Picturesque landscapes, phenomenal beaches and vibrant sunsets are plentiful throughout the Hawaiian Islands – but perhaps more beautiful are the incredible, unique desserts found across the Aloha State. From shave ice and malasadas to crème brulee and baklava, these ten desserts will make your taste buds explode.
1) Scandinavian Shave Ice
Shave Ice is a Hawaiian staple, and it is much less like a snow cone than you might think. If you’re in Kona, the cold, sweet treat is best at Scandinavian Shave Ice. Pick from approximately 45 flavors (you can try more than one at a time, of course), and definitely grab it snow-cap style, with a drizzle of condensed milk on top, for a little extra richness.
2) Leonard’s Bakery
Malasadas – Portuguese donuts without a hole - are wildly popular in Hawaii, and nowhere does them better than Leonard’s Bakery. A crispy golden brown exterior gives way to a soft and chewy inside in flavors like cinnamon sugar – some malasadas are even filled with custard or haupia, and there is a malasada flavor of the month. In addition to Leonard’s mouthwatering malasadas, there are also a variety of pastries, cookies, cakes and pies on the menu.
3) Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
Serving up some of the most delicious pies on Maui is Leoda’s, a café that is all about fresh ingredients, and hand-crafted specialties. Their chocolate macadamia nut pie is heaven for any chocolate lover, and the bananas in the banana cream pie are harvested from the restaurant’s own farm.
4) Hukilau Lanai
Decisions, decisions – should you order dessert while at Kauai’s Hukilau Lanai? The answer is yes, obviously – but do you choose the “original Hawaiian chocolate factory” warm cake with an oozing chocolate center and vanilla bean ice cream, or amazing sorbet, with flavors like banana curry? They even offer a selection of gluten-free desserts.
5) Pita Paradise
This Meditteranean bistro in Wailea is absolutely divine, but the best part about dining at Pita Paradise has to be the eatery’s mouthwatering baklava ice cream cake. This decadent dessert features two layers of baklava with vanilla ice cream, drizzled in honey, and is absolute perfection in every bite.
6) Moonstruck Patisserie
If you’re someone who likes to sip coffee with dessert, like me, you’ll love this place. The coffee is excellent, and desserts are phenomenal – including almond terese, key lime pie, and something called a misterio verde, a green tea/matcha cheesecake. Jackie, the owner, makes a limited batch of each item, and sells out every day because the desserts are so scrumptious.
7) Hali’imaile General Store
The traditional vanilla bean crème brulee is jut so boring. But Lilikoi Crème Brulee from Hali’imaile General Store? That’s absolutely heavenly. Chef Bev Gannon also serves the decadent custard with almost brittle – a local favorite.
8) Bubbie’s Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts
Though all of Bubbie’s fare is absolutely to die for, the Oahu-based company is famous for its premium mochi ice cream with flavors like azuki bean, guava, strawberry dark chocolate chip, green tea and Li Hing mango.
9) Café on the Green
Located at Makena Beach & Golf Resort is Café on the Green, home to the banana lumpia sundae. The unique dessert starts with a locally grown apple banana, covered in cinnamon sugar, wrapped in lumpia skin and fried. Pair that with Maui’s own Roselani ice cream, chocolate drizzle and caramel sauce, and you’ve got an amazing sundae that will blow you away.
10) Ted’s Bakery
Located on Oahu’s north shore is Ted’s Bakery, made famous for an impressive selection of pies, cakes, pastries and bread. The chocolate haupia cream pie and the pineapple macadamia nut cheesecake are local favorites.
So, which of these are you most excited to try? Personally, I am salivating at the mere thought of Pita Paradise’s baklava ice cream cake… Yumm!