Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cream Corn Custard Bao / Cream Corn Custard Steam Buns

Like most Asians, we love steamed buns. Do you?

After steaming two delicious and successful varieties of custard buns at here (Liu Sha Bao) and here (Lai Wong Bao), I have set myself a constant mission to seek for more delicious Asian steamed bun recipes.

This cream corn custard steam buns recipe is fusion version of bao recipe adapted from Kimmy (Cooking Pleasure) and cream corn custard filling adapted from Kristy (My Little Space). I must say that this is a great combination as these slightly sweet and salty buns are actually made with healthier options.

Healthier options??? I'm not saying that these buns are the healthiest food like raw carrots and cucumbers. Ideally, they should be wholemeal but I'm making them with all possible healthier options.

How healthier? For the custard filling, I'm using just one egg to make enough filling to fill 18 large buns! In fact, majority of this custard filling are cream corn (99% fat free! 52% corn means more fiber! - Yay!), evaporated milk (98% fat free!) and corn flour with no butter, coconut milk or cream. The amount of sugar can be reduced according to taste and I reckon that the amount of sugar that I used is just good enough for us. For the bao, I'm using oil instead of shortening and it still works!

I have to say that this bao recipe from Kimmy (Cooking Pleasure) can make really huge and spongy buns! Unlike a few recipes that I have tried, this bao dough is not too wet or dry and easy to handle due to its stretchiness.

What are the special ingredients in this recipe? Its slightly higher water content, vinegar and... double-action baking powder! Interestingly, the chemical composite of both single-action and double-action baking powder produce the same amount of gas in similar amount. According to, single-action baking powder reacts in the presence of water to form bubbles but the reaction doesn't last if we over-mix or wait too long to bake our food. Whereas, double-action baking powder reacts in the presence of water and mostly when heat is applied. I guess this might be the reason why these buns are so spongy but not typically super snowy white or silky smooth. Overall, I would say that it is the elastic spongy texture that makes these buns tasting so good!

Notice that time has gone so quickly??? I like tearing pieces of date off from my old-fashion-one-day-per-page Chinese calendar. My dad said that I was crazy doing this but l have to say it is actually mind consoling sometimes doing this...

It is end of May now and the Little Thumbs Up with Milk theme is going to be over soon. We have a total of more than 223 entries linking with Tze from Awayofmind Bakery House this month. A number that is so huge that it goes beyond Tze's, Doreen's and my capabilities to visit all... I'm so sorry if we have failed to visit your post as we have tried to visit as many posts as we could... Tze is a fantastic and extremely responsible hostess and she has done so much for the Little Thumbs Up this month. A big Thank You to Tze and all of you!!! 

Now, are you ready to cook and bake anything with butter for the next Little Thumbs Up? If you do, please use butter with Paula Deen and Deen brothers' recipes for the coming Cook like a Star June 2014 event. Trust me! The Deens' recipes are really good!!!

cream corn custard bao steam buns
Very Spongy Cream Corn Custard Steam Buns
Ingredients to make this cream corn filling with NO butter or cream!
Making the filling is easy... Just mix, mix, mix...
... and cook, cook, cook.
You can fine-tune the consistency of the custard according to the way you want.
Baking powder with hot water - See how double action baking powder works!
This steam bun recipe uses vinegar and oil (as substitute for shortening) too.
Allow buns to double in size before steaming.
Steaming time can vary depending on the size of the buns and I did mine for more than 20 mins.
cream corn custard bao steam buns
Creamy and spongy!
A big thumbs up for these nice and healthy can ingredients!

Here's the adapted recipes mostly from My Little Space and Cooking Pleasure

Cream Corn Custard

Makes 18 large bun fillings
10g custard powder
50g sugar
1 egg
410g (1 can) cream corn
375g (1 can) evaporated milk
60g corn flour
1 cup or more hot water (not boiling but hotter than warm)

Combine ingredients custard powder, sugar, egg, cream corn with half amount of evaporated milk and cook over medium-low heat with constant stirring until sugar dissolved. Combine the other half of evaporated milk with corn flour and stir until well combined. Add cornflour mixture with constant stirring while cooking the cream corn mixture. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickened.

Set aside to be cool. Refrigerate to firm up the custard texture.When the custard is ready to fill the buns, add hot water, one tablespoon at a time into the custard. Stir vigorously until water is well incorporated. Keep adding water and stir until the desired creamy consistency is achieved.

Steam bun (Bao)

Makes 16 small buns or 12 large buns
350g all purpose flour (preferably bleached and low protein)
1 tsp double action baking powder
200ml water, lukewarm
40g caster sugar
1/4 tsp vinegar
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used rice bran)

In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder and sift them together. 
To make bao dough, place water, sugar, vinegar and oil in the bottom of the breadmaker pan. Top with flour mixture. Add yeast the last and switch on the machine with "dough” setting.

If breadmaker is not available, combine all bao ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead to form a smooth dough (at least 20 mins) and then let it rise for 1 hr or until double in size.

When the dough is ready, divide into 12 portions. Meanwhile, set water to boil in a steamer.

Flatten the dough pieces with your hands, and place about 2 tbsp custard filling in the center. Pinch up the sides of the dough to completely enclose the filling.

Place each bao on each paper cup liner or a small piece of baking paper with its seam sides down. Rest the bao in warm mist for 20 mins.
When the bao has doubled in size, set water to boil in a steamer. Steam baos for about 10 mins or more until done. The steam timing varies if you have multiple layers of baos to steam and also smaller or larger baos to steam. For me, the layer that is closest to the direct steam will take 20 mins to cook the large baos. When the baos are cooked, switch off the heat and leave them in the steaming rack for a further 3 mins before uncovering to cool on rack as this will prevent wrinkle forming on the bao skin. Please note that this recipe will not produce super-white or silky-smooth baos and so don't panic if you see slight wrinkles on your bao skins.

Serve immediately but beware that filling can be steaming hot!

Note: When I made these buns, I didn't know this amount of filling can make 18 large buns and prepared enough dough to make only 12 buns. If I'm making more cream corn custard buns, I would prepare 1 1/2 amount of the above bao recipe in order to make 18 buns in the future. The leftover buns can be kept in freezer up to 1 months. The frozen (not thawed) buns can be easily re-heated by steaming or placing each in a microwave with high power for about a minute or less.

What did we do the extra filling? You can either store it in the fridge for 2-3 days but we just eat them on its own!

Happy Steaming
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. It sounds complicated...but yummy! I have deep admiration for anyone who can create these masterpieces!

  2. Zoe, this is just nice for my breakfast, like the creamy filling, yum!

  3. Omg, this looks fantastic! Healthy or not I'd totally eat them and make a huge one with so much filling inside because when it comes to these things I love the filling more than the bun! That stack steamer looks like a great gadget! Oh and the sous vide machine we used if you read more carefully, we paid $300 plus shipping! Normally the cheapest is 800 or usually $1000 so we got a great deal!

  4. Oh yumm..i love to see the golden and creamy custard in those fluffy baos.

  5. oooh yummy pau :D
    2 thumbs up from me too.
    Tried few times but my pau turned out to be wrinkly like old lady :(. Must try again.

  6. this is a sinful but custard buns are so hard to resist..

  7. indeed i love steamed buns and i think my hubby is gonna love this more with the addition of cream corn

  8. Very nice baos, I too use Kimmy's recipe for bao dough for the few times that I had made how you modify the filling to make it healthier..:)

  9. Crème mais, dat is iets dat wij hier niet kennen en het wordt ook nergens verkocht. Ook het stomen van de broodjes is me vreemd.

  10. Hi Zoe,
    Your bao looks fabulous, and the custard filling sounds so yummy!
    Bao like this can be eaten throughout the day, anytime we feel like having one!

  11. Hi Zoe, thanks for trying my 'sure can' bao recipe and also the explanation on the baking powders. You're great. I have tried the cream corn filling but the outcome is not what I expected. Now I can try again with your version. A healthier version which I like.

  12. Oh, I love steamed buns, Zoe & these creamy corn custard steamed buns look just as good as your "liu sar bao" before!

  13. I don't think I would ever be able to master making such buns..but they look really good, especially yummy sounds the filling :)

  14. Hi Zoe! Kimmy does really great baos and very soon you will also be a bao queen :) I have bookmarked Kimmy's bao recipes but I haven't started anything! I am bookmarking yours too as I like this cream corn custard filling.

  15. Hey Zoe! I really enjoy this post and love it that you took a made this yummy treat with healthier options! Now we can enjoy it without all that guilt! And my girls love corn, I'm sure they are going to love this bao!

  16. Zoe, recently this liu sha bao is very popular here. I like to eat it when piping out :D

  17. Z, that custard looks so luscious! I will have to try it, just as a pudding. I don't have your talent for making bao, which is one of my must-haves any time we go out for dim sum! I just love the stuff. xo

  18. This sounds totally worth the effort. I am loving the look of these

  19. I'm not even Asian and I loved steamed buns! Love tearing apart that fluffy, chewy dough to get to the goods inside.

  20. ciao tesoro!! Che belle ricette!! Mi fai venire una gran voglia di andare anche a quest'ora, in cucina!
    Un abbraccio e buona serata.

  21. oooh, yumm I love these!!!.

  22. I love bao, but I've never had these. Being a corn lover, i am sure I would devour these! Love that cute little thumbs up!

  23. These buns would make an ideal on the go breakfast :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. Beautiful and fluffy, they just look delicious, and yes they deserve that cute thumps up :)

  25. Hi Zoe, healthy bun like this is always good for family, yummy :)

  26. Zoe, sure my mother will love this pau. It is her favorite. I never so adventurous of making pau for my family. One FINE DAY...will make it. :)

  27. May u know when is the egg added for cooking the filling ingredient?

    1. Hi Viv,

      Thanks for pointing out to me that I have missed out the addition of egg in my recipe and I have made the changes accordingly. The egg is added to the creamed corn mixture before cooking. Cheers!