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Friday, February 06, 2009

Homemade "Rotiboy" Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe

Updated February 6, 2009

Originally published February 22, 2007

These buns are to die for.

Homemade "Rotiboy" Mexican Coffee Bun


There's a popular bake shop that started in Malaysia called "Rotiboy". Their signature product is the Rotiboy bun which is a sweet Mexican butter bun baked with a crisp, coffee-flavored topping. Rotiboy got so popular that they were able to aggressively expand throughout Asia. Many copycats also popped up, but the original Rotiboy is the best.

Hooked on Rotiboy

The last time we were in Malaysia, the cousins brought over a few Rotiboy buns for us to try. I took one bite, and was hooked! I loved how the sweetness of the bun balanced against the saltiness in the butter and the slight bitterness of the coffee.

I quickly gobbled my bun up. Unfortunately, there weren't many Rotiboy buns to go around so I was left craving for more. The Rotiboy slogan says it all: "One is never enough!"

Annie wanted to learn how to make a Rotiboy bun at home and came upon a few recipes. This one comes close.

"Rotiboy" Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe

(makes about 17 buns)

Coffee Topping Ingredients

200 g softened butter
160 g icing sugar
3 lightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp water
a pinch of ground cinnamon
200 g flour


Beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Mix in coffee flavoring. Sift flour onto mixture and mix until combined. Refrigerate the mixture.

Sweet Bun Dough Ingredients

500 g bread flour
20 g milk powder
75 g castor sugar
6 g salt
8 g instant yeast
5 g bread improver (vital wheat gluten - optional)
1 lightly beaten egg
270 g water
60 g softened butter


1. Mix flour, milk powder, sugar and salt in mixer on low speed 1 min.

2. Add in yeast, egg and water. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then medium speed for 8 minutes.

3. Add butter and mix for 5 minutes more on medium speed until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms.

4. Remove dough from mixing bowl and shape into a ball.

5. Divide the dough into 55 gram portions. Roll each portion in to a ball and then cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

6. Flatten a ball of dough and place a 10 gram cube of butter into the center of the dough.

filling Rotiboy buns with butter

7. Gather the edges and pinch to seal. Pat into shape and place on a greased baking tray. Proof the buns for 45 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 200*C (400*F).

(Notice that we're using the wrappers from sticks of butter to line the baking sheet. Annie learned this tip from Fine Cooking magazine. The butter wrappers are like pre-greased parchment paper!)

9. Scoop the topping mixture into a piping bag and pipe the topping in a spiral pattern onto the buns.

Piping coffee topping onto Rotiboy buns

10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the buns are lightly brown.


Remove from oven to cool, but not too long. They are best eaten warm. Can't eat just one!

Aloha, Nate

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Hungry for more baked goods? Click below:

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Kaya Bread

Homemade Baked Char Siew Bao

Baked Red Bean Buns

Third Aunt's Butter Cake


Jay said...

I love that you posted the recipe for this, Nate. I'm all over it. I swear I'm gonna bake someday. Maybe even soon.

Chawanmushi said...

Hi Annie
Wow ...I learn something new here.
Didn't know that butter wrappers could be used this way. Thanks for sharing this. Love those rotiboys by the way :-)

Rajee said...

what is bread softer and bread improver in this recipe?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@rajee - the closest thing you can find is "vital wheat gluten". But it's not necessary in this recipe...optional only.

Amanda said...

Wow! Is this the kind served in KLCC Suria? Oh man! It looks the same! Must try!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Mela - it's a very close copy. Very delicious!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can see how those would be addictive! I'll have to look for Rotiboy next time I'm lucky enough to get to that part of the world.

pigpigscorner said...

ooo I love these! Thanks for posting this recipe, will definitely give this a try!!

Rowena said...

Oh java joy! One of these with a cappuccino in the morning and I'll be spinning in circles. Wheeeeeee!

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of these things. When I saw the word, "Roti,'' I thought of the flaky Malaysian flatbread served with curry sauce. Obviously, this is a different type of roti. The coffee flavor sounds absolutely divine.

Woman said...

Hi Nate,

I love that you posted this recipe, I've been searching for Rotiboy's recipe and I will try this one at home. However, the problem I have is I live in Chicago and now during winter the temp drops below 70s. How to proof bread and make sure the yeast is working?
thanks in advanced.

Joie de vivre said...

Those look beyond amazing!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Oooh, I don't really go for sweet things but this attractedme right away! And yeah, great idea re the butter wrappers!

ICook4Fun said...

I love Rotiboy bread too. Been eating it since I came back. Thanks for sharing the recipe as will try it out when I am back to US.

Jenster said...

Would you mind posting a cross-section of the bun? From the outside, it looks amazingly good.

Although, thanks for sharing the tip on using butter wrappers to line your baking sheets. I'll have to start doing that. And to think that all this time I've been throwing away the wrappers and then getting out the parchment!

Anonymous said...

This looks FANTASTIC!

Manger La Ville said...

Wow Rotiboy sounds amazing and looks delicious. I think we should name your blog the master of sweet buns. Butter wrappers is a great idea.

Food For Tots said...

It reminds me of those days when rotiboy was a hit in KL. The smell of the freshly baked bun was so irresistable when I passed by the shop. Your version looks exactly like what I ate before. If u open a bakery shop in future, I will be ur 1st customer. Hehehe!

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this beauty before. Thanks for sharing something so unique. Looks like it tastes amazing, too.

Jo said...

Even though this has been around for a while now, I still love this bread warm from the oven. I remember when it first came out in Malaysia and Singapore, people would Q for at least 1/2 hour just for this.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Lydia - why wait? Try this recipe out at home!

@pigpigscorner - do let us know how it turns out for you!

@Carolyn - "roti" just means bread. "Rotiboy" is a chain of bakeshoppes, so they do a lot of breads, cakes, etc.

@Woman - You could try proofing them in the oven with the light on or with a little pan of warm water to raise the temp a bit.

@ICook4Fun - I envy you that you get to have the real thing!

@Jenster - unfortunately, I don't have a pic of the inside. I eat the things too quickly to stop and get a shot!

Re: the butter wrappers. The only hard part is keeping all the butter wrappers organized in your fridge while you save up enough to cover a sheet pan.

@Manger La Ville - thanks!

@Food For Tots - thank you, you're too kind.

@Jo - I realize the fad has gone but that doesn't take away from how tasty these buns are.

Maggie said...

These look so good! It's nice to see coffee in a baked good that isn't overwhelmed with chocolate.

Starningblue said...

Hi there, your Rotiboy buns look great! Cant buy these in Singapore or Msia anymore.. only way is to DIY :)


Anonymous said...

i adore roti buns, but i only get to eat them when i'm in asia, since i can't find them anywhere in the US! i've been looking for a good roti bun recipe, and yours look great! do you know what the recipe conversions are in US cups? i don't have a weight :(

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@dessertobsessed - We do have a culinary converter widget on the bottom of our right sidebar...but you really should get a digital scale.

Unknown said...

I tried making it & it's great! But if I want the icing top to be sweeter, can I just add more icing sugar or must I reduce the flour as well?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@tiangm - you can up the sugar, but I would say no more than 50g.

Anonymous said...

When you mix the dough, how do you prevent it from being to sticky? When I make it, it was really sticky.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@Anonymous - if it's too sticky, sprinkle on a little more flour and mix it in until it feels right.

Unknown said...

i tried this recipe and it turned out beautifully. but i cheated by using the breadmaker do all the hard work for me and using edmonds "surebake" yeast. i would recommend anyone longing for the rotiboy coffee bun to give this recipe a try. my whole family raved about how yummy the buns were. can't thank u enuff...

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@norsiha - thanks for the rave review! :-)

Unknown said...

Hey I tried the recipe :)..turned out well but it was a bit too salty.I suspect its the butter.maybe unsalted is better and also I had to use 600g of bread flour to get the right consistency

TiaMaya said...

I tried this recipe but the bun does not proof after 45 minutes, when I put it in the oven it flattened out and all the butter came out of it? What am I doing wrong?

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@bakhai - sounds like something was preventing the dough from rising. Was the yeast past its expiration date? What was the room temperature during the rising process?

Unknown said...

thank u for the receipe, it looks wonderfil & I wish to try but...
can u translate the measurements used?
I mean the grams in measure of cups & spoons

Nate @ House of Annie said...

@raiya - the reason we use grams is because it's more accurate for baking. We suggest getting a digital scale to measure your baking ingredients.

dash riprock said...

I agree that using weight mesurements is more accurate but I took the liberty of converting the measurements into volumes. I also included the american translation for some of the ingredents.

200 g = 14 Tbsp softened butter
160 g = 1 1/2 cups icing (confectionary) sugar
200 g = 1 1/2 cups (AP) flour
500 g = 4 1/2 cups bread flour
20 g = 10 tsp milk powder
75 g = 1/4 cup + 7 tsp castor ( superfine ) sugar
6 g = 1 tsp salt
8 g = 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast. If you are using active dry yeast. Then according to my calculations it woud 4 1/2 tsp and it should be proofed.
270 g = 1 1/4 cups water
60 g = 5 Tbsp softened butter