How To Make Sweet and Sticky Samoan Coconut Buns for your Hawaiian Luau

If you are planning a Hawaiian Luau or any other kind of tropical themed party then deliciously sweet coconut buns, known as Pani Popo, are the essential item for your menu. They are easy to make and perfect for all ages.
Difficulty: Moderate
In a bowl mix half the flour with the yeast.
In a saucepan heat the milk whilst stirring, add sugar, butter and salt till warm and butter has just about melted. Add this to flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds scraping bowl constantly.
Start adding the rest of the flour until you get a good doughy texture that is easy to pull but not dry. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a large ball place in a large bowl coated with canola oil, rolling it around to make sure the entire ball is coated. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, such as over a sink of warm water, in the oven on the top shelf with a bowl of hot water beneath or even in the back window of the car.
Punch down the dough and roll into balls, up to 25 depending on size
Place the balls into a large ungreased baking dish, cover and let rise for another 10 minutes.
To make the sauce simply combine the cans of coconut cream and 3/4 cup of sugar and pour over the buns.
Bake at 190°C (375°F) for 20-30 minutes
Items needed
  • 5 ½ to 6 ½ cups plain all purpose flour 1 packet yeast, 7g (¼oz) 2 ¼ cups milk 1 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp butter 30g (1oz) 1 tsp salt Canola Oil 2 cans coconut milk ¾ cup sugar 1 large or 2 medium baking dishes
Overall tips
  • The sauce will bubble up and spill over if the dish is not large enough, so use two baking dishes if necessary. Always place a tray under the baking dish to catch any spills; this will save you a lot of clean up afterwards.