Pumpkin Custard Buns

Jen Bakes Everything
by Jen Bakes Everything
5 Buns
3 hr 34 min

Thanksgiving is upon us here in Canada! While this year's feasting season will be a little different, I am still cooking up a storm in the kitchen, testing and inventing recipes that will present fall ingredients in a new and delicious way. These pumpkin custard buns are my latest inventions.

These custard buns are so fun to make! The shape of the pumpkin bread is made possible by wrapping the dough with kitchen twines, and letting fermentation do it's thing! I highly recommend referring to this video when wrapping each custard filled dough with kitchen twine.

These buns became my go-to breakfast for fall. The pumpkin custard, flavoured with cinnamon, goes so perfectly with a cup of coffee.

Recipe details
  • 5  Buns
  • Prep time: 3.5 Hours Cook time: 16-18 Minutes Total time: 3 hr 34 min
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Pumpkin Custard
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 55g Granulated sugar
  • 8g Cake & Pastry flour
  • 8g Cornstarch
  • 75g Pumpkin puree
  • 175g Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pumpkin Bread dough
  • 220g All Purpose Flour
  • 30g Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 100g Pumpkin Puree
  • 70g Lukewarm milk
  • 1 Tsp Instant or Active Dry Yeast
  • 20g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 pieces of pumpkin seeds (for stem)
Pumpkin custard
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together in a mixing bowl until slightly pale and fluffy. Then, whisk in pumpkin puree and ground cinnamon until homogenous
Sift in cake flour and cornstarch and whisk until all dry flours disappear
In a saucepan, warm the milk until it just starts to smoke. When it is ready, slowly pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously
Pour the egg yolk-milk mixture back into the saucepan and continue whisking over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to thicken, reduce heat to low and continue whisking for another minute
Pour the mixture into a bowl for cooling. Place a piece of cling wrap directly on top of the custard, making sure that there are no large air bubbles between the cling wrap and the custard. Place it in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Pumpkin bread dough
In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix together all ingredients except unsalted butter until no dry flours are present
Return the bowl to the stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 10-15 minutes at speed 2. Then, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the dough while kneading the dough for another 10-20 minutes. The dough will be ready when it grabs onto the dough hook and does not stick to the side of the bowl. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand until it forms a smooth ball. Let the dough rest in a lightly oiled bowl for 1 hour.
While the dough is resting, soak 5 pieces of 100cm long kitchen twines in oil (any type of oil will do). Set aside until it is ready to use.
Divide the dough into 5 pieces (about 85g per piece). Shape each piece into a ball. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll each dough ball out until it is ¼” thick. Place 2-3 tablespoon of the pumpkin custard filling in the middle and wrap it. Seal the seam by placing the dough seam side down and rotating it on your work surface.
Wrapping dough balls with kitchen twine
Lay a piece of oiled kitchen twine flat on the work surface. Place the dough ball, seam side down, in the middle of the kitchen twine.
Grab the two ends and tie a knot in the middle of the dough (make sure not to tie the twine too tightly that it squeezes the dough).
Holding the two ends of the twine again, move them 90 degrees clockwise so that the twine now forms a “+” sign on the dough. Flip the dough so that the seam side is now facing you.
Cross the twine diagonally again and repeat flipping the dough until an asterisk sign is formed (see picture above).
Tie a knot at the middle of the seam and place the bun knot/seam side down on a tray.
Using a toothpick, poke a hole at the very top of the bun. Place a piece of pumpkin seed vertically in the hole, so that it resembles a pumpkin stem
Cover and let rest for another hour.
Baking the buns
Preheat the oven to 340degF. Brush the buns with milk and bake them for 16-18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Once the buns are cooled, remove all kitchen twines before serving.
  • If you are using active dry yeast for this recipe, make sure to dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk until bubbles appear on top of the liquid, then pour the milk-yeast mixture into the flour.
  • Since the buns are so soft, it makes cutting the twines out of the bread difficult. I find the easiest way to remove the twines is to cut them at the top and bottom, and pull the twine fragments out. Toothpicks are helpful in situations where the kitchen twine is wrapped around by the buns.
Jen Bakes Everything
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  • Jan hunter Jan hunter on Oct 11, 2020

    Would it be possible to convert amounts to US amounts?

    • See 2 previous
    • Jen Bakes Everything Jen Bakes Everything on Oct 11, 2020

      Hi Jan, here are the US Cup Measurements for the ingredients:

      Pumpkin custard


      3 egg yolks

      ¼ cup Granulated sugar

      1.3 Tbsp Cake flour

      1.3 Tbsp Cornstarch

      ¼ cup Pumpkin puree

      ¾ cup Milk

      ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon

      Pumpkin dough


      Scant 2 cups AP flour

      ⅛ cup Granulated sugar

      ½ tsp Salt

      ⅓ cup Pumpkin Puree

      ⅓ cup Lukewarm milk

      1 tsp Instant yeast/Active dry yeast

      ⅛ cup Unsalted butter, softened

      5 pieces of pumpkin seeds (for making the stem)

  • Lisa Cowell Lisa Cowell on Oct 11, 2020

    I would love to make these. What adjustments would you make for high altitude? I'm at 6900ft.