EXTRA (AP)PETITE: Scallion “Flower” Buns (+Vegetarian Idea)

shortcut for Asian bakery scallion flower buns

Out of all the cooking I’ve shared on IG stories, I was surprised that this simple but savory one has been such a runaway hit! I loved getting these at Chinese bakeries since I were a kid, and it’s clear this treat hit nostalgic notes for many others, too. I visited home last year and was so delighted to see my mom making them – after having these freshly baked out of my own oven, I can’t go back to the bakery ones anymore!
See More Easy Recipe Ideas

Homemade Dough vs Shortcut Pillsbury Dough

My mom always makes her own dough, and we experimented with doing our own dairy-free dough so Nori could enjoy it too (see recipe below). While the homemade dough route is very tasty, it’s definitely more time consuming, so using store bought options like Pillsbury Crescent Dough is an ideal shortcut (I only had Immaculate brand when taking these photos, but after comparing the two we MUCH prefer Pillsbury, which also happens to be dairy free). The dough texture won’t be the same since the bakery / homemade version is more pillowy rather than flakier dough, but trust me – these buns will still disappear quickly from your kitchen regardless!

Vegetarian Alternative

Instead of using hot dogs, one of you had the awesome idea (thanks, Tania!) of subbing in asparagus stalks and following the same flower bun shaping method. You can layer 2 to 3 asparagus stalks cut to about 6 inches long, and add some shredded cheese too before rolling the stalks up in Step # 3 below to make it melty. Makes me curious what other delicious fillings this might work with!


If you’re up to the task of making these from scratch, Nick has been using this Anpan dough recipe in our new Kitchenaid Mixer, substituting non-dairy milk for the cream/milk (we use Oat milk) with tasty results. Homemade dough requires several rises, so this is not for the impatient cook ; ) He then makes simple round tuna salad or red bean filled buns (using canned sweet red bean from the Asian grocery) with any remaining dough – Nori goes nuts over the red bean ones!

  • 1 can store bought crescent dough (I prefer Pillsbury) or a batch of homemade dough
  • 1 – 2 stalks scallions
  • 4 hot dogs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Black and / or white pepper
  • Optional toppings:
    • Sesame seeds or TJ Everything But The Bagel seasoning, but FYI that also adds saltiness
    • Shredded cheese
    • Corn kernels – a traditional topping at some Asian bakeries

shortcut chinese bakery hot dog scallion buns bread recipe


Check my Instagram story highlights (peach-colored circle titled “Cooking # 4) for a short video of the rolling, cutting & twisting process!

1. Slice scallions and mix with 1 tsp olive oil. Set aside.

2. Open and separate dough into 4 rectangles (standard crescent dough comes in triangles, so keep two triangles together)

3. Wrap hot dog in a rectangle of dough.

4. Cut into approximately 7 equal pieces. Key is to cut through the hot dog but do not cut all the way through the dough on the bottom. You want to leave the dough semi-connected so you can make a flower shape. No worries if you end up cutting all the way through since you can just stick the dough pieces back together on the baking sheet!

easy family friendly recipes
scallion pigs in a blanket

5. Bend the ends together, forming a circle with the dough wrapped hot dog.

6. Twist the end piece down so it’s flat, into the middle of the circle as the “flower center,” then twist all of the other “petals” a quarter turn downward in the same direction to form the rest of the flower.

how to make a flower bun tutorial
how to make flower shaped hot dog buns

7. Pat the scallion oil mixture on top of each bun, sprinkle with pepper and your desired toppings (sesame seed, shredded cheese, etc), then transfer to a baking sheet.

Chinese hot dog flower buns

8. Bake according to the instructions on the dough canister or until the tops of the buns are golden brown.

delicious hot dog flower bun recipe

To make mini buns half hot dogs and less dough:

  • Slice the the hot dog in half lengthwise as pictured below.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten each rectangle (2 triangles) of croissant dough, making it big enough to wrap 2 hot dog halves.
  • Also note store-bought dough usually has some salt in it, so if possible try to get lower sodium hot dogs or sausages.

easy Chinese appetizers

So many have you been reposting and sending me your delicious renditions – please keep them coming! Do you have any favorite “non-traditional” bakery treats from childhood?

And for more easy cooking at home, check out our previous Extra (Ap)Petite recipe posts!
 Chinese bakery hot dog scallion bun pigs in a blanket

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Leave a Comment


  1. Suzanne wrote:

    Loved this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! Definitely going to post it on my Instagram

    Posted 11.27.22 Reply
  2. Farhana wrote:

    These were so simple and delicious! I used lots of scallions and the TJ Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, and it made for a perfect lunch. Thanks, Jean!

    Posted 11.3.20 Reply
  3. Stephanie wrote:

    Can I make these the night before??

    Posted 9.24.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Yes, definitely! If they’ll be out just 1 night you can keep them out on the counter, otherwise refrigerate. Enjoy!

      Posted 9.30.20 Reply
  4. Elise wrote:

    These looked so pretty and simple to make so I had to try them! Honestly they just tasted like “pigs in a blanket”.. cuz that’s literally what it is 😂 but it looks really pretty so it made me feel good about what I did haha. I didn’t feel confident that they would come out as pretty because it just looked like a mess after assembling them, but after cooking them they looked just as nice and “professional”. Thank you for the recipe!

    Posted 7.26.20 Reply
  5. susan r rawls wrote:

    Yum! This is too cute to eat, but, I bet it sure taste great!!!! Love the idea.

    Posted 7.22.20 Reply
  6. Lisa Potocnik wrote:

    You can use the veggie dogs also for vegetarian option.

    Posted 7.22.20 Reply
  7. Sharon wrote:

    Hi Jean, thank you for posting – I am so excited to try this out. My son is severely allergic to peanuts and we can’t use Pillsbury or any store bought options (because there’s been cross contamination issues), wondering if you can post your mom’s homemade dough recipe when you get a chance? Thank you!

    Posted 7.22.20 Reply
    • Chau wrote:

      I was wondering the homemade dough recipe too.

      Posted 7.28.20 Reply
      • Chau wrote:


        Posted 7.28.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Sharon! I’ve tried making this with my mom’s dough recipe a few times as well as the one linked in the post (https://www.justonecookbook.com/anpan/) and made it dairy-free by using oat milk instead of regular milk and honestly, I like the one from Just One Cookbook blog a lot better! My mom doesn’t tend to measure, so some of the info she shares with my might be a bit off.

      Posted 8.3.20 Reply
  8. GL Gardener wrote:

    High on eye appeal and I bet very tasty. I am going to try this.

    Posted 7.22.20 Reply
  9. Mireia wrote:

    This looks so cute and easy to do!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 7.22.20 Reply
  10. Sophie wrote:

    Hi Jean, these look amazing and are a huge nolstagic treat for me.
    One question: do you know if there’s any ‘shortcut’ doughs that mimic the soft/fluffy brad of the original? Maybe biscuit dough? Dinner rolls? Brioche bread frozen dough (if that’s even a thing)?

    Posted 7.21.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Sophie! My mother in law has used this dough as a sub before for buns and it tastes closer than crescent dough: https://www.bridgford.com/bread/product/6202/
      Someone else also mentioned to me that they’ve used Trader Joe’s white bread mix for this recipe and it looked like it came out well!

      Posted 8.3.20 Reply
  11. Dee wrote:

    It’s not a traditional, childhood treat, but was recently introduced to me by a friend. Have you tried foccacia painting or bread art? Basically you “paint” your bread using chopped up vegetables and herbs to create pictures. It’s delicious and pretty to look at. And Nori is probably old enough to try decorating her own “painting,” if you wanted to do it as a family activity.

    Posted 7.21.20 Reply
    • Jenny Chow wrote:

      I also enjoyed Jean’s flower bun recipe using spicy Italian sausage instead of hot dogs. Also, thanks for the foccacia painting idea. I had not previously heard of it, but impressed by the photos I found from a google search. I forward to trying this also!

      Posted 7.21.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      So fun! We’ll have to try this sometime, thanks for sharing

      Posted 8.3.20 Reply
  12. Cathryn wrote:

    These look SO good! Definitely adding them to my list to try.

    As a recently all-dairy-free household ourselves, we were pretty thrilled to find that Wewalka refrigerated puff pastry is accidentally dairy free. And Daiya cream cheeze is indistinguishable from the regular stuff, including how it bakes. And Ripple milk makes the best custard (even better than regular milk IMO). There may have been some quarantine weight gain. 🙂

    Posted 7.21.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Good to know, thank you for sharing!

      Posted 8.3.20 Reply
  13. So pretty! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jean!

    Posted 7.21.20 Reply

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