What are the best Hawaiian desserts to try – check them out here!
What do locals in Hawaii love to eat for desserts or sweet snack on the islands? Check out these favorite Hawaiian desserts you should eat to make on your own popular Hawaiian food favorite desserts with these fantastic and easy to follow recipes below.
There’s always a time for Hawaiian sweet treats for those craving a quick snack to tie you over between meals.
Try these favorite local Hawaiian desserts and recipes below
You can find all these local Hawaiian desserts at your local farmers markets, grocery stores, take out counters or even street vendor selling their favorite foodie snacks for public purchase. Even local mom and pop shops will sell their own special sweet dessert for you to take out and consume at home.
What Dessert is Hawaii known for?
With so much Asian, European and also traditional Hawaiian influence, desserts cover the gamut of different and sweet inspiration. Starting with more Hawaiian traditional desserts made with Hawaiian inspired ingredients to plantation era immigrants that shared their sweet inspirations, Hawaiian desserts are a true melting pot of delicious desserts. Take a look at some of these below, it will be hard to decide on which is the best Hawaiian dessert to try first when you visit the islands.
Traditional Hawaiian desserts
An irresistible and authentic Hawaiian dessert is the Haupia, a local favorite dish everyone love. Basically, this is a Hawaiian style pudding made simply with coconut cream, cornstarch and sugar. This traditional Hawaiian dessert is changed with a variety of other local ingredients including purple sweet potato, chocolate cream, whipped cream and so many other sugary ingredients to make it even more delicious. Haupia in Hawaiian means cool and arrowroot formed into this pudding like dessert.
Check out this popular Hawaiian recipe video to a Haupia dessert that you can make this dessert now.
Another traditional Hawaiian dessert that is made up of mashed taro, sugar and coconut cream combined to create a pudding like consistency. Served cool, this dessert is perfect for gatherings and potluck affairs and popular with kids and adults alike. Kulolo is one of those traditional Hawaiian desserts you’ve got to try first to enjoy the popular dessert on the islands.
Check out this easy to make this Hawaiian dessert with simple ingredients on this video below.
What are Hawaiian style desserts?
A melting pot of island style desserts shared with plantation era immigrant sweets and other incorporated sweet goods. These have all evolved into the many different Hawaiian favorite sweet snacks, desserts and cakes below.
Who doesn’t love a shave ice on a hot day when smooth and melt in your mouth with flaky and flavorful tropical inspired juices from Mango, Coconut, lilikoi, Guava and other ingredients? Ordering a variety of shave ice flavors can lead to unlimited combinations that you can ask for in one cup depending on the size and flavors you are craving. There’s nothing like having some shave ice to satisfy your cravings as a sweet snack in between meals. Check out the most popular shave ice places around the islands here to inspire you to visit these places.
Sweet mochi snacks
One of the most popular and traditional Japanese sweet desserts is mochi. You can find mochi at your local farmers markets, mom and pop shops and cafes and even grocery stores with bakeries. There are so many different kinds of mochi available from traditional kinds with Japanese flavored ingredients or more unusual new flavors with tropical tastes including mango, lilikoi, guava, fresh fruit and whole variety that caters to every sweet tooth and a Hawaiian sweet treat that you will crave every time you visit the islands.
Best Hawaiian pastries and baked goods
This traditional Portuguese dessert of a donut hole is deep fried goodness at its best. Taken out of the pot and rolled in sugar and eaten fresh is the best way to enjoy this dessert. Or if you are into more decadent combinations, how about something cream filled, chocolate inspired or tropical fruit flavors that are piped into the insides for a delicious gooey surprise in each bite. Really this is one of the best Hawaiian pastries to try if you are looking for something that will fill the sweet cravings when you visit the islands.
One of the best Hawaiian desserts to experience are Lilikoi bars or passion fruit are typically made with a buttery crust with passion fruit topping that is both sweet and tart and Hawaii’s own version of a lemon bar. Lilikoi bars are easy for takeout cut into small squares that you can snack on for a sweet bite to tie you over between meals or just a nice sugar rush.
If you want some of these delicious lilikoi bars, why not make them yourself with this easy to follow Hawaiian dessert recipe below.
Sweet Chinese Pretzels
A local favorite sweet snack, you’ll always find a street side vendor frying up some hot and sweet Chinese pretzels for take away food. Chinese pretzels are delicious deep fried dough pretzels and then rolled with powdered sugar. Best eaten fresh and hot, but just as delicious when the mood hits and you have a bag ready for an instant snack.
Hawaiian style cakes and pies
Guava Chiffon cake
An island favorite that is easy to make this light and fluffy dessert with guava inspiration and delicious goodness. Check out this easy to follow video recipe below on how to make this delicious Hawaiian dessert below.
Pineapple upside down cakes
Everyone things this cake is the classic Hawaiian dessert is the pineapple upside down cake. Always a Hawaiian popular dessert you’ll find at a potluck or gathering on the islands, this is really one of the best Hawaiian desserts to enjoy. Surprisingly this cake was originally created in a Hawaiian cake competition in 1925 sponsored by the Hawaiian pineapple company with 60,000 entrants made for this competition.
If you are looking for an easy dessert and delivers on the wow factor, check out this Hawaiian dessert recipe on how to make this now.
Haupia sweet potato pie
One of the best Hawaiian desserts to try is a sweet potato dessert that brings a punch of purple and white goodness with the creaminess of coconut milk. This popular dessert is always brought to a Hawaiian potluck gathering and is the first dessert to be emptied.
Check out this simple Hawaii recipe on how to make this fabulous Haupia potato pie now.
Delicious Hawaiian sweets and candies
Chocolate macadamia nuts
What’s better than local macadamia nuts but chocolate covering the entire nut in one delicious bite and is one satisfying Hawaiian sweet to enjoy. There are so many different small mom and pop shops that sell chocolate covered macadamia nuts and also large brands like Mauna Loa, Hawaiian Host and Big Island Candies to choose from and you can easily find these in the mainland or best when you are in Hawaii looking for a sweet chocolate indulgence for now.
Li hing on gummy bear candies
One of the most popular Hawaiian sweets is Li hing powder sprinkled on everything snacky it seems, the most popular think to have with Lin Hing is Margaritas or Mai Tais, popular gummy bear type jellies, dried or pickled fruit, shave ice and even popcorn for a savory flavored snack that’s distinctively Hawaiian.
Healthy Hawaiian desserts
Made of the frozen palm fruit and combined with fresh tropical fruits, this healthy snack is the go-to for those with active lifestyle looking for an easy and healthy treat. Served like a smoothie with fresh fruit, this can easily be a snack to healthy meal as an alternative to a main meal.
Hawaiian banana bread
With lots of fresh and local bananas available on the islands, banana bread is so easy to make or just buy from a street vendor, farmers market, bakery or take-out place and holds very well in our tropical environment. Or if you are in the mood to try and make it yourself with local bananas why not try this recipe below?
If you are looking for a natural snack why not eat some fresh Hawaiian tropical fruits? With so many different locally grown fruits to choose from you can enjoy mango, coconut, pineapple, bananas, papaya or more exotic varieties like rambutan, lychee and lilikoi when they are in season and tasting so good and sweet. Nothing like fresh tropical fruit as a healthy alternative to your sweet tooth cravings.
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Conclusion on the best Hawaiian desserts
Thanks for checking out all these delicious Hawaiian desserts that you should eat, hope many of these desserts were on your list to try some day. Did we miss any other popular desserts from Hawaii? Please share your favorites in the comment section below.
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