Breads · Breakfast/Brunch · Desserts/Pastries

Malasadas – Portuguese Doughnuts



And why the heck not? It’s National Doughnut Day!!!


What’s my favorite doughnut or donut?


It comes down to either an Old Fashioned with a Chocolate Glaze or Malasadas. Mmmm…malasadas.

Never had one? Let me break it down for you.


Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts. They’re a yeast based dough with eggs, butter and milk (or half and half). Rolled in sugar, these babies should be light and fluffy…and freaking amazing.

Now of course, the go-to place for malasadas is Leonard’s Bakery in O’ahu and every time I’m on the island, I MUST pop in for a box of them. Traditionally they’re unfilled but when I’m at Leonard’s, I have to get a variety of the filled ones. I love the ones that are stuffed with haupia (a Hawaiian coconut “pudding”), custard or if I’m lucky, they have the lilikoi (passion fruit) filling as their flavor of the month.


Sadly, I’m not on the islands today and had to take matters into my own hands. I used the recipe below from  Leonard’s and it’s pretty easy to follow. After proofing, the dough is just lovely.

And no surprise here… they were ONOLICIOUS!


In full disclosure, they were not nearly as good as Leonard’s…..I may be in San Diego but the beautiful air in Hawai’i combined with the sounds of the trade winds and ocean definitely add to the flavor of island food and takes it over the top.

But hey, they sure did do the trick and I happily inhaled four of them and washed it all down with a chilled class of Pinot Grigio….keeping it classy.

Happy National Doughnut (or Donut) Day!!!

Malasadas – Portuguese Doughnuts from Leonard’s Bakery
Makes about 1 dozen


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
112 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 cup milk
12 cup half & half
14 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups bread flour (1 lb. 2 oz.), sifted
canola oil, for frying
Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons water heated to 115° in a bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes; set aside. Beat eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy. Add yeast mixture, 12 cup sugar, butter, milk, half & half, and salt; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flour; beat until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 112 hours.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12″ square about 12″ thick. Using a knife, cut dough into 3″ squares; gather and reuse scraps. Place on greased parchment paper-lined baking sheets, at least 3″ apart; cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Place remaining sugar in a large bowl; set aside. Heat 2″ oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Using scissors, cut the donuts out of the parchment paper, leaving about 1″ of paper around the sides of each doughnut (the paper makes it easier to transfer them to frying oil). Working in batches, place donuts in oil, paper side up, using tongs to peel off and discard paper. Cook, flipping once until puffed and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet with a wire rack; let cool completely, then toss with sugar.

Repost from Saveur


Malasadas: Mmmm…Donuts

Where can you find a “bakery” attached to an auto repair store? The Big Island of Hawai’i, of course. 🙂

But better yet, where can one find a “Malasada” while getting your car’s oil changed? Only one place really…at Baker Tom’s in Papaikou.

Never had the opportunity to try these delectable delights? Malasadas are no-frills, no thrills just darn good local eats. How could you possibly go wrong with fried dough rolled in sugar?! Traditionally a Portuguese style donut, I do my hardest to go on a malasada binge whenever I visit the islands.

Fried Dough? Goooood. Filled with Tropical Flavors? Goood. Seriously-it’s a WIN-WIN situation!

During our visit Isaiah’s cousin, Dave, raved about Baker Tom’s malasadas–and as he’s quite the donut aficionado with his own blog ( I knew we had to give it a try! So on one gorgeous morning on the Big Island we ventured down to Baker Tom’s to grab a box of malasadas to bring back to the house.

True to form, the open store front was attached to an auto repair shop. Why not, right? 🙂

Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to chat with Baker Tom though his Mom and Dad were staffing the front of the house. And due to a large bread order that morning, they didn’t have any of their infamous Peanut Butter & Jelly malasadas on hand. However we did grab a mixed box of the following malasadas: Canadian Bacon, Lilikoi, Strawberry, Cherry, Apple…and even grabbed a cinnamon roll. As they handed over the heavy box over to us, I instantly caught the luscious aromas of freshly fried dough. Heaven. And yes, the box was still warm. 🙂


Tasty Loaves of Bread

Once back at the house, we cut the malasadas in half so we could try multiple flavors. The dough was absolutely wonderful—light, crispy, yeast-y, and not the least bit greasy. Perfect. With the exception of the Canadian Bacon malasada, each were lightly dusted with sugar–great flavor and texture addition. Of the fruit options, the Lilikoi was my favorite. As for the Canadian Bacon, it was akin to a Ham and Cheese croissant with Canadian Bacon and Cheese wrapped inside. All of them perfect to enjoy with a hot steaming cup of Kona Coffee.

Cherry Malasada (left), Canadian Bacon and Cheese Malasada (Right)

Next time we visit, I’ve got to try the PB&J and the Jalapeno Malasada–and so should you! 🙂

Baker Tom’s
27-2111 Mamalahoa Hwy
Papaikou, HI 96781
(808) 964-8444