The cocktail bun, a specialty of Hong Kong, originating in the 1950s, is a type of bun stuffed with a filling comprised of unsold buns, sugar, and shredded coconut. At the time, the proprietors of bakeries found aversion to the wasteful disposal of unsold, but nonetheless edible, buns. As a solution to this problem, the cost-saving cocktail bun was formulated.
By mashing the left-over buns and adding granulated sugar, buns left unsold could be resold. This hodgepodge of ingredients likened it to the bakery counterpart of alcoholic cocktails, thus deriving its name. Later on, shredded coconut was added to the recipe, producing an even more appetizing flavor.
The shiny golden-brown exterior color comes from a combination of a light egg wash and/or sugar glaze. The chewy interior is bread-like with the coconut filling. The exterior also often has some swoosh mark made from the coconut filling and may have sprinkled sesame seeds.
Each bun is approximately 6 to 8 inches long and 2 to 3 inches high in the shape of a small baguette.