Authentic Homemade Puligi – Samoan Dessert Recipe

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Last Updated on April 28, 2022 by Chef Mireille

Depending how you serve it, Authentic Homemade Puligi can be enjoyed as a delicious breakfast cake or a rich dessert. When eaten as breakfast in Samoa, it is usually enjoyed with butter and fresh fruit (like banana). As dessert, it is served with custard making it a rich and luxurious dessert.

Puteni in Fiji or Puligi in Samoa, no matter which word you use, I pronounce it delicious. It is a popular treat of the Polynesian islands and is especially made during holidays.

Spend a Christmas in Polynesia and you will definitely partake in some Puligi. Although traditionally eaten with pouring custard for holidays, Samoans often eat it with just butter, tea and banana for breakfast.

This puligi can be enjoyed then both as dessert or breakfast depending how you serve it.

Puligi, Samoan Pudding

This steamed pudding is indicative of the European colonization of the region. Many European countries and even the United States established trading ports and battled over the colonization of Samoa for many years including Germany and Britain.

They were the longest under New Zealand rule until 1962. With the use of coconut cream and spices, a fusion of Polynesian flavors with a British cooking method created this dish. Let’s get started on our puligi…

This is one of the most delicious Samoan recipes I am sure you will love as much as I did.

Recipe Notes

  • Coconut Cream is not the same thing as Coconut Milk or Cream of Coconut. Check out the link below for details. You want to make sure you are using coconut cream!
  • Make sure to keep watch on the caramel. It can seem like it is slow cooking, but once you walk away…it can burn so quickly!
  • Although I have not tried it yet, I am sure this delicious steamed cake can also easily be made in the Instant Pot also.

To learn more about the differences between the types of coconut milk, read all about it here – Types of Coconut Milk.

Puligi, Samoan Steamed Pudding

It has such a soft and fluffy texture – I don’t think it even needs the butter!

Samoan Christmas Pudding, Samoan Breakfast, Puligi

If this looks so good to you that you want to explore this cuisine a little more, do check my recipe for Samoan Banana Donuts here!

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Samoan Puligi

This delicious Samoan dessert can be enjoyed as breakfast with fruit or as dessert with custard. Delicious versatile Samoan recipe.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Samoan
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 773kcal


Syrup Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream


  • Let's first make the syrup.
  • Combine sugar, 1 cup water and cream of coconut in a saucepan or deep skillet.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until it gets all bubbly and frothy. Leave to cool completely for 15 minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.
  • Combine butter and sugar and mix until creamy, using an electric mixer.
  • Add eggs and beat well.
  • Add syrup and mix until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour into whatever vessel you use for steaming. I poured it into individual greased ramekins in a pot.
  • Fill pot with water enough to touch bottom of ramekins. Cover and steam for 45 minutes-2 hours, until knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Carefully remove from ramekins and slice.


Cooking time will vary, depending on size of vessel you are steaming it in. Check periodically and add water when necessary as it evaporates.


Calories: 773kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 774mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 1613IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Sorry about the burns, Mir. So it was this recipe that gave to the burns. But I am glad you got the same result by following your method of preparation for caramel sauce.

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