Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas (Hawaiian Donuts)

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Featured Image for post Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas (Hawaiian Donuts)

Easy, fun-to-make Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas. Hawaiian donuts made with a rich buttery dough, served hot from the fryer rolled in cinnamon sugar. 

Today’s post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast. I love the challenge of creating fun, new recipes to share with you using Red Star Yeast. Today’s recipe is inspired by my recent trip to Maui.

In May, my husband and I spent a week vacationing on Maui. Before leaving I researched things to do and places to eat. One of the things people said not to miss was the malasadas, a Portuguese donut that’s become super popular in Hawaii. 

Collage of Sugar Beach Bake Shop, the Home Maid Cafe, Cinnamon Sugar Malsadas and the Saturday morning swap meet

I researched where to find the best malasadsa on Maui and we did a bakery crawl to taste test the favorites. We visited the Sugar Beach Bake Shop, the Home Maid Cafe, and the Saturday morning swap meet.

Leonard’s Bakery on Oahu is believe to be the first bakery to begin selling malasadas in Hawaii. Originally malasadas were just rolled in sugar, then Leonard’s began filling them with jelly and custard. My favorite on Maui were the filled malasadas.

Collage of Clark\'s Island Donuts food truck

After I returned home, I discovered there’s a popular food truck in Salt Lake City that sells malasadas. Of course, I couldn’t resist a visit to the Clark’s Island Donuts food truck.

While I was waiting for the filled malasadas I ordered, a customer said her favorite were the cinnamon sugar malasadas. So I added a cinnamon sugar malasada to my order, and she was so right. The cinnamon sugar malasadas were my favorite too.

Red Star Quick Rise or Platinum Yeast to speed up the process.

I decided I should make cinnamon sugar malasadas at home for my family. I wanted to serve them for breakfast Sunday morning, so I created a recipe using Red Star Quick Rise Yeast to speed up the process.

Instant Yeast was developed to be added directly to dry ingredients. That allows you to skip the step of blooming the yeast in water before adding it to the flour. Making the dough in a stand mixer speeds up the process even more.

Easy, fun-to-make Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas. Hawaiian donuts made with a rich buttery dough, served hot from the fryer rolled in cinnamon sugar.

My husband helped me make the donuts. Rolling the dough into balls is quick and easy, and if you have little kids at home, they’d have fun helping make the donuts. They could also help roll the donuts in cinnamon and sugar.

Malasadas are best eaten hot from the fryer. My family devoured them. I’m sure your family will as well.

Featured Image for post Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas (Hawaiian Donuts)
Yield: 24 donuts

Cinnamon Sugar Malasadas

Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) Red Star Quick Rise or Platinum Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine 4 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add evaporated milk, butter, eggs and vanilla to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and mix in the remaining flour a little at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Add more or less flour as needed.
  3. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double about 60 minutes. Punch down dough.
  4. With floured hands, pinch off a 2 ounce piece of dough and shape it into a smooth ball. Place the balls 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets or lined with parchment or a silpat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  5. While donuts are rising, add oil to a deep fryer or large deep pot until it is 2 inches deep. Heat oil to 350°. Carefully drop 6 malasadas in oil and fry until puffed and deep golden brown, about 8 minutes, flipping frequently.*
  6. Remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining malasadas. Prepare Cinnamon Sugar Coating: Add sugar and cinnamon to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add warm malasadas and roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve warm.


* Cook to an internal temperature of 195°.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own.  You can also find Red Star Yeast on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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originally published October 17, 2016 — last updated November 25, 2018
Categories: Donuts