Sunday, August 15, 2010


My Chinese father is from Hawaii, and when I was a kid, that's where we would go to visit family (well, one of the places we would go).  It's only now as an adult, that I realize how exotic that was.  I don't know how many times we traveled there, but in all my years as a kid visiting Hawaii, I do NOT remember ever eating a malasada.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered these slightly sweet, tender puffs of fried dough, and that's probably best.  Now I'm old enough to find a recipe and replicate it myself, and I don't have any unrealistic childhood memories to bog down my efforts.

This is the second recipe I tried for malasadas. I got it off of the Food Network website which says they got it from the actual Leondards bakery in Hawaii. I thought they tasted pretty darned good. The recipe originally called for two teaspoons of nutmeg, but that sounded like too much to me, so you'll see I reduced it to 1 teaspoon, and I think it was just right. Oh, and I did not shake them in cinnamon sugar, just plain sugar, like I remember in Hawaii.
Let me know if you try these!

Malasadas (Leonard’s recipe)

    --adapted from Food Network who got it from Leonard's
• 2 teaspoon dry active yeast
• 1/4 cup warm water
• 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/3 cup sugar
• 2/3 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 eggs, well beaten
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 4 cups KAF Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• Vegetable oil, for frying
• Cinnamon-sugar for coating (about 1/4 cup sugar mixed with cinnamon to taste)

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix until the yeast dissolves then set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, vanilla, eggs, and butter and reserve.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the yeast and milk mixture into the well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, forming a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough with a clean towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, then with oiled fingers, pinch off pieces about the size golf balls. Place the dough balls on greased baking sheets. Cover the malasadas with a clean towel (or plastic wrap) and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

In a heavy, high-sided pot, heat a bout 2 inches of oil over medium-high until the oil reaches 325 degrees F. Working in small batches, fry the malasadas until they are uniformly golden brown, 3-5 minutes per batch. Drain the malasadas on a plate lined with paper towels just until they are cool enough to handle then roll them in cinnamon sugar and serve.

Makes a lot of malasadas


  1. I love Leonard's malasadas! I'll have to try this sometime. Although, nothing beats getting them fresh off the truck in Hawaii!

    1. I know right malasadas r the best before u go sleep

  2. Oh Leonard's is always a must for us when we go to Honolulu. Your malasadas look amazing. Wish I had a couple of them right now.

  3. This is big Portuguese thing, which is I guess how it became a Hawaiian thing! Here in Massachusetts and RI, these are a staple on Sunday mornings at the little ethnic groceries and tiny corner restaurants. They are a little flatter than your look, and always tossed in only sugar. Bubbly, fried, sugary, slightly greasy goodness!

    1. The ones I had in Hawaii were in sugar only, and I do that for half of them. I'm still not too excited about this recipe--not like the ones I remember in Hawaii. :( Still pretty tasty though.

  4. there is still a secret ingredient missing. I have an original recipe that came from Portugal with my ancestors. Also, think about this.... why is there a whole in the middle of the original doughnut????

    1. Please don't leave me in suspense. What is the secret ingredient?
      I always assumed there was a hole in the middle of donuts to help them cook more evenly. Or so that you could stack a bunch on a stick and carry them around...

    2. Hi may I buy a copy of that original recipe?


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