Kimbula Buns

I think every bakery in Sri Lanka makes Kimbula buns. I first tried it out at my hostel canteen during my Peradeniya years and it became my regular breakfast along with a cup of coffee for the three years that I was there.

Kimbula buns – Kimbula means crocodile in Sinhala, is a crunchy sugar bun roughly sprinkled with sugar and has an elongated shape which earned it the name of one of the largest and common reptile in the country.

Since I enjoy baking the most when it comes to cooking, I decided to try making some kimbula buns. I found a couple of recipes on the web and a couple of weeks ago, I tried out this recipe. While Lani and her daughter Lorena love the milky taste of it, it was not what I was used to or expecting and it simply had too much milk powder.

DSC01084So, today, I decided I would try my own vegan version of the bun, based on Kitchen Cici’s bread recipe that I had tried out and enjoyed, and see if it could come anywhere close to the taste that I was used to. The resulting buns were still not what you would find in the bakery but they turned out good and as close as I got to the actual.

Kimbula bunsHere’s my amalgamated recipe of the recipes mentioned above, with my twist of vegan substitutions:

Kimbula Buns

Preparation time: 1 hour + dough resting time (1 hour + overnight in refrigerator)

Baking time: 30 mins

Makes 10 buns


  • All-purpose flour – 4 ½ cups
  • Almonds – a handful, ground
  • Flax seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Margarine – 4 tbsp
  • Brown sugar – ¼ cup
  • Salt – ½ tbsp
  • Instant yeast – 2 tsp
  • Warm water – 1 cup + 3 tbsp


  1. Add the sugar and yeast to a cup of warm water and let it rest for 10 mins in the mixing bowl.
  2. Roughly process the flax seeds with 3 tbsp water in a blender and transfer the mixture to the bowl. I didn’t process it to a fine powder.
  3. Add the margarine and ground almonds to the bowl. Mix well.
  4. Then, stir in gradually the flour ½ cup at a time, so that there are no lumps, until a smooth dough is formed. I was planning on using only 3 cups but ended up adding another 1 ½ cups so you may reduce or add more flour, as required, to make sure that the dough is not watery or too sticky.
  5. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it rise for an hour.
  6. Punch down the dough that has doubled in size and transfer to a floured surface.
  7. Roll out the dough in parts, using a rolling-pin, so that it is easier to manage and cut out triangles.
  8. Take each triangle and roll it by hand, starting from the broader end of the triangle and finishing with the tip.
  9. Arrange them on the baking tray and place them in the refrigerator overnight so that you can bake them in the morning.
  10. Preheat oven at 170⁰C/ 338⁰F for a couple of mins.
  11. Brush the buns with melted margarine and sprinkle brown sugar over them.
  12. Bake for about 30 mins.
  13. Serve the buns fresh with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast.

Recipe source: Ahila Thillainathan.

6 thoughts on “Kimbula Buns

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s