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About these matcha cream buns
One of my favorite chain bakeries is Tous les Jours, which was founded in Korea. I’ve been to a few of their locations in the USA and always found their products to be pretty consistent. I really love their different pastries and breads, especially their milk cream bread. It’s sooo light, soft, airy, and filled with a subtly sweet milk cream. This bread is something that comes to mind whenever I think about my favorite desserts, and is what inspired me to bake these frog matcha cream buns!
Just like Tous les Jours’ milk cream bread, these matcha buns are soft, not-too-sweet, and addictive. The name of this dessert alone may sound intimidating, but this recipe is actually fun and easy to follow, especially if you are a beginner baker! The cream is made over the stovetop and comes together in a few minutes, and the dough recipe is very forgiving. You can shape the buns into regular circles or keep them as frogs, whichever you prefer! Either way, it’s a great recipe to make with friends and family, and are very rewarding to eat. 🙂
Ingredients and substitutions
Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card to see exact measurements!
- Bread flour
- Granulated Sugar
- Active dry yeast
- Milk: you can use any any type of milk, I used almond
- Neutral oil: I used vegetable oil
- Vanilla: extract or paste
- Matcha powder
- Edible food pens: alternatively, you can use melted milk/dark chocolate for the eyes and smile, and white chocolate dyed pink with oil-based food coloring
How to make the recipe
Making the matcha cream
It’s better to start off by making the cream, so it’s cool enough when you form the frog buns. This step may sound intimidating, but it’s really quite simple and quick to make. It’s similar to a custard, except there aren’t any eggs in it.
In a saucepan on medium heat, you’ll mix together milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once it’s warm, you’ll use a ladle to transfer out a few tablespoons into a heat-safe bowl with sifted matcha powder and cornstarch. You’ll whisk the warmed milk, matcha, and cornstarch together until smooth, and then pour it back into the saucepan. You’ll keep on mixing for a few minutes until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
Once it’s thickened, you’ll push this mixture through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any lumps and transfer it to a heat-safe bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap, leave it in the fridge until completely cool, and then transfer to a piping bag for later.
How to make the matcha dough
You can do this step by hand, but I used my stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, you’ll dissolve the active dry yeast in warm milk and sugar. Next, you’ll add bread flour, salt, oil, and matcha, then knead until completely smooth, about 5-8 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky, but workable. Leave the dough covered in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
Assembling the frogs
After letting the dough rise, punch the dough down and split into six 45g pieces, leaving the extra dough to the side. Form all of the pieces into smooth balls on a lightly floured surface, then cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. This lets the gluten relax, making the dough much easier to work with.
On a lightly floured surface, flatten one ball of dough, then pipe a large dollop of cream in the middle. Pinch the ends together to secure the cream, gently shape back into a ball, then place on lined baking tray. Repeat with the other five 45g balls, spacing them about 3-4 inches apart on the tray.
Using the leftover dough, split it into 12 equally shaped balls to create all of the frogs’ eyes. You can stick them on the very top of the balls or place the eyes on the sides of the frogs, using water as glue. Lightly flour the tops of the buns, then loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
How to bake and decorate the buns
Bake the buns at 300°F/150°C for 15 minutes. Allow the buns to cool for about 5 minutes on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack. Use edible food pens to draw the faces, and enjoy!
The buns are best eaten fresh, but you can also store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to reheat them, place the bun on a microwave-safe plate covered with a damp paper towel, and heat for 10 seconds.
Check out my other froggie (matcha) desserts here!: matcha frog cake with whipped cream, frog-shaped matcha white chocolate macarons, frog matcha sugar cookies, frog matcha white chocolate cookies, frog meringue cookies, frog matcha mochi donuts
Frog Matcha Cream Buns
For the matcha cream:
- 200 g any type of milk
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 15 g cornstarch
- 4 g matcha, sifted
For the matcha dough:
- 2 g dry active yeast
- 100 g any type of milk, warmed
- 20 g granulated sugar
- 140 g bread flour
- 10 g oil
- 2 g salt
- 4 g matcha, sifted
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
For the matcha cream:
- Place sifted matcha and cornstarch in a small to medium heat-safe bowl.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, pour milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Once warm to the touch (don't let it simmer or boil) and the sugar is dissolved, add a ladle-full or a few tablespoons of the warm liquid to the sifted matcha and cornstarch. Whisk until completely smooth, then pour it all back into the pot.
- Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the cream over a fine mesh sieve into a medium heat-safe bowl to get rid of any lumps. Push the cream through the sieve by using a whisk or rubber spatula.
- Plastic wrap the cream and place it in the fridge. Once fully cooled, transfer to a piping bag. While waiting for it to cool, you can start the matcha dough.
For the matcha dough:
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk the yeast and sugar in warmed milk until fully dissolved.
- Add the oil, bread flour, salt, and sifted matcha, and knead until smooth, about 5-8 minutes. The dough should be soft, workable, but slightly sticky.
- Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
Forming the frogs:
- Set up a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Lightly dust your workspace with flour.
- Punch the dough down, set it on your workspace, and split into six 45g pieces. Keep the leftover dough—this will be for the eyes.
- Shape the seven pieces into balls by cupping it with your palm and moving your hand in circular motions over the workspace. Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes. This lets the gluten relax, which will make shaping much easier for the next step.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten one ball of dough into a circle. Pipe a large dollop of matcha cream in the middle, then pinch the edges of the dough together to secure the cream inside. Gently shape into a ball, then place on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the other five 45g balls, spacing them about 3-4 inches apart on the tray.
- Take the leftover dough and split it into 12 equal balls for the eyes. Attach the eyes to your frogs using water as glue.
- Lightly dust your frogs with flour. Loosely cover them with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about one hour. During the last 5 minutes of rising, preheat your oven to 300°F/150°C.
Bake and decorate:
- Bake the frogs for about 15 minutes, or until edges are slightly firm. The buns will not turn golden brown due to the green color from the matcha.
- Let cool on tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
- Decorate the faces using black and pink edible food pens. Alternatively, you can use melted chocolate.