Hawaiian Favorites: Malasadas, the Portuguese Doughnut Recipe

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Malassadas originated on an island called Sao Miguel

Home of the Malasada

Malasadas, traditionally spelled malassadas, originated on the small island of Sao Miguel, which is found in the Azore Islands. This collection of islands are composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.

What is a Malasada?

To put it simply, malasadas are the most incredible, sweet, buttery, crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, melt in your mouth Portuguese doughnut you will ever taste!

This unique pastry has been loved by many people for so many years.
A favorite in Hawaii, you will find (without any trouble at all) many establishments who make these little pastry gems. At local faires and carnvals, there will always be a booth selling malasadas. Because of it's popularity, people will wait in line for hours just to get their brown paper bag of warm malasadas.

60 Years of Tradition

In 1952, the grandson of a Portuguese immigrant opened a small quaint place called Leonard's Bakery and sold the first commercially produced malasadas. Sixty years later, Leonard's is still going strong while keeping the tradition of the malasada alive.

Source
Warm malasadas are best when still warm
Warm malasadas are best when still warm | Source

How to Make Mouth Watering Malasadas!

Malasadas are a very simple pastry to make. Be sure to have all your ingredients and supplies handy. Once you start making malasadas, you will see just how easy they are, but your family and friends will think you had slaved in the kitchen for hours!

Rate this recipe for Malasadas

3.6 stars from 45 ratings of Malasadas

Preparation and Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 2 hours 10 min
Yields: 30-40 Malasadas

Ingredients *(double your ingredients to make a bigger batch)

  • 1 pkgs. yeast
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water, (approximately 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 6 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half n half
  • The Coatings: Plain sugar -OR-, (Mixture of: sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg)

Equipment Needed for Making Malasadas

- Deep fryer or a large, deep pot, or WOK
- Electric mixer, with a dough mixing tool
- Whisk
- Rolling pin
- Slotted spoon
- Sharp knife
- Plastic wrap
- 1 Small mixing bowl
- 2 larger mixing bowls (1 that is lightly coated in oil)
- An open, flat surface for rolling the dough in flour

Malasadas deep frying in WOK
Malasadas deep frying in WOK | Source

Step by Step Instructions

  1. In the small mixing bowl, combine yeast and warm water together, stir and set aside. In the large bowl (without oil coating), beat 6 eggs on medium-fast speed with electric mixer until they are light and fluffy. (Set beaten eggs aside while you replace your beaters with dough hook on your mixer) Place eggs back onto mixer and add the following: yeast mixture, ¼ c melted butter, ¾ cup of sugar, 1-1/2 cups of whole milk, ½ cup of half and half, and salt.
  2. On slow-medium speed, begin mixing all the ingredients together. Slowly add the flour (1 cup at a time) until the dough begins to softly form into a large ball. Once the dough ball is formed, place it in the large bowl that is coated with oil. Tightly cover the bowl with saran (plastic) wrap. Place a kitchen towel on top for added warmth if you would need to speed up the “rising” process a bit. The dough needs to double in size and shape. This will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes before reaching the correct size. *(Rising process depends on how warm the area is where you place your bowl. Find a warm spot and remember to cover the bowl with a kitchen towel to help the dough rise faster)
  3. While the dough is rising, begin heating the oil in the pot, wok, or deep fryer until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. *Tip: Using a deep fryer is more convenient as it allows you to see the temperature of the oil and allows you to make sure the oil stays at the temperature while cooking the malasadas. It is also a little safer as they have baskets that can be lowered into the fryer which helps eliminate the risk of burns from oil splattering. I have always used a wok when frying my malasadas and have had no issues, however, you always want to wear an apron while deep frying anything, whether it is in a deep fryer, pot or wok).
  4. Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, scatter flour on a flat even surface to make rolling the dough out easier. Roll the dough out to a thickness of a ¼ inch. Using a sharp knife, cut your dough into 1 inch sized squares. Drop the pieces of dough squares into the heated oil. Stir often to avoid them becoming stuck to each other or getting uneven spots of brown. Fry the squares 2-4 minutes depending on your preference of browning.
  5. If you are not using a deep fryer, remove the malasadas with a slotted spoon to help the excess oil drain away as you place them on a bed of 2-5 paper towels. Before the malasadas cool, roll them in the remaining white sugar (or sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg mix). Serve warm. *Tip (I also place 2 cups of sugar in a brown paper bag and place the warm malasadas in the bag to coat them. Easier and less messy!)

A few Tips on Making the Perfect Malasada

1. Be sure to maintain your oil for frying your malasadas at 350 degrees.

2. Be sure to mix your malasadas dough thoroughly until the consistency is smooth and without any lumps.

3. Three minutes is the most common time for deep frying your malasadas. The best indication is that a nice golden brown shade will develop on the outside which will indicate they are done. However, some people prefer their malasadas lighter (2- 2 ½ minutes) and others prefer a darker brown (4 minutes)

4. Be sure to role or coat your malasadas immediately after a quick draining on the paper towels.

5. Malasadas are the best when eaten while still warm, however, they can be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds (on High).

Calories and Nutritional Value for Malasadas

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 Doughnut
Calories 237
Calories from Fat270
% Daily Value *
Fat 30 g46%
Carbohydrates 26 g9%
Sugar 5 g
Protein 4 g8%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
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Elizabeth Rayen
Elizabeth Rayen

About the Author

Lisa has directed and acted in musical theatre for nearly 30 years. Her musical upbringing allowed her to pursue her career in teaching and directing and continues to direct shows today. As the owner of 2 online Home Décor sites, Lisa’s passion for Rustic Living all begins with her love for the home, outdoors, and her many hobbies. Lisa loves to laugh, and she share’s that love through her comedic hubs centered on her MOM. Lisa’s passions include writing, directing, acting, photography, singing, cooking, crafts, gardening, and home improvement, including decorating. Lisa also writes under her penned name, Elizabeth Rayen.

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© 2012 Elizabeth Rayen

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Comments: Hawaiian Favorites: Malasadas, the Portuguese Doughnut Recipe 66 comments

Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

When I visit HI, I will have to seek these out! I'd never heard of them - thanks for enlightening me. Voted awesome!


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kelleyward 4 years ago

Awesome recipe Lisa! I'll have to try these soon! Didn't have them in Hawaii but they sound great! Kelley


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm always amazed by how little I know! I have never heard of this but it sure sounds delicious. Just might have to give it a try! Great recipe and hub!


TheRightWord profile image

TheRightWord 4 years ago from Sunny California

Excellent, detailed directions and sounds yummy.


North Wind profile image

North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

Never heard of these but they sound good and look delicious!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Yummy, delicious recipe!! and easy to make too. Voted up.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

When you do, be sure to try to get them from Leonard's Bakery. There are other places that make them and they are very good.. but Leonard's is the best! Thank you Natashalh! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thanks Kelley! Once you have all the ingredients and things you need to make them, they are so easy..and are also great for goodie bags (baskets). :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you billybuc! They are really yummy. I prefer to add the cinnamon and nutmeg to my sugar coating. Gives it that extra "something" :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you so much TheRightWord! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

ooo they are North Wind! If you ever get the chance to make them, trust me, you'll make them again and again. :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Vellur! So nice to see you! Thank you so much for the vote up! Have a great day!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

These sounds soooo good! I have never heard of them before, but they are going to be a "have to try" recipe. I swear, I think HubPages is going to make me fat! Voted this up, useful and sharing on my hub! Have a great day! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

LOL sgbrown... I totally agree! I've already tried about 5 recipes on HubPages and yes... I ate more than my share. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Oh, how I remember Malasadas! While living in Hawaii, I went nuts over these tasty delights. I can even taste them now after reading your excellent step-by-step recipe combined with wonderful photos.

You have such an amazing way of making your hub recipes smell so good. :-)


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I have never had the opportunity to try Malasada's so now I can!!! Thank you! Great hub!


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Malasadissimos!

Translation: Yummy with a portuguese flavouring. These recipes are sending me to the get some food. Great explanation and easy to do. Well, where is the SAMPLER button?


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Wow these doughnuts sound delicious! If I make these I already know I'll have to tipple the recipe.

Pinning, sharing and rating.


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klarawieck 4 years ago

This made my mouth water. I'll be trying this recipe this summer. Just reading your description made me hungry. Thanks for sharing. I must try this one this summer.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

These look fabulous! What a wonderful recipe. I have made doughnuts before. I am definatley going to have to give these a try. Excellent!


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Yum! One of my favorite foods being from Hawaii and being Portuguese! Thank you for the excellent recipe! Shared on FB and Twitter.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

I bet you do Vocal coach! They are the best aren't they? Thank you for your wonderful comments! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Very cool Angela! They are so yummy! When you get the opportunity to make them, add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the sugar and then coat the doughnuts..mmmm My favorite! Thank you so much! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

well, you see Lord.. samples aren't even in your vocabulary! With you, I would have to double the batch and then make sure 1/2 of that batch is set aside just for you! ((hugs))


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

hahaha Susan.. ironically, I feel the same way about your recipes! ((HUGS))


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you so much klarawieck! I hope you do. Once eaten, you'll be making them more often than you think.LOL


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Ohhh Tammyyyyy... it's so good to see you! You will love these. they are scrumptious! (HHHHUGSSSSS)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Mahalo brittanytodd! I love it when a someone from Hawaii knows exactly what I'm talkin' about! Aloha sista!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I've never heard of these, which is odd, because we have so many Hawaiian restaurants in Southern California. Time to go on a hunt for them since they sound delicious. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you alocsin! Even though they are one of Hawaii's favorites, because they are Portuguese doughnuts, could possibly be the reason they aren't quite as popular in the mainland as much. Just my rationalization on this. lol


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

I had never heard of malasadas before. They sound delicious! Love the beautiful images you've shared- plus the background!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you so much Simone. They are very delicious. I wish everyone lived close to me so I could make up a great big batch and share them! :)


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Good idea Rustic!! Send it via Courier, please!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

LOL lord....ya never know. ;)


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Now that is a scary answer!! Watch it George Clooney!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Lisa, these look so delicious. We have a doughnut shop near my home that is such a treat. They are like you describe here, i.e., crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. This is not the chain "Krispy Cremes." It's a privately owned tiny little shop called Jackfrost Donuts. They have been in business for at least 50 years. They are my favorite. I've often asked about their recipe and they will not speak about it. It's patented I guess. But I should try your recipe, it looks great!

Sharyn


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you Sharyn. Your doughnut shop sounds like Leonard's in Hawaii.. been around for ages and very popular. This recipe has been tried and tried again without fail. Whenever my kids performance group would have a fundraiser, this is what we would sell. Great stuff! :)


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

Mmmmmm! Thanks for sharing this! Yum!


LaThing profile image

LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

These sounds wonderful! I am sure these won't last that long in my house.... Have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing with us. Awesome!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

These donuts sound melt-in-the-mouth fabulous! Thanks for your very detailed and thorough recipe.


peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

We love malasadas. Every time we go to Hawaii we buy them and eat them right away. When we are on Hawaii, we would go to Tex's. They have the best. When we were in Maui, we went to the Komodo Bakery in Up Country in Mackawo (sp). They were the best. We won't be cooking them here though, my wife says they are too delicious to be having them around. They are just for vacations. In a way, I'm glad she said that because we are both on diets. Great recipe, voting up, useful and sharing.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

They don't last too long in my household either LaThing! lol Thanks for stopping by! :)

Oh they are! They are vespawolf! Thank you so much! :)

Ahhhh peoplepower73... one who is "in the know!" Your wife is very wise! :) Thanks for the shares and vote! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Just made these the other day... ohhhh yummy! Didn't last too long though! LOL


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

I have not heard of malasadas till now thanks to you! They sound & look delicious! I have the mentioned ingredients here. I have a sweet tooth and also enjoy trying international foods. Hence I would like to try your tasty recipe. A wonderful hub with drool-worthy pictures, detailed instructions and vibrant dividers!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & pinned


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I can vouch for these mouth-watering and oh, so delicious malasadas. While living in Hawaii, I couldn't get my fill. You're recipe is just marvelous. I expect to be served with malasadas once a week (breakfast in bed) in a few short months:)

Your presentation is out-standing. Love how you integrated the opening image of malasadas with the Hawaiin Islands, etc. Genius!

Voted up and across (not funny) and sharing all over the place. A huge thanks!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Oh ishwaryaa22... I hope you do make them. They are so yummy and are wonderful with coffee or tea. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments, votes, and pins! Enjoy! :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

ummmmm mom.. I mean vocalcoach... I think you are forgetting one thing.. the reason you are coming here is to serve US breakfast in bed. *shaking head*... I feel as if we need to have another talk. LOL

Thank you for your compliments, votes and shares VC....... and BTW.... I will serve you breakfast in bed ANY time your little heart desires! (Anything to keep you out of the public restrooms) Love you!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Lisa, I must try this recipe. I have been searching for a good doughnut recipe and this seems like what I want. Thank you so much for writing this hub.

I bookmarked this and voted up, useful, awesome and interesting -- for it is.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

You are most welcome Phyllis! I hope you do try it.. you will love it! It's as close to Leonard's as you can get! Mahalo nui for your comment! :)


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Before I read more of your hubs, I wanted to get some malasada motivation. Oh, I love malasadas! My niece made some in a jiffy by taking Pillsbury dough and cutting each biscuit in half, coating with sugar, and deep frying. Ono, but definitely not the same as the old-fashioned kind...like those made from following your wonderful recipe above.

I also noted that Simone Smith (above) stopped by to read this hub. Girl, I am impressed! I love her middle name because it's my mom's Okinawan name--Haruko!

Always nice to run into another islander! You'll be hearing from me from time to time. Aloha!

P.S. Are you related to any Furugens who may have graduated from Kapa'a High School in or before 1970?


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Oooo I just made a batch of malasadas last week! :) Ya know.. for a quick fix, that pillsbury dough recipe might do the trick! I love Simone! She is awesome! I love Haruko as well. My mother -in -laws name was Tomoko, which I also adored. Yes, I was married to Keith Furugen who graduated in 1970. (He passed away 5 years ago this Feb). I take it you know the family? :)


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

OMG! Keith and I were childhood chums. Lived less than a quarter mile from him on Pelehu Road closer to Kapa'a High School. We played on the same Little League team, the Phillies. I was the pitcher; he was the catcher. I was in his graduating class. What a small world!

I'm so sorry to hear that he passed away. It must have been so hard for you and the family.

Reading through your profile, I was really impressed with your accomplishments. Good for you!

Looking forward to reading more of your hubs!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Wow. It is a small world Keala! That is so wonderful to meet one of his childhood friends. Feel free to look for me on facebook under my name and I'd be happy to talk with you. Thanks for the wonderful compliment. It's a pleasure to meet you! Looking forward to reading yours as well :)


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 4 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

Wow, these sound wonderful! Printing and saving. My granddaughters will go wild over these . . .


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California Author

Thank you Silva Hayes. I'm sure they will. Kids love these, but I have to admit.. I love'm too! :) Happy New Year!


T.A. Woods 3 years ago

I just saw these via my fb feed. I love malasadas!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California Author

So do I T.A. Woods! Thank you for stopping by! Mahalo nui loa ♥


vibesites profile image

vibesites 3 years ago from United States

Your description of the malasada is tempting! Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you vibesites! I certainly appreciate your comment!♥


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I'm back again and reminding you that you have not fulfilled your promise to me in your earlier comment (above ). Just sayin * wink, wink *

Love this mouth-watering recipe of yours. Perhaps I'll get breakfast in bed soon. :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 years ago from California Author

LOL vocalcoach.. Let's just say it's a good thing we aren't close to Solvang!! *wink wink* yourself woman! ♥

I will surprise you with these after the show is over. Until then.. tis I who should get breakfast in bed.. Just sayin!


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

These remind me of the Funnel cakes we make, but we don't use yeast. I have bookmarked this Hub so I can try some of these!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 20 months ago

If I made these I could not stop at just one; what a delicious treat! Thanks for the education and recipe of this sweet.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 17 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Lisa / Elizabeth / Rusticliving,

I returned to read your article another time while I'm drinking my morning coffee. You only live about 100 miles from me. Do you think you could deliver a huge box of malasadas?


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 17 months ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub, great recipe and wonderful presentation!

I have not heard of this earlier but now that I know, would love to try this. Thanks for sharing the details!


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 3 months ago from California Author

Sweet Daisy....The next time I am up your way.. I will bring you a batch! Count on it! :)

ChitrangadaSharan.... I Hope you have the chance to make them..but fair warning...once you try them.. you will have to make them frequently! :)

teaches12345... exactly!!! ha! I have had to limit my batches to 3 per year.. too many malasadas makes to much Lisa!..Oh... but so worth it! :)

Mary615.. I LOVE funnel cakes. Hope you have the opportunity to make these. Please let me know if you do!

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