Pani Popo Recipe

Discover the authentic joy of Samoan cuisine with our Pani Popo recipe. Soft, coconut-infused rolls await – a tropical delight for your taste buds!

Pani Popo

    Pani Popo

  • Cuisine: Samoan
  • Category: Bread, Breakfast
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 300 calories

Pani Popo is a delectable traditional Samoan coconut bread that tantalizes the taste buds with its unique blend of flavors and soft, pillowy texture. This Pacific Island delicacy reflects the rich culinary heritage of Samoa, where coconut holds a special place in their cuisine.

The name "Pani Popo" itself carries a rhythmic, melodic quality, mirroring the cultural vibrancy of Samoa.

The heart of Pani Popo lies in its simplicity and the clever use of coconut milk. The recipe typically involves creating a yeast-based dough enriched with sugar, coconut milk, and butter. The dough is meticulously kneaded to achieve a smooth, elastic consistency before undergoing a patient rise to perfection. The result is a batch of soft, slightly sweet bread rolls that are a true testament to Samoan baking prowess.

During the baking process, Pani Popo takes on a golden hue, and the kitchen is filled with the irresistible aroma of coconut and freshly baked bread.

The finishing touch involves bathing the warm rolls in additional coconut milk, infusing them with an extra layer of richness.


Dive into the tropical allure of Pani Popo – Samoa's heavenly coconut bread! Uncover the secrets to crafting this indulgent delight in our irresistible recipe guide!


  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the activated yeast, coconut milk, and melted butter. Mix until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  6. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place it in a greased baking dish.
  7. Pour some additional coconut milk over the dough balls, ensuring they are well-coated.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  9. Once out of the oven, brush the tops with more melted butter for added richness.

Recipe Video

Pani Popo

This is a video about Pani Popo.

Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 259 reviews.

Recipe Tags: Pani Popo, Pani Popo Recipe, Recipe


Serving Pani Popo is a delightful experience that complements the warm, coconut-infused nature of this Samoan treat. Here's a simple guide on how to serve Pani Popo:

  • Warmth is Key: Pani Popo is best enjoyed warm. When ready to serve, you can reheat the rolls briefly in the oven for a few minutes to revive their softness and enhance the coconut flavor.
  • Arrange Artfully: Place the Pani Popo rolls on a serving platter or in a basket, arranging them artfully. The golden-brown tops of the rolls and the glossy finish from the coconut milk make for an enticing presentation.
  • Drizzle with Goodness: To accentuate the coconut essence, consider drizzling a bit more coconut milk over the top of the warm rolls just before serving. This not only adds a touch of indulgence but also enhances the overall moistness.
  • Pairing Possibilities: Pani Popo can be enjoyed on its own, but it also pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Fresh tropical fruits, such as pineapple or mango slices, make for a refreshing side. Additionally, a cup of hot tea or coffee complements the sweet and mildly coconut-flavored rolls.


  1. Yeast Activation: Ensure the yeast is properly activated. The water should be warm, not hot, to activate the yeast effectively. If the mixture doesn't become frothy after a few minutes, the yeast may be inactive, and you might need to start again with fresh yeast.
  2. Coconut Milk Quality: Choose a good quality coconut milk for an authentic flavor. Full-fat coconut milk will provide a richer taste and texture to the rolls.
  3. Dough Consistency: Pay attention to the dough consistency during kneading. It should be smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  4. Rising Time: Allow the dough sufficient time to rise. This is crucial for the development of flavor and the soft texture of the rolls. Make sure the dough has doubled in size before proceeding to the next steps.
  5. Coconut Milk Bath: When pouring coconut milk over the rolls before baking, make sure each roll is well-coated. This step adds moisture and flavor to the bread.
  6. Oven Temperature: Preheat the oven properly and monitor the baking time closely. Overbaking can result in dry rolls. Aim for a golden-brown color on the tops.
  7. Customization: Feel free to customize the recipe to your liking. You can experiment with adding a touch of vanilla extract to the dough for extra flavor or incorporating shredded coconut for added texture.
  8. Serve Fresh: Pani Popo is best enjoyed fresh on the day it's baked. If you have leftovers, you can reheat them briefly in the oven before serving.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you find yourself missing some ingredients for Pani Popo, here are a few substitutes you can consider:

  1. Yeast: If you're out of active dry yeast, you can use instant yeast as a 1:1 substitute. However, keep in mind that the rising time might be slightly faster with instant yeast.
  2. Coconut Milk: If coconut milk is unavailable, you can use regular milk as a substitute. However, this will alter the distinct coconut flavor of Pani Popo.
  3. Butter: In place of melted butter, you can use vegetable oil or even coconut oil for an added layer of coconut flavor.
  4. Sugar: You can substitute white sugar with brown sugar or honey for a different sweetness profile. Adjust the quantity to your taste preference.
  5. All-Purpose Flour: While all-purpose flour is the standard, you can experiment with using a combination of whole wheat flour or bread flour for a variation in texture.


Embrace the warmth of Samoa with each bite of your homemade Pani Popo. Share, savor, and create memories with this taste of Pacific paradise. Fa'afetai!

Next Post Previous Post