Easy Melon Pan Recipe: Make This Popular Japanese Sweet Bun At Home


Ili •  Jul 20, 2020

If we haven’t already established our love for bread through recipes like Focaccia garden, Hokkaido milk bread and Korean cream cheese garlic bread, then let this melon pan recipe be the one to seal the deal! Deliciously sweet and buttery with a thin layer of cookie crisp dough on the surface, melon pan is what we dream of eating when the weekend hits and all that’s needed is some yummy bread to make it perfect. With this easy halal melon pan recipe, you’re one step closer to enjoying a batch of Japanese sweet buns at home ?

Ingredients (yields 10)

For the bread dough

  • 1 ¾ cup bread flour
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg 
  • 3 ½ tbsp milk
  • 3 ½ tbsp water
  • 2 ½ tbsp butter

For the cookie dough

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar (plus more to top)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp cake flour
  • ½ tbsp baking powder


  1. In a large bowl, combine bread flour, cake flour, sugar and salt. 
  2. Add yeast, egg, milk and water. Mix the ingredients until everything is combined and a ball of dough is formed.
  3. Lightly flour a clean work surface and place the dough on top. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is elastic and no longer sticky. 
  4. Stretch the dough out away from you (about 10 inches) and spread small cubes of the butter on top of the dough. Roll the dough, tucking the butter along the way. Then continue to knead the dough for another 10 minutes. To properly develop the gluten, you’ll have to ‘bang’ the dough. Check out this video by Just One Cookbook to see how it’s done:

  1. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours until it has doubled in size. 
  2. In the meantime, prepare the cookie dough by combining butter and sugar until you get a smooth mixture. Add the egg little by little until everything is incorporated thoroughly. Then sift in cake flour and baking powder into the mixture.
  3. Divide the cookie dough roughly into 10 equal portions and roll them into balls. Place on a baking sheet, covered with parchment, and refrigerate for 10 minutes until they harden a bit.
  4. Return to the bread dough and lightly punch it to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions and place them on a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove cookie dough from the fridge and with a rolling pin, roll them out into 4-inch flat rounds. 
  6. Place a ball of bread dough in the centre of each flattened cookie dough rounds. Then pull all the sides together to wrap the bread dough. Coat the bread dough with sugar and tap any excess off. Using a knife or a bread scraper, and score the surface in criss cross patterns. You can refer to the same video above at minute 6:50 for a visual guide. 
  7. Place them back onto the covered baking sheet and let them rise again for about 50 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  8. Bake the balls of dough for about 13 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Serve and enjoy!

Made the same way you would for most other bread, Japanese melon pan adds an extra twist that lies in its delicately crispy cookie dough layer. So save this recipe for the weekend whenever you want to enjoy a unique and delicious Japanese bun at home ?