Pani Popo (Coconut Bread)

Pani Popo (Coconut Bread)

Prep: 10 min.

Cook: 15 min.

Serves: 12

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If you’re looking for a unique yet delicious recipe to delight your family, friends, or guests, try out this Pani Popo (Coconut Bread Recipe). The Pani Popo is a South Pacific treat that will take your taste buds to paradise. Our soft and fluffy King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls perfectly complement the tropical coconut sauce. Once baked to golden perfection, this dish embodies the true essence of 'ohana.

It’s perfect for a variety of occasions. Whether you’re having a cozy night in, a family dinner, a Mother’s Day brunch, or even a class party at your child’s school, Pani Popo adds excitement and irresistibility to your spread. A dish rooted in Samoan tradition, Pani Popo has been enjoyed by many for generations.

This recipe is easy to create, taking just a few minutes. Its straightforward cooking process makes it a great recipe to involve kids in. Your little helpers will have fun helping you with mixing, rolling, and peeping into the oven to watch the rolls caramelize.

Preheat the Oven

Start off by preheating the oven to 350°F.

In the meantime, prepare your KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Sweet Dinner Rolls. Separate each bun and place them evenly in a baking tray or skillet. Make sure each roll touches the bottom of the tray so they soak up the delicious coconut sauce later on.

Creating the Symphony of Sweetness

The magic of the Pani Popo recipe lies in the luscious coconut sauce. This sauce brings the irresistible duo of coconut and sweet rolls to life, adding aloha to every bite.

To create the coconut sauce, add a can of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, 1⁄2 tablespoon of cornstarch, and a half cup of sugar into a pot and bring it to a gentle boil. Once the mixture starts to boil, set the heat to low, allowing the sugar to dissolve and the mixture to thicken without burning. As it boils, watch the ingredients come to life.

Each ingredient has a unique role in the dish. The coconut milk has a creamy richness that, as it boils, releases a delightful tropical aroma. The condensed milk adds an extra layer of sweetness that’s both comforting and indulgent. It creates a thickness to the sauce when coupled with the cornstarch. And finally, the sugar helps with the caramelization of the sauce. 

The Flavor Infusion

With the coconut sauce ready, the next step is to add your rolls for some island-made magic. 

Begin by gently poking holes into each roll with a fork. If you’re making the recipe with kids, this is the perfect job for them! Just make sure they don’t rough the rolls up too much.

Poking holes in the rolls creates channels for flavor infusion, ensuring that the coconut sauce is absorbed. 

Gently and evenly pour the coconut mixture over the rolls, letting the rolls soak up the irresistibility.

Bake to Perfection

Finally, place the rolls into the oven. The warmth of the oven refines the flavors and textures of the Pani Popo, lightly crisping the exterior of the rolls.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the rolls to prevent them from burning. As soon as the tops reach a golden hue, it is time to remove your Pani Popo from the oven.

Savor and Enjoy

It’s showtime! Time to experience the delicious blend of warm bread and tropical coconut sauce. The texture is slightly crispy on the exterior and soft and airy on the inside. 

You can enjoy Pani Popo on its own or jazz things up by pairing it with a scoop of ice cream for the perfect tropical dessert. Alternatively, you can enjoy it with coffee or tea for breakfast or as a snack. If there’s leftovers, reheat them in the oven to recapture the freshly baked goodness. Or, spread the joy by packing the surplus as a takeaway for your family and friends.

Pani Popo (Coconut Bread)

Pani Popo (Coconut Bread)

Prep: 10 min.

Cook: 15 min.

Serves: 12

  • 1 can (10 ounces) Coconut Milk
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 1 12-pack KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls

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Pani Popo (Coconut Bread)

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