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Sri Lankan Kimbula Banis Recipe

Kimbula Banis is a typical Sri Lankan snack, that no childhood in Sri Lanka is completed without eating this delicacy from the shops, yes I know I mentioned shops here because the typical Sri Lankan households never make them because they are readily available everywhere.

Kimbula banis

Kimbula directly translates to ‘crocodile’ because its shape represents a crocodile. How simple was that to name this bun simply the way it looked :). I am not sure whether this creation was trying to imitate the croissant, but it is surely healthier than the croissants.

As a Sri Lankan living overseas, I make these quite often at home, because it brings back childhood memories and of course I crave for it. I feel like a little girl in a candy shop whenever I visit Sri Lanka. I try to fill in all these Sri Lankan delicacies and then the only thing I cannot fit in are my pants hahaha well I always convince my self that the calories were definitely worth it. then when I am at the gym I regret every food decision I made.

So why is this kimbula banis very popular?

Its definitely because of its shape and its flavour, just imagine a Vienna roll, sprinkled with sugar soft and fluffy. now who wouldn’t go cray cray over these fluffy buns?

I will be honest it’s very hard to get a decent kimbula banis in Sri Lanka, the only reason is that you cannot keep them outside for a long time, and most of the bakeries in Sri Lanka will have them outside and it gets quite dry and the same goes if you make it from scratch at home as well.

We have a holiday home in Chilaw. I hated to go to this holiday home because my dad decided to build this house featuring his childhood, which means no television, no internet and there was a point there was no electricity as well. Now that’s totally out of my comfort zone and this little princess is surely not used to it. and to top it all there are so many animals like frogs and all these little creatures.

So definitely not my holiday destination. I rather would sip cocktails beside the beach. But the only good thing that happens during my monthly visit to this holiday house is I get a kimbula banis from this famous bakery in Chilaw, I actually don’t even know the name, but we just stop there. that’s the way my parents’ trick me to go with them.

Kibula Banis 1152x1536 1

How can I speed up the rising process

And add warm water as this will speed up the rising process. Especially if you are in a foreign country and its is cold ( Not the Sri Lankan climate)

Why didn’t my Kimbula bun rise?

Activating the yeast is very important in dough recipes, activating the yeast means the yeast will froth up when mixed with sugar and water. This is a trick used to see if your yeast is good. if it is an old yeast your water will not froth. then there is no point making bread with that yeast.

Activating the yeast also helps to rise the dough quicker. Yeast and sugar are best friends, it needs sugar to activate. If the yeast is mixed with salt, it kills the yeast, hence why it is important to activate the yeast and let the yeast feed on the sugar before mixing it all together.

I never recommend adding the yeast directly to a dough. So always activate the yeast for better results.

How to store kimbula banis after making?

For best results enjoy these on the day of making. Can leave it for 3 days maximum but store it in an airtight container as it will dry

Can I refrigerate kimbula banis or the dough?

No you cannot, DO not refrigerate it.

Can I flatten the dough with the rolling pin instead of fingertips?

Yes you can but I recommend to use fingertips as this will provide a fluffy bun

How to add sugar on top of the kimbula banis?

Kimbula banis is not kimbula banis without the signature sugar granules on the top, you need to add sugar syrup and granulated sugar to get that signature look.

Can I make kimbula banis without yeast?

No, You can not make kimbula banis without yeast.

You can also try my other bread recipes

Watch how to make kimbula Banis

My step by step Recipe for Kimbula Banis

Kimbula banis

Sri Lankan Kimbula Banis Recipe

Vienna roll sprinkled with sugar
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 4 people


  • Oven


  • 100 g Warm water
  • 7 g Yeast Instant Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 300 g All-purpose flour
  • 50 g Sugar White sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt Table

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar White sugar
  • 1 Cup Water


Sugar Syrup

  • Combin Water, sugar cook on a low fire for 5 mins until it reduces to a sugar syrup consistency

How to make the dough

  • Add the yeast, sugar, water in a small bowl and mix well and leave aside for 10 mins until it froths
  • Place flour, salt, butter mix well using a rubber spatula or spoon
  • Once the yeast has froth, then add the yeast mixture into the flour and mix it with a rubber spatula until fully incorporated
  • Add flour to the work surface and transfer the dough on to the surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes. ( If you have a stand mixer with the dough hook, then use the dough hook which will help to knead the dough easily)
  • Brush a bowl with oil and place the kneaded dough inside, cover with a cling wrap and let it rest and double in size in a warm area. ( Note: The resting time will depend on the humidity and temperature)
  • Once doubled in size cut the dough into two and roll it with your hands to represent a long log with thin sides ( see video)
  • Cut the rolled dough in the middle ( There should be 4 pieces in total)
  • Cover the dough under a damp cloth and let it rest near a warm area to double in size
  • Preheat oven to 200c
  • Once doubled in size press it with your finger tips until it represents a triangle
  • Then pulling the top of the triangle towards you roll the opposite (base of the triangle)towards you (See video)
  • Brush sugar syrup on the top and roll it on caster sugar
  • Place it on a baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes, take it out of the oven and brush sugar syrup, let it rest 10 minutes before enjoying


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