International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Haupia Hawaiian coconut pudding

(American-Hawaiian coconut pudding)

Image by Arnold Gatilao

Average: 3.4 (12 votes)

Haupia is a popular Hawaiian dessert, often served on a ti leaf at luaus. A thick, sliceable coconut pudding, it is also used to cover cakes and as a top layer on pies.

4 to 6 servings


  • Coconut milk -- 1 1/2 cups, or 1 (12-ounce) can
  • Water or milk -- 3/4 cup
  • Sugar -- 6 tablespoons
  • Cornstarch -- 1/4 cup


  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium-sized saucepan and whisk until smooth. Add a little more sugar for sweeter haupia if you like.
  2. Set the saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking constantly as it comes to a simmer. The mixture will thicken considerably and should have a silky sheen.
  3. Pour into an 8x8-inch baking dish and chill until firm.
  4. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Haupia Variations

  • Tembleque (Puerto Rico): Use all coconut milk and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg after it is chilled.
  • For serving, top with a little crushed pineapple or a little whipped cream sprinkled with ground macadamia nuts if you like.
  • This dish will always be better if made with fresh coconut milk.
  • Haupia is traditionally made with arrowroot starch (pia) instead of cornstarch. Substitute an equal amount of arrowroot for the cornstarch.


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