15 Traditional Hawaiian Desserts

Discovering the sweet side of the Aloha State, we delve into the tropical flavors and unique textures that make up the delightful array of traditional Hawaiian desserts.

Pairing the right dessert with your meal or occasion can be a tricky endeavor, especially when it comes to the diverse and unique offerings of Hawaiian sweets. From the nutty layers of Haupia Pie to the sweet, chewy delight of Mochi, the range of textures and flavors in Hawaiian desserts is vast and varied. Understanding the subtleties of each dessert and how they fit into Hawaiian culinary traditions is key to truly appreciating these tropical treats.

Whether you are looking for something fruity, creamy, or with a bit of a chew, there is a Hawaiian dessert for you. Opt for the cool and coconutty Haupia when you desire a light and refreshing end to your meal, or indulge in the rich, custard-like texture of Kulolo if you’re in the mood for something heartier. The sweet and savory combination of Sweet Potato Haupia Pie is a must-try for those looking to explore the full range of flavors that Hawaiian desserts have to offer.

Embark on a journey through the islands with our guide to 15 traditional Hawaiian desserts, and discover how these sweet treats capture the essence of Hawaii’s rich culture and history.

In A Rush? Key Takeaways:

  • Hawaiian desserts offer a diverse range of flavors, from the coconutty sweetness of Haupia to the rich, dense texture of Kulolo.
  • There’s a perfect Hawaiian dessert for every occasion, whether you’re looking for something light and refreshing or rich and indulgent.
  • Dive deeper into Hawaiian culinary traditions as we explore 15 traditional desserts that embody the spirit of Aloha and the islands’ unique blend of cultures.

Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread

Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread is a classic dessert in Hawaii which is moist, filling, and packed with flavor. This sweet treat is made by using ripe bananas, chopped nuts, and other basic pantry staples as ingredients. It is perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert, and can be served warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

All the ingredients are mixed together until smooth, and then the batter is poured into a greased loaf pan. The bread is baked until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The end result is a soft and moist banana bread with a nutty crunch that is irresistible.

Chocolate Haupia Pie

Chocolate Haupia Pie is a heavenly dessert made from a classic Hawaiian dessert, Haupia, and rich chocolate filling. The rich and creamy haupia is a pudding-like dessert made from coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch, while the chocolate filling is made from semi-sweet chocolate, heavy cream, and butter.

These two delicious desserts into one creates a luscious and decadent treat that is perfect for any special occasion. Its silky and smooth texture combined with the creamy and aromatic coconut flavor makes this dessert a crowd-pleaser. The chocolate filling adds a rich and luxurious element to the pie, making it a true indulgence.

Hawaiian POG Recipe

The Hawaiian POG Recipe is a refreshing and flavorful drink that is perfect for any time of the day. POG stands for Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava, which are the primary ingredients of this tropical delight. The combination of these three fruits results in a sweet and tangy flavor that is loved by many.

This delicious drink is easy to make, with only a few simple instructions that anyone can follow. The refreshing taste of this drink will make you feel like you are on a tropical island, enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze. It is the perfect drink for hot summer days or for any occasion where you want to add a touch of Hawaiian flavor to your meal.

Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple

Brown Sugar Grilled Pineapple is a simple yet sweet and delicious dessert that is perfect for those who love the taste of fresh pineapple. This recipe involves grilling juicy pineapple slices with a sprinkle of brown sugar on top. The combination of natural sweetness from the pineapple and the caramelization of the brown sugar gives a perfect balance of flavors which is simply irresistible.

Pineapple, in particular, is synonymous with Hawaii and is a staple ingredient in many Hawaiian dishes. The simplicity of this dessert means that it can be enjoyed by everyone, whether you are an experienced cook or not. It’s a perfect dessert to serve at a summer BBQ or a Hawaiian-themed party

Hawaiian Dream Cake

This cake is made up of three layers of light and fluffy vanilla cake, each one soaked in sweetened condensed milk and topped with whipped cream and shredded coconut. The result is a deliciously moist and decadent cake that has just the right amount of sweetness.

The use of shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk give the cake a distinct island flavor, while the vanilla cake and whipped cream keep it grounded in traditional dessert territory. It’s the perfect cake for anyone looking to add a little bit of Hawaiian flavor to their next special occasion

Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars

The color of the bars is a mix of golden brown and white, making it a visually appealing dessert. Often enjoyed during the holiday season, the coconut macadamia nut bars burst with tropical flavors of coconut and add a nutty taste from the macadamia nuts, truly giving it a Hawaiian flair.

These bars can be enjoyed as a dessert or a snack and are an excellent addition to your dessert table, offering a unique combination of flavors. This is a recipe for a crispy and sweet treat made from shredded coconut and crunchy macadamia nuts. The texture is complemented with a creamy and velvety layer of homemade caramel, which adds the perfect balance of sweetness to the crunchy texture.

Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars

Hawaiian Cheesecake Bars are a scrumptious dessert that is a perfect blend of creamy, tangy, and sweet flavors. This dessert consists of a graham cracker and macadamia nut crust, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer that is infused with pineapple juice and bits of crushed pineapple.

The final layer is made with a creamy, whipped topping that is sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes. The combination of flavors and textures in these bars results in a delectable dessert that will tantalize your taste buds.

Hawaiian Pineapple Poke Cake

Hawaiian Pineapple Poke Cake is a deliciously refreshing and tropical dessert that combines the delicious flavor of fresh pineapple with fluffy cake and silky whipped cream. This dessert is made by baking a delicious yellow cake that is then poked with holes and filled with a sweet pineapple filling made from crushed pineapple and pudding mix. The cake is then topped with a layer of whipped cream, garnished with toasted coconut flakes, and chilled to perfection.

The yellow cake provides a fluffy and moist base that perfectly complements the sweet and tangy pineapple filling. The whipped cream adds a deliciously creamy and decadent layer to the dessert, while the toasted coconut flakes add a crunchy texture and toasted flavor. This dessert is not only delicious, but it also looks stunning with its bright yellow cake, white whipped cream, and toasted coconut flakes, making it a perfect choice for any tropical or Hawaiian-themed party.

Copycat Guri Guri

Copycat Guri Guri is a refreshing and delicious dessert that originates from the Hawaiian island of Maui. It is a creamy, frozen treat made with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and fruit flavorings such as strawberry or pineapple.

When it comes to Guri Guri, there are many variations of the recipe, but the most popular is a strawberry flavor, which is perfect for those hot summer days. Aside from its delicious taste, what makes Copycat Guri Guri special is its unique texture. It is neither a sorbet nor an ice cream but has a consistency somewhere in between, making it a perfect frozen dessert for people of all ages.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake this cake is a perfect combination of sweet caramelized pineapple and rich buttery cake. It’s made by lining the bottom of a cake pan with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries, then pouring a buttery brown sugar mixture over the top followed by the cake batter.

The cake is then baked in the oven until golden brown and fluffy. Once removed from the pan, you’ll be left with a beautiful caramelized topping of pineapples and cherries on your cake. This dessert is not only visually stunning, but it also tastes fantastic. The cake has a moist and tender crumb with a rich, slightly tangy flavor that perfectly complements the sweetness of the pineapple.

Haupia Cake

Haupia cake is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that is a perfect blend of coconut and sweetness. The cake has a light and fluffy texture, and it is generously flavored with coconut. What makes haupia cake unique is the layer of haupia pudding on top. Haupia pudding is a classic Hawaiian dessert made from coconut milk, sugar, and cornstarch.

The pudding is then poured over the cake layer, creating a creamy, rich topping. The cake is typically rectangular, making it easy to slice into perfect portions. The haupia cake is delicious, and it’s perfect for any occasion. It’s a great dessert to serve at a summer party or barbecue, and it’s also perfect for the holiday season.

Passion Fruit Ice Cream

Made from a blend of whipping cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and fresh passion fruit juice, this ice cream is a perfect combination of creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors. The rich and tropical taste of passion fruit gives it an exotic twist that sets it apart from regular ice cream flavors.

The preparation is straightforward, requiring minimal ingredients, and can be prepared with or without an ice cream maker. Once the mixture is blended, it is chilled in the freezer until firm, and the result is a velvety smooth dessert, perfect for a refreshing ending to any meal or as a midday treat.

Instant Pot Kulolo

Instant Pot Kulolo is a popular Hawaiian dessert made from taro root and coconut milk. It is a deliciously sweet treat that has been enjoyed for generations in Hawaiian culture. This recipe is a modern twist on the traditional method of making Kulolo, which requires hours of steaming and stirring. With the Instant Pot, you can have this delectable dessert ready in no time!

The flavor profile of this dessert is rich and decadent with a smooth, slightly chewy texture. The taro root provides a subtle nuttiness and earthy flavor, while the coconut milk adds a creamy sweetness. This dessert is perfect for those with a sweet tooth and a taste for something unique.

Hawaiian Ambrosia

Hawaiian Ambrosia is a sweet, tropical dessert that will transport you straight to the beaches of Hawaii. This classic dish is made with a variety of fruits, such as pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut, which are mixed together with whipped cream and marshmallows.

The fruit combination creates a sweet and tangy flavor, while the marshmallows add a soft and chewy texture. The whipped cream is sweet and light, perfectly complementing the tropical flavors of the fruit. This dessert is perfect for any occasion, whether you are hosting a summer barbecue or simply looking for a sweet treat on a hot day.

Rainbow Jello

Rainbow Jello is a beautiful and delicious dessert that is perfect for any occasion. This sweet treat is a colorful and vibrant dessert that is sure to impress your guests. The recipe starts with layers of jello in different colors, which are set on top of one another to create a stunning rainbow pattern.

The layers of jello are made with a combination of gelatin, sugar, and fruit juice, which gives each layer its unique flavor. The dessert is finished off with a dollop of whipped cream on top, which adds a creamy texture to the jiggly jello layers.