Family Bakes

My Great Grandmother’s Coconut Buns Recipe!

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Last Updated on 5th April 2023 by Vicki

Coconut Buns
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Hello everyone! I hope you are all safe and well. I’m really excited to share with you my great grandmother’s coconut buns recipe! I was looking through some old recipe books the other day and I was so happy when this handwritten recipe fell out! It was written by my nan, but it’s actually her mum’s recipe. I only remember my nan making these when I was a child, but my mum and older brother remember my great grandmother making them. I’ve included a video at the bottom of this page of me making these coconut buns.

I’ve re-written the recipe below updating certain parts, but I just wanted to show you a photo of the recipe I found. As you can see, it has survived multiple pins to a board, being stapled somewhere, and by the looks of it, a hot drink being spilt on it! Regardless of it’s journey, I am so thankful for it’s survival!

Handwritten recipe for coconut buns.

My mum remembers that my great grandmother used to call them coconut buns. Some people may know them as coconut rock cakes.

Full recipe and method below. First here’s a video of me making them.

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Great Grandmother’s Coconut Buns Recipe


  • 4oz/115g Margarine
  • 2oz/58g Sugar – I suspect that my great grandmother used granulated sugar, but I used caster sugar and they turned out fine.
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 5oz/143g Self Raising Flour
  • 3oz/86g Desiccated Coconut


Preheat the oven to 180°C (FAN). I have a fan assisted oven so I had to work out the equivalent temperature for my nan’s gas mark 6.

Beat the margarine and sugar together until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat thoroughly. Next, add the flour and desiccated coconut. Mix well until fully combined. I used my hand held electric mixer for the first part and mixed in the flour and coconut with a large metal spoon.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray. These need to be spaced apart as they do spread while baking. I made 8 good sized buns.

Spoonfuls of coconut bun mixture on a baking tray.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden on top. Mine came out of the oven at 17 minutes.

Oh my! The smell while they are baking is amazing!! These little buns are light, crumbly and sooo delicious!! Yummy cold, but in my opinion, even better while still warm (20 seconds in the microwave works too!) These coconut buns have brought back so many lovely memories for me and my family. I like to think my nan and great grandmother are smiling down on me for giving this recipe a new lease of life.

If you do bake these coconut buns, I really hope you like them. I would love to see any photos, tag me @acakeonlife on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. It’s true what they say…old recipes are definitely the best!

While your here, why not check out my latest recipe? Cinnamon streusel slice! The perfect treat for those chilly afternoons! Link to the recipe below.

Cinnamon Streusel Slice Recipe


  • Vivien

    Hi Vicki,
    Your Nan’s delicious little coconut bun recipe reminds me [I’m 77] so much of my Mother’s wonderful afternoon tea cooking she would do for “the card ladies” to enjoy after a game of Solo…They were the days when women would put on amazing yet simple spreads.Thanks for sharing!

    • Vicki

      Hi Vivien,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I am so pleased that the recipe brought back those lovely memories. I totally agree with you, I love baking from old recipe books. Recipes that are simple yet delicious and can also bring back wonderful family memories too.

  • Mandy

    Hi there, these look so yummy! I’ve just put a batch in the oven and the batter seemed quite stiff and a bit dry. Is that right please?

  • Audrey Whyte

    These buns are so easy to make and are delicious. The old recipes are definitely the best. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

    • Vicki

      Hi Audrey, thank you so much for your lovely comment. You’re very welcome. I’m so pleased that you liked them. I know that my great grandmother would be pleased too! I totally agree, old recipes are definitely the best!

  • Angela

    So easy to follow and taste divine! Thanks for the share… I doubled up on ours and they still didn’t last long enough 😂

    • Vicki

      Hi Angela, thank you so much for letting me know. I’m so pleased that you like them. They don’t last very long in our house either! 😋

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