Christmas Tree Vegan Steamed Buns

Christmas Tree Vegan Steamed Buns

  • Author: Helen Au
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Chinese


These Christmas Tree Vegan Steamed Buns require only 7-ingredients to make. They are light and fun to make for the holidays especially when you want something a bit different than traditional cookie boxes. They will be loved by both adults and children.


-1 ¾ cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
-⅓ cup (90 mL) full-fat coconut milk*, warm
-2 teaspoons active dry yeast
-1 tbsp organic sugar
-1 tsp (6mL) unrefined, coconut oil, melted
-Natural Vegan Food Coloring: green, brown, red and yellow**
-1 tbsp white vinegar


  1. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the warm coconut milk with the yeast and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.
  3. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add it into the flour along with the coconut oil.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth. If the dough is too dry or difficult to knead, add about ½ tbsp coconut milk and continue kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  5. Divide the dough into 50 grams pieces, reserving the last piece separately. From the last piece, divide the dough into 15 grams. Then, divide the remaining dough in half.
  6. Add a few drops of brown food coloring to the 15 grams dough and knead until the color is well-incorporated, add more brown food coloring if necessary.
  7. With the remaining 2 dough pieces, add red food coloring to one and yellow food coloring to the other. Continue to knead until the color is shown, repeating the step and adding more coloring if needed.
  8. With the dough inside the bowl, take one out and add a couple drops of green food coloring. Knead until the color is shown through. If the dough is too hard to knead, add a few drops of water to the dough and knead again until smooth. Roll into a triangular shape. Using a knife or paring knife, make 3 slices of the bread on the sides for the “tree branches”.
  9. Roll the dough out for the yellow dough. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out some pieces for it.
  10. Roll the dough out for the brown dough. Divide into 3 grams pieces and roll into a semi-circular shape to make the “tree trunk”.
  11. Dip a little water to the top and bottom of the shaped green dough and place the star on top of the tree and the trunk on the bottom of the dough. Using the red dough, roll out tiny red circles, flatten and place on top of the green dough for the tree decoration.
  12. Repeat steps 7-10 until all the dough is used.
  13. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the vinegar to the water.
  14. Add the dough buns to the top of a steamer basket, making sure to leave 1-inch space between them (divide into 2 different cooking sections if needed). Reduce heat and allow the buns to cook for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the buns to sit in the heat for 1-2 minutes cover on (*Do not remove the lid until it is ready. Otherwise, the buns will wrinkle). Serve and enjoy!


*Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk. The fat helps to make the dough smooth. I tried using other plant-based milk without success.

**I used the vegan food coloring linked here.

Keywords: Chinese food, steamed buns, buns, vegan bread, vegan breakfast, Christmas baking, Christmas bread, Vegan Christmas