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16 Tasty Hawaiian Dessert Recipes Perfect for a Backyard Luau

Are you planning a backyard luau or Hawaiian themed party? Keep scrolling for the best Hawaiian dessert recipes worth trying out!
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I think one of my favorite things in the world is backyard luaus! I love hearing Hawaiian music, watching hula dancing, sipping tropical cocktails, and eating lots of yummy Hawaiian food!

And while I love enjoying Kalua Pork and Spam Fried Rice, I always save room for dessert. I mean, desserts in Hawaii are so delicious!

Since I feature a ton of Hawaiian recipes on my blog, I thought it would be helpful to do a round-up of some of my favorite Hawaii dessert recipes. I think these would make awesome luau party desserts.

Some of these are traditional Hawaiian desserts, while others are tropical twists on popular Mainland desserts.

The point of this post is to come up with a list of potential best Hawaiian desserts for luau parties. I also have a bunch of cute Hawaiian cookie cutters you can use instead.

16 Best Hawaiian Dessert Recipes

1. Easy Pineapple Upside Down Rum Cake with Boxed Mix

Learn how to make pineapple upside down rum cake, one of the most popular Hawaiian dessert recipes by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a square piece of pineapple upside down cake on a plate with a fork.

This is probably one of the most classic Hawaiian luau desserts that people love making on the Mainland.

What’s awesome about this Hawaiian recipe is that it’s seriously easy to assemble. You’ll want to soak the pineapple in rum ahead of time, but otherwise, you can prep it in minutes.

Because you make it in a sheet cake pan, it’s perfect for large groups.

It’s definitely got a reputation for being one of the most popular Hawaiian-themed desserts people love serving at backyard luaus.

2. Coconut Filled Hawaiian Malasadas Recipe

Get this Hawaiian malasada recipe, one of the best Hawaiian dessert recipes by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a bunch of sugar coated malasadas with a cup of coffee.

One of the best desserts in Hawaii is malasadas. In fact, most people think of them as a breakfast treat, but they are super tasty any time of day.

Because they are such a famous dessert in Hawaii (especially from Leonard’s Bakery), your Luau guests will be super impressed when you bring them out!

You could even make it into a food truck-style event where you fry them up in front of the crowd!

This recipe includes Hawaiian haupia filling, but you can totally skip it if you are making them fresh at a party.

3. Hawaiian Chocolate Haupia Pie Recipe

Get this Chocolate Haupia Pie Recipe (aka one of the best Hawaiian dessert recipes) by Top Hawaii Blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a slice of chocolate coconut cream pie with a cup of coffee.

One of my favorite desserts in Hawaii is coconut cream pies. You’ll find them at all kinds of mom-and-pop restaurants in Hawaii.

These are served chilled. Sometimes you’ll even see them in show fridges when you first enter a cafe.

This is my best attempt at recreating the popular chocolate coconut pies I’ve tried. It’s a classic Hawaiian dessert.

You can pre-slice them and put on little plates in the fridge or cut them right before serving.

4. No Churn Homemade Mango Ice Cream Recipe

Get this Homemade Mango Ice Cream recipe (one of the best desserts in Hawaii) by top Hawaii Blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

Out of all the homemade ice cream recipes out there, this one has a tropical flavor that will immediately take you back to paradise.

It’s seriously easy to prep, and you’ll just want to make sure it can set in the freezer overnight.

One trick we’ve learned is to pre-scoop the mango ice cream into ice cream cones and put it on a tray in the freezer. Then, simply pull out when you’re ready to serve!

This is one of my favorite easy Hawaiian dessert recipes.

5. No Bake Mango Mousse Cake

Find out how to make mango mousse cake by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a slice of yellow mango mousse with diced mangoes on top.

I call this a mango mousse cake, but it’s kind of a cross between a cake and a pie. Either way, it’s packed with flavor and makes an awesome luau dessert.

Because it uses fresh mango, it’s perfect to make during the summertime when it’s easy to find mango at your grocery store.

We love this no-bake mango mousse because it’s light and refreshing. Keep it chilled until you are ready to serve it. You can even freeze it.

6. Simple Homemade Pineapple Ice Cream Recipe

Learn how to make homemade pineapple ice cream by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids.

This is another awesome Hawaiian ice cream recipe that is super creamy and highlights tropical fruit.

While there’s a ton of pineapple flavor in the ice cream, we love topping it with fresh pineapple chunks.

And if you really want to get fancy, you can always put a scoop of this homemade pineapple ice cream in a cup of pineapple juice, and you have a Hawaiian float!

7. Easy Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe

Hawaiian Desserts: Easy Pineapple Coconut Cake Recipe featured by top Hawaii blogger, Hawaii Travel With Kids: You'll love this easy Pineapple Coconut Cake by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids.

Pineapple and coconut go together like PB&J! They are a perfect match!

You can totally make this Hawaiian luau cake recipe ahead of time, so all you have to do is slice and serve.

This Hawaiian dessert recipe is really easy to whip together. Plus, it freezes well, so you can make a few loaves ahead of time!

Sometimes we even cut the slices in half if we have a lot of luau desserts. That way, it stretches a bit further.

8. Hawaiian Style Easy Coconut Cake Recipe

Hawaiian Style Easy Coconut Cake Recipe featured by top Hawaii blog, Hawaii Travel with Kids.

There’s a reason so many Hawaii desserts contain coconut: it’s delicious! And what better way to highlight it than in a cake?

If you’re looking to add a twist, you can always top this Hawaiian coconut cake with haupia (a coconut cream pudding.)

This is a pretty awesome Hawaiian luau cake that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

9. Tropical Peach Mango Pie

Mango Peach Pie recipe from top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

Did you know that peach and mango flavors go really well together? It’s the perfect way to use ripe mango for the ultimate fruit pie!

This is one of our favorite gourmet Hawaiian desserts to make on summer days, and it’s the tastiest way to end a meal.

We like topping it with whipped cream, but you could also pair it with homemade mango ice cream!

10. Simple Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple Tart recipe by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

These are super adorable mini Hawaiian desserts for a crowd. I’m all about easy Hawaiian desserts, and it doesn’t get much easier than these pineapple tarts.

They are practically no bake (you just bake the shells for a few minutes), and the filling is simple. Plus, you top it with whipped cream!

While these are awesome for summer luau parties, they also work well for baby showers, birthday parties, outdoor weddings, etc. These are hands down one of the easiest Hawaiian dessert ideas to make.

11. Easy Mango Chia Pudding Recipe

Mango Chia Pudding from Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

If you’re looking for a Hawaiian dessert that isn’t overly sweet (and could even be considered healthy), you’ll love this mango chia pudding!

It uses fresh mango, and it’s incredibly easy to pre-make and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

It’s super cute to put them in individual jars and set them out on a buffet table.

12. Copycat Disney Pineapple Dole Whip Recipe

Dole Whip Recipe from Hawaii Blog Hawaii Travel with Kids

I think we can all agree that one of the best Disney treats is Dole Whip, right? Well, I’ve come up with a super easy version you can make at home.

For best results, make it right before you’re ready to serve it. It really only takes a few minutes, and you can offer an assortment of toppings so guests can make their own loaded Dole Whip!

We like adding Pocky sticks, popping boba, mini mochi, maraschino cherries, crushed pineapple, canned mandarin oranges, diced mango, etc.

13. Super Easy Pineapple Popsicle Recipe

Learn how to make homemade pineapple popiscles by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a frozen pineapple popsicle surrounded by pineapple chunks.

If there’s one thing that screams summertime to me, it’s popsicles!

These are really refreshing pineapple popsicles that are easy to make ahead of time, so you can just bring them out when you’re ready to serve them.

We like to use popsicle molds, but you can totally use Dixie cups when making them for a crowd.

14. Super Easy Mango Popsicle Recipe

Learn how to make mango popsicles by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of a homemade mango popsicle surrounded by frozed mango chunks on a white background.

I also have a mango version of the homemade popsicle recipe. It’s nice to make both this one and the pineapple popsicles so people have a choice.

You can also add in a little coconut milk if you want them to be creamy. Or mix in a little bit of pineapple for tropical popsicles.

15. Strawberry Pineapple Cool Whip Salad

Learn how to make Strawberry Pineapple Cool Whip Salad by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel with Kids. Image of pink pineapple fluff.

While this is definitely not a traditional Hawaiian dessert, it’s super light and refreshing. The pineapple and strawberry flavors complement each other nicely.

Plus, it’s one of the best Hawaiian desserts for potluck parties or summer BBQs. Just serve it in a big bowl, and people can dish out however much they’d like.

16. Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake

This is a fun twist on the retro pineapple upside-down cake. This time, it has a nice layer of cheesecake, so it’s a refreshing dessert on a hot day.

Plus, it’s easy to make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

FAQs about Desserts in Hawaii

What is a traditional Hawaiian dessert?

Besides fresh fruit, the most popular traditional Hawaiian desserts are haupia and kulolo. Haupia is a chilled pudding made from coconut cream and is served in a square. Kulolo is a gelled taro dessert that is sliced.

What are the best Hawaiian fruits?

Many Hawaiian desserts feature fresh tropical fruit like mango, pineapple, papaya, or lilikoi (aka passion fruit). These are full of flavor and taste great in baked goods or in a tropical fruit salad. Plus, fresh fruit makes for easy luau desserts.

What are the best desserts to try in Hawaii?

There are so many tasty Hawaiian sweets. My top picks are shave ice, malasadas, chocolate haupia pie, guava cake, coco puffs, and Dole Whip. And if you’re heading to Hawaii around New Year’s, you’ll see a lot of yummy mochi items, including my favorite: poi mochi! There are so many yummy Hawaii dessert ideas out there!

Hawaiian Luau Desserts Wrap Up

Okay, I hope you found at least one Hawaiian dessert recipe you’re excited to try out! It never hurts to make a few to taste at home before deciding which one(s) you want to serve at your next Hawaiian party!

These luau dessert ideas are fairly easy, and they taste great! Plus, they are full of tropical flavors!

Looking for more Hawaiian-style desserts? Find out the best Pineapple Desserts, Mango Desserts, and Coconut Desserts!