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Close up of baked coconut buns in a dark metal pan with kitchen towel on a wooden table.

Macadamia Coconut Buns

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Very fluffy and with a unique flavor, these buns are good to accompany stews and chilis, make sandwiches, brunch, or with afternoon tea. They keep for several days and can be frozen. 

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 18 buns



For the sponge:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bread or all purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm water (not hot)

For the bread:

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups bread or unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups chopped toasted macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 cups shredded coconut (you can lightly toast it before adding it, make sure it's at room temperature)


For the sponge:

  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer (or large bowl if doing this by hand), put water and sprinkle sugar and yeast over. Add flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until most lumps are gone. Some will remain. You can do this with the paddle attachment, but I think it's too much trouble.
  2. Cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let stand until bubbly and puffed, about 35 to 50 minutes.

For the bread:

  1. To the sponge, add 1 cup flour, oil, salt, coconut and macadamias.
  2. Attach to the mixer and, using the dough hook, starting mixing everything, adding 2 ½ more cups of flour, ½ cup at a time. The dough will never be very smooth because of the nuts, so check with your finger after 3 or 4 minutes of kneading. It should be soft but not sticky. If needed add ½ to 1 more cups flour. But don't end up with a dry dough. I used 4 cups total in my recipe.
  3. If kneading  by hand, do so for 5 to 7 minutes on a clean surface, lightly flouring as necessary after the dough comes together.
  4. Transfer dough to a greased deep bowl, turn to grease on all sides, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  5. Dump the whole thing onto a lightly floured counter, and divide into 17 or whatever amount of pieces you want. You can also weigh the whole dough and weigh each piece to have very even buns; I never bother to do that.
  6. Shape each piece into a sort of ball, and then cover it with the palm of your hand, and moving your hand clock wise to your right, shape them into balls, as tight as you can.
  7. Grease a pan, and put the dough balls next to each other, barely touching. Cover with a clean, dry towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400ºF about 20 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until tops are dry and golden, and buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  10. Let cool on wire rack.


  • Use walnuts, pecans, or cashew nuts instead of macadamias.
  • Freeze baked buns well wrapped up to a month. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Resting time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International