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Monday, November 18, 2013

10 pumpkin desserts in Honolulu

From roasted pumpkin seeds after a Halloween carving party to pumpkin pie that follows an overindulgent Thanksgiving feast, pumpkin is the flavor of autumn holidays. And thanks to the roaring success of products like Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte, sales of pumpkin everything amounted to over $290 million in sales last year, according to Nielsen. That’s a lot of raids at the pumpkin patch. Here in Honolulu, some of our local business are eager to join the pumpkin party. Below are a few festive desserts to ring in the season (hope you like cheesecake!). And if you're thirsty, check out Lei Chic's roundup of pumpkin drinks, including one local coffeeshop's version of the infamous pumpkin latte.

Pumpkin bread at Fendu Boulangerie

Made with pureed pumpkin and packed with walnuts and raisins, this moist treat is a subtle alternative to the rich and heavy offerings that make up most pumpkin-inspired desserts. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea on a brisk fall morning. Sold in mini and regular-sized loaves.

$4.75, 2752 Woodlawn Dr. #5-119, 988-4310

Pumpkin cheesecake at Fendu Boulangerie

A wisp of hazelnut sets this one apart. Of all the pumpkin cheesecakes we tried (and there were many), Fendu's was the lightest, and the only one that left us not drowning in a pumpkin-y coma after eating. Which, depending on your commitment to the pumpkin cause, could be a good thing or a bad thing.

$4.75, 2752 Woodlawn Dr. #5-119, 988-4310

Pumpkin Pudding at Palme D’Or

A simple pumpkin custard pudding layered with homemade whipped cream and garnished with pumpkin seeds is Palme D’or’s light, delicious take on this seasonal flavor. Creamy and cool, we aren’t the only ones it has won over—according to the shopgirl, this pudding is the crowd favorite of pumpkin offerings.

$3.75, at Ala Moana Center,

Pumpkin cheesecake at Palme D’Or

This sponge-y cheesecake has a lot going on—in a good way. It’s topped with spicy cinnamon whipped cream, dried cranberries, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. The cake’s gooey, cheesy texture makes it the creamiest of the pumpkin cheesecakes.

$4.85, at Ala Moana Center,

Dulce’s pumpkin dome at Roy's Hawaii Kai

This is a heavenly mix of cream cheese pound cake and not-too-heavy, not-too-light pumpkin mousse. With a tangy cranberry-apple gastrique and pepita (culinary speak for pumpkin seed) crunch, this dessert hits all of autumn's high notes.


Pumpkin s’mores at Roy's Hawaii Kai

A sugary tower of seasonal goodness: the base is a macadamia nut sugar cookie, layered with a white chocolate pumpkin custard, and topped with a fun, puffy housemade cinnamon marshmallow. A cruel eye opener to the truth that you really don’t make the best s’mores in the world.


Pumpkin and pumpkin crunch gelato from La Gelateria

Smooth-with-just-a-bit-of-spice, this pumpkin gelato is perfect for Hawaii's warm fall days. And while supplies last, Costco carries La Gelateria's pumpkin crunch by the gallon.

$2 for a cup at La Gelateria's production facility near Sam's Club, 819 Cedar St.,

Pumpkin Haupia at Via Gelato

Via Gelato’s constantly changing menu puts you at the mercy of owner and gelato It-girl, Melissa Bow. Two weeks ago, the pumpkin flavor du jour was pumpkin crunch. Right now, it's pumpkin haupia—pumpkin cinnamon creaminess with a lingering finish of coconut.


Pumpkin cupcake at Cake Couture

Pumpkin spice cake topped with cream cheese icing and a caramel drizzle: This cupcake is usually a once-a-week flavor, but during the holiday season, it's available daily, another reason we love this time of year.


Pumpkin cheesecake at Real a Gastropub

A dense little beast of a thing, this fierce cupcake sized cheesecake comes with whipped cream, a candied pecan, and a whole lot of pumpkin flavor. And if you need something to wash it down with (you will), just grab one of Real’s autumn ales to really get into the spirit of the season.

$5, 1020 Auahi St.,


Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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