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Filipino Pan de Coco

Filipino Pan de Coco are soft and buttery baked buns filled with sweetened coconut filling. These coconut buns are perfect for breakfast, afternoon merienda (snack) or just about any time of the day. I personally love having these with coffee or tea!

Filipino Pan de Coco

This is a highly requested Filipino bread recipe. Finally, we’re here! It took a while huh.

When I received your requests to make a Pan de Coco recipe, I took it as a challenge and an opportunity. As a self-taught baker, I still have a lot to learn. I still make mistakes, quite a lot actually. And I still get frustrated every time that happens.

That’s why I’m so glad I finally made this and now writing about it. I have so much to share! This is a long post but I promise that every bit will be useful. Perfect for beginner home bakers!

Coconut buns

A few tips when making Pan de Coco

It took me three tries to get that perfect bun for Pan de Coco. On my first try, the bun turned out way too big and the filling was way too small that you couldn’t taste it. If it’s Pan de Coco, both the bread and the coco have to STAND OUT! So here are a few things I learned after 2 failed attempts plus 1 success at making Pan de Coco

  • Size matter. The bun should be at least 45 to 50 grams. The buns I’ve made are approx 45g. This may sound big but this size leaves enough room for the filling making sure the bread doesn’t thin out after baking. We want our bread to be soft and fluffy. Use a kitchen scale if available or divide the dough into big portions (see video).
  • Shape into a ball. Before flattening the dough, shape the dough into a ball. This is one way of making sure that there will be no uneven parts in the bread.
  • Use a rolling pin. After shaping the dough into a ball, lightly flatten it into a disc using a rolling pin. This will make the dough evenly flat. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a rectangular bottle or glass. Remember to lightly flatten, don’t press too hard otherwise the dough will be too thin.
  • Don’t overfill! For a 45g dough, you just need about 2 teaspoons full of the coconut filling. Beyond that, it will be hard to close the dough and filling might ooze out of the bread during baking.

pan de coco ingredients

The Bun (Pan) ingredients

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  • Bread flour: Yeast bread made with bread flour tend to be soft and chewy at the same time.
  • Egg yolks plus 1 whole egg: The fat and protein in egg yolks make a tender crumb and soft crust. It also makes the bread more yellowish in color which just means it will look and taste more delicious!
  • Pure unsalted butter: I love using butter when making bread. It makes my kitchen smell so good!
  • Sugar:  A little less than half a cup of sugar is enough to sweeten the dough. A perfect complement to the sweetened coconut.
  • Whole Milk and Water: These will serve as the base liquid for the dough. Using whole milk makes a softer bread compared to low-fat milk or evaporated milk.
  • Active Dry Yeast or Instant Dry Yeast: Both can be used interchangeably. Activate in lukewarm water until foamy.

pan de coco palaman filling

Freshly grated coconut vs Desiccated coconut

Now let’s talk about the COCOnut in the Pan de Coco.

Fresh is best. This turned out to be true after trying out the two types of grated coconut. Using freshly grated coconut makes a moist and flavorful Pan de Coco filling. It has a pleasant texture (not grainy) and rich in coconut flavor.

But what if you don’t have access to fresh which is the case for most outside of Asia or a tropical country.

The second best option is desiccated coconut. The ground texture closely resembles that of freshly grated coconut sans the moisture.

How to re-hydrate desiccated coconut for Pan de Coco

The best liquid to re-hydrate desiccated coconut is (drum roll please….), COCONUT MILK! Two good things will happen if you use coconut milk instead of water or cow’s milk: 1) reconstitute the moisture 2) boost the rich coconut flavor.

I recommend using the unsweetened desiccated coconut to easily control the sweetness by adjusting the amount of brown sugar that will be mixed in with the coconut milk.

For a  deeper color and nutty flavor, use dark brown sugar instead of regular brown sugar.

TIP! When measuring the brown sugar, make sure it’s tightly packed in the measuring cup. Follow the link for more information.

That is it! I think everything you need to know about Pan de Coco is here. Well, at least the things I’ve learned.

I really do hope you enjoy making this at home.

Please let me know how it goes in the comment section below. Happy baking!

Love baking? You MUST TRY these recipes!

Watch the video on how to make Filipino Pan de Coco

Filipino Pan de Coco recipe

Filipino Pan de Coco

An easy to follow Filipino Pan de Coco recipe—soft and buttery baked buns filled with sweetened and delicious coconut filling. Video instructions and many useful tips included.
Print Pin
Servings: 22 - 24 rolls
Author: Mella
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (mixed with 1 teaspoon white sugar)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (or one standard packet yeast)
  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour (add more if needed)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter (melted, slightly cooled)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (lukewarm or room temp)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (use egg white for the wash)
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut (for topping, optional)

Pan de Coco Filing: Option 1 (freshly grated coconut)

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • pinch of salt

Pan de Coco Filing: Option 2 (Desiccated coconut)

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • pinch of salt

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons milk

Instructions

For the Dough

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine lukewarm water (40c/105f), 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Stir until completely dissolved. Let it stand for 5 to 10mins until yeast begins to foam.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add milk, yeast mixture, eggs, and butter. Stir until just combined. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix until flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Add additional flour as necessary, adding 2 tbsp at a time. Continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky, soft and pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.

Rise # 1

  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and seal the edges. Let it rise for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour at room temperature until double in size. See notes for the make-ahead tip (cold rise). Meanwhile, make the filling.

How to Make Pan de Coco filling or Palaman (use either of the 2 options)

  • Pour coconut milk in a pan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar once it starts simmering. Stir until completely dissolved.
  • Add grated coconut and pinch of salt. Cook until liquid is mostly reduced. Stir, occasionally. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

Rise #2

  • Punch the dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into approx 45g portions and form into balls. For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale.
  • Using a light rolling pin flatten each ball into a thick disc shape. Place about 2 full teaspoons of filling. Fold dough over filling to meet in the center; pinch edges to seal (see video). Repeat with all the other portions.
  • Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with a greased parchment paper about 1 inch apart. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45mins to 1 hour at room temperature.

Baking

  • Preheat oven at 190c/375f, 20 minutes before the dough rolls finish rising. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients of the egg wash in a small bowl; mix thoroughly.
  • Carefully brush the rolls lightly with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with desiccated coconut.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top turns light brown.
  • Let the bread cool completely before removing from the pan. Serve with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Shape into a ball. Before flattening the dough, shape the dough into a ball. This is one way of making sure that there will be no uneven parts in the bread.
  • Use a rolling pin. After shaping the dough into a ball, lightly flatten it into a disc using a rolling pin. This will make the dough evenly flat. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a rectangular bottle or glass. Remember to lightly flatten, don’t press too hard otherwise the dough will be too thin.
  • Don’t overfill! For a 45g dough, you just need about 2 full teaspoons of the coconut filling. Beyond that, it will be hard to close the dough and filling might ooze out of the bread during baking.
  • Make-ahead Tip: Make the dough ahead of time then place in the fridge. The dough will slowly rise and double in size overnight. On the day of baking, remove from the refrigerator 30 mins before you’re going to shape them into rolls.
  • When measuring the brown sugar for the filling, make sure it's tightly packed in the measuring cup. Follow the link for more information.
  • Storage: Store in an air-tight container and place in the fridge.
  • Re-heat in a microwave for 30 to 40 seconds and it's like freshly baked!
Jump to Video
Course : Snack
Cuisine : Asian
Keyword : coconut buns, pan de coco recipe
Nutrition Facts
Filipino Pan de Coco
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 134mg6%
Potassium 229mg7%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 133IU3%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @rivertenkitchen and hashtag it #rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

Filipino Coconut Buns_Pan de Coco

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This Post Has 41 Comments
  1. 45g is still huge because it continues to rise even when you are baking it in the oven aside from the resting period you do prior to baking them. I think I need to adjust the size into much smaller next time as it turns out to be really huge pan de coco. But still, thank you for sharing the recipe to us. 👍

    1. You’re welcome! Feel free to adjust the weight/size based on your preference. That’s the beauty of making your own bread at home 🙂

      1. 45g is still huge because it continues to rise even when you are baking it in the oven aside from the resting period you do prior to baking them. I think I need to adjust the size into much smaller next time as it turns out to be really huge pan de coco. Also, 20-25 minutes of baking it is not enough and you still need to turn around the dough for even baking. But still, thank you for sharing the recipe to us. 👍

  2. 5 stars

    5 stars
    Hi! I tried this recipe and it turned out just the way I want it. 😋 But, I want a moist, soft, yummy coconut filling without sugar for my hubby. What do you advise? Thanks and God bless!

      1. Diabetes, but he wants to taste a piece when the rest of the family is snacking on the sumptuous pan de coco.

        1. All I can advise is to omit brown sugar entirely. Note that even the bread dough has sugar. Best to ask his doctor for a good brown sugar substitute.

  3. 5 stars

    I will be using instant yeast, do I need to adjust the measurement and add water to the ingredients? Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  4. Hi! this is my first time baking pan de coco and i keep on searching for the simplest recipe and i found yours.The result was great and it was soft and the taste just nice not too sweet.I wrote it in my recipe notebook to make it again and again.thank you for sharing your recipe.😘

  5. 4 stars
    The filling was spot on. Absolutely delish. My dough was sticky and I added a fair bit more flour than indicated and kneaded by hand all the way. The end result looked and tasted great, but the bread part was dense and not as fluffy as a pan de coco should be. Where did I go wrong? Did I overwork the dough?

        1. It’s possible that it didn’t proof enough. It usually takes about an hour or more depending on the room temperature.

          1. 5 stars
            You were right. My mistake was not proofing it enough the second time. I got soft fluffy bread this time. Thank you.

  6. I love to make this recipe. However, I don’t have a stand mixer yet. Can I just knead the flour with my hands? Love to hear from you.
    Thank you.

  7. I don’t have a kitchen scale so can you tell me how many times you divided the dough ball in order to approximate the size of each pan de coco bun? Thanks and can’t wait to make these!

      1. 5 stars
        This are the BEST pan de coco I’ve ever tasted. Seriously. The bread is perfect, light but with good structure and the filling just sweet enough. Followed the recipe to a t and ended up short on the filling by 4 buns (I ended up with 2 dozen total), but I stuffed them pretty good. Extra dough was no problem though becuase I just filled them with semisweet chocolate at voila!—chocolate bread. Will be using the dough recipe for all kinds of bao filling now too. 🙂

        1. So happy this recipe worked out wonderfully for you! Chocolate stuffed bread sounds like a good idea. Might try that one of these days 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is the best I found for pan de coco. I am following all your bread recipes since, made spanish bread and pandesal and they turned out perfect. Thanks for the tips as well. Looking forward to more recipes from you, Melay!

    1. 5 stars
      Just made this with my daughter, sooo good 😁 Pan de coco craving definitely satisfied! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Pan de coco is my favourite. Back then, I used to buy it for 1 peso/pc. I tried making bread in the past with no success till I came across this recipe. Thank you Mella- love how you included tips, videos and variations. I used desiccated coconut but still was lovely 💜

    1. You’re welcome, Janice! Glad you loved this Pan de Coco recipe. Making yeast bread is a little bit tricky but one becomes better with lots of practice.

  10. 5 stars

    thanks is my first time baking, and im from colombia in my country we bake coconut bread but i never did it. i have the idea for 39 years becouse i live in a different country and i miss that bread so much! it came out just perfect! my husband who is from another country was so happy so i’m going to bake tomorrow again , i added something to the recipe i used real coconut milk and real coconut , thanks again🙏❤️

    1. Hi Luz! I’m so glad you and your husband liked this recipe. It’s interesting to know that this Pan de Coco is similar to the coconut buns in Columbia. Did you use the fresh coconut milk for the filling or for the bread?

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