Go Back
+ servings

Cream Pan | Japanese Custard Filled Cream Buns

This beautifully soft & melt in the mouth Japanese style bun with a delicious custard filling. A must make for everyone with a sweet tooth. You won't regret it!
Course Breads
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Bun, Cream Pan, Custartd
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proofing Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 cream buns
Calories 162kcal


For the dough

  • 2-1/2 cups (300 grams) bread flour (or all purpose flour/maida)
  • 2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 4 tablespoons 60 grams caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 45 grams butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons (7 grams) milk powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) milk

For the tangzhong

  • 2 tablespoons+2 teaspoon (25 grams) bread flour (or all purpose flour/maida)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water

For the custard filling

  • 1-3/4 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (40 grams) flour
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water


Make the custard

  • Make the custard first as you need to chill it till it turns firm and easy to scoop. This could take at least 3 hours. By the time your dough is ready to be shaped, your custard will be too.
  • Place the butter and the milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is melted completely.
  • In another bowl beat the egg yolk lightly and add the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt to it and whisk till you get a thick crumbly mixture. Add the melted butter+milk mixture little by little and whisk till you get a smooth, thick paste.
  • Strain this egg+milk mixture into a saucepan (preferably non stick pan) to catch any lumps. Stir with a metal spoon until all the egg bits are smoothened and no lumps remain. Add the vanilla extract to the saucepan and cook it on a medium heat whisking continuously.
  • The mixture will thicken in a few minutes - do not stop whisking until you see swirl lines appearing over the mixture. Remove from heat and continue whisking for another half a minute.
  • Allow to cool a bit and then place contents in a box and refrigerate until required.

Make the tangzhong

  • Gently heat the water for the tangzhong in a small saucepan and sprinkle the flour. On a moderate heat whisk the mixture till it thickens and swirl lines appear. Remove and cool completely. Keep aside until required. This recipe requires 1/2 cup of the tangzhong, refrigerate the excess (if any) for upto 3 days.

Make the dough:

  • If you have a bread machine, use that (see note#3). Please note that kneading the dough by hand can be extremely messy initially as the dough is very sticky. Do not multitask if you are going to knead by hand.
  • If you are going to knead by hand:
  • Place the flour on a clean, large working surface. Add the prepared (and cooled) tangzhong and rub it until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Next add the rest of the dry ingredients mentioned under 'For the dough' and mix well. Now add the egg, butter and mix and add the milk in parts until you get a very sticky mixture. Resist the urge to use extra flour. Use a dough scraper to scrape the dough from sticking to the working surface and knead for 10-12 minutes continuously until the dough shapes up. Trust me, it can be very frustrating in the beginning but I promise you that as the gluten develops it will make the mixture less messy/sticky and you will get a nice, smooth dough.
  • If you are going to use a bread machine: Follow the instructions on the manual of the bread machine
  • If you are going to use the dough hook of your stand mixer (like KitchenAid/Kenwood): Add all the ingredients (for the dough plus the tangzhong) in one go and start the machine on medium speed - pause at intervals to scrape down the dough using a spatula. Continue for 10 mins or until all the flour/mixture has come together into a smooth dough
  • You need to knead for a minimum of 8-10 mins or until you get a windowpane effect i.e when you stretch the dough and hold it against the light, the dough should be transparent enough to let the light in. When you have achieved this, the dough is ready for proofing.
  • Place the dough in a warm spot, covered, till it doubles in volume. This could take about an hour and half. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and leave it to rise for another 30 mins.

Assemble & bake

  • Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  • Use the dough scraper or a knife to divide the dough into 16 equal parts. Divide the chilled custard cream into 16 equal portions using an ice cream scoop.
  • Now take a portion of the dough and roll it into a smooth ball and stretch and flatten it slightly, big enough to place the scoop of custard in the middle. You can place the flattened dough over your 1/4 cup measure to make things easy for you.
  • Now place the custard scoop in the centre of the dough and carefully pull the edges together and seal them.
  • Place the buns seam side down on the baking sheets and cover with cling film/plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30-40 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and brush the top of the buns with the egg wash.
  • Bake for approx 12-15 mins or till the buns turn golden on top.
  • Remove and cool thoroughly. Store in the refrigerator for upto 2 days. Do check for spoilage (as custard may go bad) after 2 days.


1. Try and make the custard much in advance, perhaps the previous night if you intend making the buns the next morning. It will save you a lot of work and also give the custard enough time to chill and firm up to be scooped up with an ice cream scoop.
2. The longer you cool the tangzhong the better it is for the dough.
3. If you have a stand mixer (like KitchenAid or Kenwood) with a dough hook, use that. Just place all the ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and turn the machine on a slow speed for 10 minutes or till you get a smooth dough. If you have a bread machine, follow the instructions on the manual.
4. If you are hard pressed for time you can make the dough in advance and freeze it. Just thaw it on the counter and allow to rise for at least an hour before you are ready to bake.


Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 308IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg