Hawaiian Sweet Bread

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling


3 loaves (12 pieces each)

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
The mother of a high school friend would make 13 loaves of this lightly sweet Hawaiian bread recipe at a time! I make this bread year-round, but my family insists it's a "must" for the holidays. —Ruthie Banks, Prescott, Arizona


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand until bubbles form on surface, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add pineapple juice and milk and continue to heat gently until mixture reaches 110°-115°.
    In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, salt and ginger. Add yeast and butter mixtures to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough; dough will be sticky.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface; with floured hands, knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes, adding more flour to surface and hands as needed. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a ball. Place in 3 greased 9-in. round baking pans lined with parchment. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until golden brown and internal temperature of loaves reaches 200°, 30-35 minutes, covering loosely with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if needed to prevent tops from overbrowning. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Hawaiian Bread Recipe Tips

Why do they call it Hawaiian bread?

Hawaiian bread, as you may have guessed, originated in Hawaii. Robert R. Taira created this sweet bread recipe, later named King's Hawaiian Rolls, in his bakery in the 1950s. (Find out the real reason why King's Hawaiian Rolls are so popular.)

What do you eat with Hawaiian rolls?

You can serve Hawaiian rolls with many Hawaiian dishes, like Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. The rolls also work well for sandwiches. Check out these slider recipes for inspiration.

What's the best way to knead Hawaiian bread dough?

The best way to knead Hawaiian bread dough is by hand, but you can also knead the dough with a stand mixer. Unsure if your dough is ready? Here's how to tell if you've kneaded for long enough.

Research contributed by Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Assistant Digital Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 146 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 103mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.