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Cranberry pumpkin steamed buns (baozi) are light, spongy, and fluffy Chinese buns packed with colourful cranberries and pumpkin puree for the best flavour. |

Cranberry Pumpkin Steamed Buns

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  • Author: Sam | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 9 small steamed buns
  • Diet: Vegan


Cranberry pumpkin steamed buns (baozi) are light, spongy, and fluffy Chinese buns packed with colourful cranberries and pumpkin puree for the best flavour.


  • 3 grams active dry yeast (1 teaspoon)
  • 25 grams granulated sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 60 grams water (1/4 cup)
  • 25 grams vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
  • 150 grams pumpkin puree (1/2 cup)
  • 300 grams all-purpose flour (2 + 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 grams salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Whisk in in oil and pumpkin puree until smooth and uniform. Set aside for a few minutes.
  2. In a large 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).
  3. Knead the dough on a clean surface for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Steam the Buns:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


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.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes (+1 hour 20 minutes wait time)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: Asian