Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Hawaiian Sweet Bread Barbara-Bakes

A light and fluffy, slightly sweet round loaf of yeast bread with a Hawaiian twist.

Many of you are probably familiar with the round King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread you can buy in grocery stores. Did you know it’s easy to make at home. You just make the dough, let it rest 15 minutes, shape it in to a round loaf and put it in a pie plate. After another 15 minutes resting time, you pop it in the oven until it’s golden brown and ready to eat.


This recipe is slightly adapted from the Hawaiian Honey Bread recipe on the Red Star Yeast website. Have you tried the Red Star Platinum yeast yet? I love it, especially in recipes like this one where you don’t wait for the dough to double in size before baking it. You’ll get great oven spring. I was amazed how much this loaf rose in the oven.


This bread makes great French toast. I turned my loaf in to deep fried Hawaiian Sweetbread French Toast Sticks. I’ll post that recipe on Friday, so be sure and stop back by.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Hawaiian Sweet Bread


  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) Red Star Platinum Yeast
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring, if desired
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water


In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, yeast, dry milk and salt; mix well.

In saucepan or microwave safe dish, heat pineapple juice, 1/2 cup water, butter, and honey until warm (120° - 130°F; butter does not have to melt).

Add liquids to flour mixture. Add 2 eggs and food coloring. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour a little at a time, to make a soft dough, adding more or less flour as needed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place about 15 minutes.

Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, shape into a round loaf. Place in greased 9 or 10-inch round pie pan. Cover; let rise in warm place about 15 minutes. Combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush loaf.

Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool.


slightly adapted from the Hawaiian Honey Bread recipe on the Red Star Yeast website.


More bread recipes you might like:

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche, Barbara Bakes
Julia Child’s French Bread, Barbara Bakes
Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread, Simple Bites
America’s Test Kitchen Rustic Almost No-Knead Bread, Judy’s Kitchen

Don't miss out on a new recipe. Subscribe to Barbara Bakes by Email

Some of the links in my posts may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Barbara Bakes when you shop!

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #BarbaraBakes.


    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    Great recipe! We live very rural and only can find the commercial bread on rare occasions and we too tried (and loved) it as French Bread long ago.
    My wife tried it and it was a winner the first time :-)

  2. Elisa says

    I’ve “tried” to make this bread twice, with mixed results. The first time the bread came out beautifully, and huge!

    I loved it but my husband (who is a huge fan of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread) said that it just wasn’t sweet enough. I did some research on some other recipes and decided to change all the liquid to pineapple juice (from half water/half juice) and add some sugar. I have no idea if this affected the science of the bread or if i just failed elsewhere but it failed completely! The dough looked and felt great but never really rose and, while I should have known better, I still tried to bake it but it didn’t rise and was therefore raw in the middle. I threw it out and while I’m not ready to give up, I’m not sure exactly where I went wrong.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated…thanks!

    • says

      Hi Elisa – thanks for the question. I did some research and here’s what I found:

      Excess sugar inhibits gluten development; very sweet yeast dough rises slowly. While sugar and other sweeteners provide “food” for yeast, too much sugar can damage yeast, drawing liquid from the yeast and hampering its growth. Too much sugar also slows down gluten development. Add extra yeast to the recipe or find a similar recipe with less sugar. Sweet yeast doughs will take longer to rise.

      How about if you’re making a sweet bread, one that requires sugar for flavoring? As a general rule, we’ve found that any more than 2 tablespoons of sugar per cup of flour will slow yeast down to the point where you can’t make a nicely risen loaf, without making some other adjustments, such as increasing the amount of yeast, increasing the acidity of the environment, etc.

      So I think if you want it sweeter I would try it with all pineapple juice, no extra sugar and a longer rise. If that’s still not sweet enough, you could try adding some sugar and increasing your yeast and rise times.

      Please let me know how it goes. Good luck!

      • Elisa says

        Thank you so much for the reply. I understand some of the science of bread making but, having read recipes with sugar, I hadn’t anticipated these problems, and with company coming too! Next time I’ll try just a little sugar, with all juice, and a little extra yeast, with more time to rise. I’m desperate to get closer to King’s breads and while your original recipe was great, I didn’t feel it was close enough for us. I will definitely let you know…thank you again!

        • Elisa says

          So here’s my update…I tried one more time, I used a cup of pineapple juice (no water) added 2/3 cup sugar and a bit more yeast. The dough was very sticky and I was worried about it rising. I think it took almost 3 hours for the first rise and then I made small buns that I put together in a greased pan (about 20, I think) and let them rise about an hour. I baked them at 350 for about 22 minutes and they were great!! Very sweet and very very close to King’s. thanks again for the recipe and the tips!

          • says

            Thanks for the update! I love that they turned out perfectly. About how much more yeast do you think you used? 3 hours is a long time to wait for that first rise. Good thing your patience was rewarded.

  3. Adele says

    I just found your blog and I loved it !! I have a question for you: may I use Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast instead of RED STAR PLATINUM YEAST??? please, let me know. and I will be very thankful


    • says

      Thanks Adele! Yes, you can use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast. Typically when you use regular yeast, you dissolve the yeast in warm water instead of adding it to the flour, and instead of a 15 minute rest period, you would probably want to let it rise until double, punch it down and then shape the loaf and continue as directed. Please stop back by and let me know how you like it.

  4. Elizabeth H says

    Was so excited to find this recipe! Love it! I have now made it about 6 times and have tried the large loaf, small loafs and dinner rolls. I added a little potato flour to keep the bread softer, as it dries out really quickly.

  5. Carol says

    Wow does that look WONDERFUL! I love making bread and I know I’m going to love making this one.

    Thank you Barbara,


  6. says

    I was trying to describe this bread to someone here in Australia and I said, “I’ll have to find a recipe and make it for you.” And here you are!

    Aussies don’t like sweet breads for the most part but they’ll love this. I’ll make some homemade butter and then honeybutter.. let’s go whole hog.

  7. says

    I read up to see what makes it Hawaiian bread and Wikipedia says it’s actually Portuguese sweet bread brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants. I love your addition of pineapple juice to the bread and the way you styled your photo with the beautiful magenta phalaenopsis!

  8. says

    When I think of Hawaiian bread I always think of rolls but this bread looks just perfect. And the French Toast looks just amazing as well. I’m sure everyone in your house is happy :) Hope all is well for you.

  9. says

    i didn’t realize it was this easy to make at home. This is my kids favorite bread for sandwiches and my favorite bread for my family favorite apache bread so you better believe I will be trying this

  10. says

    Memories of our trip to Hawaii are still very fresh. I’ll be adding this bread to my repertoire very soon. Love the idea of using it for French toast. Thanks!

  11. says

    Your bread is beautiful. We have always enjoyed Hawaiian bread but I never tried to make it. I was surprised that it bakes in a pie pan and rises straight up (rather than over the sides and all over the oven 😉 )
    Thanks for the recipe!