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.

Hawaiian malasadas
Indulge in Sweet Delights: Experience the Irresistible Magic of 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.

The best Hawaiian style malasadas and recipes

A little history on Malasadas
Indulge in the Irresistible Delight of Hawaiian Malasadas: A Taste of Paradise

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.

What are Malasadas?

The typical fillings you will find in a Hawaiian malasada includes:


Lilikoi or passionfruit



Coconut Haupia

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

Popular Malasadas vendors in Hawaii

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

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.


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

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?

Please share your experience or any inside tips or places to get some more delicious malasadas around the islands.

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.

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Hawaiian malasadas.  Do you have any other tips or suggestions to add to this post – please share in the comment section below thanks again.

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.

I hope you are inspired to plan a visit and enjoy the amazing cuisine of Hawaii. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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  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!

    • emorata

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

  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! 😉

    • emorata

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

  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!

    • emorata

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

  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!

    • emorata

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

  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. 😊

    • emorata

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



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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.