Oh how I love Pani Popo. Even though it is a Samoan dish, I was first introduced to it when I lived in Hawaii. As I have mentioned before, I worked at a bakery when I lived in Hawaii and was introduced to SO MANY amazing treats and recipes– this being one of my-all time favorites. I loved waking up early in the morning and making these delicious rolls. The smell is intoxicating!
Pani popo is such an easy dish to make and it is oh so tasty. If you have never had Pani popo before, it is basically a soft dinner roll baked with a sweet coconut sauce. It is soft and fluffy on the inside and the bottom is nice and gooey– like a gooey sweet roll should be (but gooier). I love that I am am able to make these at home for my family (and that they LOVE them as much as I do… seriously… my kids go nuts over these)!
You can serve this with pretty much any dish– you can serve it as a breakfast item, side dish or even dessert. With Thanksgiving coming up, this would be a great way to switch things up and try a new kind of dinner roll that the whole family will love! Try it! You are going to love it!
If you want to go traditional and make your own, made from scratch rolls, you can use the recipe HERE or if you want a quick and easy alternative, you can just use frozen rolls and thaw them (both taste great).
If you want to SEE how these are made, check out the video below! The video is less than one minute long and you will be able to see step-by-step how it’s done. Don’t forget to share with your friends 😉
- Coat a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and arrange rolls evenly to thaw (if doing homemade rolls, roll dough into golf-ball size balls and arrange the same way).
- Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray (to keep dough from sticking to the plastic wrap).
- Allow to rise until doubled in size.
- Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.
- In a bowl, combine coconut milk and sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour about 2/3 of the coconut mixture over the rolls and bake for 20-30 minutes (or according to package/dough recipe instructions) or until golden brown and dough is baked through.
- Remove from oven and pour remaining coconut mixture evenly over the top of the rolls.
- The rolls should be sticky and gooey on the bottom (read notes above). Can be served upside down or right-side up.