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Melonpan, with a cake like appearance is a Japanese sweet dish made of bread dough topped with cookie dough. It is named ‘melonpan’ due to its melon like shape and it is also called ‘Melon pan’ or ‘melon bread’ or ‘melon bun’. The dish is also popular in Taiwan and China. Modern recipes use melon flavoring, though traditionally the dish was not flavored with melon.

Here are the basic ingredients used for melon pan recipe. Additional ingredients like chocolate chips and whipped cream are used for more advanced and fancy variants.

  • Flour- Wheat flour is used both for the bread and cookie topping
  • Eggs: They are added to the dough for the cookie topping
  • Butter: It is used for preparing dough and baking
  • Baking powder- It helps in aerating the dough.
  • Sugar and salt to taste

Method of Preparation:
For melon pan recipe, a sweet bread dough is first prepared with flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. The dough is topped with cookie dough made of sugar, butter, egg, flour and sometimes lemon peel and essence of melon, giving it a rounded shape. Some recipes include sprinkling of sugar on the top. Often the cookie topping is given a crossed pattern by means of a knife. The combination of the two types of dough is baked till slightly brown. The resulting dish is the delicious ‘melonpan’.

Popular Melonpan Variations

  • Chocolate chips are added between cookie and bread dough layers in some recipes.Caramel, chocolate and maple syrup are other flavors that are used to flavor the cookie layer instead of melon. Examples are chocolate melonpan and maple pan. (The name melonpan may or may not be retained in such recipes).
  • Some recipes also include a filling of flavored or whipped cream, or custard in the dish.
  • Pineapple bun is a similar dish from Hong Kong which is more delicate that Japanese melon pan, and the top layer has a tendency to flake off more easily unlike the firmer, dryer consistency of melonpan.

Melonpan Trivia

  • Soreike Anpanman is a children’s animation that has a character called Melonpanna, whose head is shaped like a melonpan.
  • Azumanga Daioh is a Japanese cartoon in which the character Osaka has a preference for melon bread over other forms of bread.