Are you wondering where to find malasadas in Hawaii?
If you are a donut fan heading to the Aloha State, then you need to make a malasada gameplan pronto!
Originating from Portugal, these are fluffy fried dough treats that are rolled in sugar and then sometimes filled with fruity or creamy fillings and have become a Hawaiian staple for locals and visitors alike!
Here is a list of 15 places to find malasadas that you can find across the islands to add to your next Hawaiian itinerary!
Malasadas on Oahu
1. Leonard’s Bakery
Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
Hours: 5:30 am-7:00 pm, seven days a week
Founded in 1952, Leonard’s Bakery is the original malasada bakery in Hawaii.
Their malasadas are made to order, hot and fresh.
They offer a variety of sugar coatings: regular, cinnamon, and tangy li hing (dried plum). Their fillings include custard, dobash (chocolate), haupia (coconut pudding), macadamia nut, guava, and a revolving featured flavor.
Expect to find the line wrapping around the building, but don’t fret. The line moves fast.
If you want to pay with a credit card, there is a $5 minimum order.
There is no inside seating, so you can eat them in your car in the parking lot or at your next destination.
If you start craving Leonard’s while exploring other parts of Oahu, you can find the Malasadamobile food trucks around the island. And FYI, the truck in Kaneohe takes online orders to beat the queue!
2. Agnes’ Portugues Bake Shop
Address: 5 Ho’olai St, Kailua, HI 96734
Hours: 6 am-2 pm Tuesday-Saturday or until SOLD OUT
Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop is not really a shop but a food truck and probably one of the most authentic places to get a malasada.
The batter is also scooped and dropped directly into the frying oil, rather than made into perfectly round shapes. Like snowflakes, they each have a unique personality. They come out tasting like a cross between a regular donut and a funnel cake: crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.
There is no need to worry about deciding which flavor to choose as they only come in one flavor – sugar-coated – another sign of authenticity as the Portuguese do not fill their malasadas.
The truck is not positioned in a particularly picturesque spot, so you might want to head down to Kailua Beach to enjoy your snack on the beach.
3. Kamehameha Bakery
Address: 1284 Kalani St Unit D106, Honolulu, HI 96817
Hours: 2:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday; 3:00 am-4:00 pm Saturday-Sunday
Since 1978, Kamehameha Bakery has been the go-to spot for night owls and early birds alike, dishing out their famous malasadas at ungodly hours.
Their malasada flavors come in regular, haupia (coconut pudding) filled, apple filled, and their famous purple, poi glazed malasada.
By afternoon, they will likely be sold out, so get there as early as you can and expect a line.
These are some of the cheapest malasadas in Hawaii. But FYI, if you pay with card, there will be a processing fee, so you should consider bringing cash.
There is nowhere nearby to sit and enjoy your malasadas in this business strip, so enjoy in the car or at your next destination.
4. Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery
Address: 3632 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday 8:00 am-6:00 pm; Friday-Sunday 9:00 am-7:00 pm; Monday-Tuesday Closed
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery has won a spot in the Top 10 Donut Shops in the West with Sunset Magazine.
Their made-to-order malasadas come in different sugar-coating flavors like regular, cocoa, coffee, li hing, cinnamon, and whatever their flavor of the week is. They do not do flavor-filled, it’s pure dough all the way through.
They also boast in the quality of their malasadas that they will stay good overnight without deflating or getting weirdly oily and melted sugary. As you may or may not know, most malasadas do not uphold overnight.
And the malasada fun doesn’t stop there. They make their own ice cream flavors as well and one of them is, you guessed it, the Malafrozada: bits of malasadas mixed in a vanilla goodness.
But wait, there’s more! Pick a flavor of cold ice cream and a flavor of hot malasada to create the Malamode: “it’s not a malasada filled with ice cream… it’s malasada-wrapped ice cream!“
Get there early to ensure they don’t sell out. You can also skip the line by ordering online.
There are a few tables and bar seating to eat your sweet treats inside.
If you are craving them after getting back to the mainland, they provide national shipping to your home.
5. Dukes Lane Market & Eatery
Address: 2255 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815
Hours: 7:00 am-11:00 pm 7 days a week
Dukes Lane Market & Eatery is a gourmet grocery market with enticing eateries, and hiding in plain sight are their unique malasadas.
Sweet-seeking shoppers come to find the mochi malasadas, a fusion of the traditional Portuguese malasada and Japan’s much-loved mochi.
You’ll find three flavors of this fluffy, chewy, and sticky ball of goodness: plain sugar, ube, and mango.
These are not filled with cream or jellies but flavored through the dough itself. The purple ube mochi malasadas are made with an ube extract and coated in an ube powder. The sweet yellow-y mango mochi malasada is made with mango puree.
Even though they come smaller than most malasadas, they are dense in consistency from the sticky and chewy mochi-ness.
They usually sell out by the afternoon, so make sure you get there early to grab your batch of these unusual orbs of goodness!
Malasadas on the Big Island
6. Punalu’u Bake Shop
Address: 95-5642 Mamalahoa Hwy, Naalehu, HI 96772
Hours: 8:30 am-5:00 pm 7 days a week
Punalu’u Bake Shop puts the small town of Naalehu on the map for Big Island malasadas.
Not only do they have regular dough, they also have guava, lilikoi (passionfruit), and taro-flavored malasada dough.
They fill the regular flavored dough with options like strawberry, apple, mango, pineapple, guava, haupia (coconut pudding), vanilla, and chocolate.
But the most popular malasada flavor is the lilikoi glazed malasada.
Enjoy your sweet treat under a gazebo in a lush tropical garden and on some days, be serenaded by live music.
Or, grab some to-go on your way to South Point or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!
This bakery is such a hit that tour buses make routine stops here. To avoid the rush, it’s best to arrive before 10:00 am.
7. Tex Drive-In
Address: 45-690 Pakalana St #19, Honokaa, HI 96727
Hours: 6:00 am-6:00 pm, seven days a week
Tex Drive-In, located in Honokaa, is the home of malasadas that are the talk of the town – and for good reason!
They serve up malasadas the size of your head, each one shaped into a perfect square and kept warm all day. They are filled with a variety of flavors like Bavarian creme, chocolate, strawberry, pineapple, banana cream, apple, mango, and cherry.
There’s a continued debate on whether Tex Drive-In or Punalu’u Bake Shop makes a better malasada. You should try and compare for yourself!
Enjoy your Tex Drive-In malasadas with a scenic view by taking them to Waipio Valley Lookout.
8. Manuela Malasada Co
Address: 1 Puako Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743
Hours: 9:00 am-5:30 pm, seven days a week
Manuela Malasada Co is not your average malasada spot. Parked in a humble food truck trailer on a gravel pullout in the middle of the Kohala Coast desert. You are either on your way to/from Hapuna Beach, and Waimea, or you’re taking a malasada road trip.
These malasadas are pretty hefty and denser than most other malasadas. First, choose your sugar flavor: regular, cinnamon, powdered, li hing, or no sugar.
Then, choose from a seemingly endless list of fillings with over 17 flavors plus rotating flavors of the day. Best-seller flavors are: Bavarian cream, lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut pudding), and peanut butter/chocolate.
You might need to bring a bit of patience standing in the hot sun, as the malasadas are made fresh to order with only 1-2 people working the truck. And the line can get long.
It’s cash only with no nearby ATM, so come prepared!
They also have locations on Maui and Oahu.
Malasadas on Maui
9. Sugar Beach Bake Shop
Address: 61 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
Hours: 6:00 am-2:00 pm Tuesday-Thursday; 6:00 am-4:00 pm Friday-Saturday; Sunday-Monday Closed
Sugar Beach Bake Shop crafts its popular malasadas using fresh ingredients like sweet cream butter, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, and freshly picked lilikoi (passionfruit).
Early bird gets the malasada because they only serve them between 6:00 am and 10:00 am or until they’re sold out.
Served hot, they have sugar, cinnamon, or li hing coated malasadas. If you’re looking for fillings, they’re cream flavors include vanilla, ube, lilikoi, and coconut.
Enjoy your malasadas on their picnic tables, or take them across the street to savor under the palm trees amidst the sandy beach.
10. Home Maid Bakery
Address: 1005 Lower Main St, Wailuku, HI 96793
Hours: 5:00 am-8:00 pm, seven days a week
Home Maid Bakery is a hole-in-the-wall shop and not your regular tourist hotspot.
You won’t be overwhelmed with choices as they only offer two deliciously simple flavors: sugar-coated or custard cream-filled.
Be prepared to wait 8-10 minutes as each order is fried up hot and fresh; don’t burn your mouth!
As you wait for your order, browse their shelves of other baked goods of breads, cakes, pies, manju, cookies, and more.
11. Komoda Store & Bakery
Address: 3674 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768
Hours: 7:00 am-1:00 pm Monday-Tuesday/Thursday-Saturday; Sunday & Wednesday Closed
Located in the upcountry cowboy town of Makawao, Komoda Store & Bakery has been delighting locals and tourists alike since 1916.
This beloved bakery is renowned for its malasadas, which come in two mouth-watering options: plain (meaning cinnamon-sugar coated) and guava-filled. If you’re lucky, you might even stumble upon a malasada on a stick, which is their signature…schtick! lol!
The bakery’s enduring popularity means that these scrumptious treats often sell out quickly, so it’s a good idea to get there early.
12. Home Made Cafe
Address: 1280 S Kihei Rd #106, Kihei, HI 96753
Hours: 6:30 am-2:00 pm Monday-Saturday; Sunday Closed
Home Made Cafe (not to be confused with Home Made Bakery) can be found in Kihei’s Azeka Shopping Center. This diner-like cafe offers made-to-order malasadas, so they are always hot and fresh.
As seems to be the Maui trend, these treats come in just two flavors: sugar and cream. Some people will appreciate that the cream isn’t overly sweet, making it so it complements and not take away from the dough flavors.
The minimum order is three malasadas, which, who’s really complaining about more malasadas? But they can sell out before 10:00 am, so be sure to get there early.
If you want to have your malasadas al fresco, take a stroll around the corner to the nearby Lipoa Street Beach.
Malasadas on Kauai
13. Kauai Bakery
Address: 3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy STE 1526, Lihue, HI 96766
Hours: 6:00 am-12:00 pm Tuesday-Wednesday; 6:00 am-1:00 pm Thursday; 6:00 am-2:00 pm Friday-Saturday; Sunday-Monday Closed
Kauai Bakery, located in the Kukui Shopping Grove Center, proudly clinched the title for the best malasadas in the 2021 Hawaii Magazine Readers Choice Awards, dramatically dethroning Leonard’s Bakery on Oahu for the first time ever, so you know they’ve got to be good!
Their malasadas are so light and fluffy that it’s like eating a cloud.
Their staple flavors include sugar or cinnamon-coated malasadas and those filled with custard, chocolate with chantilly, ube, red bean, or guava.
Throughout the year, they will have temporary holiday and seasonal flavors such as pistachio for St. Patrick’s Day, strawberry for Valentine’s Day, and maple bacon for Fall.
While the bakery has been around since the 1980s, it has undergone a more modern facelift. It now welcomes customers with a bright, inviting decor.
14. Island Crave’s Kauai
Address: 4-1177 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746
Hours: 6:00 am-8:00 pm Wednesday-Monday; Tuesday Closed
Island Crave’s Kauai is impossible to miss, thanks to the brightly colored mural of donuts on its exterior. Inside, the white and teal themed dining room offers a few tables and bar seating, something you don’t typically find at these Hawaiian bakeries.
Locals and tourists alike enjoy these sweet and fluffy malasadas. Their malasada flavors come in plain sugar-coated or filled with guava, mango, or coconut buttercream.
While they have their own app for ordering menu items, malasadas are intentionally omitted to prevent middle-of-the-night orders that were causing operational issues. So you’ll have to order in person before 11:00 am, when they typically tend to sell out.
If you fancy a beachside malasada snack, Fuji Beach is conveniently just down the road.
15. Passion Bakery Cafe
Address: 4-356 Kuhio Hwy #121, Kapaʻa, HI 96746
Hours: 7:00 am-12:00 pm Monday-Saturday; Sunday Closed
You’ll find the unassuming Passion Bakery Cafe just behind the corner Shell gas station. Their regular menu consists of a full all-day breakfast and lunch menu. But on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you’ll find a line out the door with waits up to an hour for made-to-order fresh malasadas.
Each malasada is served piping hot and coated in your choice of either in sugar or cinnamon.
Their fillings are so brightly colored they look like dots of acrylic paint. You’ll have the difficult decision of choosing from their list of creative flavors like POG (passionfruit/orange/guava), birthday cake, cotton candy, espresso, Nutella, lychee, matcha, vanilla bean, ube, chocolate, haupia (coconut pudding), mango, lilikoi (passionfruit), or cookies and cream.
There is patio seating outside to sit and enjoy them, or Wailua Beach Park is just next door.
What Are Malasadas?
Malasadas are a popular Portuguese pastry that dates back to the 1400s and is said to have originated on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. The word “malassada” means “undercooked”, referring to the fact that they are essentially deep-fried dough balls with a crispy and golden-brown exterior (fully cooked). At the same time, the inside is soft and airy (not all the way cooked).
The dough for malasadas is made from a mixture of flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and yeast. After the dough rises, it’s formed into balls and deep-fried until they are puffy and cooked through.
They are typically rolled in sugar. In Hawaii, they are often filled with various sweet fillings of creams or jellies.
How Is a Malasada Different From a Donut?
The most distinguishable difference between a malasada and a donut is the lack of a hole in the middle of the malasada.
As far as ingredients go, a malasada is eggier than a donut, with a higher egg to flour ratio.
In Hawaii, you will also find that malasadas will use evaporated milk rather than fresh milk typically found in donuts.
While donuts tend to focus on glazes and icings for flavor and decoration, malasadas in Hawaii often focus on a cream or jelly filling unless they come strictly sugar-coated.
How Did Malasadas Come to Hawaii?
Malasadas were introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants who came to the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work on sugar plantations. With them, they brought their sweet treat recipe: the malasada. It quickly gained popularity on the islands and was incorporated into the Hawaiian cuisine.
The Portuguese, coming from a predominately Catholic background, would need to use up sugar and butter in the house in preparation for Lent. So they would indulge in a night of malasadas on Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday). Hawaiians, adopting this tradition, have officially named that day Malasada Day.
Today, you can find malasadas every day in various flavors and fillings at bakeries, food trucks, and shops across Hawaii, with each location often adding its own unique twist to the classic recipe.
Final Thoughts: Finding Malasadas in Hawaii
So whether you’re a local resident or a visitor exploring the islands’ culinary scene, the hunt for malasadas in Hawaii can take you on a delicious journey. From Oahu’s bustling Leonard’s Bakery to the hole-in-the-wall Home Maid Bakery on Maui to Manuela’s food truck in the middle of the desert on the Big Island, these Portuguese desserts will melt your heart as much as they will melt in your mouth.
But remember, everyone has their own personal palate, so the best malasada can only be found by YOU!
Best of luck on your quest for ono malasadas!