Coconut Buns! (Panipopo)

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One thing quarantine is giving me, is time! And things like bread need lots of time to gently turn floury mixture into soft pillowy goodies. Usually my days don’t have a lot of spare time, or a lot of gentleness! Until today. I finally tried, and mastered according to the unanimous vote of the family, coconut buns (or Panipopo).

When we have visited the Addington Samoan SDA church in Christchurch, (usually with the school when they take the church service every now and then), one highlight is the fellowship lunch afterwards. There is usually coconut buns which I absolutely adore. I have always wanted to make them at home, so today was my day.

Total thanks goes to, which is the recipe I followed. To make the buns, I followed the recipe here –

The two recipes put together look like this:

Ingredients to make the Buns:

In a small bowl combine:
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Cup warm water

In a large bowl combine:
2 Cups scalded milk (microwave for 3 mins)
1 Cup butter (melted)
1 Tbsp salt
2 eggs

You will also need:
8 to 10 Cups of flour


Mix the yeast, sugar and warm water together. Put aside to rest.

Beat the milk, butter, salt and eggs in a large bowl for 1 minute (use a beater if you wish). Add the yeast mixture and stir. Stir in the 8 to 10 cups of flour 1 cup at a time. You will know you have enough flour when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, it should still be sticky. Pour some more flour onto a flat clean surface and knead into a soft dough, adding flour as needed. (I add a little flour to the bowl and quickly knead the dough in the bowl – it’s a big bowl). Cover and raise for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and let raise 10 more minutes.

Roll out dough, and break off sections to form into small rolls. They should be about half the size you would like your finished roll to be.

Place rolls in a pan or cookie sheet and raise again for about 15 to 20 minutes. They shouldn’t be touching before raising, but should be after raising. One tip I do…I put the oven onto 50 degrees, wait 10 mins for the oven to heat up, and then switch it off. Place the trays of rolls into the oven with the door shut until doubled in size.

Take the rolls out, preheat oven to 375 F (180 C), for 10 to 12 mins.

Coconut Sauce

To make the Coconut sauce, the recipe said to use coconut milk. I only had a tin of coconut cream. So I added the tin of coconut cream to a jug, then added about half the tin of water. Add 1 Cup of sugar. Make a paste with a couple of tbsp of water and 1 Tbsp cornflour in a small dish and add to the coconut cream mixture. This step made the coconut cream sauce lovely and thick. But I would also like to try it without this step.

Add 3/4 of the coconut cream mix all over the rolls, and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Lift out the rolls and pour over the last 1/4 of the coconut cream mixture.

OOOOOLALA! These were yummy. A ‘once in a while’ treat!

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