Cranberry pumpkin steamed buns are light, spongy, and fluffy and packed with dried cranberries and warm pumpkin puree for the best yet subtle pumpkin flavour. These colourful Chinese buns are the perfect festive snack or breakfast to serve this fall and winter season with a hot cup of green tea.
What are Steamed Buns?
Steamed buns (known as "baozi") as a very popular snack or breakfast dim sum dish all over China. You can find these buns in almost any big city market. They can be made savoury with meat or vegetables (like our Shanghai style vegetarian steamed buns with mushrooms and bok choy) or sweet like these cranberry pumpkin steamed buns. People often enjoy 1 or 2 of these vegan buns in one sitting.
- active dry yeast + water
- granulated sugar - helps feed the yeast to make it rise faster. You can substitute this with honey, if desired.
- vegetable oil
- pumpkin puree - homemade or canned pumpkin work well in this recipe. See the tips section below for instructions on how to make homemade pumpkin puree.
- all-purpose flour
- ground cinnamon
- dried cranberries - dried cranberries give these buns a really nice festive flavour. You can also substitute with raisins.
You will also need a large pot and steamer basket.
How to Make Cranberry Pumpkin Steamed Buns
- Prepare the dough. In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Whisk in in oil and pumpkin puree until smooth and uniform. Set aside for a few minutes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt. Pour in yeast mixture and mix well until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
- Knead the dough and let it rise (first rise). Knead the dough on a clean surface for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball. Transfer the dough back into the bowl and coat with a little bit oil to prevent from drying out. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Shape the buns. Transfer the dough onto a lightly oiled clean surface and deflate the dough ball by punching the air out. Using a rolling pin to flatten and shape the dough into a rectangle, approximately 9x16-inches. Sprinkle dried cranberries evenly over the dough. Carefully roll the dough into a log and divide it into 8 equal pieces with a knife or bench scraper.
- Prepare the steamer and let the dough rise (second rise). Lightly oil a steamer basket and line with parchment paper (to prevent the buns from sticking during steaming). Place buns on top in an even layer. Fill a large pot with a little water, about 1 or 2 inches of water. Do not let the water go above the steamer basket at any time. Place steamer basket on top and cover with the pot lid. Let the buns rise for 15 to 20 minutes. You don't need to wait for the buns to double in size, as they will rise during steaming.
- Steam the buns. Transfer the pot to the stove and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Then, turn the heat down to medium-high and steam the buns for 15 minutes over the boiling water. Turn off the heat and leave the buns in the steamer for another 5 minutes before removing from steamer. This will help prevent the buns from shrinking due to temperature drop.
These cranberry pumpkin steamed buns are typically served on their own as a snack or breakfast item. They also go really well alongside other Chinese dim sum dishes such as crispy fried vegetarian spring rolls, crispy bottom Shanghai pan-fried pork buns, and savoury chive pancakes. Or browse all our dim sum recipes.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Steamed Buns
- How to make homemade pumpkin puree: You can use either canned pumpkin puree or homemade puree in these steamed buns. To make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch, cut the pumpkin into a few large pieces, remove the seeds and steam for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Scoop out the pumpkin and transfer into a blender (without the skin). Puree until smooth. Cool the pumpkin puree to room temperature before using.
- How to store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, steam them for 10 minutes over boiling water. Steaming gives a better tasting bun and an ideal texture since the buns reabsorb any lost moisture.
- How to freeze: Place the steamed buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for one hour, then transfer into an airtight container or freezer bag and store for up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, place directly on the steamer from frozen. Bring the water to a boil and steam for 10 minutes until warmed through.
More Savoury Bread Recipes
- Green Onion Dinner Rolls
- Shanghai Style Vegetarian Steamed Buns
- Easy Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Pumpkin Focaccia Bread with Fresh Herbs
- Artisan Green Olive Sourdough Bread
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.