Kapahulu Eats: Leonard's Bakery

Yesterday, May 1st was the start of the ‘Food Hunt for Charity‘ drive, with proceeds benefiting the Lanakila Meals on Wheels program. So I decided after my usual Saturday morning shop at KCC Farmers’ Market, to stop by Leonard’s Bakery for some Malasadas, as that’s one of fifty dishes folks are asked to purchase (and eat!) as part of the ‘Food Hunt for Charity’ fundraiser.

I actually haven’t been TO Leonard’s Malasadas Bakery for some time, as we often get our Leonard’s Malasadas as “omiyage” (a gift) from vendors and associates of our company. So this was an “awakening” of sorts as to what they have that’s far and beyond their famous Portuguese “doughnut” we all know and love called Malasadas.

And what a selection! If you’re a sweets, pastries or dessert fan, Leonard’s Bakery is the place for you as you’ll soon see in this post. Enjoy!

It was a busy, busy Saturday morning.

This sign is absolutely true, as my order was definitely made-to-order and arrived in the box PIPING HOT! That alone already awards them 5 SPAM Musubi!

Da’ prices for da’ Malasadas…

Malasadas Puffs flavors of the month…

Here’s my piping-hot and fresh order of Malasadas Puffs, including Dobash (Chocolate), Haupia, Custard and Mango…

More on that later, I promise.

Now let’s check out what Leonard’s Bakery does BESIDES Malasadas!…

Whew! That’s a LOT of baked goods and pastries!

What would I choose? K, try wait, let me scroll back up and browse one more time….

K, k, I’d probably get an Eclair, Creme Puff and an Apple Fritter. That Portuguese Sausage-wrapped Pao Dolce sounds interesting as well for a savory option.

Here’s Leonard’s Bakery logo wear ‘n stuff…

If you can read Japanese, please translate this poster for us in a comment, onegaishimasu…

OK, now that we’re back to Leonard’s Malasadas, here’s what I got…

That would be two each of Leonard’s Malasadas Puffs filled with all four available flavors each: Custard, Dobash (chocolate), Haupia (coconut), and the flavor of the month, Mango.

As always, the cutaway view…

Leonard’s Malasadas Puffs: Custard, Dobash (chocolate), Haupia (coconut) and the flavor of the month, Mango

A closer look at each one, starting left to right with the custard…

Dobash (chocolate)…

Haupia (coconut)…


Hey, hey, hey! Wait a minute, is this Mango Malasadas Puff sticking tongue at us? I think it is!…

Nice lip job. Not. And that my friends is the full extent of my Photoshop’n skillz, thank you very much. LOL!

OK, let’s sample ’em, starting with wise-guy Mango Puff here…

Ono! Although if I didn’t know this was supposed to be Mango, I wouldn’t have known what to make of it. It’s just mildly fruity and creamy, while having a good balance of sweet without being overbearing. Very, very nice. 3 Spam Musubi.

Now the Dobash (chocolate)…

Well, “Dobash” may sound fancy and all that, but this essentially tastes like packaged Chocolate pudding. Which I actually really like, so I’m down with this one. Especially coming from me, who’s not really a chocolate person. I’ll give this 2 SPAM Musubi.

Next let’s sample Leonard’s Haupia Malasadas Puff…

Not bad, but weak in comparison to Kamehameha Bakery’s far superior Haupia Doughnut…

Primarily because, unlike Kamehameha Bakery’s haupia Doughnut, Leonard’s Haupia filling doesn’t have any grated coconut in it, so it comes off as being very artificial tasting and subtle as far as coconut is concerned. This makes the malasadas itself and its sugar coating overpower the filling’s flavor.

That said, I’ll have also confess here that while I’m half Portuguese, I’m not really a Malasadas fan, and prefer a good ‘ole American style doughnut like that used for Kamehameha Bakery’s awesome Haupia Doughnut, so I’m already a little biased in that regard.

All that said, I’ll give Leonard’s Haupia Malasadas Puff 1 SPAM Musubi.

Finally let’s sample their Custard Malasadas Puff…

Ding, ding, ding, in the left corner we have the winner by a knock-out, Leonard’s Custard Malasadas Puff. This is definitely what Leonard’s is good at. The custard is thick, rich and very flavorful; the most flavorful of them all for sure. I suppose you can think of it as, “why not just have deep-fried doughnut, when you can inject more fat inside it to make it taste even better”. lol

Which is what they basically do is take a regular Malasadas and inject them with various fillings.

So you know where I’m heading with that thought. Like, oh say, how about injecting them with melted CHEESE?!!! Sans the sugar coating of course. Or for more “This is why you’re fat.com” ideas, how about taking a Leonard’s Malasadas and use it as a Hamburger Bun? Someone did it before with Krispy Kreme’s Doughnut, so why not a Malasadas?!! Good Lord have mercy on us. lol

As mentioned earlier, this visit to Leonard’s Bakery was to participate in the Food Hunt for Charity drive to benefit the Lanakila Meals-on-Wheels project.

Please visit LocoKineGrindz.com/foodhuntforcharity for more information.

Leonard’s Bakery
933 Kapahulu avenue
Honolulu, Hawaiiย  96816

Tel. (808) 737-5981

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Daโ€™ Moutโ€™!)
*Leonard’s Bakery is an icon in Hawaii and worthy of 5 SPAM Musubi. 10 SPAM Musubi. 100 SPAM Musubi!


16 thoughts on “Kapahulu Eats: Leonard's Bakery

  1. Hey Pomai! Thanks for the shoutout to the Food Hunt for Charity!

    I’ll probably be heading over to Leonard’s and a few other stops today to log a few foods for the hunt ๐Ÿ™‚ Those filled malasadas look ONO.

    Quick note: I noticed that your photo for Waiola shave ice was the same picture from Leonard’s. Maybe an upload error?

  2. Dale, yes, that was anย  upload error.ย  I clicked on the wrong tile. Sorry ’bout that, as I’m a “newb” to the FoodSpotting site. Can you delete the Leonard’s Malasadas picture I incorrectly posted under Waiola Shave Ice? I couldn’t find a delete button on my end.
    I watched your interview on KGMB. You did good!

  3. Most definitely a stop I gotta make while in Honolulu on the way back to Kwajalein! But it’s gotta wait til August! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ We have a bakery on the island but they have never made malasadas that I know of… even then their baked goods ain’t the world’s greatest!

  4. Whoa! That must be a new record for the most pictures taken at one restaurant/store! I must tell tell you, Pomai, I always get a chuckle from your writing style, but that malassada “sticking tongue” made me crack up out loud! You must be a fun guy to hang out with – never a dull moment, eh!

  5. Agreed. Our line staff that has vacationed/visited Hawaii…they all ask. I guess cause I always talk about malasadas.

    They all have come back saying it was the best thing in the world.

    Keep up the good work Pomai.

  6. Regarding the sign in Japanese, it says something like: Hawaii’s wildly popular local style treat, Leonard’s malasadas will finally be coming (to Japan)!! I vaguely remember Kat from Our Adventures in Japan mentioning in her blog that a store opened in Yokohama. Here’s the link to the store’s info, but there’s not much information.

  7. woah this bakery looks fantastic….good thing it’s so far away, or i’ll be losing all (gaining? lol) my hard work at the gym…..heh awesome set of pics + writeup as usual pomai!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Pomai, my cousins in San Francisco is now begging me to bring some of these malasadas with the fillings to them. They also want other pastries from Kam Bakery haupia donuts too. I had malasadas in San Francisco Dragon Boat Festival a few years ago and it was worst ever made. In San Francisco Chinatown got of course Cocktail Buns (which you called it Hong Kong Buns).

  9. Amy, I wouldn’t recommend taking Malasadas on a long journey (plane ride), as like anything deep fried, they don’t taste good or have good tetxture once they cool down. You gotta’ eat Malasadas fresh and hot, or none at all. What’s great about Leonard’s is every Malasada they serve is made fresh out of the fryer, not premade in big batches. Mines was practically still sizzling!
    Midge, diggin’ all the Filipino grindz on your blog. I’ll have to dig deeper in it later! I recently got a new and improved recipe for Mechado, that Filipino Beef and Red Bell Pepper Stew. I’ll share it here later.
    Raph’, I must have gained a few pounds just writing this one. lol
    Nate, don’t remember that. But I know Kamehameha Bakery sells theirs by the “Baker’s Dozen” (13).
    Molly, that’s what I thought it said, being it had a date stamped on it. IIRC, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers said they were opening one in Japan as well. Chef Elmer Guzman of Poke Stop mentioned he was expanding his locations to Japan as well. Japanese literally “eat up” anything that’s tied with Hawaii.
    QuarryLaneFarms, I don’t know if deep frying stuff is feasible for a catering business, but perhaps for a smaller crowd, you should try offering up fresh Malasadas. At least just try it and see how it goes. Who knows, it might make Quarry Lane Farms a smashing hit!
    John, I’m curious about that Macadamia Nut flavor too. I’m wondering whether they put chopped Mac Nuts in the custard, or if it’s just “flavored” like Mac Nuts, however they might do that.
    Lois, how exactly does my writing style make you chuckle? Now I’m conscientious about it. lol Glad you appreciate my little work of art there. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Chuck, I see you posted an update on your blog, but no mention of your recent visit to Oahu? Still looking forward to hearing about the places you hit-up here to grind!

  10. I was just there in April and cannot believe notoriety this place has gained. It was two years since my last visit home and could not believe the lines and the parking lot was jammed the three times I went. Actually only two times since I left after seeing the line snaked out the door and cars lined up on the street. I guess with all the traveling food shows/blogs/guides tourists are trying it out. When I was waiting in line there were two tourist couples standing in line behind me trying to decide what to order. They asked me how big the malassadas were and what type they should order. I could not believe it but they ordered one malasada per couple to split. I was scratching my head. You come all the way from the east coast and try half a malasada. Didn’t see if they went back in line to order more.

  11. Kobi, it was just as crazy this past Saturday morning when I went. I had to wait in the parking lot for a couple minutes to wait for someone to leave, as all the stalls were taken. Other people behind me had drivers waiting in the car while they went in to order.
    As for the tourists sharing 1 malasada per couple, auwe!

  12. Brings back memories … I grew up in Kapahulu not far from Leonard’s, and I don’t remember it ever being that crowded, especially after Zippy’s down the street opened their Napoleon’s Bakery. The things you take for granted.

    Now, whenever we go to Oahu to visit family, we always keep an eye out for the malasada trucks. I like the plain malasadas; no filling necessary! ๐Ÿ™‚ However, now that I see in your photo they have li hing sugar available, I may have to order that on my next visit.

  13. Hi Pomai, Thank you for not posting a photo of their Chantilly. Otherwise my co-workers would of had to call an ambulance because of heavy sobbing and wailing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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