Move Over, Coco Puffs; Liliha Bakery’s Poi Mochi Doughnuts Are Taking Over

The latest addition to the bakery’s lineup of baked goods is creating a sweet demand.
Liliha Bakery unveiled a new item, poi mochi doughnuts, in late August. Within two months, they’ve become almost as popular as the bakery’s iconic Cocoa Puffs.
Photos: Catherine Toth Fox


On Aug. 26, Liliha Bakery quietly rolled out a new item, a doughnut inspired by the pastry team’s recent trip to Japan.


And, since then, the poi mochi doughnut—similar to the popular pon de ring doughnuts found at Japan’s Mister Donut—has surpassed expectations. It took chief baker Stan Imai around three months to get the recipe right, and now the bakery makes between 2,500 and 3,000 of them a day for both its Liliha and Nimitz locations. The doughnuts cost $1.95 each.


“It takes so much labor since everything we offer is handmade from scratch,” says Angela Choi, who works for the bakery’s parent company, Yummy Restaurant Group. “It has been putting a little pressure on us, keeping up with demand.”


Like the popular ring-shaped mochi doughnuts at Mister Donut, these are made up of eight segments that are easily pulled apart to reveal a bright purple and chewy inside. They’re coated with the bakery’s signature sugary glaze. These doughnuts have a fluffy, chewy texture that customers say is addictive. The bakery plans to add more flavors in the near future.


These doughnuts are easily pulled apart to reveal the bright purple insides.


While Coco Puffs are still the bakery’s top seller—all four flavors out-sell everything else in the display cases—the poi mochi doughnuts have already taken over the No. 2 spot, with butter rolls rounding out the Top 3.


“[They’re] fun to eat by tearing them apart piece by piece, going all the way around the doughnut,” Choi says. “And, when you get to the last bite, you’re already thinking about grabbing another one. Hopefully, someone else didn’t eat them all!”


Liliha Bakery, 515 N. Kuakini St., 531-1651; 580 N. Nimitz Highway, 537-2488;