coffee bun

As promised, I am posting the recipe for coffee buns aka rotibuns today. This bread is another one of my favorites sold at Korean bakeries. When these buns come fresh out of the oven, it’s hard to resist biting into the soft buns. The base of the bread is the same recipe used for soboro; only the topping is different. These coffee buns are not only pretty to look at, but they’re also great for dessert, breakfast or as a snack!
coffee bunscoffee buns
coffee buns
coffee buns

Coffee buns (Rotibuns)

2 hr, 30 Total Time

Yields 12 rotibuns

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  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • Coffee topping
  • 150g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 200g sugar
  • 150g eggs
  • 150g cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp warm water


  1. In a small bowl, add the 1 1/2 tsp yeast and 1 tsp granulated sugar to 1/3 cup lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and the mixture is foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups bread flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the yeast mixture, 1 egg, 1/3 cup milk, and 1/4 cup butter and mix to combine. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, making the topping. Cream the butter and sugar by beating until fluffy and pale, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and beat together. Strain the butter mixture through a sieve and add to the flour.
  4. Dissolve the instant coffee with the water. Add the vanilla. Add the coffee mix to the flour mix and stir to combine. Transfer to a piping bag and chill until ready to use.
  5. Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Place them on a lined baking sheet and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Let the frosting sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes before using. Pipe the coffee frosting on each roll, making sure the piped lines are touching each other. Let the rolls rise another 30 minutes in a warm area.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Bake rolls for 15 minutes or until the topping has set and the rolls are browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

**Helpful tips and common mistakes

I always thought rotibuns were a Korean pastry, but it turns out that they are traditionally Mexican. I think the only difference is that the Korean version is slightly sweeter. Since the dough itself doesn’t have much sugar, I added a little extra to the coffee topping to bring out the sweetness. For tips on how to make the rolls, check out the Soboro bread post.

When piping the coffee frosting on the bread, make sure the lines are all touching one another. If you have spaces in between the lines, the frosting will not melt properly to give you a smooth coating; instead, you will be able to see the gaps after baking.  You can start piping the frosting about 3/4 of the roll down since it will drip down as it bakes.

If you don’t have a piping bag, use a plastic bag and cut a small opening in one corner. Letting the frosting come to room temperature makes it easier to pipe out.
coffee bunsThese rotibuns made my kitchen smell insanely delicious just like a Korean bakery! The coffee buns were all nicely coated and looked beautiful. I loved the taste of coffee with every bite with just a hint of sweetness. The bread is best fresh but can be reheated in the microwave.
coffee buns



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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