There are two major kinds of cha siu baau: steamed and baked . Steamed cha siu baau has a white exterior, while its baked counterpart is browned and glazed. Another variety of these buns, made with puff pastry, are called cha siu sou.
Although visually similar to other types of steamed ''baozi'', the dough of steamed ''cha siu baau'' is unique since it makes use of both yeast and baking powder as leavening . This unique mix of leavening gives the dough of ''cha siu baau'' a soft, fluffy, and almost cake-like texture. Indeed the texture of the dough is so appealing that many other types of steamed baozi are made using ''cha siu baau'' dough.