30 Best Hawaiian Desserts


Quick Answer: Best Hawaiian Desserts

The best authentic Hawaiian desserts to try are Malasadas, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Hula Pie, Kulolo, Poi Mochi, Guava Chiffon Cake, Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread, Guri Guri, Haupia, Haupia Cake, Hawaiian Ambrosia, Rainbow Jello and others. Read to know more.

This article will introduce our readers to 30 of the best Hawaiian desserts along with their DIY recipes!

As Hawaii is a tropical archipelago, fresh fruits and coconuts are a major part of Hawaiian cuisine.

The recipes for these fruity desserts combine both authentic Hawaiian methods as well as contemporary styles of cooking from other nations.

Keep reading to learn how to make some lip-smacking Hawaiian desserts!

Best Hawaiian Desserts: Quick Table

RecipePreparation Time
Malasadas1 hr 15 min
Pineapple Upside Down Cake1 hr 30 min
Hula Pie1 hr 15 min
Kulolo1 hr 30 min
Poi Mochi15 min
Guava Chiffon Cake2hrs 30 min
Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread1 hr 20 min
Guri Guri20 min
Haupia2 hrs 15 min
Haupia Cake1 hr 10 min
Chocolate Haupia Pie1 hr 45 min
Hawaiian Ambrosia2 hrs
Rainbow Jello4 hrs
Pineapple Tarts1 hr 22 min
Liliko'i bars1 hr 40 min
Shave Ice5 min
Coco Puff30 min
Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple20 min
Hawaiian Dream Cake1 hr
Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars1 hr 30 min
Pani Popo40 min
Mango Mousse Cake3 hr 12 min
Pineapple Coconut Cake1 hr 5 min
Peach Mango Pie1 hr 55 min
Mango Chia Pudding10 min
Haupia Sweet Potato Pie1 hr 55 min
Acai Bowl10 min
Halo Halo1 hr 30 min
Chantilly Cake1 hr 22 min
Chichi Dango2 hr 15 min

1. Malasadas

Preparation Time: 1 hr 15 min

Malasadas are Portuguese donuts that became a big part of Hawaiian culture when thousands of immigrants from Portugal came to work there.

These light, sweet, and fluffy fried desserts are easy to make and a local favorite. Malasadas were popularized by the famous Leonard’s Bakery in Hawaii.

DIY recipe for Malasadas – >

2. Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 min

In the early 1990s, a company in Hawaii perfected the way to can pineapples, which eventually led to the American tradition of making Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

This is a soft and buttery cake with caramelized brown sugar. The pineapples are usually decorated with cherries cut into halves.

DIY recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake – >

3. Hula Pie

Preparation Time: 1 hr 15 min

Duke’s, another famous bakery in Hawaii, makes the most amazing Hula Pie. This authentic Hawaiian dessert has an Oreo crust filled with ice cream and topped with frozen fudge.

If that made your mouth water, trust me, you’re not alone. Make your own copycat version of Duke’s Hula Pie in just a few simple steps.

DIY recipe for Hula Pie – >

4. Kulolo

Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 min

Kulolo is a traditional Hawaiian sweet made with taro root and coconut. Typically, it is cooked using an imu, an oven created by digging a hole into the ground.

Nevertheless, an hour in the oven is good enough. Kulolo is soft, chewy, and absolutely delicious.

DIY recipe for Kulolo – >

5. Poi Mochi

Preparation Time: 15 min

One bite of the Hawaiian dessert, Poi Mochi, will leave you begging for more. These fried balls of sweet rice flour and poi are so good, it’s impossible to have just one.

Poi is a Polynesian staple food made from starchy vegetables like taro or plantain.

DIY recipe for Poi Mochi – >

6. Guava Chiffon Cake

Preparation Time: 2 hrs 30 min

The Chiffon cake gets its name from its extremely light texture caused by the use of vegetable oil instead of solid fat.

Hawaii’s Guava Chiffon Cake is a common dessert across the islands. The guava forms a glossy pink glaze to cover the fluffy sponge inside.

DIY recipe for Guava Chiffon Cake – >

7. Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread

Preparation Time: 1 hr 20 min

If you like moderately sweet desserts, try the Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread. It’s a perfect recipe for you if you’ve got some overripe bananas in the kitchen that no one seems to eat.

The Hawaiian version of Banana Nut Bread is special because it uses coconut flakes and diced maraschino cherries.

DIY recipe for Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread – >

8. Guri Guri

Preparation Time: 20 min

Guri Guri is a Hawaiian iced dessert that’s somewhere between ice cream and sorbet. It is creamy, cool, and available in two flavours; strawberry and pineapple.

You’ll need some syrup of your preferred flavour, condensed milk, and heavy whipping cream to make your own cup of Guri Guri.

DIY recipe for Guri Guri – >

9. Haupia

Preparation Time: 2 hrs 15 min

The most authentic and traditional Hawaiian dessert you will find is Haupia. It is such a big part of Hawaiian culture that every family has its own recipe for homemade Haupia.

The best thing about Haupia is that not only is it a great dessert, it can be used to create many other desserts too.

DIY recipe for Haupia – >

10. Haupia Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hr 10 min

Adding a twist to Hawaiian Haupia, the Haupia Cake is a coconut pudding cake that’s often made for luaus.

There is Haupia filling between the layers of sponge and a coconut frosting on top.

DIY recipe for Haupia Cake – >

11. Chocolate Haupia Pie

Preparation Time: 1 hr 45 min

Imagine a rich chocolate pie with a layer of Haupia pudding, topped off with a thick layer of coconut whipped cream.

That’s the glory of the Chocolate Haupia Pie.

DIY recipe for – >

12. Hawaiian Ambrosia

Preparation Time: 2 hrs

Ambrosia salad is a healthy dessert option.

Its Hawaiian version uses fresh tropical fruits like pineapples, mandarin oranges, green grapes, shredded coconut, and maraschino cherries.

Add marshmallows for some sweet chewiness.

DIY recipe for Hawaiian Ambrosia – >

13. Rainbow Jello

Preparation Time: 4 hrs

Hawaiian layered Jello, or Rainbow Jello, is a quirky and moderately sweet treat.

It uses layers of colourful fruit Jello separated by layers of plain gelatin and condensed milk.

DIY recipe for Rainbow Jello – >

14. Pineapple Tarts

Preparation Time: 1 hr 22 min

Pineapple tarts are a classic dessert in Hawaii, the home of canned pineapples.

These cute little tarts have plenty of shredded coconut in them for a unique flavor.

DIY recipe for Pineapple Tarts – >

15. Lilikoʻi bars

Preparation Time: 1 hr 40 min

Lilikoʻi bars are a lot like lemon bars, except that they’re made with a special Hawaiian version of passion fruits; Liliko’i.

These fruits are a little bigger and tarter than passion fruits.

DIY recipe for Lilikoʻi bars – >

16. Shave Ice

Preparation Time: 5 min

If you like shaved ice, you have to try the Hawaiian version, called “Shave Ice”.

It’s usually made with sweet syrups of pineapples, mangoes, and plums.

DIY recipe for Shave Ice – >

17. Coco Puff

Preparation Time: 30 min

The Hawaiian Coco Puff is a choux pastry stuffed with chocolate cream.

These are famously sold at the Liliha Bakery but can also be made at home.

DIY recipe for Coco Puff – >

18. Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple

Preparation Time: 20 min

Since pineapples are abundant in Hawaii, this dessert is quite common.

The caramelized sugar blends perfectly with the slight acidity of pineapple.

Add cinnamon for a spicy aftertaste.

DIY recipe for Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple – >

19. Hawaiian Dream Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hr

There’s a reason why this dessert is called the Hawaiian Dream Cake.

The base is a pineapple-and-coconut laced yellow sponge.

There’s creamy pineapple pudding in the middle and coconut whipped cream on the top.

DIY recipe for Hawaiian Dream Cake – >

20. Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars

Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 min

These crunchy bars comprise a layer of shortbread covered chewy coconut and a nutty filling in between.

Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars are easier to make than cookies are pretty addictive.

21. Pani Popo

Preparation Time: 40 min

Next on our list is the Samoan coconut sweet roll named Pani Popo.

Hawaiians love this dessert because of its inviting aroma.

Soft and delicious, Pani Popo can also be enjoyed for breakfast.

DIY recipe for Pani Popo – >

22. Mango Mousse Cake

Preparation Time: 3 hrs 12 min

This is a sponge cake filled with spectacular mango mousse.

The sponge is typically soaked in a fruit-flavored syrup that goes well with the tartness of the mousse.

DIY recipe for Mango Mousse Cake – >

23. Pineapple Coconut Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hr 5 min

Pineapple and coconut make a yummy combination.

You can use a coconut cream cheese and pineapple filling made of crushed pineapple chunks or juice in the batter.

DIY recipe for Pineapple Coconut Cake – >

24. Peach Mango Pie

Preparation Time: 1 hr 55 min

The Hawaiian Peach Mango Pie will simply burst with flavor in your mouth.

Use yellowed peaches and soft mangoes for the perfect filling. Add cinnamon and nutmeg for an authentic taste.

DIY recipe for Peach Mango Pie – >

25. Mango Chia Pudding

Preparation Time: 10 min

This cool and refreshing dessert is quick and easy to make. Besides being creamy and delicious, it’s also incredibly healthy.

Packed with fibre and gluten-free, enjoy a Mango Chia Pudding anytime of the day.

DIY recipe for Mango Chia Pudding – >

26. Haupia Sweet Potato Pie

Preparation Time: 1 hr 55 min

The Haupia Sweet Potato Pie has a unique purple color brought by Okinawan sweet potatoes.

This shade contrasts with the creamy white of Haupia. The two layers complement each other splendidly.

DIY recipe for Haupia Sweet Potato Pie – >

27. Acai Bowl

Preparation Time: 10 min

Another fast and healthy dessert option is the Hawaiian Acai Bowl.

This is a smoothie-like dessert bowl full of fresh local fruits, coconut, granola, nuts, honey, and more.

DIY recipe for Acai Bowl – >

28. Halo Halo

Preparation Time: 1 hr 30 min

Halo Halo is a Hawaiian-Filipino dessert made with tapioca, Jell-O, fresh fruits, and shaved ice.

It’s a refreshing, exotic, and fun dessert, making it great for parties.

DIY recipe for Halo Halo – >

29. Chantilly Cake

Preparation Time: 1 hr 22 min

This is a sweet and moist chocolate cake with chantilly frosting.

The Hawaiian version of this French whipped cream uses butter and evaporated milk.

Top it off with chopped Macadamia nuts.

DIY recipe for Chantilly Cake – >

30. Chichi Dango

Preparation Time: 2 hr 15 min

Chichi Dango is a Japanese dessert that got integrated into Hawaiian culture because of immigrant plantation workers.

It is a baked mochi and can be coloured any way you like.

DIY recipe for Chichi Dango – >


What is the most popular dessert in Hawaii?

There are quite a few ppoular desserts in hawaii. Here is a quick list of a few.
Guri Guri
Coco Puffs
Chocolate Haupia Pie

What is the Hawaii state dessert?

Haupia is a coconut pudding that is made in almost all homes in Hawaii. It is a big part of Hawaiian cuisine and is often used to make several other desserts.

What pastry is Hawaii known for?

Hawaii is known for its Malasadas, which are similar to donuts. This is like a soft bread that is deep-fried, rolled in sugar, and then filled with haupia, custard, or chocolate pudding.

What is Hawaii’s famous food?

Below is a quick list of some of Hawaii’s most famous foods.
Fresh fruits like pineapple, mango, lilikoi
Kalua pig
Chicken long rice

What is Hawaiian poi?

Poi is a Polynesian staple food made from starchy vegetables like taro or plantain. It is very common in Hawaiian cuisine and used to make both sweet and savoury food items.

Bottom Line

I hope these 30 Hawaiian desserts and their recipes gave you what you were looking for.

When you try them out for yourself, share your doubts, comments, and feedback with us. We would love to hear from you!

Do share this post with your friends and family if this information could be of use to them!

Show Some Love by Sharing!

About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.