Pink Buns

Finger buns? Sally Lunn Bun? I don't know but I do know that these were an exceptional treat back when I was at school and you knew it was a really special occasion when you found one in your lunchbox at morning tea! Bit odd though isn't it? Basically a hot dog bun covered in icing and coconut? Slathered with butter of course. Who cares because somehow, it works!

I developed this recipe using a vegan dough and it was really tasty! If you're not vegan however, you can use my classic brioche recipe for the dough, which will produce a slightly more fluffy and classic, bakery-style bun. Rise and cook times will remain the same, just keep an eye on it in the oven (and make sure rack is in middle of oven), as the egg in them can burn a little quicker.

P.s. you can also use this dough to make vegan doughnuts! Follow the dough and rise instructions and instead of rolling into sausages, roll the dough 2cm thick and cut into doughnuts before leaving for the second rise. Follow the rest of the cooking instructions here.

1/2 cup coconut cream

3 Tbsp flour

2/3 cup coconut cream

2 tsp instant yeast

3 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

60g vegan margarine or butter


2 cups icing sugar

50g vegan margarine or butter

2 Tbsp boiling water

Pink food colouring

2 cups desiccated coconut

Whisk first measure of coconut cream and flour together in a small pot. Place pot on medium heat and whisk continuously for about 2-3 minutes, until it forms a very thick paste.

Transfer paste to a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer. Quickly stir in second measure of coconut cream, yeast and sugar. Then add flour, salt and margarine. Using the dough hook (or a wooden spoon if by hand) knead the dough on low speed, until combined and forms a dough. Continue to knead on low speed for a further 10-12 minutes, until smooth and elastic. The dough should not stick to your finger when touched. If kneading by hand, turn out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Form dough into a ball and place into a large, greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Once dough has risen, cut dough ball in half, then cut each half into 4 pieces. Weigh each piece out evenly to ensure all doughnuts are the same size. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then roll the ball into a sausage shape by flattening your palms and rolling back and forth. Each piece should be about 12cm long.

Place buns on a lined baking tray, about 2cm apart (we want them to touch once they've had their second rise). Set aside, covered for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake buns for 15-20 minutes, until slightly golden. Allow to cool completely.

Place icing sugar, and margarine/butter in a large bowl with 1-2 drops pink food colouring. Add boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking to combine. You want this icing to be very thick, if you accidentally add too much water, add some more icing sugar to bring it back.

Once buns have cooled, you can pull them apart and cover in a thick layer of icing. Avoid spreading all the way to the sides, as the icing will smush out when you press into the coconut. Place coconut on a plate and press iced buns into the coconut to cover.

I always cut these down the middle and spread with butter but they are delicious as they are as well.