Everyone loves a good luau. What’s not to love? Traditionally used by Hawaiians to celebrate things like the launch of a new canoe, a wedding, or a victory at war, luaus usually had hundreds, if not thousands of people in attendance. Traditional and modern day luaus share several characteristics that make the experience a joyous one for anyone involved. Every luau sports an exciting combination of music, dancing, the presence of friends and family, and, of course, a virtually limitless amount of food. One of these foods is a dessert called haupia, a dessert made primarily from coconut.




A favorite of my wife’s when eaten in combination with chocolate, haupia is a type of pudding with a more gelatine-like texture that makes it easy to decorate and serve in either large or small portions. The taste of haupia is easily its biggest selling point, but the ease of preparing it and its wide variety of possible uses when preparing other dishes are additional reasons for adding its recipe to your personal cook book arsenal.


Sweet coconut cream custard cubes are a favorite Alii Luau dessert and with no gluten or lactose, it is excellent for those with dietary restrictions.

Yield:1 standard 9 x 13 baking pan


Coconut Milk, 2 each 16 oz cans
Water, 3 cups
Cornstarch, 1 ½ cups (measure carefully – do not estimate)
Sugar, 1 cup

1. Mix 2 cups water with cornstarch. Set aside.
2. Bring coconut milk, sugar and remaining water to a rolling boil on high heat.
3. Pour cornstarch mixture into boiling coconut milk and cook till mixture thickens, blending

    with a whip.
4. When mixture is smooth and thick pour into a clean baking tray.
5. Cool to room temperature, then chill until cold.
6. Cut into 1-inch squares.
7. Serve on ti leaf lined trays



You can play with this recipe as much as you like. Some suggestions might be to add more or less sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, or melting some chocolate or nutella down and adding it to the mixture before placing it in the fridge.

Another variation would be to use bottled juice in place of water. A good suggestion is V8 Splash Tropical Colada Smoothies (49 oz.)

While haupia is usually served by itself in small, cut squares, it can also be used in pies, cakes, dessert bars with peanut butter and chocolate, or served with ice cream. Like I said before, my wife especially loves it when it’s mixed with chocolate.


Here is a recipe for Chocolate Haupia Pie that I highly recommend.











Author Bio

I’m Peter. I grew up in Seattle, but have been living in Hawaii and Japan for the last 4 years.

I love traveling; I love learning about different cultures; I love food, and I love my wife.

We’re hoping to go to Korea next year, and graduate school the year after that.

My life’s the best kind of dream, the one you don’t have to wake up from.