The Ultimate Coconut Turnover Recipe

Interior of a turnover

The Ultimate Coconut Turnover Recipe,… From Kneading to baking – the taste will make all the work worthwhile.

Last stage of the process - cooling and testing your patience...

Below you will find the coconut turnover recipe and steps to make your very own coconut turnovers. This is similar to a sweet bread recipe with a specialized filling.

There are dozens of varieties and variations out there – I recommend you try baking and tasting them all.

Credits: My mother showed me the prep techniques in this recipe based on her mother’s method. Worked amazingly and gave picture perfect results. My cousin gave a great technique for heating the oven. Thanks to you both.


Part 1 (Coconut filling)
2 Small coconuts (finely grated) How to crack open a coconut – read more
1-1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup water
1/4 Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp nutmeg
1/2 Tsp almond extract
A dash of cloves

Part 2 (sweet bread)
4 Cups flour
1 Cup warm milk (use with sugar to activate yeast)
1/2 Cup butter
2 Eggs
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1-1/2 Tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (to help activate yeast)

1 egg white (beaten) (use to glaze turnovers)


Stage 1 – “The Filling”

1. On low heat – combine water, grated coconut + sugar in saucepan. Stir to prevent burning.
2. Cook until mixed any any visible liquid becomes syrupy.
3. Remove from heat, add spices + almond extract. Stir In.
4. Place aside to cool.

coconut turnover mix

Image of mix starting to cool down

Stage 2 – “The Dough”

1. Activate yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1/4 cup warm milk for 10 minutes (read yeast package for temp and additional directions)
2. While yeast is activating – cream together butter, eggs, salt and sugar.
3. Add 3 cups flour and remaining milk (3/4 cup). Mix well.
4. Add yeast mixture, mix well and then add remaining flour.
5. Kneading The dough: by hand – tutorial (YouTube) or with a mixer – tutorial (YouTube)
6. Grease a large bowl lightly using oil and a paper towel. Turn dough over once to ensure you coat both sides.
7. Let dough rise until double in size (30-60 minutes).
8. Remove dough and “punch down”

Yeast Rising

Image of the yeast before and after (10 min.)

Stage 3 – “Fulfillment”

1. Divide dough into 20-24 pieces
2. Taking 1 piece at a time, flatten to about (3.5″x2.5″)
3. Place 1-2 Tsp filling onto center
4. Pinch together edges to secure filling inside. Work shape into long rectangle.
5. Place 10-12 finished pieces onto a greased pan 0.5″ apart
6. Let dough rise again to double the size (45 minutes) before placing in oven.

Filling process

Image showing individual piece before being formed into a rectangle

Tray layout for turnovers

4 x 3 tray layout

Stage 4 – “Finishing Touch”

1. Brush beaten egg white over tops of turnovers
2. Sprinkle with sugar

Stage 5 – “Oven”

1. Place in preheated oven (425 degrees) on middle rack
2. Drop temperature down to 375
3. Bake for 16-18 minutes

4. Take out and rest on wire racks for 10 minutes.


Interior of a turnover

Interior view of the Coconut Turnovers

Note: There are a ton of great recipes with the same basic breakdown for coconut turnovers = sweet bread + filling. I say try them all.

If your looking for a really good recipe book. I highly recommended The Art of Caribbean Cooking by Yolande Cools-Lartigue or Cooking in Barbados by Charlotte Hingston.

See my first attempt here from a few weeks ago.

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