While we couldn’t bring home the big waves or sandy beaches, we could vow to recreate the thing we sought out almost daily during our month (plus) stay in Hawaii: Malasadas.

Not QUITE Leonard’s Bakery quality, but dang close – thanks to Saveur Magazine.

WARNING: This recipe is not for the faint of heart as it took nearly all day, but if you break it into small, achievable tasks, it’s actually a piece of cake.


Click here to view the video!


  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup  half & half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Canola oil


Step 1

Combine yeast, 1 tsp sugar and warm water (approximately 115 degrees) in a bowl.

Set aside for 10 minutes while it gets all foamy.

Step 2

Beat eggs in a mixer until foamy. This is best done in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment.

Add foamy yeast mixture, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, milk, half & half and salt. Mix until combined.

Slowly add sifted flour and continue to mix until smooth.

Step 3

Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Set in a warm place until doubled in size. This should take about an hour and a half.

Step 4

On a floured surface, roll dough into a square that’s about 1/2 inch thick.

Using a knife, cut dough into 2 inch squares.

Place a couple inches apart on greased parchment-lined baking sheets.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for another hour.

Step 5

Place remaining sugar in a bowl.

Add cinnamon and mix to get that perfect cinnamon-sugar coating (like you used to put on your toast as a kid).

You can opt to only do sugar here, but the cinnamon-sugar mix totally slaps. Trust me.

Step 6

Over medium heat, CAREFULLY heat a couple inches of oil in a heavy, deep-sided pot (like a Dutch Oven) until it reaches about 350 degrees.

Working in batches, CAREFULLY place your dough into the hot oil using tongs, and fry (turning once) until golden, brown and delicious. This should take about 2 minutes.

Step 7

CAREFULLY remove fried dough from HOT oil using tongs and place it on a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Let cool completely and then toss with cinnamon-sugar mix.


Big thanks to Saveur Magazine for helping us bring this much loved recipe home.

You can find their original recipe here.