Coffee Buns Foolproof

Coffee Buns Foolproof

0 stars

Coffee buns known as Rotiboy or Paparoti has a crispy coffee layer but soft on the inside. Originating from Malaysia, these signature buns has a unique combination of textures and captivating coffee fragrance. They can be easily made with this simple foolproof recipe.

Preparation 120 mins
Cooking 14 mins


Rotiboy, Paparoti, Roti Kopi, Rotibuns, 모카번만들기, Mexican Coffee Buns, Korean Coffee Bun

Malaysian, Singaporean

Nutrition per Serving

429 kcal
51 g
22 g
8 g

Coffee buns are soft sweet bun with a layer of coffee crust on it. Almost like a thin cookie layer, the combination of texture is one of its kind. Popularized by the franchise Rotiboy in Malaysia, the bread is now made available in Singapore, across Asia and reached Saudi Arabia too. If you walk by its shop, you'll smell the fragrance that always attract a long queue. I love having this for breakfast or teatime with a cup of tea.

Now, two layers in a bread sounds difficult and tricky to attempt? That is not true at all. Just follow the steps and you will be enjoying the coffee buns in no time!

Important tips to make fluffy bread

When it comes to making bread, it is crucial to use cold butter, milk and water. This is to slow down the fermentation of the yeast before gluten is formed. I recommend using the ingredients directly from the refrigerator. You may add ice directly to water (if you forgot to keep it cold) but ensure they have melted a little before adding into the flour mixture.

Salt is added at the same stage with butter to make sure that it does not come into contact with the yeast during early mixing. Yeast dies when comes in contact directly with salt. When that happens, the dough will not rise as much or at all.

Lastly, kneading the dough until gluten is fully formed is very important. Gluten helps to form stretchy and elastic dough which is needed to make fluffy bread. When it is not kneaded properly, the buns will not hold its shape or rise enough. Always do the windowpane check by rubbing some oil in your hands and taking a small portion of dough to stretch. The dough is ready to proof if it does not tear and looks like this when stretched:

Gluten formed perfectly
Gluten formed perfectly

Can all purpose flour be used instead?

Bread flour is specifically used for making bread as it has a higher protein content (around 11-13%). This will guarantee a better gluten formation. The amount of protein in all purpose flour is usually about 8-11%. This makes is suitable for baking cakes or making waffles instead. However, you can still use it in this recipe but it may not rise as well, thus resulting in a less fluffy bread.

Must whipping cream be used?

It can be substituted with milk but the fat percentage is usually about 3.8%. The addition of whipping cream which has a higher fat percentage of at least 35% contributes to a richer and more moist bun.

Guaranteed soft coffee bun
Guaranteed soft coffee bun

Salted butter vs unsalted butter

Instead of buying two different types of butter, simply sprinkle some salt onto unsalted butter before freezing the butter cubes in step one. If you are using salted butter, omit the salt from this recipe.

Dry yeast vs instant yeast

Instant yeast does not need any activation. It can be added directly to the rest of the ingredients as per the recipe. When using dry yeast (5g), activate it with some water as listed in this recipe.

Coffee batter

The other minor hurdle one may face with is the coffee batter. Over mixing the batter may cause the texture to be rubbery. This will result in a non crusty and non crispy coffee layer making it not possible to recreate the signature look and taste of Rotiboy.

Adding flour to fluffy coffee, butter, and sugar mixture
Adding flour to fluffy coffee, butter, and sugar mixture

If you like, the coffee batter can be prepared one day before. Simply keep it refrigerated. As it contains butter, the batter will harden when it is cold making it difficult to squeeze through the piping bag. Therefore, allow it to cool to room temperature before piping it onto the buns.

Double-wrap frozen butter

Another speciality of these coffee buns is the soft dough from the melted butter in the middle of the bun. This is made by rolling a bit of butter into the bread dough. When it is wrapped with only one later of dough, the butter will melt during the baking process and could seep out of the dough through the seams.

The seams of the first layer of dough wrapping the frozen butter must face down when placed on the second layer of dough. This will securely wrap the butter to avoid leakage.

Second wrapping of frozen butter
Second wrapping of frozen butter

How to avoid dry buns after baking?

They usually never last longer than a day in my home. If you have to, keep them in an air-tight container. Trust me, you will love them especially when they are freshly baked. That is how to enjoy Rotiboy's coffee buns.


160 g
bread flour
4 g
instant yeast
4 g
milk powder
110 g
30 g
salted butter
100 g
57 g
20 g
whipping cream
105 g
unsalted butter
4 g
7 g
coffee granules
2 g
cocoa powder
100 g
all-purpose flour

Steps to Prepare

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 1

Step 1 of 9

    • 160 g bread flour
    • 4 g instant yeast
    • 4 g milk powder
    • 25 g sugar
    • 30 g salted butter

Cut salted butter into 5g cubes and place them into the freezer. Then, mix bread flour, instant yeast, milk powder and sugar to make the dough for the bun.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 2

Step 2 of 9

    • 30 g egg(s)
    • 50 g water
    • 20 g whipping cream
    • 20 g unsalted butter
    • 2 g salt

Add eggs, cold water and whipping cream to the dry ingredients. Knead for at least 5 minutes. Once the dough is formed, knead the unsalted butter and salt at slow to medium speed for 3 minutes. Then, increase the speed and knead for another 3 minutes. Do the windowpane test to check if gluten is fully formed.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 3

Step 3 of 9

Allow dough to ferment in a greased bowl at a warm place (30-35 degrees Celsius) for at least an hour. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or cling wrap to prevent it from drying.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 4

Step 4 of 9

Dust the dough with some flour. Divide dough into 6 pieces of 50 grams and another 6 pieces of 15 grams. Let them rest for 10 minutes.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 5

Step 5 of 9

Wrap in the frozen butter cubes into each of the 15g dough. Then, take the bigger dough (50 grams) and flatten it. Place the seam part of the butter-filled dough on the flattened dough. Tightly wrap the dough and shape it into a ball. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Proof buns for at least 45 minutes before baking.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 6

Step 6 of 9

    • 7 g coffee granules
    • 2 g cocoa powder
    • 7 g water

Prepare coffee crust by mixing the coffee granules, cocoa powder and water. Set aside.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 7

Step 7 of 9

    • 85 g unsalted butter
    • 85 g sugar
    • 2 g salt
    • 70 g egg(s)

In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, and salt for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Then, gradually add in the eggs and whisk for another minute before whisking in the coffee cocoa mixture.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 8

Step 8 of 9

    • 100 g all-purpose flour

At this stage, the mixture may look lumpy but just mix in the flour. It should take about 1 minute until everything is incorporated. Refrigerate the mixture if the buns are not done proofing. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 190 degrees Celsius.

Coffee Buns Foolproof Step 9

Step 9 of 9

Fill the topping batter into a piping bag and pipe it onto the bun dough in a circular motion. Bake them for about 12 to 15 minutes. To check, lift a bun with a spatula after the 10th minute to see whether the bottom has browned. If it has, then it‘s ready.

Published: August 3, 2020

6 Discussions

3 months ago


I made these today and the bun was soft and fluffy. The crust is phenomenal. It's the BEST crust!! Thank you so much for the recipe. Will make this many many more times. Made 6 and it's almost gone. Just wondering is the recipe for the batter made for 6 buns? Seems like I have a lot of batter left. Maybe I should freeze it and bake it next week

3 months ago

Karin Yap

Hello Hoay! Thanks for trying them out! Yeahhh freezing the paste would be the right thing to do! Just have to defrost it and mix well before using :)

9 months ago


Hi. If I don't have milk powder at home and don't plan to buy as the amount used is so little, can I substitute the milk powder and water with milk? How much milk should I use? Thanks.

9 months ago

Karin Yap

Hello! Yeahhh milk will do too! just substitute the 50g water with 50g milk instead:)

9 months ago

Nur Farah Karim

Love this recipe! Tried it out yesterday and it's pretty much foolproof. I realised the filling isn't as sweet as the Roti Boy fillings though, is there a way to recreate that kind of filling for this bun?

9 months ago

Karin Yap

If you're talking about the butter filling, maybe you could try adding some sugar before wrapping the filling in? Or condensed milk? I've yet to try but it'll prolly work :)

6 months ago

Nur Farah Karim

Sorry for the late response but thanks for the reply! Will try this during my next test run :D

10 months ago

Cindy G

Have you heard of Tangzhong or water roux - a paste of flour cooked in water or milk which is used to improve the texture of bread, making it soft and fluffy? I find adding this above to bread helps make bread fluffy and light. So is it possible to do that for this coffee bun recipe ?

10 months ago

Karin Yap

Hey Cindy! Yeahh i've heard of tangzhong too! Definitely applicable in making these coffee buns. Just need a little tweaking in this recipe. Yet to try personally, but would love to hear how it goes for you!

10 months ago


We have another bread recipe with the tangzhong technique coming up soon. Keep a look out for it!

10 months ago


Look yummy 😍😋😅

10 months ago

Karin Yap

Hey Miri! do give it a go! any questions, feel free to drop by here! :)

10 months ago


Hi, can these be made with an egg replacer ? I usually use Bob's red mill egg replacer or flax egg or aquafaba or applesauce for my recipes. Also, I don't understand the recipe, is it 100 eggs or 100g of eggs ?

10 months ago

Cindy G

should be 100gm eggs :)

10 months ago

Karin Yap

Hello V! i haven't personally tried with egg replacers so i am not sure of the outcome. but if i were to, i would probably try the bob's mill or flax egg. please do update here if it turns out for you :) and as for the eggs, its the latter : 100g of eggs (approximately 2 eggs)

Give us your opinion! Log in and start posting.