Pan de Coco, literally “coconut bread” is a bread usually served as a midday or mid-afternoon snack or as a breakfast bread in the Philippines.
Best served and eaten while it is still freshly-baked, it is a type of bread that has sweetened grated coconut inside and is usually partnered with coffee or unsweetened hot chocolate.
View our Pan De Coco Recipe below.
It is said that the bread and the recipe, as a product of the Spanish colonization of most world territories, has roots in Central America, another stronghold of Spanish power.
It is possible then that pan de coco and its recipe was transported from Central America to the Philippines via the Galleon trade, where most Central American and Spanish goods and recipes reached the Philippines.
As Pan de Coco is bread, the most accessible place where it can be bought is from your nearby bakery.
Other places where you can get it (though processed by the big bakeries already for a longer shelf-life) include supermarkets and wet markets.
In this post we'll cover:
Pan De Coco Recipe and Preparation Tips
The grated coconut which serves as the filling of the Pan de Coco can either be included as is as it is already dehydrated or it can be cooked in caramelized sugar giving the coconut filling its distinct brown color.
As some Filipino dishes might include baking the ingredients, it is recommended that you invest in an oven and rolling pin, so as to be able to make this very simple bread recipe.
If you do not have a rolling pin though, you can use your hands or an empty and clean ketchup bottle as substitutes.
Finally, as the resulting pan de coco leans towards the sweet side, the accompanying beverage which could be coffee or chocolate should be more on the bitter side to counteract the sweetness of the pan de coco.
And if you have some leftover coconut you can make this other great Filipino traditional sugary dish: binatog.
Pan de coco recipe (coconut bread)
- 2 tsp yeast
- ⅔ cup warm water
- ⅔ cup milk
- ½ cube butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 3 cups coconut flakes
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg
- In a small bowl, mix together warm water (not too hot) and yeast. Set aside.
- Scald milk on stovetop or heat in microwave for 90 seconds. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add butter and sugar and stir until fully dissolved.
- Mix in salt and 2 cups bread flour until combined (You can substitute all-purpose flour if needed).
- Add yeast mixture.
- Mix in all-purpose flour until dough is fully formed. Dough should not be sticky.
- Knead dough for 5 minutes by hand (or with stand up mixer).
- Place down in a large bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap until it doubles in size (for colder climates, place next to a heat source for faster rising).
- In a saucepan, mix together all filling ingredients and stir on a low heat.
- Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes or until all liquids have been reduced.
- Refrigerate filling until needed.
- Separate dough into 4 equal sized pieces.
- Cut each of those pieces into 6 equal sized pieces (you’ll have 24 in total).
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten with a rolling pin.
- Place one tablespoon of filling mixture into center of flattened dough.
- Fold dough ends together at the center and twist to seal.
- Place dough with the sealed side down onto a baking sheet.
- Poke 3 times with a fork to create holes for air to escape while baking.
- Allow filled dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Beat a single egg and brush the egg over the top of each piece.
- Bake for 13-18 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow Pan de Coco cool before eating.
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Also read: Pandesal Recipe (Filipino Bread Rolls)