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Coffee Buns (Kopi Roti)

Ultra pillowy soft coffee buns with heavenly buttery goodness. It has just the right amount of coffee to tease and wake your senses! The smell of them while baking filling the kitchen was simply divine. 

Freshly baked Kopi Roti or coffee buns on a basket

They were amazing…and gone too fast! I am not a big coffee fan (tea person here) but these buns are so difficult to resist.

I had to admit, I was hesitant to undertake the task of making these coffee buns at first.  I mean, how do you make such a perfect dome of a bun that soft and buttery but airy at the same time. And that crispy crust covering the entire thing, it’s magic!  I love them but I usually just buy them and not make them myself. But after several people have requested it, I finally pick up the courage to do it.

As I did my research, I realized that it is not that hard after all. I guess I now have some experience in making yeast bread and sticky doughs, like the one I used for making Loaf Bread, Ube Pandesal,  and Filipino cheese bread. These are all soft and pillowy bread but made using different techniques.

But making this Kopi Roti a.k.a. “Rotiboy” buns are more similar to making brioche but with lesser butter and no need for sponge dough. So yes, it is not all that difficult to make.

What flour to use for Coffee Buns?

Bread flour is normally used for Kopi Roti. Bread flour has a higher protein content compared to all-purpose flour. This means it produces more gluten and can absorb more liquid.  This gives it the ability to rise higher and hold its shape better.

This recipe has high butter content for its delicious flavor. But fats inhibit doughs from getting too elastic or to rise too high. So we want a strong dough that would be able to rise high and hold its form well without trading off that buttery goodness.

Ingredients for Coffee Buns


Can you substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour or vice versa?

I get this question a lot for my other bread recipes. The answer is yes, you can. But, of course, the result would not be exactly the same. But sometimes the difference is not that noticeable unless you really are a discerning customer when it comes to bread.

The faintly noticeable difference is that dough made with bread flour tends to be slightly chewier with more airy crumbs. And all-purpose flour is cheaper to buy.

Inside a soft and fluffy coffee bun


Tips for making the best Kopi Roti

  • Freeze you butter for the filling after cutting them into cubes. This will ensure that they do not melt into the dough while shaping and waiting for them to rise before baking.
  • If you are not going to use the coffee topping immediately or it is too warm in your kitchen, refrigerate it so it will not melt. Actually it is better to refrigerate the coffee buttercream topping for a few minutes before adding it to the dough. This way it will not melt too fast in the oven and will form a thicker crispy crust on top of the buns rather than at the bottom on the pan.
  • Kopi Roti is best eaten freshly baked while still warm. The coffee caramel crust will lose its crunch after some time. You can bake it again for 10 minutes to get that crunch back.Soft and fluffy coffee buns cut into halves.


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Homemade Coffee Buns freshly baked
5 from 4 votes

Coffee Buns (Kopi Roti)

Ultra pillowy soft coffee buns with heavenly buttery goodness and just the right amount of coffee to tease and wake your senses!
Print Rate
Course: Breakfast,Snack
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: coffee buns,kopi roti,paparoti,rotiboy
Servings: 8 buns
Calories: 428kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rising times: 2 hours



  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour - -presifted
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar - - or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 220 ml lukewarm milk
  • 1 large egg - -beaten
  • 60 grams unsalted butter - -softened


  • 80 grams butter - -cut into 8 cubes and frozen. See NOTE 1


  • 1 tablespoon strong instant coffee powder - - See NOTE 2
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 60 grams unsalted butter - -softened
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar - -or granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dutch-processed cocoa powder - -optional
  • 2/3 cup cake flour - See NOTE 3



  • In a large bowl, mix together bread flour, sugar, and salt. Then sprinkle instant yeast and mix again.
  • Pour in lukewarm milk and add the beaten egg. Mix for a minute until a sticky dough forms. Add the softened butter and fold it into the dough with your hands until well combined. It will be very greasy in the beginning. As you knead the dough in the bowl, it will be less and less greasy or sticky. Knead for about 10-12 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it almost doubles in size.
  • Gently punch down the dough and tip it on a flour surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal parts.
  • Take one a piece of the dough and shape it in a small disk. Place a cube of frozen butter in the middle and enclose it by pulling the seams of the dough over and around it. Shape into a ball and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let at least 3-inch space around each buns as they will expand during the second rising and while baking.
  • Cover the shaped buns with kitchen towel and let them rise until they almost double in size. Meanwhile prepare the coffee buttercream topping.

COFFEE BUTTERCREAM TOPPING (while waiting for the dough to rise)

  • In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee powder in hot water. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar using a whisk or hand mixer. Add the egg and whisk until smooth but ot frothy. Add the cocoa powder and mix again. Pour in the dissolved coffee and mix until well blended.
  • Sift the cake flour while adding it to the mixture. Fold in using a spatula until well combined. Transfer the mixture in a piping bag or a sandwich bag and cut a small opening.


  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 355°F.
  • Pipe a layer of coffee buttercream on top of each bun, in a coil-like pattern. Starting from the center going out until the top half is fully covered.
  • Bake the buns for 15 minutes. Turn of the heat and leave the buns in the oven for another 10 minutes. Take them out and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Serve the buns while still warm and enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea or chocolate.



NOTE 1: Remember to freeze the butter for the filling after cutting them into cubes. This will ensure that they do not melt into the dough before baking.
NOTE 2: You can also use brewed coffee from ground coffee. Just make sure it is strong and not too watery, use about 1 1/2 tablespoon.
NOTE 3: If you do not have cake clour, just make one. Take a cup of all-purpose flour, and remove 2 tablespoons of it. Replace the 2 tablespoons with corn starch. Mix very well. Take 2/3 cup of this for the recipe.
NOTE 4: If you are not going to use the coffee topping immediately or it is too warm in your kitchen, refrigerate it so it will not melt. If you use it soft and melt as soon as you put the buns in the oven, the chances for a nice thick crispy top is lesser.
Nutrition Facts
Coffee Buns (Kopi Roti)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 428 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 385mg16%
Potassium 120mg3%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 699IU14%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. I’m so thankful I found this recipe! I love coffee buns!! This version of yours made it so easy! I actually used Plain Flour instead of the Bread Flour but I still managed to get the fluffiness! Just be patient when proofing, I guess hahaha
    Thanks again! ❤️

  2. 5 stars
    Hi! I love your coffee bun recipe 🙂 I would just like to ask if there is a way to retain the crunch of the topping? And if we would reheat, shall we use toaster and for how many minutes? Thank you 🙂

    1. The topping would absorb the moisture after a while that is why it soften. I am not sure you can prevent that. To reheat, you can do this in the oven or a toaster for some minutes. But check that they do not burn, especially when using a toaster.

  3. I would to have a coffee flavored filling for these. Can you please suggest one that would perfectly complement this recipe?

  4. 5 stars
    Yummy! Super easy step by step instructions to follow👍 Highly recommended. Tried it twice. Thank you for the recipe❤️👍

  5. Bebs,

    For the dough, can i use oil instead of 60gms butter? If yes, about how much oil? Love your pandesal recipes btw

    1. Oil normally works too, but then you will miss the buttery taste that Kopi Roti is known for. If you still want to try it, then just use the same amount.

  6. Hi Bebs. Your Page has been my run to place for recipes. I love them all.

    Btw, i made the buns but the coffee buttercream didn’t melt down during baking. 🙁

    1. Hi Simone, try to lower your temperature. I am guessing that the buttercream cooked too early and created a crust before it can melt. I also had a thick layer.

  7. Hi! We only have a yeast that needs to be activated first. What will be the measurements of water, yeast and sugar? Do I need to pour all of it in the mixture once its activated?

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Korina, just take about 1/2 cup from the lukewarm milk and a teaspoon from the sugar in the recipe and use that to proof the yeast. And add all of it back to the flour together with the rest of the lukewarm milk.

  8. Hi , everytime I baked this my butter inside is melting when I put it in the oven and do you have any technique to avoid it from happening again😔 I am getting frustrated because I can’t get it right 🙁 Please help

  9. Hi Miss Bebs,

    I’ve been thinking on baking kopi roti using your recipe. But bread flour is quite hard to find here in my location. Is there any substitute? Thank you.

  10. Hi! Can I use a different filler? Like chocolate chips? And can I go basic like no filler at all? Just want to see how flexible the recipe is :)! Would love different flavor fillings or none at all if I’m feeling super basic haha!

  11. If active dry yeast is used, is it the same measurement? Also, that needs to be proofed with the milk before adding to the dough right? Thank you!

    1. Hi Christina, same measurement and yes take 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk then add a teaspoon of sugar and use that to proof the yeast.

  12. Hi! I have tried making these coffee buns twice, and the flavor is amazing! I think the coffee buttercream is now one of my favorite types of frosting.

    One issue I had both times is that the coffee buttercream seemed to weigh my buns down after I piped the frosting on. So my buns turned out more flat, instead of nice and puffy like yours. They still tasted really good, but I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong with the shaping or another step. Any advice would be great!

    1. Are you using bread flour? If yes, it should hold its shape even after adding the frosting, unlike using APF which is more sensitive once it has risen.

  13. 5 stars
    Wow,, since i start making some of your recipe now i’m just being obsessed keep trying all your recipes.. thank for sharing

  14. I made a batch of these over the weekend and they were gone in a few minutes! So good! Thanks again for yet another wonderful and easy to follow recipe! 🙂 All the best Bebs.

  15. 5 stars
    Soooooo I made this but the buttercream coffee frosting did not meltdown the bread and it did not cover the bread. I followed everything except i added 1/2 a teaspoon of coffee and 1/2 a teaspoon water :((

    Or was it my oven was too hot?

  16. Hi. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I just want to clarify if there’s egg or not in the dough. In your video there’s egg, but in the list of ingredients for the dough there’s no egg? Thanks

  17. I really love your Ube pandesal recipe it’s easy and so yummy my whole family loves it . Please continue to make more easy and yummy recipe .


    1. It will be too sticky if you use only APF because bread flour normally absorbs more water than APF. Just add APF a tablespoon at a time but not too much or it will not be as moist and fluffy.

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