Total Time:
2 hr 5 min
25 min
1 hr 15 min
25 min

24 servings

  • 2 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Cinnamon-sugar for coating (about 1/4 cup sugar mixed with cinnamon to taste)

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast with 1/4 cup lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix until the yeast dissolves then set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, vanilla, eggs, and butter and reserve.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with 11/3 cup sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the yeast and milk mixture into the well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, forming a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough with a clean towel and set aside to rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down, then with oiled fingers, pinch off pieces about the size golf balls. Place the dough balls on greased baking sheets. Cover the malasadas with a clean towel and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

In a heavy, high-sided pot, heat a bout 2 inches of oil over medium-high until the oil reaches 325 degrees F. Working in small batches, fry the malasadas until they are uniformly golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes per batch. Drain the malasadas on a plate lined with paper towels just until they are cool enough to handle then roll them in cinnamon sugar and serve.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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Cooking Tips
3.9 22
How do you make them less cakey? They were a little too dense in my opinion. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I grew up on Leonard's malasadas so I went in to this with HIGH expectations. I have to say that the flavor is spot on and based on the reviews below I made a few tweaks. I used bread flour instead of AP flour, I used evaporated milk instead of regular milk and I only added the nutmeg in to the sugar and cinnamon mixture that the malasadas are coated with. I found another recipe from Punahou which recommended that you allow the dough to rise twice before shaping it in to balls. As an Iolani grad I was reluctant to take their advice but it did make sense so I did it and got great results. The only problem with the end result was that they were denser than Leonard's. Guess I'll have to make them again and see if I can make them lighter! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've tried this recipe several times, each time making adjustments because this recipe doesn't taste like the original Leonard's malasadas. Although my version still needs tweaking, I'm getting there. Here are my changes: used bread flour; used 5 eggs; used evaporated milk; eliminated nutmeg. The eggs, butter and milk should be at room temperature. I used my KitchenAid stand-up mixer with the dough hook mixing 10 mins. at slow speed. It's very important to let the dough rise until it doubles in size. After it rises, form into round balls. HELPFUL VIDEO: Leonard Rego actually shows how to form it into balls in a youtube video called "Making Leonard's Malasadas" (fast forward to about 2 min. mark. After forming into balls, let the dough rise again to insure fluffy malasadas. In video, Leonard Rego says he uses canola oil. They cook up beautifully in my wok. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The first time I tried this recipe and followed it to the letter was a failure. However, I did not give up. So, I did some modification to the ingredients (not much and instead of using all purpose flour, I used bread flour. Also, I added distilled white vinegar the same amount as the yeast (the vinegar helps the dough rise. I used a stand mixer to mix the dough for 10 minutes or more. The first rise should be about two hours and the second rise should be about the same as the first for a total of 4 hours. The key here is to let the dough rise. There is no short cut. After the second rise, form the dough into a ball the size of a golf ball. Let it rise/rest for another 30 minutes and then fry. I use an electric deep fryer with the temperature set at 350 degrees F. My family and friends loved it. I have invited friends and relatives over the house for malasadas and movie night.They say it is the same as Leonard's malasadas. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Limited to 1K characters, so I have to be short. Things to consider: YEAST: keep in mind that when working with yeast, the "warm" water for the yeast should be between 105F to 115F. MILK: try using whole milk and scald it -- meaning, bring it to a 180F boil. Scalding helps the dough rise. When adding the milk to the other wet ingredients, have it at about 110F. EGGS: do not use cold eggs. Bring them to room temperature before using. BUTTER: like the milk, have this at around 110F when you add this to the rest of the wet ingredients. DOUGH: expect this to be very wet and gooey initially. You have to knead the dough to a point where it's not so gooey and somewhat-easily comes off your hands. RISING: consider using your oven, between 80F to 84F, as the place to let your dough rise. You are looking for your dough to about double in size during each rising. NOTE: there are other things this recipe did not reveal or explain, but I am out of characters to explain further. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is very close to Leonard's. Here are some hints to get the texture right. Resist the urge to add more flour--maladas are almost a batter type bread not a dough. Use a stand mixer and let it mix with a dough hook for at least 5-8 minutes--you should see long strands of gluten forming--the old-days Portuguese women who made these must have had arms like stevedores!!!--Use only fresh nutmeg--it is "fluffier" than preground and therefore takes more space on the spoon. After forming into the golf-sized balls--place on plastic wrap--they won't stick and all you need to do is tilt the plastic wrap a little to gently roll the dough onto a spider--the dough won't deflate from last minute handling and will puff to an impressive size!! Carnivals usually dip scoops into the large pails and directly put the dough into the fryer--that's why they are denser. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hey guys, at first i had second thoughts about trying this recipe since it had really mixed reviews. I live in arkansas and i miss eating leonards malasadas. I did this recipe anyway dispite my lack of experience when it comes to baking. I read all the comments and tried it out. This is definitely the right recipe. you just have to give it time to rise. thats all!! Love it!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am so excited to try this recipe - I think I'll use bread flour and will keep in mind the reviews here. I lived in Hawaii for a few years and Leonards was a regular stop when in Honolulu. (We always took visitors there and then ran down the street to Starbucks for coffee. We would then drive over to Kapiolani Park, find a bench near the beach and enjoy!! The weather has been so wet and gloomy lately that the thought of a warm malasada (even if not exactly like Leonard's sounds so comforting! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Close but still off... I used about 1/8 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg and I only used 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp of sugar (as observed by several other raters). The flavor is really close to what I grew up eating at the Leonard's Bakery (and wagons!). The texture, however, is way off. Leonard's Malasadas are so joyously chewy and full of air like happy bread pillows. Even after substantial rise time these are more "bready", albeit light - but sadly, not chewy. I'm thinking to experiment with a high protein flour to see if that helps the chew factor, and let the dough balls rise in the fry basket - but for now I'd say this recipe deserves three stars for getting us half way there. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think I see what's wrong. The list of ingredients calls for 1/3C sugar plus 1Tbl to start the yeast. In the body of the instructions it calls for 1 1/3C sugar. I made it with the 1 1/3C and is was like cake batter. I even added about 1/2C flour to the mixer but to no avail. After leaving the batter alone for 6 hours to find that it was not risen but had the consistency of cookie dough, I decided to bake it . 350deg for 30 mins in a greased rectangular pyrex pan. I'll let y'all know how it turns out. item not reviewed by moderator and published