Homemade “Rotiboy” Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe

Updated February 6, 2009

Originally published February 22, 2007

These buns are to die for.

Homemade “Rotiboy” Mexican Coffee Bun


There’s a popular bake shop that started in Malaysia called “Rotiboy“. Their signature product is the Rotiboy bun which is a sweet Mexican butter bun baked with a crisp, coffee-flavored topping. Rotiboy got so popular that they were able to aggressively expand throughout Asia. Many copycats also popped up, but the original Rotiboy is the best.

Hooked on Rotiboy

The last time we were in Malaysia, the cousins brought over a few Rotiboy buns for us to try. I took one bite, and was hooked! I loved how the sweetness of the bun balanced against the saltiness in the butter and the slight bitterness of the coffee.

I quickly gobbled my bun up. Unfortunately, there weren’t many Rotiboy buns to go around so I was left craving for more. The Rotiboy slogan says it all: “One is never enough!

Annie wanted to learn how to make a Rotiboy bun at home and came upon a few recipes. This one comes close.

“Rotiboy” Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe

(makes about 17 buns)

Coffee Topping Ingredients

200 g softened butter
160 g icing sugar
3 lightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp water
a pinch of ground cinnamon
200 g flour


Beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Mix in coffee flavoring. Sift flour onto mixture and mix until combined. Refrigerate the mixture.

Sweet Bun Dough Ingredients

500 g bread flour
20 g milk powder
75 g castor sugar
6 g salt
8 g instant yeast
5 g bread improver (vital wheat gluten – optional)
1 lightly beaten egg
270 g water
60 g softened butter


1. Mix flour, milk powder, sugar and salt in mixer on low speed 1 min.

2. Add in yeast, egg and water. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then medium speed for 8 minutes.

3. Add butter and mix for 5 minutes more on medium speed until a soft, smooth and elastic dough forms.

4. Remove dough from mixing bowl and shape into a ball.

5. Divide the dough into 55 gram portions. Roll each portion in to a ball and then cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

6. Flatten a ball of dough and place a 10 gram cube of butter into the center of the dough.

filling Rotiboy buns with butter

7. Gather the edges and pinch to seal. Pat into shape and place on a greased baking tray. Proof the buns for 45 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 200*C (400*F).

(Notice that we’re using the wrappers from sticks of butter to line the baking sheet. Annie learned this tip from Fine Cooking magazine. The butter wrappers are like pre-greased parchment paper!)

9. Scoop the topping mixture into a piping bag and pipe the topping in a spiral pattern onto the buns.

Piping coffee topping onto Rotiboy buns

10. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the buns are lightly brown.


Remove from oven to cool, but not too long. They are best eaten warm. Can’t eat just one!

Aloha, Nate

143 thoughts on “Homemade “Rotiboy” Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe”

  1. Hi, really grateful for the recipe! We’re planning to try this one out next week and we’re so much excited already! Here there’s “Kopiroti” and 1 bun costs about $1.1.. May I know what brand of instant coffee and milk powder did you use? Do you have any recommendations about a best coffee and milk to make the bun tasty? For the milk powder, is it the same milk we see in supermarkets or there’s a special one for baking?

    Thanks so much!
    -Marie (from Philippines)

  2. Hey, this looks great. Although I’ve never used grams to measure water. Do you seriously weigh it? Or is this maybe a typo and it means milliliters?

    1. Mandi,

      sometimes when we’re using the digital scale to weigh out everything in one bowl, we even weigh the water. In this case, we’d probably measure in mils.

    1. Caryn,

      thanks for your question. I guess we didn’t make it clear in the post that we are using a KitchenAid stand mixer to mix everything.

  3. I am trying this recipe since I got a craving for these and the place that makes them is far and closed 🙁
    Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

    I didn’t use bread improver though because I don’t use that when I make a breads. So hopefully they come out the same.

    Thank you again for the recipe!

  4. Hello,

    I followed your recipe and the dough rised beautifully.

    However, the buns did not rise at all in the oven. What could have been the problem?


  5. Authentic recipe. Really appreciate your civic mindedness in sharing such wonderful recipe. Wish we were neighbors.

  6. Hi There,

    My brother had been to malaysia couple of months back and he had ROTIBOY there, he loved it so much that he searched for the recipe and forwarded your blog link to give it a try… i live in UK. will definately try on our anniversary and let you know how it came out… photos look very tempting… nice pictures…

    A quick question from my end, do we need to used bread improver? (i have a 23 mnths old son and do not want to use it)

    also for yeast to be active the best way is to add warm water and sugar nad very lil salt (sugar acts as food and pinch of salt, salt acts as stabilizer). i learnt this from master chef india 🙂

  7. First off, I did this as a trial. I reduced the recipe so it would result in 4 to 5 buns. First time was a fail, turns out the yeast was dead. So I bought new yeast, then did two different kinds of bread and they came out well. So I decided to try this out again but it still failed – it was flat and the butter started oozing out of the dough while proofing. Its pretty warm here around 30C indoors. I’m suspecting there’s too much butter in step 3 – dough was very wet no matter how I knead it. I did a raisin-cinnamon bread from fine cooking magazine today and it came out well. But this rotiboy turning into a roti-cookie confounds me! Can anybody help?

    1. Hey there!
      In the step 3, same thing happens to me. Its very wet that im afraid it would fail. But I add flour little by little, to make it dryer. But be careful dont add too much and knead it until you can windowpane the dough, then you know its done. I hope it helps 🙂

  8. Hi ! Could you please put for me the ingredients in cups and tablespoons ..etc , cause I always get confused with grams, in our country we just know the cups and spoons forms ;( and thank you again for sharing;**

    1. Nadeen,

      when baking, it is more accurate to use grams (weight measure) rather than cups (volume measure) due to differences in the ingredients and cup sizes. I suggest picking up a digital kitchen scale with gram measurements. They’re not that expensive and they make baking so much easier 😉

  9. Thnks so much for the recipe. My mom loves ‘Roti Boy’. I used my breadmaker to knead and it turned out so delicious. i have never been able to consume coffee or anything that has coffee in it. Suprisingly this recipe has allowed me to enjoy ‘roti boy’. Thnks again!!

  10. Hi,
    Can I just leave the buns to proof at room temperature? I live in Singapore. For my other buns or breads I use a warm oven, but in this case, I am scared that the butter will melt and come out.
    Please help.
    Thanks a lot.

  11. hi! im new to bread making and i’ve seen quite a few recipes which require milk powder. is it a special bread making milk powder? or is it just normal milk powder like, Anlene? and may i know which brand you used? thank you in advance!

  12. Dear Annie and Nate,

    Happy New Year!
    Thanks so much for Third Aunt Butter Cake and Roti Boy Recipe. First time I saw your website and I would like to try these 02 recipes. May I know what sort of instant coffee and milk powder please. I am from Singapore.
    And do you have any Fruit Cake Receipe using Port or Brandy because my 87 years old Mum love fruit cakes.

  13. thanks for the recipe… i have a question… can we replace the bread to all-purpose flour instead coz i live here in ksa but i have not found bread flour here…


  14. Hi Annie! I’m from Malaysia. I have tried out your rotiboy Mexican bun recipe, and it turned out marvellous! To save time and hassle, I used my breadmaker machine to mix and knead the dough and it rise very well. My family loves it very much and I must say thank you very much for posting this delicious recipe!

  15. Thank you Nate & Annie for this recipe!
    My friends and I loved it so much. We crave Rotiboy so much from our hometown, Indonesia. This is the first time I baked a bread without failing.
    I dont add milk powder to my dough and exchange it with 1 tbsp of vanilla, and replace the water with warm whole milk (scalded).
    I use Gold Medal’s Better For Bread flour, bob’s redmill vital wheat gluten, 1 1/2 tbsp Folgers instant coffee + 1/2 tbsp 100% arabica coffee, Fleischman rapid rise yeast and Darigold Butter.
    Once again thank you, it tastes almost the same as the original Rotiboy 🙂 i also glad I found you guys online, with your trustworthy recipes.

  16. Hey, erm. If i were to but bread improver. Where can i get from? Like what does it called if i were to buy it. And also the milk power is? Is it like those coffee mate?

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