Hawaiian Malasadas: Indulge in Irresistible Flavors of Hawaii’s Delectable Fried Treats (updated 2023)
Hawaiian malasadas, a beloved treat with Portuguese origins, have become an iconic delight in the islands. These fluffy, deep-fried pastries coated in sugar have captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. The enticing aroma and melt-in-your-mouth texture make them impossible to resist. Whether enjoyed plain or filled with luscious fillings like custard or tropical fruit, Hawaiian malasadas offer a decadent experience that satisfies any sweet tooth.
In this introduction, we’ll delve into the delightful world of Hawaiian malasadas, exploring their history, significance, and even sharing some mouthwatering recipes that will allow you to recreate these delectable treats in your own kitchen. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that combines Portuguese heritage with Hawaiian flair, and discover the magic of Hawaiian malasadas for yourself.
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.
The best Hawaiian style malasadas and recipes
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.
You can also enjoy malasadas in original style deep fried and then rolled in sugar for a fast take away and treat.
The typical fillings you will find in a Hawaiian malasada includes:
Lilikoi or passionfruit
Pineapple and so many other tropical flavors to try and experience.
Popular Malasada 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
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
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.
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 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
More inside tips to Hawaiian malasadas
Fresh is Best: To truly savor the deliciousness of Hawaiian malasadas, try to find a bakery or food truck that makes them fresh throughout the day. Opt for malasadas that are still warm and fluffy for the ultimate indulgence.
Go for the Fillings: While traditional malasadas are simply coated in sugar, don’t be afraid to explore the variety of fillings available. From creamy custard and chocolate to tropical flavors like guava or lilikoi (passion fruit), the fillings add an extra layer of decadence to these already delightful treats.
Share the Joy: Malasadas are often generously sized, making them perfect for sharing. Grab a box of malasadas to enjoy with friends or family, and savor the joy of biting into a warm, sugary delight together.
Experiment with Toppings: While sugar is the classic coating for malasadas, some bakeries offer variations with different toppings. From cinnamon sugar to flavored glazes or even sprinkles, trying different toppings can add a fun twist to your malasada experience.
Pair with Local Flavors: Enjoy your malasadas alongside other local treats or beverages. Pair them with a cup of freshly brewed Hawaiian coffee, a refreshing glass of pineapple juice, or even a scoop of tropical ice cream for a true taste of the islands.
Try DIY: If you’re feeling adventurous, consider making your own malasadas at home. There are numerous recipes available online that guide you through the process, allowing you to enjoy the satisfaction of creating these delectable treats from scratch.
Enjoy Them Fresh: Malasadas are best enjoyed when they are fresh and still warm. If you’re buying them ahead of time or taking them to-go, try to consume them as soon as possible to fully appreciate their fluffy texture and sugary goodness.
Remember, indulging in Hawaiian malasadas is a special treat, so embrace the sweetness and savor every bite. Whether you enjoy them as a breakfast treat, an afternoon snack, or a dessert, these delightful pastries are sure to bring a smile to your face and leave you craving for more.
Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics
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Conclusion to Hawaiian malasadas
In conclusion, Hawaiian malasadas offer a delectable taste of paradise that is hard to resist. These fluffy and deep-fried pastries, coated in a generous layer of sugar, provide a heavenly treat for the taste buds. Whether enjoyed plain or filled with luscious fillings like custard, chocolate, or fruit, malasadas are a beloved Hawaiian delight. The combination of their warm, pillowy texture and sweet flavors creates a truly satisfying culinary experience. So, if you find yourself in Hawaii, make sure to indulge in the heavenly goodness of Hawaiian malasadas for a truly memorable treat.
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Conclusion to enjoying Hawaiian Malasadas
Hawaiian malasadas are a delectable delight that captures the essence of indulgence and sweetness. From their Portuguese roots to their popularity in the islands, these fluffy, sugar-coated pastries have become an iconic treat in Hawaii. Whether you enjoy them plain or filled with creamy goodness, the melt-in-your-mouth texture and irresistible flavor of malasadas are simply irresistible. Whether you find them at a local bakery, food truck, or try your hand at making them yourself, the experience of biting into a warm, freshly-made malasada is a true delight. So, treat yourself to this heavenly treat and let the sugary magic transport you to a state of pure bliss. Allow the joy of Hawaiian malasadas to satisfy your sweet cravings and create moments of pure indulgence that will leave you with a taste of paradise.
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