We know no sourdough bread, we don’t know any French-style baguette. We do know how to make delicious, sweet and airy buns filled with freshly grated coconut. Step into any local bakeries in the country and ask for coconut sweet bun, seller will tell you that it is the most popular item in any bakeries. Especially my home town, they bake beautiful coconut buns. Serious stuff. People buy them by the hundreds sometimes, since they are sweet, cheap and not very filling. They are easy to make at home, if you have a bit of time in hand. I prepared the filling with some pandan leaves to infuse the coconut with a bit of vanilla hint.

The high sugar content makes the buns very soft and pillowy. The sugar from the dough makes the bread soft and browns easily, which shorten the baking time. Sugar content from the coconut mixture makes the filling moist and sweet. This is the type of bread that bakeries sell and what the masses loves. They are quick to make since proofing time is short and baking time is even shorter, light and they just fly off the shelves. Bakeries are actually rated from the quality of their coconut sweet buns, also known as roti kelapa.

Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, flour, sugar, salt, yeast and powdered milk.

Add liquid ingredients, water and egg. Mix well with paddle attachment, about 4-5 minutes, low speed.

Add butter at room temperature. Mix for a couple of more minutes using paddle attachment, low speed. When the dough forms loose ball, switch to hook attachment.

Beat over high speed with hook attachment for 9-15 minutes, till dough clears from the side of bowl. The dough is best when sticks to the bottom slightly.

At the end of the beating period, form dough into a ball and let rest on counter, covered with plastic for 10 minutes (image missing here).

In a heatproof plate combine some fresh pandan leaves (screwpine leaves).

Freshly grated coconut and sugar.

Mix slightly with hands until all sugar is well distributed. Steam over high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from steamer and let cool.

At the end of the initial resting period, the dough would be slightly bigger with smooth surface.

Divide the dough into 50 g pieces. Roll into a ball and rest for 10 more minutes, uncovered. I get about 10 pieces, with a small dough for a spare.

Lightly flour working surface. Shape one dough into a cylinder.

Roll the dough into a triangle, wider end closest to you.

Place one spoonful of coconut filling on the wide part of the triangle.

Carefully lift both ends of the dough and fold it over to cover the filling completely.

Use your thumb to shape filling into a crescent. Pinch both ends together so the filling will not spill out.

Press the ends with side of your hand and lightly roll the dough away from you.

This is how it looks like, something like croissant.

Arrange on buttered pans by slightly bend it to make it like a moon shape.

Let rest, uncovered, for 90 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, about 200 degree celsius. When out of the oven, brush the top with melted butter. Serve warm.

Coconut Sweet Bun, Roti Manis Kelapa

Makes 10 buns


For bread dough
250 g bread flour
10 g instant yeast
55 g sugar
5 g salt
15 g powdered milk
1 whole egg
105 cc cold water

45 g butter, room temperature

For coconut filling
400 g freshly grated coconut
12 pandan leaves, halved
100 g sugar


Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt and powdered milk in a mixing bowl.
Add egg and water. Beat with paddle attachment, low speed for 3 minutes until all ingredients mixed well.
Add butter and continue mixing until ingredients form a loose ball, about 2 minutes.
Switch to dough hook and beat over high speed for about 9 minutes.
The dough should clear all sides of bowl at the end of beating period, with slightly sticky part sticks to the bottom of the bowl.
Remove from mixing bowl, knead slightly and form into a tight ball.
Leave on kitchen counter and let rest for 10 minutes, cover with a piece of plastic.
Divide dough into 10 pieces, about 50 g each. Roll into balls. Rest for 10 more minutes.
Roll individual dough and fill with one spoonful of coconut mixture and shape into crescent.
Arrange on buttered pans. Let rest for 90 minutes, or till the buns double in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degree celsius for 8-10 minutes.
When the top is golden brown, it is ready.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack. Serve warm

To prepare filling, combine all ingredients in a heatproof plate. Steam over boiling water for 5 minutes, covered.
Remove and let cool before using.