Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or you love island-style cuisine, these traditional Hawaiian desserts taste as good as they sound. Make them for yourself or visit Big Island BBQ, your local restaurant in Liberty Lake, to give a couple of these tasty treats a try.


These sweet bites are a Hawaiian staple if you’re ever on the islands or at a local restaurant that serves them. They are yeast-fermented doughnuts that are fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.


Poi is another popular dessert from the Aloha State. It’s mashed taro that’s been softened with water, giving it a pudding-like texture. Fresh, raw taro is naturally sweet, but this traditional dish can also be fermented for a few days before serving.

Haupia Cake

If you’re attending a luau, you’ll probably find this dessert being served. It’s a pudding cake made with coconut, eggs, gelatin, and milk. The mixture creates a rich, sweet flavor and soft, smooth texture. If you love the taste of coconut, this dessert is about to be your new favorite.


This is originally a Filipino dessert item, also known as Haluhalo, and it’s a popular no-bake option with a lot of wiggle room to customize. It’s a combination of shave ice, fruits, and milk. Make it with your favorite fruits and shaved ice flavor!


Two staples you’ll notice in many Hawaiian desserts are coconut and taro root. Kulolo is no exception. This dessert is a solid pudding mixture made of taro root and coconut that creates a sweet flavor comparable to caramel. Cut it into squares for easy serving and handling.

Chichi Dango

This is a traditional dessert originating in Japan. It’s a rice flour dango — or dumpling — that’s made with coconut milk, vanilla, and food colors. Mochiko (sweet rice flour) and baking powder work as binding agents to keep this dessert soft, sweet, and chewy.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is a sweet and tangy dessert served upside-down from how it’s baked. Bake it by layering pineapple slices, cherries, and cake batter, then serve it pineapple-side up! It can be layered with frosting for a taller, creamier cake. It’s best to eat this one while it’s still warm.

Butter Mochi

This is another dessert made with mochiko or sweet rice flour. Mix it with coconut milk, eggs, and baking powder; bake; then serve in small pieces. Trust us when we say small pieces — this dessert is sugary sweet!

Chantilly Cake

This cake is similar to German upside-down cake, but (surprisingly!) without the coconut. It’s a chocolate cake made with chantilly frosting. It’s a mixture of macadamia nuts, eggs, and milk. It offers a sweet, chocolatey, and nutty flavor.

Guri Guri

This is another cold dessert that’s great for a hot summer day. It’s simply a mixture of ice cream and fruit juice. Popular juice flavors for this Hawaiian treat are guava and strawberry.


Try these desserts for yourself at home, and try other popular Pacific-island desserts at Big Island BBQ. Visit our local restaurant in Liberty Lake or check out our menu for sweet island treats and Pacific-inspired dishes.