3 Ingredient Pani Popo: An Exotic and Easy Treat

  • Author: Trish Corlew
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minute
  • Yield: 12 1x


Pani Popo, a sweet coconut roll from the South Pacific, is a delicious, exotic treat that anyone will love. This recipe tells you the easiest way to make it–with only 3 ingredients!




  • 12 frozen dinner roll dough balls (such as Rhodes “thaw, rise, and bake” rolls)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 5 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 150F, then turn off.
  2. Grease a 9×12 inch glass baking dish very well with non-stick cooking spray.
    place the 12 frozen dinner roll dough balls into the pan in 4 rows of 3.
  3. Fill a small sauce pan half way with water, then bring to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat. Remove the pot of boiling water from the heat and place in the warm oven on one of the oven racks. This will create a warm, high moisture environment in the oven for the dough balls to thaw and rise.
  4. Place the baking dish of dough balls in the oven uncovered and allow to thaw and rise until the dough balls have more than doubled in size; approximately 2 hours.
  5. Remove the bread dough from the oven and set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the coconut milk and sugar until well combined. There may still be some very small bits of the coconut cream that does not full incorporate. This is okay and they will melt as the rolls bake.
  8. Pour all of the sweet coconut milk mixture over top of the dinner roll dough. Be sure the tops of the dough are all evenly coated with the coconut milk.
  9. Bake the Pani Popo for 30 minutes at 350F. Check the rolls after 20 minutes of baking and if they are getting too brown, lay a piece of foil over the top of the rolls to prevent them from over browning during the final 10 minutes of baking.
  10. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.