food 4 tots

Pumpkin Mantou

pumpkin, mantao, pau, bun, steamed, Chinese bun, snack, tea time, toddler, kid, children, healthy, food 4 tots


Mantou is a type of Chinese steamed bun. Unlike baozi, it is normally without filling. It can be eaten plain or sandwiched with stuffed meat. It is also great for dipping into gravy or curry sauce.


Mantou doesn’t have to be the usual plain boring white. It can be colourful as well by adding vegetable puree. I particularly like to use pumpkin puree as it gives the mantou a bright yellow look and extra nutritional value. Besides that, pumpkin puree can also make the mantou extra moist and flavourful. These pumpkin mantou are super soft and moist when warm, and remain soft even a couple of hours after steaming.


pumpkin, mantou, pau, bun, steamed, Chinese bun, snack, tea time, toddler, kid, children, healthy, food 4 tots


Choose pumpkin that is bright in orange, an indication of ripeness and sweetness. Different type of pumpkin will yield different level of sweetness and flavour. So, adjust the amount of sugar that best suit your palate. You will also have to pay careful attention to the amount of water added to the dough. It is much affected by the concentration level of pumpkin puree. Some puree are more diluted than the others. To be safe, add water little bit by little bit to the dough, and knead it until it is soft and smooth (Note: You don’t have to knead it until pass the membrane test like bread dough.)


This pumpkin mantou recipe is very easy to make. It requires lesser effort in kneading and proofing time than making bread. The size of the dough for this recipe is quite small and can be handled easily. I kneaded it with my hands, but of course, you are free to do it with either bread maker or kitchen mixer (with a dough hook).


I must admit that I am still a novice in making mantou. Although my mantou were far from perfect, I felt elated when my family devoured the whole batch within a day. They even became one of my son’s favourite school snack.


Get the recipe and step by step photos for Pumpkin Mantou at PAGE 2 BELOW.

Get the step by step tutorial for How To Make Pumpkin Puree at PAGE 3 BELOW.


pumpkin, mantou, pau, bun, steamed, Chinese bun, snack, tea time, toddler, kid, children, healthy, food 4 tots

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  1. These mantou look really soft and super!

  2. tigerfish says:

    Can something be dense yet soft? Yes! Cos I can see that the soft fluffy mantou is quite dense from the photos πŸ™‚

    • food-4tots says:

      Tigerfish: Thanks for your comment. Could it be due to the way I cut it? This mantao is actually soft and not dense but of course, it won’t be as good as bao. πŸ™‚

  3. food-4tots says:

    Yvonne: This recipe uses sugar, salt and oil. Thus, I won’t recommend it for babies below 1 year old. πŸ™‚

  4. jerlynn says:


    I intend to do a plain mantou. Can i just omit the pumpkin? Need to substitude anything?

    • food-4tots says:

      Jerlynn: Yes, you can but you may need more water for kneading. Add the water bit by bit and knead until the dough is smooth but not sticky. Hope it helps! πŸ™‚

  5. Sunnysu says:

    Thanks for your post with clear instructions and nice photos!
    I tried to make my own but realize the baking powder and yeast is a little confusing. My spoon indication is that if it’s 1 teaspoon volume, it should be 7.5g. So may I know which to follow ? A teaspoon or 3g?
    By the way, your dough looks so smooth! Thumbs up!
    Thanks in advance!

    • food-4tots says:

      Sunnysu: Different ingredients carry different weight even though they may fit into the same teaspoon. Thus, for more accurate amount, I would prefer to use gram instead of teaspoon. Thank you for your wonderful compliment! Hope your mantous turn out perfect too! πŸ™‚

  6. Sunnysu says:

    Thanks for the tips!
    My mantou looks awesome despite it’s a little dense
    Overall I’m happy that a newbie like me can follow your instruction step by step to yield such wonderful output
    Thank you once again

    • food-4tots says:

      Sunnysu: Thank you for the feedback!! In your next attempt, try to add some more water or need to knead a bit longer. Maybe it will help. πŸ™‚

  7. Hazel says:

    Hi! Can i do away with the baking powder? Thank you.

  8. Miffy says:

    Thank you for sharing. My bun taste yummy and soft. I made two batch, one with original recipe and the other modified the steps 7 from brushing a thin layer water to brush a thin layer of pumpkin purΓ©e instead. Tastes so good. Wanted to share with you guys a photo but don’t know how to do it. Cheers.

  9. LG says:

    Can you provide me the shop selling bamboo steamer address? (Pembekal Peralatan Dapur Gas – Lee Poh Wah) at Jalan Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.

  10. Imelda says:

    Hi, I’ve made this yesterday for my family.. It’s soft n fluffy while warm. Love the bright yellow color too. My 1,5 year old son loves it so much. I’m using low protein flour because I’m run out of pau flour. Maybe next time I’ll going to use coconut milk instead water for richer taste. Thank you so much for the recipe

  11. […] I modified the Mantou recipe I have been using for 15 years. However, I used the method from food-4tots. […]

  12. Kimmy says:

    Thanks for sharing this lovely mantou recipe. I made a double portion with various shapes. They are so fluffy and light. Its a keeper.

  13. susann says:

    Hi.. I tried n its delicious! My little niece loves it! Thank you for sharing!

  14. sueann says:

    tried this recipe today, and it is delicious! family and friends all love it. thanks for sharing!

  15. LYNN STEFANUK says:

    What is plain four or pau flour? I’m in the US and I do not know if you meant All Purpose flour or Bread flour. Thank you so much. I love mantou but never think that we can make with pumkin.

    • food-4tots says:

      Lynn Stefanuk: Plain flour is medium protein flour. It is also called All Purpose Flour. Pau flour is a special low protein flour. Hong Kong flour is another similar type that you can use to make Chinese pau or dim sum. οΌšοΌ‰

  16. MaRecipes says:

    Pumpkin Mantou is my favourite! Never get tired making this πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing

  17. Estella says:

    Can I use glutinous rice flour instead?

  18. Jeannie says:

    I just made them. But after steaming, mine really fluff up and it tastes more like steam cakes than mantao. =(

    • food-4tots says:

      Jeannie: Perhaps you have added too much water. It would be more accurate if you can use a digital weighing scale to measure the yeast and baking powder. πŸ™‚

  19. Angie says:

    If after 30 minites proof the mantou still remain the size instead of double up the size, what should i do?

    • food-4tots says:

      Angie: Maybe the yeast you used was not active anymore. Try to google and do a yeast test. Another possibility is the temperature. Proofing need to be done around 26C-30C. Hope it helps! πŸ™‚

  20. Susanna says:

    Hi, can u advise whether it’s the same time for steaming for 2 bamboo tiers? The mantous in the below tier is cooked the same time as the top one?


  21. Susanna says:

    Thanks for the tip

  22. Casey Chong says:

    Hi, I’m using bamboo steamer to steam the mantao also but the water tends to drop on the mantao and it became wrinkle the surface πŸ™
    Could you pls advice what went wrong?
    Thx ~

    • food-4tots says:

      Casey Chong: Make sure to place your mantao away from the side rim of the bamboo steamer. Also try to leave a little gap (btw the cover and the bamboo rack) to allow steams to escape from the bamboo steamer. Hope it helps! πŸ™‚

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