Last night I was driving my daughter home from kids clubs at church and saw my husband walking up and down the street. It seemed weird that he would be choosing to take a walk in the dark in freezing cold weather… until I got home and remembered the Samoan Coconut Rolls I had made earlier that were sitting on the counter. My guy loves these things! He was taking a very brisk walk so he could justify eating one. Haha! It’s really a good idea actually.

Samoan Coconut Rolls is how we refer to these amazingly delicious sweet rolls. Their actual name is Pani Popo. They’re just to die for!

I make these delicious sweet treats very rarely because we can polish off a whole pan in no time. But when I make them we really enjoy it!

I start with frozen dinner roll dough. These little balls of dough come in bags in the frozen section of the grocery store and I always keep them on hand.

I let the dough thaw and rise:

Once the dough is risen, I combine one can of coconut milk and some sugar.

The sweetened coconut milk is poured all over the dough balls and they bake in the sweet liquid.

OH MY GOODNESS! If you’ve never had them… seriously… soooo good!

My girl loves them too!

I like her a lot… can you tell? 🙂

12 frozen dinner roll dough balls
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
Non-stick cooking spray (or coconut oil)

1. Coat a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray then arrange the frozen dough balls in the dish.
2. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and gently cover the dough balls. Set them aside in a warm place to thaw and rise (see the dough package instructions).
3. Once the dough balls have thawed and risen according to package instructions, in a small bowl mix together the coconut milk and sugar.
4. Pour the coconut milk over the risen rolls, coating them thoroughly.
5. Bake the rolls at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown.
6. All the rolls to cool before serving.

You. Are. Welcome.


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19 Comments on Samoan Coconut Rolls – Pani Popo

  1. Terri Lynn Grothe
    January 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm (2 years ago)

    wow, another recipe for the files, this looks amazing. All of my fav things in one recipe

  2. Gathering Grain
    January 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Never heard of these! They look easy and cheap. Both of which are right up my alley. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. vickie morgan
    January 29, 2015 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh to know how to make these now….can't wait to try!

  4. Tanya @ Moms Small Victories
    January 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Yummy, these look fantastically simple and sweet! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and hope you join us again this weekend! Pinning to our linkup board.

  5. Jessika
    December 5, 2015 at 2:30 pm (1 year ago)

    What brand of frozen dinner rolls do you use? I’ve seen this recipe before but I can never find the frozen dinner rolls that look like these.

    • carissashaw
      December 6, 2015 at 10:04 pm (1 year ago)

      I use Rhodes frozen dinner rolls.

  6. Jocelyn
    January 24, 2016 at 10:56 am (1 year ago)

    I tried these last night. They were delicious! They tasted to me like fried dough — without the frying. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It will become one if my go to recipes!

  7. pora
    February 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm (1 year ago)

    Are you by any chance Polynesian?. I know its random but when I came across this I was stunned. Lol. In a good way.

    • carissashaw
      February 14, 2016 at 9:34 am (1 year ago)

      I’m not, I just like yummy food! 🙂

      • pwrighr
        February 21, 2016 at 4:36 pm (1 year ago)

        Should all of the coconut mix be absorbed when cooking the rolls?

  8. pw
    February 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm (1 year ago)

    Was making a few batches – think I used too much coconut mix over them. Should all of the coconut mix absorb when cooking??

  9. Katie
    March 10, 2016 at 9:18 am (1 year ago)

    So I’m making my menu for Easter and saw these beautiful rolls!!! I have a question. They look very moist from the coconut milk. Do these rolls have to be eaten right away? Or can they be made and held for a day.

    • carissashaw
      March 10, 2016 at 6:55 pm (1 year ago)

      You know, when I make these rolls we tend to gobble them up as soon as they’re cool enough to eat! 🙂
      I do think they’re best when fresh, but the next day would be just fine.

  10. Winter
    March 23, 2016 at 6:18 pm (1 year ago)

    It says sweetened coconut milk but the picture is unsweetened? Can you clarify please? Making these for Easter!

    • Winter
      March 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m seeing you added sugar. Whoopsy! Haha

  11. Brandi
    August 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm (9 months ago)

    Do you have to use a glass dish? I only have a metal pan

  12. Vickie Jonasson
    August 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm (8 months ago)

    Made these for a family bbq, everybody loved them. A cross between dinner roll and desert custard roll. Had a few left over (lucky me), the next day they were just as good. I dream of these little gems.

  13. Yolanda
    October 15, 2016 at 11:21 pm (6 months ago)

    Hi just wondering if I make these at night.. can I leave it out overnight for the next day? Or should I refrigerate?


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