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Samoan Coconut Buns

Samoan Coconut Buns

Renée Robinson

Tender and Fluffy Buns are Baked on Top of a Coconut Milk Sauce

The full name of these buns is Pani Popo Samoan Coconut Buns and I can’t rave about them more highly. This recipe comes from King Arthur and it’s so good we can’t stop talking about it.

I’ve made lots of buns – milk bread types, Chinese stuffed buns, etc. I have a weakness for this kind of thing. These may be the best I’ve ever made. A soft, tender, enriched, and fluffy dough is shaped into buns, placed in the pan and then the unique part takes place. A mixture of coconut milk, sugar, a little cornstarch and a pinch of salt is cooked, cooled until it’s only warm, and poured over the risen buns, right before they go into the oven.

Individual Coconut Bun

This leaves the buns with a glossy sweet crust and the rest of the sauce sinks to the bottom of the pan. At my son’s urging, I add a pandan leaf to the coconut sauce as it was cooking. We have them on hand and keep them in the freezer. It added a beautiful layer of flavor to the sauce and I recommend using it if you can get your hands on fresh pandan leaves. If not, just leave it out and these will still be great. The piece we used was about 12 inches long.

As the buns cook, the bottoms become gooey from the sauce. The end result is a bun like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Man, are these delicious. Though not called for in the recipe, I topped them with toasted sesame seeds and this is how I will always make them. The flavor and the little bit of crunch the sesame seeds provide are very welcome additions. These didn’t last long. It’s impossible to resist them.

Here is the link to the recipe.


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