This haupia coconut pudding with fresh fruit is a delicious variation of the popular Hawaiian coconut dessert with vanilla bean. Free of grains, gluten, and dairy.
In the summer, I get more nostalgic for Hawaii. The lush green has come back from the grave of winter and the air is hot and sticky with the occasional warm breeze. I live in Oklahoma, so there’s nothing tropical about this place, but sometimes when I’m laying outside and close my eyes I can imagine being back on the island I love.
Growing up, one of the desserts I used to enjoy eating was haupia, a traditional Hawaiian coconut dessert. It’s made with coconut milk thickened with a starch and is usually firm enough to cut into squares. I added a little less starch and made it into a pudding instead, which is honestly a lot easier to serve and tastes just as delicious!
I added a half of a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract to make it a little more special and to keep the mixture from turning brown. I also mixed up a bunch of fresh fruit to top it with, like mango, kiwi, pineapple, and mixed berries….and pretty edible flowers don’t hurt either! I got mine from a local organic nursery which sells pesticide free plants and flowers. Just make sure yours is free from toxic sprays and is safe to eat before putting them on your food.
I like mine with toasted coconut, but the kids prefer theirs without. It’s totally optional, but you could add it if you like that delicious, toasty flavor and extra crunch. I suggest serving it on the side for people to top their own if they choose.
It’s such a simple, yet impressive dessert. The pudding can even be made a day or two before, which makes it a cinch to throw together. This pudding is fresh, creamy, slightly sweet, and made with wholesome ingredients. It’s the perfect summertime dessert, just top it with your favorite fruit and enjoy!
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