For as long as I can remember, Coffee Buns, also known fondly as Rotiboy has been a childhood staple for many Singaporeans and Malaysians. These aromatic coffee buns are fluffy, have a lightly crisp top with a buttery interior. If I could only stick to one bun for the rest of my life (as extreme as it may sound), this may just be that one bun.

However, a word of caution. These Coffee Buns may look deceivingly simple to some especially due to our familiarity with them. However, making them can be a little bit of a pain especially with the multiple processes.

Firstly, you will have to make the bread. Here, I modified my trusty Fluffy Hokkaido Milk Buns recipe for this occasion. Then, you will have to prepare the coffee “biscuit” layer to pipe over the bread. Finally, and hte most simple, is to prepare mini slabs of butter to stuff into these buns. As long as you are comfortable making bread, this recipe shouldn’t be challenging for you. However, it can be slightly more time consuming.

Nonetheless, every single minute spent making this was well spent. On top of a sense of accomplishment, I was also really proud that my recipe nailed all the flavour notes of this classic bun.

As such and without further ado, my recipe (and video)!

Coffee Buns Recipe (Rotiboy)
by Javier Tan November-04-2023

These Coffee Buns, also fondly known as Rotiboy, is a Southeast Asian classic and staple that are frangrant, buttery and absolutely delish!


For Tangzhong / Water Roux:

  • 3 Tablespoon + or 45ml Water
  • 3 Tablespoons or 45ml Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons or 18g Bread Flour, Sifted

For Buns:

  • 2 and 3/4 Cups or 345g Bread Flour
  • 1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoons or 60g Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, Room Temperature, 55g each
  • 3/4 Teaspoon or 4g Table Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons or 7g Instant Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 Cup or 60g Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • All that was made Water Roux / Tangzhong
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tablespoon or 165g Milk, Room Temp

For Buns (Coffee Topping):

  • 1/3 Cup or 80g of Butter, Softened at Room Temp
  • 1/4 Cup or 50g of Granulated White Sugar
  • A large egg (approx 55g)
  • 3/4 Cup or 90g of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbspn + 1 Tsp or 20ml Coffee (I used 2 Tsps Coffee Granules mixed into 20ml Hot Water)
  • Approx 1/2 Tsp Coffee Flavouring (Optional)

For Buns (Butter Stuffing):

  • 1/3 Cup or 80g of Butter, Cold (I cut into approx 10 x 8g slabs)


  1. Firstly, prepare the Water Roux / Tangzhong by mixing the 3 ingredients at low heat. Stir until you form a sticky, slightly thickened gel.
  2. Then, cover the tangzhong and leave to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, mix Bread Flour, Sugar, and Salt together in a large bowl. Next, distribute the yeast throughout the ingredients.
  4. Then, add in the cooled melted butter, milk, tangzhong and egg and mix well for a couple of mins at high speed or to knead until it forms a clumpy wet mixture.
  5. Once the bread comes together, knead well for another 6 – 7 at medium high speed. Once done, the dough will no longer stick to the bowl and it will pass the windowpane test. [Note: if it is too sticky, you can consider adding up to 20g of flour]
  6. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and sprinkle some water on top of the dough. Next, Cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and proof for 50 mins.
  7. Once an hour is up, poke a hole at the center of the dough to release the excess air.
  8. Next, portion and shape into 9 equal balls of dough and place a slab of cold butter into the centre of each of them. Make sure to roll well so that the butter will not spill out during the baking process.
  9. Transfer the little balls of dough into your baking tray ( I am using a 9 x 9 inch ), then cover and proof for another 25-30 minutes. While waiting, prepare the coffee topping by creaming the butter and sugar and then mixing the remaining ingredients in, similar to making cookies. Then, transfer the coffee topping into a piping bag.
  10. Start preheating the oven at 180 degrees C when the proofing is about to be completed.
  11. Once proofing has completed, pipe the coffee topping into a tight swirl over at least 3/4 of the surface of the bun (the swirl will not expand much, so make sure to fill in the gaps!).
  12. Bake for about 19-23 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Serve and enjoy!


  • Prep time: 1 hour 30
  • Cook time:
  • Total time: 2
  • Yield: 10 Delicious Coffee Buns (Rotiboy)!


  1. If you would like to be updated for more recipes which I strive to create to perfection for sharing and for free, do check out my InstagramFacebook Page, or YouTube 🙂 Thank you so much for all of your support! Feel free to tag me or link back here!
  2. Best eaten within 5 days.
  3. Feel free to ask if you need help!

– Bakeomaniac, Javier Tan