Haupia (Hawaiian Coconut Pudding)

Categorized as Coconut Milk Desserts, Featured, Hawaiian Treats 75 Comments on Haupia (Hawaiian Coconut Pudding)

Haupia, Hawaiian coconut pudding, is a favorite at Hawaiian luaus and potlucks, this recipe is easy and quick with only four ingredients! Coconut haupia is one of the most popular traditional Hawaiian desserts.

A while ago, I posted a recipe for chocolate haupia pie. I figured it’s about time that I post a classic coconut haupia recipe.

Haupia - A traditional Hawaiian coconut pudding made from corn starch and coconut milk.

Haupia really is simple. It’s just a few ingredients, and it comes together quickly. No special equipment, no special ingredients. Simple simple simple.

Home made Hawaiian coconut pudding is a tasty Hawaiian snack. Jelly like coconut squares are firm enough to eat with your hands.
Home made Hawaiian coconut pudding is a tasty Hawaiian snack. Jelly like coconut squares are firm enough to eat with your hands.

I personally like mine in pie form, because… well, there’s chocolate in it. But I will say, sometimes it’s better to just eat it plain, because it’s so refreshing!

Haupia Texture: Coconut Pudding, Custard or Jelly Squares?

My husband loves haupia. When I asked him for a bit more info on what traditional texture should be like, he said, well… it should be firm enough that you can pick it up and eat it.

Cooking Hawaiian coconut haupia. The easy recipe calls for only four ingredients.

I then asked my sister in law how she eats hers. Well, she said, I think the authentic way is to have it closer to a custard, and you eat it with a spoon!

So, my husband is born and raised in Hawaii, as is my sister in law. But, I trust her more, heh heh.

She looked into it a little more for me and told me authentic Hawaiian haupia should probably be somewhere in between custard and jelly like squares.

Hawaiian coconut milk dessert pudding cut into jelly like squares.

Well, my husband likes his in Jelly like squares, so that’s what I’ve decided to share with you today. It’s also easier to eat, because you can just pick it up and eat it.

If you want it to be softer, the solution is easy. Just add a little less cornstarch! You can play with the amount, maybe starting at 4 tablespoons instead of 5. Totally customizable to your tastes!

Haupia, a traditional Hawaiian pudding made of coconut milk.

Next time you’re feeling like you need a little tropical kick in your life, give this classic Hawaiian Haupia a try!

By the way, my all time most visited post is another popular Hawaiian treat – Butter Mochi! Give both a try!

Hawaiian haupia is fresh and simple. A favorite at Hawaiian luaus and potlucks, this basic recipe is easy and quick to make. Only four ingredients!


  1. I used coconut water in place of plain water and added a teaspoon of coconut cream to the recipe. It made it thicker and had a more robust coconut flavor.
    Love this recipe, made it about a dozen times. Lite and refreshing.

  2. 5 stars
    I love hawaiian haupia! It’s amazing and this recipe is perfect. I always use 5 tbsp. of cornstarch because I like being able to pick it up. I’ve made this recipe 3 times and it’s always turned out very well. Thanks!

  3. Living in Hawaii, I have access to coconuts and fresh coconut milk. What would it take to imitate the full fat canned milk

  4. I love haupia! I read through all the comments and am curious if you or anyone else has made coco puffs with this, in a custardy state? I think I will try. Reminds me of Liliha Bakery in Honolulu.

  5. I’m here on the islands I remember when I was little my mom had us grate the coconut. What I also do is put ground coffee in triple layers of cheese cloth tie it then put it in the coconut milk letting it sit till the color that I like it to be. This too is ono….

  6. 5 stars
    I recently made this dish and my sister sprinkled granola on top of it before I chilled it in the fridge. It turned out pretty well. I recommend.

  7. 5 stars
    Tried the recipe because it was the simplest I found. I live in Hawaii & and love Haupia, but never made it. I did add a tsp of vanilla extract though. It came out perfectly the first try. It was very Ono!!

  8. Mine set perfectly, but nobody likes it because it wasn’t sweet. Can I add more sugar or maybe sweetened milk?

    1. You can add more sugar. It will change the texture a bit but I’m sure it will be tasty! You can also add vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.

    1. That works if you don’t mind gelatin and what it’s made from. I prefer keeping it all pls t based.

  9. 4 stars
    Made this a couple of times now. Both times I couldn’t wait for it to set up so I had to pour a bit into a cup for myself so I could have some while the rest set! Really good. I added a pinch of salt as well as some coconut essence and vanilla essense.. thanks for a great simple yet delish recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    I made the recipe and it worked fantastically.. I then experimented and made Chocolate Haupia by adding 3 Tablespoons of Cocoa powder, and tree additional table spoons of sugar (makings a total of 8 tablespoons sugar) and a dash of salt but I followed the recipie exactly except for that and the chocolate Haupia was as great as the regular haupia…

  11. 5 stars
    I was searching my pantry for ingredients to make brownies and found a can of coconut milk. Since I didn’t have all the ingredients to make fudge brownies, I searched for dessert recipes using coconut milk, and I came across your post. YAY!
    I love Hawaii and my time there is so memorable! I don’t remember ever eating haupia, so I was super excited to try this dessert!
    It was easy to make and incorporated beautifully, At the very end of cooking and right before pouring into the pan, I added some shredded coconut. So, so good! It’s light, refreshing, and slightly sweet. I think I could eat the whole pan! 🙂 So glad I did not have the ingredients to make the brownies and found your recipe instead.

  12. 5 stars
    Fantastic and soooo easy! I was looking for a delicious and satisfying vegan dessert recipe and this is it! I have made it twice in 1 week as it was so popular with my coconut-loving family. Did a single batch 1st and reduced the sugar to 4 tbsp bec we don’t like stuff overly sweet, but I added 3 kinds of coconut bits and shreds for some texture and added flavor, and it was awesome. 2nd time around I doubled the recipe and for some reason it started to firm up way more quickly than the single batch so I cut the heat off early and it was definitely still nice and firm for squares. Yay! I have a new go-to!

  13. I have a friend who is native Hawaiian she made this for me. It’s amazing. Your recipe is the closest to what she made. Thanks for posting it!

  14. I tried making this, but when I was who kin gyn it it thickened up and got clumpy after like two minutes instead of ten. My stove is gas and runs pretty hot, could that have been it? Or do I need to mix the cornstarch and the water a bit better before adding to the coconut milk?

    1. Unsweetened, from a can! Definitely don’t use ones that are for drinking that come in the cardboard containers.

  15. I’m going to try with mango and some spice like ginger cookie spice and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Think I can add some small chunks after it has reached it’s correct cooking time. Also a small slice on top.

  16. Hi! I tried this recipe for the first time and it turned out really well I’m 12 years old and I absolutely love baking and cooking I was born and raised until I was a toddler in Hawaii ive always wanted to try making haupia by myself considering I’ve never made haupia and I realized I had some unsweetened coconut milk in my pantry so I decided why not make haupia! I also let it sit for an hour and 30 minutes instead bc I couldn’t wait to try it but overall it was great

  17. Hi! I tried this recipe tonight and it unfortunately did not go well. I used the exact measurements the recipe asks for, but used “lite” coconut milk. Could this have affected the consistency? I stirred and stirred and stirred and it never thickened! I was there for a good half hour before giving up.

    1. That could very well be the problem! If the lite version has less of the thick creamy layer at the top when you open the can, then it will have a thinner overall consistency and could affect the final product. I personally use Thai Kitchen brand organic canned coconut milk.

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