Bear Buns

Bear Buns

Easy baked buns made with pancake mix. I shaped them like little bears, and they came out looking very cute.

Ingredients: 3 buns

☆Pancake mix
50 g
☆Cocoa powder (sugar free)
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon (and a little more)
Tsubu-an (sweet chunku azuki bean paste)
30 to 36 g
Powdered sugar
1 teaspoon
a tiny amount


1. Divide the tsubu-an into 10-12 g portions and roll into balls.
2. Put the ☆ ingredients in a bowl. First add just 1 tablespoon of milk and mix, then check the consistency of the dough. If it's dry, add a tiny bit more milk. Knead the dough until it's shiny and doesn't stick to your hands.
3. Take 6 small bits of dough and roll them into balls to form the ears. Divide the rest of the dough into 3 pieces.
4. Flatten one of the 3 pieces of dough on your hand, and put a piece of the tsubu-an on top.
5. Gather the dough around the tsubu-an ball.
6. Close up the dough and roll to form a ball.
7. Form the face into an oval and place on a piece of parchment paper. Press the ears on the face ball.
8. Bake for 10 minutes at 320F/160 C.
9. Done! Cool the buns on a rack.
10. Add a tiny bit of water to the powdered sugar to make stiff icing. Draw faces on the buns using a toothpick.
11. It looks like this. The bun is finished. Please draw a face that you like. I think you could make a panda, or a Hello Kitty. I'll try it those out when I have time.
12. Put into a case made for Japanese sweets... it looks like something sold in a store! If the buns harden the next day, microwave for 5 seconds and they'll become soft and fluffy again.

Story Behind this Recipe

I saw a really cute sweet the other day... a bear shaped macaron. It was so cute I wanted to make one myself, but I've never made macarons and they seem difficult. So I decided to make bear shaped buns instead. (Translator's note: In Japanese, both names are puns: the bear (kuma)-shaped macaron was a 'kuma-caron', and the bear-shaped bun (manjuu) is a 'kuma-njuu'.)