Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

An updated version of this recipe can be found HERE.

7662249806 3f78844d17 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

It confuses me sometimes when people call this as Mexican Coffee Buns. I believe this bread originated mostly from Singapore (or is it Malaysia?) because many of my Singaporean acquaintances who know that I bake always ask if I have made these before. My favourite coffee bun bakeshop, Roti Mum, originated from Singapore as well. I call these buns mostly kopi roti or simply coffee bun (or kopi bun to conjugate), but I’ve never known them as rotiboy (which is actually the name of a popular Malaysian bakery selling these buns) until I begun looking for recipes on the Internet.


You learn something new everyday here in the world of food blogging.

I have a rather odd relationship with coffee bun-making. I’ve made it thrice already, and this last time had been my most successful batch of them all. I had used a different recipe for my first batch, and the best thing about that was the fragrance; the worse was the sinking dome of the bun the moment I pulled it out of the oven. The second time, I had used this recipe I’m sharing today, but the buns also sunk down the longer they stayed out in the open. Both times though, the flat roti ended up being delicious anyway. I even invented a new name for them (Coffee Flat Breads) when I brought them to a family gathering, but I’m almost certain no one even recalls the name, not especially my little cousins who ate every last piece, leaving only crumbs for the grumbling adults.

7662171986 5caab00a7d b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

Despite this, my frustration did not go away. Neither of my attempts came even close in appearance to the gorgeously brown fat, round buns from Roti Mum, which I was aspiring to recreate at home. It seemed like such an impossible task after two discouraging attempts. I was also rather uncomfortable once again by the amount of butter used to make these buns, and so I did not try again for a long while.

7662160654 142df07ed0 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

One day a craving hit me. Rather than run out to the store, I decided it might finally be the time to try this again. I am a bit of a believer in ‘third time’s the charm‘, and it worked its magic in the end. I still have some ways to go before I can completely replicate the Roti Mum bun, but at least I’m improving!

I made some changes to the procedure this time around. First, I did not crowd my baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space at least between each piece of dough to allow more circulation of air and more room for the buns to expand. I also opted to bake one sheet at a time, not taking out the buns even to rotate the sheets for fear that the tops will sink the moment they are moved.

To get the lovely even crust compared to the odd-looking spirally one I previously made, make sure to pipe the coffee topping in swirls that are close together, even touching, so that they can melt into each other evenly when exposed to the oven’s heat. Use the best instant coffee you can get your hands on.

Most importantly, do remember to enjoy the buttery-coffeeness (what a word) of these buns.

7662242790 6cf2eebba3 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
Coffee Buns
7662242790 6cf2eebba3 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
Yields 16
Buttery buns with a light taste of coffee, its heavenly scent will have your mouth watering from miles away.
Print
For the Buns
  1. 500 grams bread flour
  2. 80 grams caster sugar
  3. 9 grams salt
  4. 20 grams low-fat milk powder (optional)
  5. 10 grams instant dry yeast
  6. 280 mL water
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 60 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the coffee topping
  1. 200 grams unsalted butter
  2. 150 grams powdered sugar, sieved
  3. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 200 grams cake flour (not self-raising)
  5. 1 Tablespoon instant coffee, mixed with 2 Tablespoons hot water (or 3 Tablespoons espresso)
  6. 1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur or coffee essence (optional)
For the filling
  1. 100 grams butter (salted or unsalted)
To make the bread
  1. 1. Add all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix them thoroughly with a spatula. In a measuring glass, whisk together water and egg.
  2. 7662186038 fe8f9537e3 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  3. 2. Attach the dough hook onto the mixer and switch the machine on. Gradually add the water-and-egg mixture into the dry ingredients, kneading on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  4. 7662191900 c7fb18a22f b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  5. 3. Slowly add in butter and continue kneading until you get a shiny and elastic dough that stretches without breaking.
  6. 7662198216 e10f63835b b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  7. 4.Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave to proof for about 40 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping
  1. 5. Beat butter and sugar, either by hand or using a mixer, in medium speed until pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.*
  2. 7662205218 62f92ec470 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  3. 6. On low speed, add in the flour, the coffee mixture (or espresso) and liqueur. Mix until smooth and combined. Set aside.
  4. 7662212754 d3d14e6881 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
To make the buns
  1. 7. Prepare two half-sheet pans and grease or line with baking paper. Once the dough has risen, punch down the dough to release some air and move to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 pieces of 25-gram balls.
  2. 7662224674 ec024db4ef b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  3. 8. Roll each ball out in to a small circle and place about 1 teaspoon of butter into the center of each bun. Wrap it up like you would a dumpling, smoothing out the ball and setting it seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the dough and butter, placing the buns at least an inch apart on the baking sheet. You may or may not end up using all the butter.
  4. 7662230510 9fa276cb37 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  5. 9. Leave the ready buns to proof for about 45 minutes or until double in size. About ten minutes toward the end of the proofing time, preheat oven to 420°F (215°C).
  6. 7662236150 11b1688037 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  7. 10. Once the buns have risen, place the coffee topping into a pipping bag or ziplock bag and snip off the corner to make a small opening. Starting from the middle of the bun's surface, pipe out the topping in concentric circles, keeping each circle close to the one before it.**
  8. 7662218686 b6ae425241 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  9. 11. Bake at 420°F (215°C) for about 18 minutes, or until the coffee topping darkens and forms a soft crust on the bun and the bottoms are slightly browned and firm.
  10. 7662150292 e1d868436d b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns
  11. Storage: The buns can be kept at room temperature for about three days. Pop in the toaster before eating as it is best enjoyed hot.
Notes
  1. * If the mixture curdles, do not worry. Once you add the flour and the coffee, it will smooth out.
  2. ** To get a lovely even brown top, make sure to pipe the coffee topping in swirls that are close together, even touching, so that they can melt into each other evenly when exposed to the oven's heat.
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia
The Tummy Train http://www.thetummytrain.com/
Even though the buns aren’t perfect, I feel really proud of myself for the results the third time. I also enjoyed taking all the process photos so much, so I hope you all have as much fun making and eating these if you do decide to try the recipe. I couldn’t resist sneaking in another photo down here:

7662242790 6cf2eebba3 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

And of course, the obligatory crumb shots:

7662179284 d1254658c1 b - Coffee buns, kopi roti, kopi buns

Gorgeous. Reminds me a bit of brioche, filled with butter, covered with coffee… Dreamy.

51 Comments

  1. Jill
    29 July, 2012

    I’ve never heard of these before, but they sure look delicious!! Coffee and butter are two of my favorite things. Delish!

    Reply
    1. Clarisse Shaina
      30 July, 2012

      They are quite popular here in Asia, in Singapore and Malaysia especially. You can smell their amazing coffee fragrance a mile away! Oh the thought is making my mouth water.

      Reply
  2. frugalfeeding
    30 July, 2012

    Those are so ridiculously cute :D.

    Reply
    1. Clarisse Shaina
      30 July, 2012

      Haha! Yes they did end up looking cute and small!

      Reply
  3. These buns look absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never had them before… Will mark this recipe to try them out! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Clarisse Shaina
      31 July, 2012

      I hope you’ll like them! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Yii-Huei
    22 December, 2012

    These look amazing! I’m planning to make these sometime soon (My hometown is KL in Malaysia, and I can never get sick of the smell of those buns!), and I have seen a couple of recipes that use milk powder or whole milk. Your recipe says optional? What would recommend? Without the milk powder or with?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse Shaina
      30 December, 2012

      In all the recipes I’ve tried with powdered milk as optional, I’ve always added it. I can’t comment as to the difference between having it or not, though adding it wouldn’t hurt. I say, go all out! 😉

      Reply
  5. Ali
    20 January, 2013

    In Qatar ,the people is crazy about its absolutely delicious , thanks for the recipe we are baking it in the minute

    Reply
  6. sprinkledsugarspice
    28 May, 2013

    I have just eaten a coffee bun and the taste spurred me to search for the recipe. Yours look very tempting and I can’t wait to try it once my oven is repaired! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Cla Panuelos
      28 May, 2013

      Yay! I hope you like them! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Megan
    9 July, 2013

    OMG – tried these for the first time in the CA Bay Area … then went down to LA, figuring they would be everywhere, and WAS SORELY MISTAKEN. Until they catch on in my hometown, your recipe may be what saves me and my husband 🙂 Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Cla Panuelos
      9 July, 2013

      Aww I hope you enjoy this recipe! These buns are truly addictive especially if you are a coffee lover. Just a whiff is all it takes! They’ve become rather popular here but I’m thinking maybe they’re available in your area where the Singaporean/Malaysian food places are located?

      Reply
      1. Megan
        9 July, 2013

        Hi Cia, I would have thought so too, but was surprised that even in San Gabriel Valley, nothing. I did find a place in Pasadena, eventually 🙂 It just really surprised me that with such a massive Asian population, roti buns were not on every street corner.

        I can’t wait to give your recipe a try, I think this weekend, when I have time – will let you know how it goes! Thanks again for posting the recipe. It’s fun to share 🙂

        Reply
        1. Cla Panuelos
          9 July, 2013

          Great! I’m excited to see how it goes! 😀

          Reply
  8. Quenya
    28 July, 2013

    I sometimes go to asian market for grocery shopping like hmart and the ne mega mart and they both have a bakery I buy about 1-4 of these buns and hide in my room all day munching on them. they go perfectly with a yogurt (i always have raspberry with mine) or I have ice cold water with it. thank you for this recipe now I can mass produce them all day ^_^ such a yummy winter snack

    Reply
  9. jas
    13 August, 2013

    roti mum is have the best bun and it is ao much different from kopi roti

    Reply
    1. Cla Panuelos
      13 August, 2013

      I agree! Roti Mum has the best coffee bun I’ve tasted. 🙂

      Reply
  10. tin
    3 October, 2013

    hello, i tried this recipe and somehow it becomes unmanageable for me to work with the dough since its too sticky and wet? like a brioche.. and your photos is quite different from mine. do you know what the problems might be? i measured everything first then followed the instructions carefully and added softened butter last.. i tried your ensaymada recipe and this what happens too. looking forward for your help thanks cla!!!

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      3 October, 2013

      Hmm.. Can you tell me what kind of weather you had when you made these? Sometimes when the kitchen is hot or damp it can also affect the dough’s texture and you need to adjust the water or the flour accordingly. If the dough is too sticky and wet you need to cut the amount of water.

      Reply
  11. tin
    3 October, 2013

    oh it is like a mozzarella texture..

    Reply
    1. tin
      3 October, 2013

      its warm when i made these yummy buns

      Reply
      1. Clarisse
        3 October, 2013

        That’s weird because my kitchen is warm too. Let me try to help you, Tin. Try cutting out about 1/4 cup of the water you add into the dough to make it less wet. And then as you knead, if the dough is still too sticky, add more flour (maybe about 1 tablespoon at a time) until you get a nice smooth texture.

        The dough should still be damp and not dry or too hard because your bread will become too tough once baked. Remember also that you will still roll this on a floured surface so don’t go overboard with the flour. Aim for that smooth but supple texture.

        Just ask me again if something’s unclear or if you need me to help you further. 🙂

        Reply
  12. Mia
    7 October, 2013

    Hello cia! Thank you for sharing your kopi roti recipe. I want to give it a try but unfortunately i dont have a standing mixer. Can I ask you what is the other method to make the buns?

    Thank you!
    Mia

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      7 October, 2013

      Hi Mia!

      Sure you can make the buns by hand but it will take some time and muscle. First mix your dry ingredients in a bowl then slowly stir in the wet ingredients using a spatula or wooden spoon until it comes together in a shaggy mass and the liquid has been absorbed. And then turn it out on a lightly floured surface and begin kneading in the butter, then just knead until the dough is smooth. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Mia
        7 October, 2013

        Hello Cia! Thank you for your quick reply. God bless!

        Reply
        1. Clarisse
          7 October, 2013

          Please do let me know how it turns out for you. 🙂

          Reply
  13. Mia
    10 November, 2013

    Hello ate Cla!
    Hope your doing great! I made the Coffee Roti they came out good. But I think the frosting hinde sila dumikit dun san buns lahat nahulog sa baba. Hmmm! Ano kaya naging problem ate.

    How can i send the photos sayo ate?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      10 November, 2013

      Hi Mia! Saw your Facebook message. I’ll reply there na lang. 🙂

      Reply
  14. julie anne
    10 August, 2014

    in making buns instead of using caster sugar can i use granulated sugar??

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      10 August, 2014

      As long as your sugar doesn’t have any giant lumps in it, yes you may use it. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Ann
    25 August, 2014

    Do you have the recipe that convert to cup instead?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      25 August, 2014

      Sorry I don’t! I didn’t check the cup measurements as I was making this and used a scale only.

      Reply
  16. roti maker
    24 September, 2014

    nice recipe delicious tatse
    awsome methood nice sharing

    Reply
  17. Yummy Food Pictures
    28 February, 2015

    Hello Ms. Clarisse. Thank you for sharing this recipe it’s nice to have this knowoedge of incorporating coffee on pastries because I love coffee and buns together.

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      28 February, 2015

      Thanks for visiting. Me too, I love coffee and pretty much any type of bread together! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Alejandro
    25 May, 2015

    I had these at a little coffee shop in Sydney Australia. They were so amazing , I am glad I found your recipe. Now I can have them here in the USA. There is no place in Las Vegas Nevada USA that makes them.

    Reply
  19. Angel Guevara
    8 June, 2015

    These look really good!! Can the butter for the filling be omitted? Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      8 June, 2015

      It’s up to you, but I recommend adding it for a light burst of buttery flavour inside the buns. 🙂

      Reply
  20. Sam
    21 August, 2015

    Can u replace bread flour and cake flour with all purpose flour? Or will this affect the texture/taste of the bun?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      6 September, 2015

      Hi Sam, the gluten found in all these flours are a bit different so it might affect the texture.

      Reply
  21. Mira
    5 November, 2015

    Hi Clarisse, may i know what coffee you used?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      7 November, 2015

      Hi Mira! Gosh I can’t remember what it was exactly but I suggest using your favourite strong instant coffee powder (as in the one where you just add hot water in a mug and not brew).

      Reply
  22. Ekasari
    1 April, 2016

    I’ve just made one and is patiently waiting for the bun to proof now!
    I am not very sure, but I think the bun has too much liquid?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      1 April, 2016

      Hi! Yes the dough is quite soft. You can try reducing the water next time. 🙂

      Reply
  23. Toula
    19 November, 2016

    I tried making it but the dough tend to be sticky ???and it dosent rise in one hr too
    So what kind of yeast and flour is the best for getting the same result ?

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      7 January, 2017

      Hi there! You could try lessening the amount of water as you make the dough if it’s too sticky and doesn’t come together. What kind of yeast did you use for this? I recommend instant yeast since it doesn’t need to be activated in warm water.

      Reply
  24. caseues
    2 April, 2017

    I was looking for easy coffee bun recipe and I came across your blog. I tried this today, but I used bread maker to make the dough, ‘coz I’m lazy, lol. And it turned out very nice, and fluffy and sooo full of flavour. The dough did came out really sticky, but it still gave me a good rise and it did not drop. Thanks for this and keep the recipes coming 🙂

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      3 April, 2017

      Yay I’m so glad! 😀

      Reply
  25. Philip Hedges
    22 May, 2017

    These were great! Someone brought some in to work and I had never heard of them before so I decided to bake them. Great recipe, great pictures. One thing I found is that where it says “Divide dough into 16 pieces of 25-gram balls.” I had a lot of dough left. To use up the dough with only 16 balls I had to use 60-gram balls since I had ~960 grams of dough after following the recipe. Those ended being about the size of the ones I got at work.

    Reply
    1. Clarisse
      22 May, 2017

      Hi Philip, thanks for the feedback. I’ll have to revisit this recipe again to check the measurements. They did come out a bit small if I remember correctly. Glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top