Dirty Bread: the messier the better

dirty bread chocolate messy buns dirt mud muddy mess filthy green tea matcha white

What is dirty bread? 

Dirty bread (a.k.a. muddy buns) is a chocolate cream-filled croissant, coated in chocolate ganache and generously covered in cocoa powder.  Its mass appeal is that it inevitably gets your face “dirty” when you eat it.

This food craze started in China where it is known as zang zang bao (translation: “dirty dirty bread”).  It was inspired by Japanese chocolate croissants and introduced to the public in 2017.  The chocolate bread became a sensation going viral on social media and quickly spreading internationally across Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, New Zealand and beyond.

dirty bread chocolate messy dirt mud muddy mess buns croissants

Other names for this chocolate bread include dirty bun, dirty cocoa bread, mud bun, messy bun, messy bread and messy chocolate.

video: making dirty bread

Although this bread has become famous for using excessive amounts of chocolate to mimic dirt, this bread isn’t just for chocoholics.  Other common flavors include matcha green tea, powdered sugar (or white chocolate, and strawberry.

dirty bread messy buns chocolate matcha green tea white chocolate strawberry cream cheese
dirty bread flavors (clockwise from top left): chocolate, matcha green tea, strawberry cream cheese, white chocolate

Where can I get dirty bread?  

If you want to get your hands (and face) dirty with this messy bread, your best bet is to travel to one of the international locations that currently serve it since US locations are relatively scarce.  However, it is presumed that bakeries and dessert shops in other countries may have their own versions of this chocolaty bread. So, if you’re not lucky enough to live in the aforementioned countries or near the bakery locations below, you can patiently wait for this “filthy” food trend to make its way over to you.  But if you can’t bear to wait another second, scroll down to the bottom to find out exactly how to make these muddy buns yourself.

Los Angeles, CA (Arcadia): MoonLight Bakery

dirty dirty bread zang zang bao los angeles california
photo: Glutto Digest

San Francisco Bay Area, CA (Dublin & multiple other locations):
Kee Wah Bakery

dirty bread san francisco bay area dublin california arcadia
photo: Kee Wah on Instagram

Alternative locations

These places don’t necessarily serve muddy buns, but they do serve some foods & drinks you can get now that could provide you with a similar fun, messy experience you’ve been looking for…

Chicago, IL: Cocoa + Co.
—drinking chocolates (hot chocolate covered in cocoa powder)—

dirty hot chocolate chicago illinois dirty bread
photo: Cocoa + Co. on facebook

New Orleans, LA: Cafe du Monde
beignets (French doughnuts covered in powdered sugar)—

beignets dirty bread powdered sugar
photo: Cafe du Monde on Facebook

Los Angeles, CA: Little Fluffy Head Cafe
—dirty mess milk tea (milk tea covered in chocolate crumbs)—

dirty mess milk tea dirty bread
photo: Little Fluffy Head Cafe on Facebook

San Diego, CA (locations nationwide): 85°C Bakery
— chocolate cookie bread (chocolate bread covered in powdered Oreos)—

photo: 85cbakerycafe.com

How can I make dirty bread?  

Not sure if these messy buns will ever make it to your city?  Here’s a super quick and easy recipe to make it yourself and finally get your hands on these dirty buns.

dirty bread chocolate messy buns muddy

dirty bread


  • 2 croissants (fresh from your local bakery)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chocolate mousse, or chocolate ganache sauce
  • chocolate syrup (topping)


  1. First, fill the food syringe with chocolate mousse.
  2. Inject the mousse into one end of each of the croissants.
  3. Brush a thin layer of chocolate ganache or chocolate syrup on top of each croissant (or all over, if you want to go crazy).
  4. In a bowl, generously cover the croissants in cocoa powder.  Make sure all the ganache/syrup is well covered.
  5. Add an extra drizzle of chocolate syrup on top (optional).
  6. Enjoy and get dirty!

Did you make this recipe?

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Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.
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