A trip to Maui in itself is a delicious treat. But if you’re craving indulgence in a more literal sense, we’ve got you covered. The Valley Isle is studded with sweet shops, bakeries, and shave ice joints to satisfy any sweet tooth. Here are some of our favorite places to find dessert on Maui:
The Maui Cookie Lady
The Maui Cookie Lady went from baking cookies for fundraisers to running Maui’s most lauded cookie business in a mere decade. But it’s not surprising that her cookies are starting to receive national attention— they’re dang good. And enormous; some cookies weigh in at a whopping 10 ounces. Many of The Maui Cookie Lady’s recipes draw inspiration from the island’s bounty of tropical produce and feature local ingredients: such as the ‘Anuhea Upcountry Breeze’, made with Ali’i Kula Lavender culinary buds, Waihe’e Farms macadamia nuts, and island calamansi.
Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
It’s not unusual to see a line snaking out the door of Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu. The restaurant is known for having some of the best breakfast and lunch on Maui. But for those with a sweet tooth, it’s not the sandwiches that draw you to Leoda’s— it’s the pies. Leoda’s display cases are lined with succulent, island-inspired pies like guava chiffon, pineapple macadamia nut, and chocolate haupia. Dessert pies are handheld, so don’t feel too bad if you scarf yours down in one go (although you can also order nine-inch pies three days ahead of time).
Shave ice is a must-have in the islands, and no one does it better than Ululani’s. Ululani’s started with one Lahaina location in 2008 and now boasts seven storefronts on Maui, one in Kona, and a sister business. Ululani’s is known for having the softest melt-in-your-mouth shave ice around, which stimulated their exponential growth— no rough, icy chunks here! Plus, all of their syrups are homemade with premium ingredients. (Local tip: top your Ululani’s shave ice with mochi balls and li hing mui powder— you’ll thank me later.)
For those in the know, the mention of Stillwell’s is enough to make your mouth water. Tucked near Wailuku Town, Stillwell’s has been a Maui institution for nearly three decades— and its quality has never wavered. From the pies to the fruit tarts, each one of Stillwell’s pastries is flawless, fresh, and visually stunning. But out of every item on the vast menu, the cream horns garner the most attention. As a result, you’ll often find visitors and residents alike carting boxes of the cream-filled pastries out of Stillwell’s.
If Donut Dynamite set up shop in Portland, they’d give Voodoo Donuts a run for their money. Maui’s finest craft donut shop routinely dreams up innovative new flavors with island-inspired ingredients, like the Molokai Sweet Potato Poi donut and the Calamansi Ginger Mint donut. New donut flavors drop every Monday on Donut Dynamite’s online store. The only way to get your hands on these dazzling donuts is to pre-order online. Pickup is every Saturday at the Donut Dynamite location in Wailuku from 7 am to 1 pm. These crafty donuts are well worth going out of your way for.
Sugar Beach Bake Shop
Sugar Beach Bake Shop is nestled in a quiet corner of North Kihei. But when the bakery doors open at 6 am, this sleepy section of Maui comes to life. Just like its sister company, Ululani’s Shave Ice, Sugar Beach Bake Shop emphasizes quality ingredients and underscores the use of locally-sourced products. In the morning, customers flock to Sugar Beach Bake Shop for fresh malasadas, cinnamon rolls, scones, and pies to take home for later. Come afternoon, freshly squeezed lemonade and chocolate chip cookies are in high demand. No matter the time of day, Sugar Beach Bake Shop is a North Kihei go-to for a sweet treat.
Island Cream Co.
The tasty offerings at Island Cream Co are in a league of their own. Each day, Island Cream Co whips up 36 batches of their trademarked “island cream”— a unique ice cream gelato hybrid. Expect to find traditional flavors like chocolate and vanilla alongside specialty creams like coconut poi and lilikoi cheesecake. But Island Cream Co doesn’t stop there. The Lahaina shop is also home to Glacier Ice— an innovative self-serve shave ice syrup system with three dozen flavor taps.
Komoda Bakery has been serving locals and visitors alike for more than a century. This Makawao bakery’s popularity is reflected in the perpetual lines that stretch down Baldwin Avenue each morning. This no-frills bakery is famous for its monstrous cream puffs, malasadas, long johns, and signature stick donuts. Things go fast here, so if you don’t arrive early, you’re out of luck. Be sure to keep an eye on Komoda’s hours— it’s a family-run business, and sometimes they’ll close for weeks on end if they go out of town.
Tasaka Guri Guri
Tasaka Guri Guri is yet another Maui business that has been operating for over a century. Guri Guri is a cross between sherbet and ice cream, and while there are countless “copycat” recipes out there, the real recipe is kept secret by the Tasaka family. The first Guri Guri shop opened in Puunene over one hundred years ago but has been at its current location in the Maui Mall since the 1970s. Be sure to bring cash with you; this shop is old school and doesn’t accept cards.
Paia Artisan Ice Cream
Although this hole-in-the-wall ice cream shop is small, it has made a big impression on the laid-back North Shore town of Paia. This family-owned business makes every menu item in-house, from the crafty ice cream flavors to the sauces and toppings. And we’ve got good news for our vegan and dairy-free friends: Paia Artisan Ice Cream offers several dairy-free and soy-free flavors that aren’t sorbets. Made with coconut milk and coconut cream, the ultra-creamy dairy-free options rival traditional ice cream.