Thursday, 3 July 2014

Froggy Pandan Azuki Buns using Pancake Mix

Being a busy mum with 3 young children, I am always on the lookout for quick and easy recipes. My family loves red bean buns, so when I saw this recipe on cookpad for easy sweet bean buns using pancake mix, I got curious. The description goes: "Since these buns will be ready in no time, mischievous kids won't have time do something bad!". Sounded perfect for me LOL! The buns take only 15-20 mins to prepare and shape since no proofing is required, so it's perfect for some days you want a quick and easy yummy snack for the kids.

I infused pandan flavour using pandan paste to make froggy buns. I was in part inspired by Victoria's cute melon bread to make cute animal versions. My son gave this bun a thumbs up. While it has a structure similar to bread, the texture is somewhat like that of a muffin, being sweeter, tastier and more crumbly. The pandan obviously made the buns very tasty and fragrant, and anything with the azuki bean paste always gets a thumbs up from the family. If you like muffins, give this a go! But if you are looking for bread or soft cakes like chiffon, this may not be what you are looking for. This is great if you want a quick and easy, muffin-like azuki bun snack. 

Ingredients (makes 4 frog buns)
200g pancake mix (I used Morinaga)
1 egg
15 ml fresh milk
15 ml vegetable oil
Azuki bean paste (I bought from Daiso) (25g x 4)
Pandan paste
Strawberry paste

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Divide the azuki bean paste into 25g balls each.

2. Mix the pancake mix, egg, milk and vegetable oil (top left pic). Knead until the dough becomes soft and moist (top right pic). *I used my hands to knead.

3. Portion out 30g plain dough for eyes. Next, portion out 15g dough for the rosy cheeks, add a drop of strawberry paste and knead until the dough is evenly mixed. To the remaining dough, add ½ tsp pandan paste and knead until the dough is evenly mixed (second row, left pic).

4. Divide the pandan dough into 4 portions weighing 50-52g each and press down with hand to flatten (second row, right pic).

5. Place each azuki ball into the green circles (3rd row, left pic), seal and pinch tight, and place them onto a baking paper-lined tray with its pinched side facing down (3rd row, right pic).

6. Divide the plain dough into 8 circles for the eyes. You can do this easily but rolling the plain dough into a long roll, cutting up into 8 pieces and then rolling each piece. Do likewise for the pink dough, dividing them into 8 circles for rosy cheeks. Affix them onto the green balls (bottom row, left pic).

7. Lower the temperature to 140°C before placing the froggy buns at the lowest rack. Bake for 28-30 min or until skewer comes clean.

8. Brush with butter while the buns are warm for a light shine and richer taste.

9. Let the buns cool completely on a cooling rack.

*The buns were baked at 170°C for 20 min in the original recipe. I lowered the temperature to reduce browning for the froggy buns.
*If you do not wish to make froggy buns, omit steps 3 and 6, and divide the dough into 8 portions for 8 buns in the original recipe.
*I used a food marker to draw in the eyes and mouth after the buns were baked.

My daughter was thrilled to see the froggy buns! These are the buns freshly out of the oven (before the butter brush). Do they make you smile too?

And here's a close-up of the azuki paste filling in the pandan buns :) I am happy my son liked them :).

With love,
Susanne :)


  1. Hi, Susanne, never new that pancake mix could also make nice bun...must try this later! Thanks for sharing!