Grandonas: The other Portuguese pastry taking over Honolulu
“It’s a malasada-croissant.” That’s how most are describing this spin on the Islands’ popular Portuguese pastry, an original of Let Them Eat Cupcakes, a Chinatown bakery on Oahu.
A creation fresh out the oven, the bakery only just introduced the grandona to their line-up about three or four weeks ago. “It’s our take on the Portuguese pastry,” says baker Kawehi Haug, who fashioned a tray of them while experimenting with some recipes and simultaneously tapping in her mixed-Portuguese roots.
The hybrid goodie hits all the characteristic criteria inherent in Portuguese pastries: It’s doughy, fluffy, buttery, sugary and did we already say doughy? Biting into a grandona is indeed reminiscent of something from Leonard’s—there’s no way to eat around the granules of sugar covering every centimeter of it—but its layers upon layers of flakiness on top give it a texture distinct from your traditional malasada.
Grandona, the word itself, takes its name after the Portuguese grandão and dona, both of which mean huge, a descriptor it lives up to. At $4.75 each, one grandona is really about two sizable and satisfying doughnuts.
Also you’d be remiss to label the grandona a dessert. With its croissant influence the treat makes a convincing case as a delectable breakfast when paired with a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
The bakery makes a limited number of first-come, first-serve grandonas every Friday morning when they open at 11 a.m. If that doesn’t fit your schedule, you can pre-order them for pickup (minimum six pieces) on any given day of the week with 24 hour notice.