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Pani Popo in a pan with a single slice on a plate.

Pani Popo (Samoan Coconut Rolls)

Pani Popo is a Samoan sweet roll baked in a delicious coconut sauce. One of my favorite Pacific-Island dishes from my bakery days in Hawaii.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Hawaiian
Keyword Coconut, Rolls, Side, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 20 rolls
Calories 191kcal
Author Erica Walker


  • 20 frozen dinner rolls depending on size (see note above for homemade rolls)
  • 10 oz. coconut milk (1 can)
  • 1 c. sugar


  • 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.  This can take 4-5 hours.  If you need the rolls to thaw quicker, follow the quick-rise instructions on the frozen roll packaging.
  • 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.



***Prep time listed on this recipe is listed as 10 minutes.  This DOES NOT include the time it takes for the rolls to rise before baking.


Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 2mg