steamed pumpkin buns

Steamed Pumpkin Buns

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Steamed Pumpkin Buns

Another pumpkin recipe coming at ya! We are diving headfirst into this fall season, and enjoying the first of the cool weather. These Steamed Pumpkin Buns will get you into the cozy fall mood!

These delicious Steamed Pumpkin Buns can be a dessert, snack, or savory side. Make it to your liking! They are low sugar and low sodium, with the addition of pumpkin to add in some fiber and potassium!

What are steamed buns?

Steamed buns are traditionally called mantou. The filled versions, which are a popular dim sum option, are called baozi or bao. Mantou originates from Northern China and similar versions of baozi can be found in many Central and East Asian cuisines. 

Certain regions in China and other countries refer to mantou as both the filled and unfilled versions of the buns, and some countries use different versions of the name to refer to the steamed buns. 

Traditionally, the steamed buns are filled with bean paste or a meat and vegetable mixture. You can also find sweet versions of baozi, like our recipe here! Some sweet steamed buns are filled with a sweet bean paste mixture or chocolate and strawberry.   

How do you use a steamer?

There are a few options when it comes to steaming the Steamed Pumpkin Buns. You can use either a bamboo steamer or a stainless steel steamer. 

Stainless Steel Steamer: Add water to your steamer and bring to a boil. Wrap the lid of your steamer with a dishcloth to ensure that condensation does not get into your steamer while steaming. 

Place buns on small pieces of parchment paper and place into steamer a few inches apart. Cover and steam for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Let the buns sit for 1 minute after steaming to prevent wrinkling.

Let the buns cool, and enjoy! 

Bamboo Steamer: Place your bamboo steamer in a wok or wide shallow pan. Fill with water so that it comes above the bottom rim of the steamer, about a quarter inch. Heat the pan over medium heat until the water is simmering.

Place the buns on small squares of parchment paper and place on the steamer bed a few inches apart. Place the lid on the bamboo steamer and steam for about 15 minutes. If the water starts to evaporate, add in extra boiling water. Be sure to add boiling water, not cold. 

Bamboo steamer tips: when using the steamer for the first time, soak the bottom layer in water for about 30 minutes so it does not burn. When cleaning, use a mild dish soap, a sponge, and be sure to rinse thoroughly.

When drying, allow to air dry for a few days before storing to prevent mold. Never put your bamboo steamer in the dishwasher!

What if I don’t have a steamer?

If you do not own a steamer, don’t worry! You can still make these delicious Steamed Pumpkin Buns. You will need a metal colander, a large pan to rest the metal colander on, and a lid to place on top. 

Fill your pan with water so that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the colander when placed in the pan. Start boiling the water at high heat, and place the buns on parchment paper in the colander. 

Wrap the lid in a tea towel and place on top of the colander that is on top of the pot. Steam for 15 minutes. 

This method is similar to using a double boiler!

What to eat with Steamed Pumpkin Buns?

The great thing about steamed buns is that they are very versatile! Our Steamed Pumpkin Buns would be delicious for many different occasions. 

This Steamed Pumpkin Bun recipe is a sweet dessert, perfect for any night of the week or to impress guests! They would also be perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or with your morning breakfast. 

Omitting the chocolate from this recipe makes these Steamed Pumpkin Buns a perfect side dish to weeknight dinner, or even your Thanksgiving meal! 

Add in any fillings you like!

Another way to enjoy the Steamed Pumpkin Buns is by filling them! Make other dessert variations, or even add in a meat/vegetable mixture to have for lunch or dinner. 

Some ideas to fill your buns with are: a sweet bean paste, minced strawberries and chocolate, a minced nut and brown sugar mixture, minced beef, cabbage, and carrots, minced pork, ginger, and carrots, or even pulled pork or chicken and then top them with coleslaw! 

The limit does not exist for filling options for these Steamed Pumpkin Buns! 

How to store leftover Steamed Pumpkin Buns 

Steamed Pumpkin Buns can be stored in the freezer and reheat very well. Just pop them back in the steamer and steam them again! To store them, let them cool and place on a baking sheet to flash freeze them first. 

Leave the tray in the freezer for about an hour, then take them out and place them into a freezer bag. The flash freezing keeps them from sticking to each other when you place them in the freezer bag. Keep them in the freezer for up to a month. 

Steamed Pumpkin Buns Ingredients

These simple ingredients create delicious fluffy Steamed Pumpkin Buns! 

  • Pumpkin Puree: a great source of Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium!
  • All-purpose flour: a great source of fiber and protein, but also for micronutrients! Some micronutrients flour has are; thiamin, selenium, and folate.
  • Sugar: provides us a quick source of energy to our bodies from glucose, which is a necessary food for the brain! (enjoy sugar in moderation). 
  • Yeast: helps these steamed buns rise and get fluffy! 
  • Chocolate optional: rich in antioxidants!

If you are looking for more pumpkin recipes, check out our High Calorie Fall Pumpkin Bread

Let’s Check Out the Recipe!

steamed pumpkin buns with chocolate

Steamed Pumpkin Buns

These delicious steamed buns are low sugar, low sodium, and high fiber and potassium!
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 8 Buns
Calories 183 kcal


  • 250 grams pumpkin puree
  • 400 grams all purpose flour separated
  • 20 grams sugar
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 30 grams melted chocolate optional


  • Place pumpkin puree in a bowl and microwave for about 45 seconds until it is warm. Stir in sugar to the pumpkin puree.
  • Weigh 300 g of all-purpose flour, add yeast and the pumpkin mixture, stir well
  • Use hands to knead the dough until it comes together. It will be slightly sticky. Sprinkle the rest of the flour onto a clean work surface, and place your dough onto the flour. Knead into a ball.
  • Place dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Let rest in a warm area (room temperature is fine) for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  • After the dough has doubled in size, place onto a floured surface, knead, and then split the dough into eight small ball sized pieces.
  • Place dough balls onto small squares of parchment paper or flattened cupcake liners.
  • Steam for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle melted chocolate on the top, and enjoy warm!


  • Refer to steaming instructions in post for how to steam your dough!
  • You can also use chocolate sauce instead of melted chocolate.
  • These steamed buns are also delicious plain with butter!
*Nutrition facts are calculated to include melted chocolate. 


Serving: 1 bunCalories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 0.2mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 140mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4865IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Check out how to gain weight healthfully, the best ways to gain weight, older adult nutrition, and more from The Geriatric Dietitian!

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