Kimbula Banis – A Traditional Sugar Buns Recipe Revealed!

If you love baking pastries, Kimbula Banis is a must-try recipe. These popular Sri Lankan sugar buns, also known as crocodile buns or Kimbula buns are soft, golden, and sweet with a delicious sugar crust. Plus, they are so easy to make!

I used my Sri Lankan friend Nadee’s recipe video below, and they came out perfect—the whole house smelled like a bakery.

The video below features the original Kimbula Banis recipe my friend sent me. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Why You’ll Love Kimbula Banis

Kimbula Banis have a history in Sri Lanka, often baked during festivals and family gatherings. These buns have a unique crocodile-like shape that is really fun. Their texture is fluffy yet slightly chewy, making each bite enjoyable. They resemble sweet bread rolls, like brioche but with a distinctive sugary crust that sets them apart.

Kimbula Banis

One thing I love about Kimbula buns is how versatile they are. You can enjoy them with butter, jam, or even a bit of honey for extra sweetness. They are great on their own as a snack or part of breakfast.

Making these sugar buns is a fun baking project, especially if you enjoy trying out pastry recipes from different cultures. Dive into this Sri Lankan tradition and enjoy something new and delicious!

Adding Your Own Twist to Kimbula Buns

cinnamon sugar

If you are feeling adventurous, you can easily modify the traditional Kimbula Banis recipe to suit your taste.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Cinnamon Sugar: Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle it on the buns before baking. This adds a warm, aromatic flavor that complements the sweet crust perfectly.
  • Raisins: Add raisins to the dough for a delightful burst of sweetness and texture in each bite.
  • Chocolate Chips: For a more decadent version, consider adding chocolate chips to the dough.
  • Honey Drizzle: Instead of sugar, you can drizzle a bit of honey on top before baking for an alternative touch of sweetness.

These small tweaks can make your Kimbula buns even more delightful and uniquely yours. Experiment with different flavors and find the perfect combination that you love!

If you liked this yummy Kimbula Buns recipe, check out how to make this delicious Sri Lankan coconut cake here.

Kimbula Banis: A Traditional Sugar Buns Recipe

Recipe by Jen Evansy
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Breakfast, SnacksCuisine: Sri LankanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Baking time




Resting Time


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These Sri Lankan Kimbula Buns are soft, sweet, and have a yummy sugar crust. They’re quite easy to make and will fill your house with a delicious bakery smell. Follow this simple recipe to enjoy homemade buns that are perfect for snacks or breakfast!

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  • 2 3/4 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp (20 grams) instant dry yeast

  • 8 tbsp (120 ml) room temperature milk

  • 2 tbsp (25 grams) sugar

  • 1 large Egg

  • 1/2 tsp (3 grams) salt

  • 2 tbsp (28 grams) soft, room-temperature butter

  • Coconut oil for greasing

  • 2 tbsp (25 grams) sugar for syrup

  • 2-3 tbsp (30-45 ml) water for syrup

  • Additional sugar for topping


  • Mix Dry Ingredients and Milk: In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 and 3/4 cups (350 grams) of all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons (20 grams) of instant dry yeast, 8 tablespoons (120 ml) of room temperature milk, and 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar. Give all the ingredients a quick mix.Mix Dry Ingredients
  • Incorporate Egg: Add 1 large egg to the mixture and mix again until everything is well combined.Incorporate egg
  • Add Salt: Add 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) of salt and give it another quick mix.Add Salt
  • Add Butter and Knead Dough: Add 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of soft, room-temperature butter and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.Add Butter and Knead Dough
  • Rest Dough: Rub some coconut oil to cover the mixing bowl and also rub some coconut oil on top of the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest to rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.Rest Dough
  • Shape Dough: After the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the mixing bowl and shape it into a nice ball. Cut the dough ball into six evenly sized rectangular pieces to ensure that all the Kimbula Buns are roughly the same size when they bake. This helps them cook evenly.Shape Dough
  • Form Buns: Using your fingers, flatten each piece, but try to maintain the rectangular shape. Carefully roll each piece from one end to the other, forming a log-like shape. Be gentle to avoid compressing the dough too much, which could affect the texture.Form the Buns
  • Prepare for Baking: Place the rolled buns on a parchment paper-covered baking tray, cover them with a kitchen towel, and leave them aside for a moment.
  • Make Sugar Syrup: In a small pan, mix 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) of water and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. The sugar syrup gives the Kimbula Buns a glossy finish and helps the sugar stick to the top.Make Sugar Syrup
  • Apply Sugar and the Syrup: Brush each bun with the sugar syrup, making sure to cover the entire surface. Then, generously sprinkle sugar over each bun for a sweet, crunchy topping.Apply Sugar Syrup
  • Bake Buns: Bake the Kimbula Buns in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and have a slightly crisp crust.Bake Buns
  • Enjoy: Let the buns cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the amazing smell in your kitchen and the delicious taste of freshly baked Kimbula Buns!Enjoy Buns

Recipe Video


  • Proofing the Dough: Make sure to give the dough enough time to rise. A warm, draft-free environment is ideal for proofing. Cover the dough with a damp cloth to keep it moist.
  • Perfect Texture: For a soft and airy texture, avoid over-kneading the dough. Knead just until smooth and elastic.
  • Baking Time: Keep an eye on the buns while they bake. They should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1g
  • Total number of serves: 6
  • Calories: 328kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Fat: 6g

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What Do You Think About Kimbula Banis?

Got any questions or comments about this Kimbula Banis recipe? Drop them in the comment section below or on the YouTube video comments here—I check those more often. I would love to hear what you think and any tweaks you tried!

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About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.