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Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Macadamia Nut Pie

Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Macadamia Nut Pie


The first time I ever ate Sweet Potato Haupia Pie was at the Gyotaku on King St. It was so delicious that I immediately tried to hunt down the bakery. Their pies are made by Ani's Bakery out in Aiea, but unless you want to fight that traffic it's not the easiest place to get to. I decided to try to find a recipe online and make it myself instead. After going through multiple recipes, I found a mixture of ideas that worked for me.

It’s a three layer process that requires quite a bit of time and patience, so it’s not something you can make last minute. Also, to all of my friends who've been bugging me for the recipe - here you go!

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 4-5 hours (Depends on how long it takes for your haupia to set)
  • Yield: 8-12 servings

First off you need to make the Macadamia Nut Shortbread Crust.


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and then add the powdered sugar
  • Mix well and then add the vanilla
  • Slowly add the sifted flour and beat until incorporated
  • Mix in the 1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
  • Pat dough into a 9x9 square pan lined with parchment paper OR a glass 9 ½ inch pie dish
  • Put it in the freezer for 15 minutes
  • Heat oven to 350° F (150° C)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes and then set aside. 


While this is baking you can get started on the Okinawan Sweet Potato Layer.


  • 2 cups of Okinawan purple sweet potatoes - peeled, cooked and whipped (I use a potato masher because I like it a little chunky, but you can use your mixer if you like it smoother)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature (I sometimes cut this down to ¾ of a stick if I feel healthy that day)
  • ½ cup sugar (I use Maui Turbinado Sugar, but you could also use brown sugar or honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk (Macadamia Milk works great too!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs, one at a time.
  • Slowly fold in the whipped Okinawan sweet potatoes.
  • Add your milk, vanilla, and salt.
  • Mix until well combined. Mixture should be the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Pour onto hot pie crust and bake at 350° F (175° C) for 30 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool down. Pop it in the fridge when it gets to room temp.


Now for the Haupia Layer.


  • 1 can of coconut milk (You can also use 1 ¾ cup of frozen coconut milk)
  • 5 tbsp sugar (I usually cut down to 4 tbsp because I don’t like it super sweet, but up to you)
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ cup water


  • Open can of coconut milk and dump into small pot. Put on low heat.
  • Combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in water.
  • Stir mixture into coconut milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. (DON’T walk away from the stove. Keep stirring and eventually you’ll feel it thicken to the consistency of pudding.)
  • Pour mixture onto your sweet potato layer and pop into the fridge. Let it cool until haupia is firm. (Depending on your fridge and how cool the sweet potato layer is, this will take about 2-3 hours.)


At the very end you can also sprinkle some chopped macadamia nuts on top, and don’t forget to brag to all your friends and family about how you made this from scratch.

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Harold Burton - July 7, 2021

I love how you prep food. It is just one of the things I have learned from you. This is going on next week’s menu. I prefer the reds and orange for stuffing, and for some reason I like the horizontal cut. I think it is because of the proportion of filling to pepper. Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate you.

Harold Burton

Akiko - January 20, 2021

This was perfect. I was looking for the Okinawan sweet potato and Haupia recipe but I needed it to fit in a 9×9 pan. It’s thick but delicious! Reminds me of home! Mahalos

Nancy - August 20, 2020

Great recipe but I found that all this didn’t fit into a 9×9 dish. I had to move to a bigger dish.

Randy - April 20, 2020

Looks great, but can you use any other kind of potato? I can’t buy okinawan potatoes anywhere near me.

Betty - November 28, 2019

I grew up on Oahu and now in Seattle. I crave food from, authentic Hawaiian flavors, which can not be duplicated off the Island. I tried, the food just doesn’t taste the same.
Thank you for your Haupia recipe. One of my go to favorite when I’m missing home.

Janet H - September 14, 2018

A labor-intense recipe that satisfies: Very yummy and special! Thank you for helpful comments! Makes me appreciate what I savor at Kyotaku!

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