Yummy Hawaiian Desserts

November 22, 2011

in Recipes

I get a huge kick seeing so many Hawaiian bakers taking full advantage of their own wizardry to create outstanding desserts from their plentiful supply of local products. Bananas, coconuts, sweet potatoes, mangoes, lilikoi (passion fruit), coffee, macadamia nuts, vanilla, and chocolate have found their way into all sorts of mouth-watering sweets.

On a recent trip to “Coffee ‘n Epicurea Patisserie” on Mamalahoa Highway near Captain Cook on Hawaii’s Big Island, I gobbled down four of them.

At the top is Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Haupia Pie; Lilikoi Pie on the left and Lilikoi Cheesecake fill in the center; and Chantilly Puff on the bottom rounds out the quartet.

Haupia is a classic and traditional Hawaiian dessert of coconut milk in a cornstarch-thickened base. It’s often poured into a pan and cut into squares to serve by itself. Here it acts as a topping for this favorite island pie.

Lilikoi (I just love that name!) or passion fruit finds its way into many sweets as a puree. It’s especially flavorful in ice creams, pies, cheesecakes, jelly, and glazes. My own favorites are Lilikoi Chiffon Pie, a specialty on the island of Kauai, and Lilikoi Cheesecake.

Chantilly Puff is essentially a cream puff filled with a pastry cream and topped with a cooked butterscotch topping. I don’t know the recipe’s origin, but it is particularly popular on the island of Oahu and is a specialty of the Liliha Bakery, where they flavor the pastry cream with chocolate and stick a bunch of the puffs together with the butterscotch topping.

Bakers and bakeries in Hawaii continue to surprise and impress me.  The links lead to recipes, history, and pictures of these scrumptious treats.    

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy Klotz November 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

Yum – it all looks delicious! Will you post a recipe for any of them? Have a fun Thanksgiving!


gpatent November 23, 2011 at 11:52 am

Cindy, most of the links will take you to actual recipes.


Sharon Hunt November 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Greg, another great post. That purple sweet potato pie looks amazing. It’s on my ‘to bake’ list for this weekend.


gpatent November 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Sharon, please let me know how the pie turns out.


Bill McDonald November 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Keep up the great posts! You are making Judy and me eager to get back to the Big Island. We both love Lilikoi.


gpatent November 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thanks very much, Bill. Bake those biscuits to bring the islands to you. Aloha.


Bill McDonald March 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm


The lilikoi shortbread and cheesecake are great hits with our guests. I made the cheesecake for Judy’s birthday and everyone loved it.
Mahalo for posting the recipes.


Greg Patent March 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

Bill, this makes me very happy. Clearly, you made a lot of other people happy. Keep on baking!


Beth August 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Can you share the lilikoi pie recipe? I have been searching for a great recipe. Mahalo, Beth


Greg Patent August 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm


My lilikoi pie recipe is a work in progress and not yet ready for prime time. I’ll be back in Hawaii in November and will work on it some more then. When it’s ready, I’ll make a blog post. Okay?


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