The 11 Best Pumpkin Desserts, Beer, Salads and Bread on O‘ahu
Move over pumpkin spice lattes, seasonal pumpkin treats have arrived in Honolulu. We tracked down some worth discovering on your own, from sweets and a smoothie to a savory salad.
$1.30 each from Leonard’s Bakery
Photo: Robbie Dingeman
Votes were split for this one from Leonard’s Bakery. One of us took one bite into the orange-custard filled malassada and pronounced it “delightful,” while others had to order an original unfilled malassada and go old-school. The custard is creamy with a hint of pumpkin spice.—Robbie Dingeman, editor at large
Kirkland Signature Pumpkin Pie
$5.99 from Costco
Costco’s Kirkland pumpkin pies are 4 pounds and HUGE, with a buttery crust and rich cinnamon pumpkin filling. Plus, they’re only $5.99 each! The holidays aren’t complete without this mega monstrous pastry. Sadly, I’m on a no-sugar challenge with gym buddies for the rest of 2019. So, I guess I’ll stack a few pies together this year to use as weights for lunges, or something. At least workouts will smell nice.—Cathy Cruz-George, managing editor of HONOLULU Family
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scone
$3.85 from Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery
The pumpkin cream cheese scone offers a subtle take on the seasonal treat that’s kind of a cross between a pumpkin pie and a muffin. You taste the pumpkin and spice on a moist, not-too-sweet scone topped with icing.—RD
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
$6.99 for two generous squares from Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery
Photo: Courtesy of Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery
I can’t walk into the Kaimukī bakery without walking out with an overflowing bag of bread pudding, scones and, of course, all the flavors of butter mochi. Now, I have to return for its October special, pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Every bite of the super moist bread delivers a warming dose of those cinnamon and nutmeg fall spices which make me crave chilly mornings and a steaming cup of coffee. On hot days, Chocolate + Vanilla suggests topping it off with soft serve. We’re sold.—Christi Young, editorial director
Pumpkin Gets Baked
Various prices at La Tour Café
La Tour Café embraces the season to turn out three pumpkin options. For the month of October, the specials include a flaky pumpkin spiced latte kouign amann with a buttery not-too-sweet-but-just-right profile, and a pumpkin cheesecake macaron that resembles a pumpkin mousse. There’s a tasty savory salad worth ordering: kabocha marinated in harissa, then roasted, served atop power greens, kale, halved grape tomatoes, olives, grated carrot mixed with raisins, cucumber and crunchy garlic crisps. The unexpected wow comes from the tangy feta yogurt dressing. Great lunch option but beware any undercooked kabocha will shatter your plastic fork.—RD
$4–$7 for scoops & $8 for a pint from Via Gelato
Photo: Courtesy of via gelato
Inspired by a dessert made by an auntie at a family Thanksgiving feast, the gelato geniuses at Via Gelato have smushed and frozen the classic into a chilly fall treat. Yes, it is sweater weather for most, but it ain’t for us. Fall flavors with tropical temperatures!—Katie Kenny, digital editorial specialist
Pumpkin Cheesecake & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
$4.45–$18.85 from Il Gelato
Il Gelato steps it up a notch with two pumpkin frozen flavors: a pumpkin cheesecake and a pumpkin with chocolate chips. —KK
Various prices at Banán
Banán, best known for turning frozen local bananas into tasty dairy-free soft-serve, has concocted a seasonal smoothie that features pumpkin, almond milk, a hint of spice and some activated charcoal. That all turns into a chilly yet Halloween-friendly orange-and-black drink called The Zak-o-lantern ($8) that’s refreshing even for those who aren’t pumpkin-spice obsessed. We need to head back for the other dark specials: black sesame butter and charcoal blended into banana; and “Basic Witch,” fresh ginger lemonade with honey and charcoal.—RD
New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
$3 for a single bottle and $12.99 for a six-pack at Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room
A friend of mine (whom I picture wearing Ugg boots and a knitted circle scarf while drinking pumpkin spiced lattes when she’s on the Mainland) was on the hunt for any and every pumpkin beer. After discovering that Honolulu’s breweries are not so big on brewing that flavor, we beelined for Village in Kaka‘ako. What we can tell you is that the limited releases of all pumpkin beers arriving in the Islands have been running out quickly! So we were pleased to find that this spicy, cinnamon-y and pepper-y brew is still available. Looking to get it on tap instead? Brew’d and Real a Gastropub will have the brew available the week of Oct. 14 for $9 per pint.—KK
Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale
$25 for a 750 milliliter bottle at Brew’d
Brew’d must be one of the last spots on the island to carry the very popular seasonal brew from Rogue Ales. Not a spicy option like the New Belgium variety, this smooth ale is somewhat sweet and avoids an overpowering pumpkin taste.—KK
DIY Chef’s Pumpkin Panna Cotta
Photo: Courtesy of Roy’s Ko Olina
Just when you think you should be saving up for the holidays instead of splurging on pumpkin treats, the folks at Roy’s restaurants are already in a giving mood. Roy’s Ko Olina Executive Chef Darryl Shinogi shared this recipe for pumpkin panna cotta made with fresh Aloun Farms kabocha. Plus a pumpkin seed brittle. Staying home cooking looks a lot more fun now.—RD
From Roy’s Ko Olina Executive Chef Darryl Shinogi
Panna cotta ingredients
2.5 quarts heavy cream
2 cups milk
3 cups kabocha pumpkin puree
12 ounces white sugar
1.5 cups water “to dissolve gelatin”
2 ounces Knox gelatin
Pour water in a bowl and dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
In a pot over medium heat, stir together the heavy cream, milk and sugar. Bring to a light boil.
Whisk in the gelatin mixture and pumpkin into the warmed mixture.
Remove from the heat and let sit for 10–15 minutes.
Pour into ramekins and chill for a few hours till set.
Pumpkin seed brittle ingredients
½ pound white sugar
½ pound butter
2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds
Melt butter in a pot over low-medium heat and add sugar. Combine.
Pour onto sheet tray and sprinkle roasted pumpkin seeds and cool. Be careful because the mixture is very hot.
Crème anglaise ingredients
1 quarts cream
1⁄2 vanilla bean (cut in half and scrape center)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
Bring cream, vanilla extract and vanilla bean to a boil.
Combine yolks and sugar together in a bowl.
Temper some of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking while pouring so you don’t get scrambled eggs.
Pour back into pot and constantly stir until you can run your finger through on the back of a spatula and it holds its shape.
Strain through a chinois and ice bath.
HONOLULU Magazine established the Hale ‘Aina Awards in 1984, becoming the first local restaurant awards program. The first event was a potluck celebration in a HONOLULU Magazine conference room and over the years it’s grown into a glamorous gala. Now, it’s Hawai‘i’s longest-running and most distinguished culinary awards program, voted on by the savvy readers of HONOLULU Magazine for the best restaurants in Hawai‘i in 38 categories.