Steamed Sakura Buns for a Spring Aduki Filling

Steamed Sakura Buns for a Spring Aduki Filling

This is a light sakura-colored steamed bread made with salted sakura leaves and sakura flowers with aduki bean filling. Enjoy it for the Japanese Doll Festival. It is a variation of my basic steamed bread, doesn't use eggs or oil, and can be made with milk or water so people with those allergies can enjoy this too.

Ingredients: 4 aluminum cup cake molds

Sakura flowers (optional)
Sakura leaves
Cake flour
100 g
Baking powder
1 teaspoon
White sugar
25 g
Milk (or water)
Red food colouring
as needed
'An' Aduki beans (canned or paste)
A small amount


1. Sakura flowers: I used ones that get added to rice when cooked in a rice cooker. Drain the water. Wash 3 leaves of the salted sakura leaves, dry off, and mince. Soak the remaining 4 briefly in water for about a minute, and spread each one out into an aluminum cup cake mold. Pour water into the steamer and start heating it up over a high heat.
2. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a bowl, and add the sugar. Don't mix it yet. Add the minced sakura leaves to the milk and mix well, add red food coloring, and dissolve completely. Add to the milk bowl and quickly mix together . You only need a very small amount of red food coloring. If you add too much, don't blend it completely.
3. Spread out a bit of the dough into the aluminum cups on top of the sakura leaves (optional). Place a small amount aduki beans on top of that. (The photo shows the dough without food coloring added).
4. Place more dough in top of the an paste, and cover it. Place the sakura flowers on top of that. Use chopsticks to spread out the petals like in the photo . Place into the steamer, steam for 10 minutes, and it is done.
5. For special occasions display buns with and without added food coloring . It's an added bonus that the red and white colors are symbolic and beautiful.
6. This is how the white bread (without red food coloring) looks like when broken apart. It is fluffy and spongy!
7. Advice : Measure out the ingredients properly, mix lightly, and please place into a steamer that is properly heated.

Story Behind this Recipe

When I bought sakura leaves in order to make sakura 'an' paste , I bought a pack that had 50 leaves, and figured I'd use them to make steamed bread . Please definitely give this light Sakura colored and flavored bread a try for the Japanese Doll Festival.
There seem to be a lot of different kinds of Salted Sakura leaves. This time I used the type that can be used right away, and it isn't a good idea to just quickly wash them and them wipe them dry when making Sakura 'an' paste, and there are time that you have to let soak for a while first to get rid of the salt.