It’s time to warm up with these fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns! The secret to the vibrant color and delightful aroma is the addition of pumpkin puree along with the pumpkin pie spice in the filling. It’ll make your house smell like pumpkin pie, and one recipe you’ll save to make all year round.
Why I love this Recipe
- Soft and fluffy
- Easy to make if you have a stand mixer
- No eggs, no milk, no dairy needed!
- Made with healthier ingredients
- higher in fiber, to keep you fuller longer
- lower calorie and lower carb, thanks to the pumpkin puree
- makes the best breakfast and snack
Ingredients Used to Make Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Bread Flour - I used bread flour for this recipe (I use King Arthur Bread Flour most), which I prefer and highly recommend for the best texture and structure. Please read the note on the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Instant Yeast - you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast (unlike instant yeast) needs to be activated in water, which we don't add until the very end.
- Sugar - I used raw cane sugar, but you can use regular granulated white sugar, or healthier alternatives like coconut, date, or maple sugars which are less processed and more natural. I also sometimes like to use honey powder.
- For yeasted breads, I would not recommend using sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia powder since they can cause the bread to not rise properly. If you prefer a lower sugar recipe, you're welcome to leave out the sugar. The bread might taste slightly plain, but it will not significantly impact the shape or texture of the bread.
- Salt - Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Baking Powder - helps to puff up the dough during the steaming process.
- Pumpkin puree - I used canned pumpkin puree, which you can find in the baking aisle.
- Olive Oil - I like using light olive oil since it has a neutral flavor, but you can also any cooking oil of your choice like coconut oil, or avocado oil instead
More Pumpkin Recipes (HERE)
What I Used for the Filling
- 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Filling - This spicy and sweet pumpkin spice filling is so easy to make and bursting with all the best flavors of fall! I usually use this filling for my microwave pumpkin mochi, but you can also use it to fill mooncakes, steamed buns, or use it as a spread for your morning toast!
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns
Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, and baking powder ) in a clean mixing bowl.
Add pumpkin puree and water
Knead the dough by hand (or using a stand mixer) for about 1-2 minutes, until all the ingredients are mostly combined. Add the olive oil and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes
Note: Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of bread flour (or additional water) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the bread flour, the water content in the pumpkin, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen.
When the dough is ready, punch down the dough then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 12-14 equal sized pieces.
Prepare filling by scooping or rolling prepared pumpkin spice paste (or other filling of choice) into 2-3 Tbsp sized balls
Wrap the dough pieces around the filling and place them on a piece of parchment square, or a sheet of steamer paper.
Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Transfer the buns to the steaming pan and steam the buns for 15 minutes
Gently remove from steamer pan with a spatula (tongs are not recommended since they ruin the shape of the buns). Serve while warm. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Add different flavorings to the dough with the dough while kneading. For example, you can add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon or Cardamom Powder. They're not typically added in a traditional steamed buns recipe, but you're welcome to experiment!
Different Filling Options
If you want to enjoy these steamed buns with a variety of fillings, there are many fun and delicious filling options to choose from. Here are some ideas!
- Shiro-an (sweetened white bean paste) – on Amazon, here, or here's a Shortcut White Bean Paste Recipe I make when I’ve run out of Shiro An
- Koshi-an (sweetened red bean paste) - on Amazon, here
- Mung Bean paste - sweet and delightfully yellow, homemade mung bean paste is a perfect mochi filling for those who are looking for a healthier bean paste alternative. Here's my 2-Ingredient mung bean paste recipe here
How to Store Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns
- These Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or in the fridge inside an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- For longer storage, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, re-steam buns in a steamer for about 10 minutes.
NOTE ON SUBSTITUTIONS
- Unfortunately, gluten-free flours cannot be substituted for bread flour in this recipe.
- All-purpose flour can be used instead of bread flour, but will produce softer, less chewy steamed buns.
- Weigh your flour for the best results. 1 cup of bread flour = 120 grams / 4.23 oz. This is recommended since scooping the flour directly from the bag can can pack the flour into the measuring cup, and this means you’ll end up with more flour than what’s called for in the recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can measure the flour by spooning pre-sifted flour into the measuring cup, then using the straight end of the spoon to level the flour across the top to sweep off the excess.
- To make this recipe in the bread machine: add all the dry ingredients into the machine, stir briefly before adding the wet ingredients. The machine can be set for basic. Check the dough for consistency and adjust by adding additional water (or flour) before the end of the first kneading cycle. If you want to add additional nuts or dried fruits, leave them aside, and only them 3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle.
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Steamed Buns with Sweet Pumpkin Bean Paste Filling
- 4 cups bread flour (480 g), sifted and leveled*
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar , read notes** for substitutes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (360 g) , from canned pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp water
- 500 g PUMPKIN SPICE PASTE FILLING , click on link to see recipe for filling
- Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, and baking powder ) in a clean mixing bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree and water to the dry ingredients
- Knead the dough by hand (or using a stand mixer) for about 1-2 minutes, until all the ingredients are mostly combined.
- Add the olive oil and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
- Note: Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of water (or additional bread flour) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the flour, the water content in the pumpkin, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen.
- Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes***
- Prepare filling by scooping or rolling prepared pumpkin spice paste (or other filling of choice) into 2-3 Tbsp sized balls
- When the dough is ready, punch down the dough then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 12-14 equal sized pieces.
- Wrap the dough pieces around the filling and place them on a piece of parchment square, or a sheet of steamer paper.
- Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil water and prepare the steamer
- Transfer the buns to the steaming pan and steam the buns for 15 minutes
- Gently remove from steamer pan with a spatula (tongs are not recommended since they ruin the shape of the buns). Enjoy!
- Serve while warm. Enjoy!
- Note: You can store these steamed buns, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 day. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or steam them again for just 10 minutes to enjoy them just like fresh.
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