The best Hawaiian style malasadas and recipes

Hawaiian malasadas are a local favorite dessert or snack that everyone on the islands love to eat. Brought originally from Portuguese plantation workers on the island and creating some of their favorite desserts sweet bread and malasadas which were completely incorporated into food vernacular of tasty Hawaiian foods.

Hawaiian malasadas

A little history on Malasadas

Typically, Malasadas, the Portuguese inspired desserts were made for Fat Tuesday celebrations and were so popular that they were made everyday by popular malasada vendors around all the islands. In Hawaii Fat Tuesdays were often called Malasada days.

Portuguese immigrants came to the islands from the Azores and Madeira where the malasada originated. The Portuguese came to Hawaii during the plantation era and brought their favorite sweet breads, pastries and malasadas to Hawaii which become part of Hawaiian breads and desserts. The Malasadas were turned into daily consumption desserts since everyone here on the islands has a sweet tooth and loves the Hawaiian versions with sweet fillings. What distinguishes a malasada from a regular doughnut is the eggy dough consistency or about 1 egg to every cup of flour and the use of milk or even evaporated milk.

A little history on Malasadas

What are Malasadas?

These are the popular Hawaiian version of donuts that are small yeast balls of dough that are typically deep fried and coated with sugar afterwards. Traditional Portuguese malasadas are not filled but in Hawaii, they are filled with everything imaginable from creams, custard, cream to chocolate puddings and tropical fruit filled and jellies that makes all of these flavors irresistible.

What are Malasadas?

The typical fillings you will find in a malasada includes:

Guava

Lilikoi or passionfruit

Chocolate

Custard

Coconut Haupia

Pineapple and so many other tropical flavors to try and experience.

Popular Malasadas vendors in Hawaii

Popular Malasadas vendors in Hawaii

Each island has their own local favorite but the most popular malasadas you can find are located in each of the following islands

Oahu

Best malasadas on the Island has to be hands down Leonard’s in Honolulu and their mobile truck that drives to various parts of the island. Leonard’s Bakery, 933 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 737-5591, leonardshawaii.com.

Another delicious bakery that serves fantastic malasadas is Kamehameha bakery known for their delicious Haupia flavored malasada. Kamehameha Bakery, 1284 Kalani St., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 845-5831, kamehamehabakeryhi.com.

Liliha Bakery – Located in Honolulu this bakery also has dine in breakfast service and other local specialties all day long. Their malasadas are popular and fly out the door all morning long. Try their popular lilikoi malasadas, poi donuts, chantilly coco puffs and other tropical flavors on the menu.

Liliha Bakery – 515 N Kuakini St Honolulu, HI 96817

Penny’s Malasadas – unlike most malasadas in Hawaii, Penny’s malasadas are light and flully and not dense or heavy. Located on the corner of the parking lot at hauula kai, Penny’s is very popular and made to order fresh and hot. Soft, airy and hot, Penny’s maladas are a hit with all the locals and visitors coming by for the hot snack fix from this food truck located in Hauula, HI.

Penny’s Malasadas – 54-316 Kamehameha Hwy Hauula, HI 96717

Agne’s Portuguese Bake Shop – If you are in Kailua, then Agne’s bake shop is the place to be selling a variety or Portuguese sweet breads, assorted pastries and their delicious malasadas. Traditional establishment running for over 25 years, it is a local favorite with fresh to order malasadas served nice, crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. Locals consider this the best on the east side of Oahu.

Agne’s Portuguese Bake Shop, 46 Hoolai St., Kailua, HI 96734

Big Island

Tex’s Drive inn – an institution on the Big Island with huge malasadas the size of a brick and is pretty hefty. You can’t go wrong with their original or any filled malasadas with Bavarian cream or tropical mango, guava and haupia flavors. Tex Drive In, 45-690 Pakalana St., Honokaa, Hawaii Island, (808) 775-0598, texdriveinhawaii.com.

Punalu’u Bake Shop – the southernmost bakery in the USA, Punalu’u specializes in their famous sweet breads and delicious malasadas, original filled with so many different tropical flavors to choose from and they are all so good to eat. Punaluu Bake Shop, 95-5642 Mamalahoa Hwy., Naalehu, Hawaii Island, (866) 366-3501, bakeshophawaii.com.

Maui

T. Komodo Store Bakery – opened in 1916, the bakery serves up over thirty different types of baked goods including their malasadas and cream puffs which has put them on the map for best malasadas in Maui.

T. Komoda Store & Bakery, 3674 Baldwin Ave., Makawao, Maui, (808) 572-7261.

Sugar Beach Bake shop – using fresh local ingredients like Maui Meyer lemon, Dole bananas and pineapples and fresh ingredients with fresh picked lilikoi, sweet creamed butter and other local flavors and ingredients to make the best baked goods and their delicious malasadas in Kihei area. The bakery is open at 6am and sells out of their malasadas out the door pretty fast.

Sugar Beach Bake shop – 61 S Kihei Rd Kihei, HI 96753 Sugar Beach Bake Shop

Home Made Bakery – Started in the 1960s in Maui, locals and visitors love this family owned bakery for it’s signature apple crispy manju and fresh hot malasadas made to order in original or cream filled. Home made has plenty of options and even ships to the mainland USA.

Home Made Bakery- 1005 Lower Main St Wailuku, HI 96793 Home Maid Bakery

Kauai

Kauai Bakery at Kukui Grove Shopping Center has the best reputation and locals waiting out the door for their malasadas. Try the cream filled or other tropical filled flavors to enjoy these delicious malasadas in Kauai.

Kauai Bakery -2600 Kaumualii Hwy STE 1526, Lihue, HI 96766 Kauai’s most iconic and beloved bakery (mykauaibakery.com)

Want to make your own Malasadas – easy to follow recipe

No malasadas that you can get to close by? Here’s an easy to follow malasada recipe that you can easily follow and make your own delicious malasadas any time you are in the mood for something hot and sweet.

Making Leonard’s Malasadas

Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics

A complete Hawaii foods guide

Locals love these tasty Hawaiian snacks

Popular Hawaiian dishes you need to try

Traditional Hawaiian food favorite dishes

Comfort foods of Hawaii

Delicious Hawaiian tropical fruits

How to pick a ripe pineapple

Hawaiian Spam and recipes

Hawaii chocolate making and tour

Hawaiian style banana bread

Farmers markets in Hawaii

tex drive in 1

Are you hungry for some Hawaiian malasadas?

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10 Comments

  1. Jackie K Smith

    OMG! I am missing many things about Hawaii and malasadas are definitely among them. First ate a Leonard’s and couldn’t believe what a heavenly creation I had just been introduced to! Loved this post!

    Reply
    • emorata

      yes malasadas are very popular desserts in Hawaii and each island has their favorite spot to get them.

      Reply
  2. Juliann - Browsing the Atlas

    Your pictures of malasadas are making me drool! I think I’d like these better than donuts if they’re more eggy. Sounds scrumptious — especially with the filling. Good addition, Hawaii! 😉

    Reply
    • emorata

      These Hawaiian malasadas are delicious can be flaky or even denser depending on the filling that you ask them to be filled with.

      Reply
  3. Carol Colborn

    I didn’t know about malasadas! We have that word in Filipino. It means not well-cooked, like a soft-boiled egg instead of hard-boiled, for example. When I am next in Hawaii, I will surely try!

    Reply
    • emorata

      Well this type of Hawaiian malasada definitely is a tastier word than not well-cooked in your description. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  4. Michele H Peterson

    Hawaiian malasadas looks absolutely delicious – the fruit fillings sound amazing especially the ones in a tropical flavours. I wonder if the jelly and jam versions are similar to what we call jam busters in Canada? Definitely putting these on my must-try list!

    Reply
    • emorata

      Not familiar with jam busters but the Hawaiian malasadas have delicious tropical fillings that are to die for!

      Reply
  5. Doreen Pendgracs

    I don’t think I’ve ever had Malasadas in Hawaii before, but you can’t go wrong with Portuguese inspired pastries. Thx for the tip! Just one more reason to return to Hawaii. 😊

    Reply
    • emorata

      Yes all the Portuguese desserts are amazing and now Hawaiian malasadas are their own thing here on the islands.

      Reply

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.