coffee buns for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the buns to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. The cookie topping will crisp up within about 10 minutes of cooling/removing from the oven.
- You can serve the buns while still warm or once cooled.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!