Chinese Flower Rolls

Want to impress your friends with an artistic and tasty appetizer? Check out this easy recipe for flower rolls, which look fantastic but are very easy to make. The sesame oil infuses a subtle flavor that won’t overshadow the main course, and the flowers will likely the prettiest thing on the plate!

Note: The chef actually has 2 videos for this; one for the dough preparation and one for the rolls. We have combined both processes here so everything you need is in one place.


6 cups flour
1¾ cup warm water
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp shortening
3 to 4 tbsp sesame oil

Preparation Process

In a large bowl, mix the baking powder and flour and stir until completely mixed.

Mix together the warm water and sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar has dissolved, then gently stir in the yeast and let it sit for at least 10 minutes for the yeast to activate

After the yeast has activated, stir it into the flour mixture, then stir in the shortening until the dough becomes stiff. Knead it together until the flour is completely incorporated

Continue to knead for 10 more minutes, then cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours

After it rises, press down on the dough and separate it into 4 pieces

Place one of the pieces on a cutting board (or other even surface) and flatten it into a large rectangular shape. It should be about as thick as a pizza crust (you may need a rolling pin to get this level of thickness)

Cut off the edges to create square angles for the rectangle, then cut it lengthwise into 3 strips that are 1 ½ – 2 inches wide

Baste one of the three strips with sesame seed oil, then roll slightly on both sides until they meet in the middle of the strip. Squeeze tightly to close the space between the rolled ends

Place the roll vertically on a cutting board, with one of the rolled sides on top of the other and press a chopstick on the center of the roll. Pull the sides up, then remove the chopstick to create a flower shape

Repeat this process until you have made 12 rolls

Line a bamboo steamer with a sheet of wax paper, place the steamer over a pot of boiling water and steam for 10 minutes

Remove from steamer and serve.

Want to make this and need the written instructions? Just click here to download the full recipe.

Register here to receive our most viewed vegetarian cooking video of the week via email

* indicates required

Amazon Auto Links: the template could not be found. Try reselecting the template in the unit option page.