Din Tai Fung Chocolate Xiao Long Bao

My family’s love of Din Tai Fung is no secret. I did a copycat recipe of their chilled cucumber salad (a true favorite) and to this day, this simple dish, remains one of my most viewed blog posts. I think that says something. Din Tai Fung has a cult-like following and for good reason. Their soup dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao, as they’re known, are meticulously made and truly sublime. I have had many soup dumplings over the years, but theirs are exquisite.

Xiao Long Bao itself is a type of Chinese steamed bun (baozi) from the Jiangnan region in China. Traditionally prepared in a “xiaolong”, which is a kind of small bamboo steaming basket is how they got their name, Xiao Long Bao, or Xiaolongbao.

Din Tai Fung chocolate Xiao Long Bao

But Din Tai Fung has another lesser-known secret my boys discovered and fell in love with chocolate Xiao Long Bao also known as their dessert Xiao Long Bao. Served similarly to their beloved soup dumplings; piping hot and in a bamboo steamer, these slightly smaller, chewier dessert dumplings have a decadent molten chocolate center that is just as addictive as their savory cousins.

Din Tai Fung chocolate Xiao Long Bao

My boys challenged me to recreate this tasty new-found favorite well before I had even tried it myself. Thankfully, I love a good challenge. And my research here did not suck. With the help of a few of my younger son’s friends, we were able to agree upon flavor and texture. The chocolate filling was not all that hard, a simple mix of chocolates would be required to mimic the richness of Din Tai Fung’s version. A chilled chocolate ganache would stand up against the steaming process and create the molten-like center needed.  The real issue was the dough.

Din Tai Fung chocolate Xiao Long Bao

There are lots of articles written about how to make the perfect Xiao Long Bao. There are many people who have even tried a crack at making an exact replica of Din Tai Fung’s soup dumplings, but their sweet version is not the same. Their dessert dumplings were special and not a typical hot water dough as I had first suspected. At one point I had thought it was a mochi dough made from fine rice flour, but I quickly learned that was not the case. Back to the drawing board, I went.

I quickly circled back on my original thought, chocolate Xiao Long Bao had to be a hot water dough, but it required a high protein flour (such as bread flour), that when mixed with the hot water, enhanced the proteins’ ability to form the gluten bonds giving the dough the strength it needed. Low protein flours (as was the case with the first few hot water doughs I made) simply created too much gluten, making the wrappers chewy and tough. Bread flour allowed me to get a super thin wrapper, with great texture that remained delicate during the steaming process. Bingo. Always important to remember, cooking is often just science.

Din Tai Fung chocolate Xiao Long Bao

Once I had mastered the dough, I was almost there. I have read many articles about Din Tai Fung and what struck me most was their highly controlled system for making their soup dumplings, almost like a factory. To start, absolutely everything is weighed. When I looked back I was able to find the weight of Din Tai Fung’s dumpling wrappers. In an article I had read a representative from the restaurant had been quoted saying that their wrappers weighed between “4.8-5.2 grams each“. And that right there was the missing piece I needed. I weighed my dough, I had been using double the suggested amount per dumpling.  I made the adjustment and was quickly able to get the thin delicate wrapper I need to make perfect chocolate Xiao Long Bao that tasted (according to my kids) exactly the same as the ones at Din Tai Fung. The mission is almost complete.

Din Tai Fung chocolate Xiao Long Bao

The actual folding of the dumplings was another hurdle (and for guidance on this I highly suggest you watch this video). My advice here is, that the more you make them, the easier it will become, but they do not need to be perfect to taste great. I needed to play around with the steam time a bit, but after a few attempts, I think I hit the nail on the head. My family has had a lot of these dessert dumplings recently (the cost of recipe development) but I’m glad I accepted the copycat challenge because hands down these babies are worth it!

About the Author

Andrea Potischman

I am a professionally trained NYC chef turned CA mom and food blogger. I post about real food, with doable ingredient lists that are family friendly.

17 thoughts on "Din Tai Fung Chocolate Xiao Long Bao"

  1. Avatar photo Sara says:

    Can you knead the dough by hand?

    1. Hi Sara- Thanks for reaching out. Yes, you absolutely can. Happy cooking.

  2. Avatar photo Spencer says:

    If I want to make a soup dumpling wrapper, should I follow your chocolate xiao long bao dough recipe, or are the doughs different?

    1. Hi there. Thanks for reaching out. You could use this dough for soup dumplings. Some recipes use just all-purpose flour and water, but I prefer mine. Happy Cooking.

  3. Avatar photo Brooke says:

    Thank you for posting this. Can you please repost the video link as it doesn’t seem to be active. And also can you explain the steaming process. Do you just put the bamboo holder over boiling water? Can it be done without the bamboo holder? Thank you.

    1. Hi Brook. Thanks for reaching out. I reposted a new link to watch how to fold Ziao Long Bao dumplings, although the video is shoeing it with soup dumplings, the technique is the same. Regarding steaming them, you put the bamboo steamer in a post with some water. I have not make these without a bamboo steamer, it may be possible, but I would imagine very difficult. the seamer is how they cook properly. I hope this helps some.

      1. Avatar photo Brooke says:

        Wonderful. Successfully made it! I used ghiradelli chocolate. They are good but it’s not quite the delicious chocolate from DTF. Any suggestion on which chocolate to use? Thank you.

        1. Excellent. And yes, chocolate-wise, I would suggest using Valrhona or Callebaut.

  4. Avatar photo Katya says:

    Thank you for this! I need some work with the folding but it was a success nevertheless!

    1. Hi Katya. The folding is tricky, I am still teaching my self how to improve everytome I make it! Glad you did it and liked the recipe. Keep on cooking!

  5. Avatar photo Sarah Marie Lomibao says:


    Thank you for this recipe! I’m going to make these today but, how long do you refrigerate the dough, does it matter? The dough recipe says to let it rest 20 minutes but nothing about the fridge and then the chocolate recipe says pull the dough from the fridge.

    Thank you in advance,


    1. Hi Bee, thanks for reaching out. Refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes. If that is not clear in the recipe, I will update now so thanks for flagging it. You can keep the dough refrigerated overnight, I have done this before, just allow it to warm up slightly before proceeding. Best of luck and stay safe!

  6. Avatar photo Cheryl says:

    Isn’t the xlb dough made from Mochi though?

    1. They can be. I first made them using a mochi dough, despite several attempts, I did not like the consistency so I developed this recipe which to me tasted the most similar to what I have when I go there.

  7. Avatar photo Joanne says:

    I would love to try this! Question, if I make a bunch, can I save some in the refrigerator/freezer to steam at a different time? would they come out the same?

    1. Hi Joanne. Thank so much for your comment. I hope you try my recipe! I have made them, refrigerated them and steamed them off later which worked well. I have not tested freezing them. Could work, but I would be a little bit worried the dough would be not as good as if you made them that day. Hope this helps. Please Do reach back out and let me know your thoughts if you make them, I always love getting feedback on my recipes.

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