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Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

If you’re looking for a cute and delicious recipe, these tender buns loaded with creamy chocolate are definitely for you! Introducing Totoro Steamed Buns!

While I’m not usually sharing themed food, I believe steamed buns always taste better when they look fun! And since Halloween is right around the corner, now is the perfect time to share these cute Totoro buns!

Soft and fluffy buns + creamy chocolate ganache + cuteness. The equation could not get any better! Welcome to the adventure!

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

These buns are not only easy to make, but they are super fun to decorate!

We start by making the filling that consists of just two ingredients: coconut cream and dark chocolate. For a subtle nuttiness, I also added a couple of tablespoons of hazelnut butter, but that’s totally optional. Bring the coconut cream to a boil, pour over the dark chocolate, stir to combine, and refrigerate until set.

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)


Now, onto the dough. We will be preparing two different ones, a white one for the belly and a grey one for the head. To keep this recipe natural and avoid artificial food coloring, I used black sesame seeds to color the grey dough. Black sesame seeds are first soaked in water, then blended and strained to get grey sesame milk.

The dough is very easy to make. We combine bao flour, water, sugar, and yeast and knead until smooth.

So, why use bao flour instead of all-purpose flour? Bao flour is bleached and low in gluten, so it yields a whiter, more pleasant color. It also usually includes tapioca flour, making the buns fluffier. You can make this recipe with all-purpose flour, but your buns will have a more yellow color and won’t be as light in texture.

Once both doughs are prepared, proof for about 90 minutes in a warm place.

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)


  • To assemble, you want to flatten your white dough using a rolling pin to about 1/4-inch thickness. Then, cut circles and wrap each one around a dollop of chocolate ganache. Pinch to enclose the filling and form a ball.
  • Then, to make the head, flatten the grey dough into about 1/8-inch thickness, cut circles, and cut each circle in half. Wrap each half circle around your white buns.
  • For the details, you will shape the ears using the grey dough and press them on the head. Do the same for the eyes with the white dough (see above).

Please note: I recommend covering the dough with plastic film while you are preparing and shaping your buns. Otherwise, it tends to dry fast, and by the time you are making the few last buns, the dough won’t be as easy to work with. It won’t be as sticky, and you might have trouble adding the ears and eyes.

Once your buns are done, it’s time to steam! I used a bamboo basket placed on a pot of boiling water and steamed for 15 minutes, steaming 3 buns at a time (they get bigger, so leave some space between each one).

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)


It’s now time to give some life to our little Totoro! Using melted chocolate and a toothpick, draw the eyes, nose, mustache, and the little triangles on each bun. This is the best part and if you have kids around. I’m sure they will love helping!

Feel free to be creative and add different expressions; an angry or a laughing Totoro would also look great!

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)
Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

These Totoro steamed buns are not only cute but also super fluffy and filled with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache! I wonder who is the monster now after taking a bite.

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

Looking for more Asian-inspired sweets? Check out these Vegan Chocolate Mochi, Black Sesame Soup, or these Vietnamese Sesame Donuts!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)
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Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

Totoro Steamed Buns (Chocolate Filled!)

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Super cute and fluffy Totoro steamed buns filled with a creamy chocolate ganache! Fun, chocolatey, and so delicious!
Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 20 minutes
Total Time : 50 minutes
Servings 8 buns


Chocolate Filling

Grey Dough

  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds soaked for at least 1 hour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup bao flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp dry yeast

White Dough

  • 1 cup bao flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water


  • About 1 tbsp melted chocolate for decorating


Chocolate Filling

  • Place the dark chocolate chips into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Add the coconut cream to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the dark chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and combined with the milk. Add the hazelnut butter and vanilla extract if using and stir again. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until it has firmed up.

Steamed Buns

  • Make the black sesame “milk”: drain the sesame seeds and add them to a blender with the 1/2 cup of water. Blend on high-speed for about 10 seconds. Filter through a nut milk bag and discard the sesame pulp.
  • Prepare the grey dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bao flour and sugar. Dissolve the dry yeast in 3 tbsp of black sesame milk and add to the bowl with the oil. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until you get a smooth dough. It should have the texture of pizza dough and be very slightly sticky. Place in a bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it proof for about 90 minutes in a warm place.
  • Prepare the white dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bao flour and sugar. Dissolve the dry yeast in 1/3 cup of water and add to the bowl with the oil. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until you get a smooth dough. It should have the texture of pizza dough and be very slightly sticky. Place in a bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel and let it proof for about 90 minutes in a warm place.
  • Making the buns: Once both dough are ready, it’s time to make the buns. Bring a pot of water to a boil (it should be about the size of your bamboo steamer).
  • Scoop out balls of about 1 tablespoon of chocolate ganache and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Flatten the white dough using a rolling pin into about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2.5-inch round cutter, cut out a disc. Slightly press the edges to make them thinner than the center. Place one ball of chocolate ganache in the center and pinch the edges of the dough around it to enclose the chocolate. Turn it over, place on a piece of parchment paper and repeat with the remaining filling and white dough.
  • Now, roll out the grey dough into a 1/8-inch thickness and cut out the same size discs. Cut each disc in half. Flatten again to make the half discs a bit larger. Wrap one half disc around a bun and seal it by pinching the edges together on the bottom of the bun (see photos). Repeat with the remaining buns.
  • To add the ears, cut small triangles in the grey dough and press them down on each bun to form ears. Do the same with the white dough for the eyes.
  • Place 3 buns in a bamboo steamer, leaving about 2-inch of space between each. Place the bamboo steamer on top of the pot of boiling water and steam for about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining buns and let cool them cook at least 20 minutes.
  • To decorate: melt about 1 tbsp of dark chocolate over a double boiler. Once melted, use a toothpick to draw the eyes, nose, mustache, and triangles on each bun. Let cool until the chocolate on top has hardened, or eat now if you can’t wait!
  • Steamed buns will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature.


If your dough appears too dry while kneading, add a bit more liquid otherwise you will have trouble shaping it later.
Calories don’t exist in the world of Totoro.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : Asian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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Hello – another incredible recipe! I am going to try these however have no access to the boa flour so will use white spelt. Can you tell me if there is anything I can add to the white spelt flour to make it more similar to bao? I have plenty of different ingredients I could try and add. Also for the coconut do you mean the cream from tinned coconut or the solid blocks? Many thanks 🙂

5 stars
They are ao cute – almost kissable lol!

Thanks, Thomas, It’s refreshing to have some fun recipes from time to time – a good (Corona) routine breaker.

id love to make these for my son, who I cant see at the moment because of lockdown. can i freeze them?

These look amazing and so creative! I’ve tried some of your other recipes and they’ve all tasted delicious. Just wanted to say thanks for coming up with such great recipes!

oh my gosh!! This is the cutest bun I have ever seen! You are so talented!

My attempt at these werent bad, although they looked like zombie Torturo. I got 12 circles of white dough with 2.5″ cutter. I cd only fit a large teaspoon of filling in without bursting skin, yet when cooked the skin was thick and fluffy and the filling was too skimpy. Better luck next time

Your buns looks a bit over proofed . If you look closer

5 stars
Ha! Made these – but yeah they looked very freakish and not cute at all 😀 😀 – very creative recipe