By Cara Fasone
My good friend, Belinda, recently vacationed with me in the islands. She has a major sweet tooth, so I made it a point to take her to Hawaii’s best bakeries. Although Hawaii has many legit family-owned bakeries with onolicious desserts, her favorite was Liliha Bakery. In fact, I recently carried a dozen Liliha Bakery Cocoa Puffs in my carry-on by her request.
Every birthday party I had as a kid was special because my Aunty Annie ordered me a Chantilly Cake from Liliha Bakery. The chocolate cake was frosted with Liliha’s famous chantilly, a butter cream frosting which is similar to German chocolate cake frosting, minus the nuts and coconut. The chantilly frosting is not too sweet like your typical birthday cake frosting, but it is very buttery!
Chantilly frosting is also dolloped on Liliha Bakery’s most popular item, the Cocoa Puff, which are cream puffs filled with chocolate pudding. The buttery and sweet chantilly, cool chocolate pudding, and light pastry make the perfect bite.
I only realized chantilly frosting was a Hawaii thing when I moved to the mainland and could not find it anywhere! I tried a Beard Papa’s cream puff in an attempt to feed my craving, only to find it lackluster in comparison to Liliha Bakery’s Cocoa Puff.
Green Tea Puffs
On my last visit I tried their Green Tea Puff, which is just as delish as the cocoa version with a green tea flavored chantilly frosting and pudding inside. I have to order one of each because they are both necessary.
Famous Nuclear Jelly
Liliha Bakery’s original location in Kalihi was my favorite late-night spot during my college years. They serve the best breakfast on the counter 24-hours a day, with a side of their amazing, grilled butter rolls and neon pink “nuclear jelly.”
I’m not sure exactly what is in nuclear jelly, probably not real fruit, but it is ono nonetheless. They bottle it now, so you can take it home!
The New Nimitz Location
Belinda and I went to the new Liliha Bakery on Nimitz Highway on our recent vacation. It’s not open 24 hours and it doesn’t have the mom-and-pop vibe the Kalihi location has, but its very nice with lots of room to eat. It’s in a great spot, not too far from Ala Moana Beach. It doesn’t matter which location I eat at, as long as I get me some chantilly!
What are your favorites at Liliha Bakery?