Easy Pani Popo, Samoan Coconut Bread

Total Time
1hr 25mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 25 mins

I found this recipe off of the Rhodes website. I just love this bread, but don't want to go through the tedious task of making it from scratch. This is a faster way to enjoy this island favorite.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Line the 18 rolls (3 across and 6 down), and set aside to let rise according to package directions.
  2. In a saucepan, add the coconut milk, fill the can with water and add to saucepan, add the sugar. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until all the clumps are gone, set aside. Bring the coconut sauce to a boil add the cornstarch mixture. Simmer for about 3 minutes (sauce will thicken a little), then remove sauce from heat.
  3. Bake rolls. After 10 minutes take rolls out of oven and pour the coconut sauce over the rolls till 1/2 to 3/4 of each bun is covered in sauce. Place the rolls back in the oven and continue baking the rolls with the sauce until the tops of the rolls are golden brown.
  4. Remove pan and allow a few minutes to cool. Serve warm.
  5. Left over sauce can be used to smother rolls when served individually or just make a second pan of Pani Popo.
Most Helpful

I was so excited to try this recipe today. But my bread didn't come out right at all. The rolls only brown at the caps and the rest of the rolls are soggy and the coconut cream didn't absorb into the bread :( I think it might be the cornstarch making the cream too thick? That said, I am not going to give this recipe any star today until I can try again and see if it was just me. Also, I would reduce the sugar to 3/4 the next time as 1 full cup was too sweet and I didn't even use half of the sauce.

4 5

My coconut syrup wasn't as thick as I would have liked; maybe because I used lite coconut milk or should have cooked it longer? Anyway, next time, I think I'll only put in only 1/2 can of water, if that. Also, it's important that the top of roles actually be medium-brown, not lightly golden. If you take them out when only lightly golden, they'll be too mushy. Much better cooked a little longer. We really liked this with our conch fritters and rice&beans. Different and couldn't be easier. BTW, start making that coconut sauce as soon as the rolls go in the oven; don't wait.

5 5

My family loves these rolls. Made them for Thanksgiving 2 years in a row and they were a hit. I've made pagi popo from scratch, but this recipe takes all the fuss out of it by using frozen rolls. Thanks!