Banana Leaf Steamed Spice Buns

Steaming food has been a tradition I have  been exposed to all my life.  Steaming posho, dodo, and if we are feeling fancy, some matooke, has been a way of life. But my fascination with it grew in the past couple years when I was introduced to the world of steamed desserts and bread. You guys I have never looked back ever since. Then there is banana leaf steaming which, in my opinion, is a flavor in of itself and takes the food to a whole new level! You see there is something magical about the aroma of food enshrouded in banana leaves. Almost intoxicating. You want to add a complex flavor to posho, steam it in banana leaves. Want to have irresistible cassava that you can eat in one seating all by yourself (guilty!), steam that in banana leaves. You want to have sweet spiced bread for breakfast, steam it in banana leaves. You will be surprised and amazed at how the flavors are heightened.

The summer months are upon us and so are all sorts of berries. Last week I asked you on IG stories if you know the name of these berries and you all chipped in and googled the name till we agreed that they are black raspberries. I am amazed at your research skills and incredible teamwork! You are the best.

This bread is inspired by my love for the spice bun (a Jamaican sweet bread that is  an explosion of flavors and sweet spices) that I have been wanting to recreate for quite some time now. After eating it 101 times, I convinced myself that there are hints of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and other spices I cannot figure out quite yet. After I was able to pick more than two handfuls of these berries, I decided to try my hand at this addictive bread. What you see is my banana leaf steam version (with a twist of course) of the classic spice bun.  Now in this steamed bread I used these black raspberries, you can however use any type of berry that is readily available to you. I also added in nuts for texture. you can add anything that you think will add to the flavors and textures.

steam spice bun- A Kitchen in UgandaLQ-7

What you will need:

2 C. All purpose flour, sifted

2 C. Whole wheat flour, sifted

1 1/4 C. Milk

1/4 C. Oil

1/4 C. Peanuts/Groundnuts, crashed

1/4 C. Raisins

1/4 C. Black raspberries, lightly mashed

4 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Yeast

1 Tbsp. Allspice (pimienta dulce), ground

1 Tbsp. Cinnamon, ground

1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg, ground

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla extract


  1. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in warm milk. Add the yeast and let it rest for about 10 minutes or until it has risen and foamed.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients except the oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
  3. Once the yeast has risen, add the oil and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Pour the yeast mix in the dry ingredients. Mix well till a dough forms.
  5. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  6. After an hour punch down the dough and knead it for about 5 minutes till it is smooth.
  7. Divide the dough into four equal parts. and shape them into buns.
  8. Place each bun on a clean piece of banana leaf and let them rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  9. While the bread is rising, place a pan with water for steaming on fire. I am using a rice cooker steamer. If you don’t have one, you can improvise.
  10. Once the bread dough has risen, gently place each bun on the steamer and steam it for 15-20 minutes. It will double in size.
  11. Remove from fire and serve while still hot and soft.

Have you tried your hand at steaming bread?


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