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Sweet Potato Haupia Pie Bars

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Sweet potato haupia pie bars are a favorite dessert here in Hawai’i. Crumbly shortbread crust with a sweet potato filling topped with a soft set haupia. You won’t want to pass this up.

close up sweet potato haupia pie bars

Hawai’i is popular for many different foods and haupia is definitely on this list. Haupia is a coconut based dessert that is popular at local gatherings. Traditional haupia is made of coconut milk and arrowroot and heated until thickened. Due to the lack of availability of arrowroot, most recipes today use cornstarch to thicken.

Looking for other favorite recipes of Hawai’i? Some of my sweet favorites are poi mochi, haole brownies, and mochi, . For the savory options Instant Pot luau stew, shoyu chicken, and Instant Pot chicken long rice.

sweet potato haupia pie bars

Haupia can be served plain or atop different desserts. Haupia is commonly served over sweet potato (as in this recipe) or chocolate pudding. It’s yummy either way you have it.

The crust layer of this recipe made of a shortbread blend with chopped macadamia nuts for added texture and a nutty flavor. Macadamia nuts are also a popular food here in Hawai’i.

The middle layer consists of a sweet potato filling and is baked until set. Everything is then placed in the refrigerator to cool before enjoying. Waiting for this to cool may be the hardest part of this whole process.

top down view of sweet potato haupia pie bars

What do I need to make sweet potato haupia pie bars?

  • For the crust: 
    • Unsalted butter 
    • Granulated sugar 
    • All purpose flour 
    • Macadamia nuts
  • For the sweet potato filling: 
    • Granulated sugar
    • Unsalted Butter
    • Eggs 
    • Okinawan sweet potato 
    • Evaporated milk 
    • Vanilla extract 
    • Salt 
  • For the haupia: 
  • Coconut milk 
  • Water 
  • Granulated sugar 
  • Cornstarch
black plate with 3 sweet potato haupia pie bars

Tips for making great sweet potato haupia pie bars

  • Best to use unsalted butter, as salted butter varies in the amount of salt added.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can omit the macadamia nuts.
  • Okinawan sweet potatoes are found in most grocery stores. It has a deep purple hue. You can steam, bake, or boil and then mash these to make the sweet potato layer.
  • If you would like to make your own vanilla extract check out this recipe.

How to store sweet potato haupia pie bars?

These bars are best kept in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

How to make sweet potato haupia pie bars?

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add flour and sugar. Mix until combined. Then add butter and macadamia nut. Mix until crumbly.
  3. Pour crust layer in to a greased 9×13 baking pan. Press into baking pan to form an even layer and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add sugar and butter. Mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Next add sweet potato, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  4. Evenly spread the sweet potato mixture over the crust layer and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.

For the haupia:

  1. Add coconut milk and water to a medium pan over medium high heat. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add the dry ingredients to the pan and whisk to combine.
  3. Continue stirring until cornstarch and sugar dissolve and the mixture thickens slightly. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour haupia over the cooled sweet potato layer. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight to set.
  5. Cut and ENJOY!
sweet potato haupia pie bars

Sweet Potato Haupia Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Sweet potato haupia bars are a favorite dessert here in Hawai’i. Crumbly shortbread crust with a sweet potato filling topped with a soft set haupia. You won’t want to pass this up.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

For sweet potato filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups Okinawan sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and mashed
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Haupia Layer

  • 1 can (13.5 fluid ounces) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add flour and sugar. Mix until combined. Then add butter and macadamia nut. Mix until crumbly.
  3. Pour crust layer in to a greased 9x13 baking pan. Press into baking pan to form an even layer and set aside.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add sugar and butter. Mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Next add sweet potato, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well combined.
  4. Evenly spread the sweet potato mixture over the crust layer and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let cool.

For the haupia:

  1. Add coconut milk and water to a medium pan over medium high heat. Whisk to combine.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add the dry ingredients to the pan and whisk to combine.
  3. Continue stirring until cornstarch and sugar dissolve and the mixture thickens slightly. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour haupia over the cooled sweet potato layer. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight to set.
  5. Cut and ENJOY!

Notes

  • Best to use unsalted butter, as salted butter varies in the amount of salt added.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can omit the macadamia nuts.
  • Okinawan sweet potatoes are found in most grocery stores. It has a deep purple hue. You can steam, bake, or boil and then mash these to make the sweet potato layer.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 245Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g

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    By on January 25th, 2020

    About Relle

    Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

    I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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