Breads · Quickbreads · Snacks

(Fast) No-Rise Cocoa Red Bean Buns


Huddled by the fire, while outside is covered with snow. That is currently the situation for most families in the UK and Ireland due to the meeting of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma.

We were without power for a while, but luckily we got it back again meaning we have heating again and this blog post can finally get posted.

Unfortunately, the power coming back on means I actually have to study today now. Also, being stuck inside with your family for 3 days can get a little tense.

Our loss of power earlier also foiled my plans for baking a recipe for today’s post, however I would not be deterred. I decided to post an oven free recipe instead and this is what I bring you.


Cocoa Steamed Red Bean Buns. Chocolate bread dough with a slightly sweet red bean paste centre, steamed rather than baked.

No, these are not traditional steamed buns, they are a quicker version of the normal recipe. . For a more traditional bun, you can make the dough as normal and add cocoa powder and then follow the recipe from there. However, the weather and lack of heating meant that letting dough rise wasn’t happening in my house today..

Make the bread dough and then fill with red bean paste after thickening with cornstarch and allowing to cool and then steam for 20 minutes. The only other thing is to remember to turn off the steamer and then leave the buns in the steamer for another 10 minutes before removing and then allowing to cool slightly before serving.

You can replace the filling with mung bean paste or shiroan (white bean paste), but I felt like a red bean paste bun today and I needed to use up the last of my previous batch.

To make red bean paste if you don’t have any adzuki beans on hand, you can cook some dried or canned red kidney beans instead. Obviously adzuki beans are traditional, however these are a good replacement if you don’t have access to it.


I hope you enjoy this recipe and stay safe in the snow!

(Fast) Cocoa Red Bean Buns

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Yield: 5 buns


  • 120g / 1 cup
    Plain/ White bread flour
  • 15 g / 3 tbsp
    Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp
    Baking powder
  • 8g / 1 tbsp
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 120g / 1/2 cup
    Fat free vanilla greek yoghurt
  • 30g / 2 tbsp
    Light butter spread
  • 100g / 1/2 cup
    Red bean paste
  • 100ml / 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp
  • 8g / 1 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup
    Low calorie sweetener of choice


  1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove and then place a steamer basket lined with baking paper on top.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed and then make a well in the centre.
  3. Stir in the yoghurt and melted butter spread using a wooden spoon and then knead for 1-2 minutes once a rough dough has been formed.
  4. Divide evenly into 5 portions of dough (roughly 55-60g) and then lightly dust a surface with flour and roll out into a circle roughly 1/4-1/2 cm thick.
  5. Whisk together the red bean paste, water and cornstarch together and then heat in a microwave for 2 minutes, whisking halfway through.
  6. Place 2 tbsp of the red bean paste in the centre of each circle and pull the dough up towards the centre pinching together as you go to seal the buns. Repeat with the other buns and place on the baking paper in the steamer pot.
  7. Cover and steam for 20 minutes and then turn off the stove and leave in the steamer for a further 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool slightly before serving.
  8. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 4 days.
  9. These can also be frozen if wrapped individually for up to 2 months.

Nutritional Information

Makes 5 buns
Serving size: 1 bun

Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 5 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 6 mg 2 %
Sodium 1495 mg 62 %
Potassium 26 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 31 g 10 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 9 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 6 g 12 %
Vitamin A 3 %
Vitamin C 2 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 2 %

Recipe Notes

You can also make your own red bean paste by using adzuki beans and cooking them down or I used kidney beans as I did not have access to red bean paste.

You can make a lower sugar red bean paste by making your own and replacing the sugar in a recipe with a low calorie sweetener of choice and thickening with some cornstarch or rice flour instead. This will lower the calories, however this is made with red bean paste with 225 kcal/ 100g and any difference in this will affect the calorie counts.



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