Kaua‘i Bakery awarded Readers’ Choice title

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ube Malasada is one of the newer varieties available at the Kaua‘i Bakery in the Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A tray of plain sugar malasada,

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ofelia Bautista of Kaua‘i Bakery sugars a batch of freshly-cooked malasadas, Wednesday.

LIHU‘E — There was a run on malasadas, Wednesday morning at the Kaua‘i Bakery in the Kukui Grove Center. And, it was not Malasada Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday).

“There have been more people than usual coming in for malasada,” said a Kaua‘i Bakery clerk who watched Ofelia Bautista sugar a tray of the morsels right out of the cooker. “They all say they’ve been hearing it on the radio, and some even know about the award. They come to congratulate us and have some malasada.”

There is a new queen malasada in town as Gracie Galiza and the ‘ohana at Kaua‘i Bakery was awarded the Readers’ Choice “Best Malasada in Hawai‘i” title by the Hawai‘i Magazine during a Monday announcement in Honolulu.

“They (malasadas)’re a local favorite, though the title of who serves the best is often up for debate,” states the Hawai‘i Magazine article announcing the title winner. “This year, Hawai‘i Magazine readers decided that title goes to Kaua‘i Bakery in Lihu‘e, dethroning Leonard’s Bakery on O‘ahu for the first time.”

Malasadas have always been one of the go-to items available at Kaua‘i Baker, starting with the original ones coated with just sugar.

“We received an email last month from Hawai‘i Magazine informing us that we had won the Reader’s Choice award for the Best Malasadas in the State,” said Galiza in an email. “I had to re-read that email a few times to make sure that I had read it correctly. It honestly still hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but we are completely honored, grateful, and thrilled. We always knew there was something special about our malasadas, and we are truly humbled to be recognized for it.”

“To surpass the legendary Leonard’s Bakery for best malasadas in the state is mind blowing,” the Kaua‘i Bakery owner since 2018 said. “Our bakers and staff continue to strive to improve on the technique and recipe to make it taste even better.”

“Our classic malasada is always a best seller, served hot and fresh, and coated with sugar or cinnamon sugar,” Galizaa said. “When it comes to creme-filled malasada, our custard is always our top seller. Other favorites include Chocolate with Chantilly, Ube, Guava, and Red Bean. Our recent creation is an ube lover’s dream — Ube flavored malasadas filled with ube cream.”

Kaua‘i Bakery also offers seasonal varieties including Strawberry Cream, and Pumpkin Spice malasadas.

“It’s very important to our bakery to continue to serve malasadas,” Galiza said. “It’s such a staple local comfort food, and life wouldn’t be the same without it. Like many small businesses, we have been trying our best to stay afloat during this pandemic. We continued to have the loyal support from our local customers, but also miss seeing the visitors coming by to taste our local pastries for the first time. We’re happy to welcome them back safely, and hope they come by for their malasada experience.”

Kaua‘i Bakery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on Sundays.

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