HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s Fat Tuesday, but in Hawaii, it’s also known as Malasada Day!

Malasada Day has a long history dating back to the sugar plantation days in the 1800s. It always falls on Fat Tuesday since it’s the last day folks can indulge in fatty foods before Lent.

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Getting a box of malasadas this year might be a little more competitive during the pandemic, but not to worry! ‘Ono Hawaiian Recipes has a recipe you can follow to make your own version of Hawaii’s famous donuts. Get it fried to a crispy brown color, rolled in sugar and filled with haupia! 

The edit for this video where the sugar was added to the yeast mixture was missing. Add in 2 tbsp of sugar to the yeast mixture. (Courtesy: ‘Ono Hawaiian Recipes)


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar more for coating the malasada
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Oil for frying


  • Warm up the milk and add in the yeast and sugar. Set it aside until it becomes frothy looking. 
    • *TIP: If using active dry yeast, let the mixture bubble and foam before proceeding (this can take 3-5 minutes). If using instant yeast, proceed with the recipe (no need to let the yeast activate).
  • In the meantime, whisk the bread flour with salt and sugar. Set aside.
  • Beat the eggs until it becomes bubbly. Add in the yeast mixture, melted butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Mix it well.
  • With the flour mixture, create a small well and add in part of the egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix it together while slowly adding in the rest of the egg mixture.
  • When the dough starts to look loose and shaggy, transfer it to a flat surface and knead it until the dough begins to smooth out.
  • Transfer it to a large bowl and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
  • After the dough has finished rising, begin to form the malasadas. Take a piece from the dough and start to form 2 inches of discs. It can be formed by hand or flattening the dough and cutting out circular shapes. Make as many discs as the dough allows.
  • Set it on a baking sheet, cover, and let it rise once more for two hours.
  • Heat up 2 inches of oil. Carefully add in the dough to the oil and let it cook for about 2 minutes or until it begins to look golden brown. Flip it and let it cook until it looks brown.
  • Remove from the oil and set it aside on a wire rack with a baking sheet at the bottom to catch any leftover oils. Cook the rest of the dough using the same process.
  • After the dough has cooled down, in a bowl with sugar, roll the malasada in the sugar until all sides have been coated. Repeat the process until all of the doughnuts have been covered in sugar.
  • If you want to have a filling in the malasada, you can add in the haupia pudding.
  • Using a knife, cut a small hole in the malasada and using a chopstick or long stick like a skewer, wiggle it side to side to create a hollow for the filling. Fill the malasada with the desired filling using a pastry bag.
  • Serve and enjoy these onolicious malasadas!

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Most of the recipes behind ‘Ono Hawaiian Recipes are created by Maui native Tani Belliston. Some are family recipes and others are from old Hawaii cookbooks that she’s modified to make her own.