The Malasadas are my favorite sinful yet delightful pastry on the Hawaiian Islands.
Though the name roughly means poorly cooked, the treat is quite the opposite.
I love everything about it, including the crunchy and slightly crispy outside, fluffy, aromatic dough inside, and endless filling options.
My boyfriend and I have been lucky to eat so much food all around Hawaii, but my favorite local specialty remains the Malasadas. We visit as many bakeries and shops as we can on each trip.
If you want to try unique flavors like custard, Lilikoi, coconut, macadamia nuts, guava, dobash, or Ube, the islands have them all and more. These treats come rolled in sugar, cinnamon, coffee, matcha, and even sweet and tangy Li Hing.
Over the years, we have tried and re-tried them all.
We’re here to help you find the perfect malasadas in Hawaii.
Let’s get started!
#1. Leonard’s Bakery (Oahu) – The Most Famous Malasadas in Hawaii
Leonard’s Bakery and the Malasadas food trucks make the best Hawaiian malasadas in the world. And they have been at it since the 1950s, so the recipe is flawless. If you walk to the original bakery, you will see a funky 50s diner on the outside. On the inside, there is a beautiful display of delicious sweets and tangy-smelling malasadas.
We have visited this shop several times. The service is quick and friendly, and you can call ahead for special orders or pickup. We love their malasadas because they are always warm, fresh, and filled with high-quality fillings. The dough is the right texture, with a bit of crunch on the outside and egg donut-like inside.
There are endless combinations, but my favorites are the custard, Lilikoi, coconut, macadamia nuts, guava, and dobash (another name for rich chocolate cake). These fillings are all creamy with a nice rich but smooth consistency. I love them covered in sugar. My boyfriend loves the ube flavor with Li Hing on the outside.
They rotate the month’s flavor, so it’s worth a visit every time you are near. Everything is packed in their trademark pink box with a smile.
This is the best malasadas spot in Hawaii because:
- The dough is just right, with a crunchy outside and a fluffy donut-like middle.
- They have high-quality fillings that taste creamy and natural.
- They have many options for topping and filling, and you can combine them as you please.
- The shop also has lots of food trucks of the same quality, so you can order ahead or go to one of the trucks for quick and friendly service.
Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
#2. Tex Drive-In (Big Island) – Best Place for Fresh and Hot Malasadas
Tex is my favorite place for malasadas on the Big Island because they are always fresh and hot. The outside is perfectly crunchy, with a fluffy donut center. Oh, and the fillings are high quality without artificial taste. When you pick up your order, check out the beautiful ocean view from the parking lot.
What I like about their malasadas is the dough-to-filling ratio. There is just enough filling in almost every bite without overpowering the sweet and fluffy dough. Their original malasadas without filling are also delicious. I love that they are rectangular instead of round.
As far as the fillings go, they are incredibly rich and full. They have a cherry and blueberry filling, which is tangy and refreshing. The banana cream, custard, and guava are also delicious. Depending on the time of the year, I also enjoy the Bavarian cream and apple filling. So overall, whenever I visit, there is something delicious to choose from.
Something else you will appreciate is the size of these malasadas. They are the biggest on the island.
Tex Drive-In has the second-best malasadas in Hawaii because:
- The dough is fresh, hot, and has the perfect outside and inside texture.
- There are numerous filling choices, including full creamy fillings and fresh fruity or tangy fillings. They are all high quality and natural tasting.
- The malasadas have a large dough-to-filling ratio (filling is not overpowering).
- Service is quick and friendly, especially when you call ahead for your order.
Address: 45-690 Pakalana St #19, Honokaa, HI 96727
#3. Sugar Beach Bake Shop (Maui) – Best Local Flavors and Ingredients in Malasadas
First of all, this modern and stylish bakery smells great long before you enter. The space is small, but the offer is excellent. They serve perfect-sized malasadas, which I rank as the best on Maui. Only two shops surpass them in all of Hawaii.
The malasadas filling is creamy, fluffy, and both mild and flavorful. I like that it’s not too sweet and overpowering. My favorite flavors are toasted coconut, Ube, Lilikoi, and vanilla. For a twist on flavor, they offer matcha sugar toppings. I loved it with the plain malasadas or the vanilla-filled ones.
The dough is fluffy on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. I liked the filling-to-dough ratio, though only some malasadas were filled the same amount (some too much, some could use a little more).
Overall the malasadas are fresh, fragrant, and of high quality. Everything is made from scratch in-house, which I could taste in the end product.
Add a delicious nut late to your malasadas to make a winning combination.
This is the best malasadas option in Maui and my overall third choice because:
- The dough is freshly made, and the fillings are natural and creamy.
- The products are made from scratch with local ingredients and have a distinct and subtle flavor.
- They have many options for toppings and fillings, including a delicious matcha sugar topping.
- Service is quick, knowledgeable, and friendly.
Address: 61 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753
#4. Aloha Sweet Delights (Kauai) – Best Homemade Treats and Donuts
This is a delicious sweet-smelling bakery corner inside a local grocery store. Though there are fancier and more modern bakeries on the island, this one makes the best malasadas. Everything is exceptionally fresh here and produced in-house and from scratch.
The malasadas are big and fluffy and have a slight crunch to the outside crust. The dough smells sweet and has the perfect texture. This is a delicious choice for those who love traditional malasadas. No filling, just tasty dough, impeccably seasoned and rolled in sugar. The malasadas are not greasy but perfectly soft on the inside.
My favorite malasadas are the cream Haupia (coconut milk filling). There is a nice amount of filling, and the consistency is perfect (not too thick or runny). It’s super creamy and light. The flavor is mild but aromatic.
The malasadas disappear here fast, so try to get there early. Since there are drinks available, you can have a tasty breakfast here. The staff is friendly and helpful if you have questions.
Here’s why Aloha Sweet Delights has the best malasadas on Kauai:
- They make their malasadas in-house and from scratch, which gives the dough and filling the right homemade taste and texture.
- The malasadas are a great size, with the right ratio of filling and dough.
- Everything is fresh and the service is friendly.
Address: 12550 Kaumualii Hwy, Kaumakani, HI 96747
A trip to Hawaii is not complete without munching on some tasty malasadas. There are fantastic shops and hidden gems on each island, and I’m sure you will find your special spot.
On your visit to Oahu, stop by Leonard’s Bakery. In Maui, go to Sugar Beach Bake Shop.
Take advantage of Aloha Sweet Delights on Kauai or Tex Drive on the Big Island.
No matter where you stop, you will find the best.
So enjoy and bon appetite.
Last Updated on July 14, 2023 by Brigitte