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Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

Breakfast, Sweets

the blog:

These Vegan Matcha Melon Pan are fluffy on the inside and topped with a cookie crust. Lightly sweetened, they are a joy to have for breakfast or as a snack.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

I don’t know where the turtles went.

I didn’t have any pets other than those that can live in the water since my parents are allergic to pet hair. So growing up, there were several fish tanks in our house and we would fill the large ones (think 4-5 feet long ones) with different types of fish like goldfish and koi fish.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

There was a period when we would fill our smaller fish tanks with turtles, little lobsters, tadpoles, and a lot of other random aquatic animals. Almost every time we would visit our local pet store, we would find a new pet to bring home. I try naming them before but I always end up not remembering their names since there were so many.

I would always wake up excited to see them especially when we used to have the turtle tank on a shelf by our stairwell. They were absolutely adorable swimming around the tank with their tiny legs.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

However, there were times when one of them disappeared overnight and we had absolutely no idea where it went. It would be months later when we randomly discover them in a corner of our basement. To this day, we never discovered how they could possibly crawl out of the tank and make a long trip downstairs.

Eventually, we freed a lot of them and stuck to having fish only since they most likely won’t disappear from the tank but turtles would always have a little special place in my heart. So when I thought about a recipe for these Vegan Matcha Melon Pan, I thought it would be fun to create a turtle-shaped bread out of it.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan
Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

What is Melon Pan?
If you don’t know, Melon Pan is a Japanese type of sweet bread. The Japanese definition of “pan” is bread. The meaning behind “Melon” is unknown and there have been many theories about it such as them resembling the shape of oriental melon. There is actually no melon in the bread.

I really enjoyed these melon pan because they taste very similar to the Chinese Pineapple Buns I grew up with. Other variations across different cultures include Soboro bread in Korea and Conchas in Mexico.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

Here is an overview of these Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan.

Ingredients
Flour: I used regular all-purpose flour but you can also make them with bread flour.

Sugar: To make these tarts refined sugar-free, substitute the sugar with coconut sugar. I prefer to use powdered sugar for color purposes as the color of the matcha powder will be more vibrant.

Vegan Butter: I prefer to use unsalted vegan butter to be able to control the saltiness level more. However, if you only have salted butter, omit the salt from the flour.

Matcha Powder: Nowadays, there is a lot of matcha powder being sold everywhere. However, not all of them are of good quality. Matcha is a powder made from grounded green leaves and the color and intensity of the flavor vary depending on the season the green leaves are harvested.

There are 2 main types of matcha powder- culinary and ceremonial matcha. Culinary matcha is a lower variety of matcha and is a bit more affordable. It can also taste a little bitter sometimes. Ceremonial matcha is the highest grade of matcha and what I prefer to use the most as it is bolder in flavor and the powder is smoother in texture. They are also used primarily in tea ceremonies.

If you are looking for matcha powder, be sure to check the ingredients list as matcha should be the only ingredient. I prefer to use Encha, Matchaful or Ippodo matcha the most.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

Tips
Can I make these Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan gluten-free?

You can try substituting the flour with gluten-free flour, but note that they would not rise as much as regular flour.

How do I store these tarts?
Store the bread in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. When you are ready to eat them, simply reheat them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 200F or until it feels soft again.

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

If you like these Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan, you might also like:
Vegan Chinese Pineapple Buns
Vegan Milk Bread
Vegan Brioche Bread

I cannot wait for you to make these Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan! If you do, please tag me on Instagram @_withhelen or leave a comment below letting me know how you like them! Enjoy!

Print

Vegan Turtle-Shaped Matcha Melon Pan

These Vegan Matcha Melon Pan are fluffy on the inside and topped with a cookie crust. Lightly sweetened, they are a joy to have for breakfast or as a snack.

  • Author: Helen Au
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 7 1x
  • Category: Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Dough

1 tsp (3g) active dry yeast

½ cup (140g) unsweetened, plant-based milk of choice, warmed

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, sifted

3 tbsp (30g) coconut sugar

¼ tsp fine salt

Pinch of turmeric (optional, for color)

2 tbsp (30g) unsalted, plant-based butter, cold and cubed into about ¼ inch pieces

1 tsp (3g) pure vanilla extract

 

Matcha Cookie Dough

1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

⅛ tsp of fine salt

½ cup (50g) powdered sugar

1 tsp (2g) matcha powder

¼ cup (60g) unsalted, plant-based butter, cold and cubed into about ¼ inch pieces

2 tbsp (30ml) unsweetened, plant-based milk of choice, room temperature

 

For Sprinkling

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

 

Brushing

3 tbsp (64g) maple syrup

½ tbsp (8g) unsweetened, plant-based milk of choice

 

For Decorating

¼ cup vegan dark chocolate

½ tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  1. In a separate bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, and turmeric (optional) together. Mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture to a food processor along with the yeast mixture, butter and vanilla extract. Pulse until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the food processor and gently knead it until it becomes smooth. Cover with a wet towel and allow it to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes if your room is warm in temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Matcha Cookie Dough. Add the flour, salt, powdered sugar and matcha powder to a bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture, cubed butter and milk to a food processor and pulse until the dough comes together evenly. Place the dough in an airtight container and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  3. Once the dough doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Dust a clean surface with some flour and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. For the last piece, divide the dough into seven 13g pieces. Divide the remaining dough into 28 small pieces for the legs.

  4. Combine the maple syrup and milk for brushing.

  5. Take the Matcha Cookie Dough out from the fridge and divide it into 7 pieces. Roll each dough into a circular shape. Brush the rolled dough with some of the milk mixture. Top them with one of the rolled matcha cookie dough. Using a knife, lightly score the dough. Repeat the step with the remaining dough. Sprinkle each dough with some of the granulated sugar. 

  6. Once all of them are done, cover them with a wet towel and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. Bake them for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow them to cool completely before decorating them.

  7. Combine the dark chocolate with the coconut oil and microwave for 15 seconds intervals until the chocolate has melted.

  8. Dip a toothpick into the melted chocolate and decorate the melon pans however you would like it. Allow it to set for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: melon pan, vegan bread, breakfast bread, Japanese snacks, Japanese dessert

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Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @_withhelen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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