How Long Does Hawaiian Bread Last?

Nicole Austin

Hawaiian bread is a holiday (and year-round) staple. This will help it last longer.

I’m not a sappy person, but get ready for a love story… I remember when Hawaiian rolls came into my life.

I am all about the bread — it’s no secret. In fact, if loving bread was a contest, I’d finally have a gold medal to display on my wall. I usually gravitate toward buttery or light breads, unless we’re talking about sweets like banana bread. So, for a long time, I stuck with traditional biscuits or rolls as a side (or a snack).

Hawaiian Ham and Cheese Sliders Photo

Then, one day I decided to make sliders with BBQ pulled pork, and it was suggested to me that I use these fluffy rolls as the bread. I thought, sure, why not? I’m down for something new.

I mean, I’d heard of them, I’d seen them, but I’d never tried them. It was time to take the chance.

Imagine my joy when I served these up for myself and my kids (who possess an equal appreciation for bread, in case you’re wondering).

The softness, the perfect amount of sweetness, the buttery flavor that pulls them toward savory… Chef’s kiss!

I buy them often now, whether as ham and cheese sliders or a simple snack. Speaking of ham, they are absolutely perfect alongside a Christmas or Easter ham, where their soft, honeyed flavor is complimented by the sugary saltiness of your main dish. As far as our editor is concerned, leftover ham Hawaiian rolls make the ideal breakfast the day after Christmas (and beyond).

Ham and Cheese Sliders Recipe Photo

You’ll love these turkey sliders with cranberry sauce, especially after Thanksgiving. And if you’re not making your own Easter bread, Hawaiian rolls are definitely the move!

These rolls are so good that our puppy helped himself to an entire tray of them recently. I wish I was kidding. It’s not my proudest dog mom moment, but I understand what he was thinking.

What is the History of Hawaiian Bread?

Hawaiian bread was created in the 1950s in Hilo, Hawaii.

It should be no surprise to anyone familiar with Hilo that it produces a sugary sweet flavor bread, as it was known to be a commercial center for the sugar industry in the 1800s.

A man named Robert R. Taira, proud owner of Robert’s Bakery, was the Hawaiian-born son of Japanese immigrants and graduated in the top of his baking class. His father cashed out his life insurance policy to help his son open the business, which turned out to be a stellar move.

Clearly talented, Robert became the inventor of Hawaiian sweet bread, which is rumored to have rarely made it home from the bakery. As someone who hardly gets home with it even to this day, I understand!

Kalua Pork Sliders with Guava Rum BBQ Sauce Pic

Over time, the bakery expanded to an additional shop in Honolulu, where the bread continued to soar in popularity across Hawaii. This relocation sparked the change in name — once the bakery landed on King Street, a legend was born. King’s Bakery, soon to be forever synonymous with King’s Hawaiian bread, grew once more.

With this level of local success, it only made sense to continue the legacy, and in 1977, Torrance, California welcomed the delicious bread with a hearty “aloha!” (And an ever-increasing demand!)

As time carried on and the bakery continued to be a successful endeavor, the introduction of 12-pack Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls only made sense. Robert continued to create original recipes that showcased his Hawaiian roots and kept the business booming.

The business was once again so successful that it had to be expanded further, and its popularity carried from this point in the 1990s to the massive bread empire of today. King’s Hawaiian, with 70 plus years of success, grosses over $900 million dollars annually today, a far cry from the original $350 investment!

Flavor Mosaic Reuben Sliders Recipe Photo

How Long Does Hawaiian Bread Last?

This feels like a trick question in my house.

It depends on a lot of things — how many kids are home, who spotted that bright orange package, and whether or not the dog was left unattended.

But, not all homes are blessed with many children like mine is, and fresh Hawaiian bread may not fly out of your cupboard in minutes.

To keep your Hawaiian rolls fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, here are a few storage tips:

  • Store on the countertop in an airtight container or ziplock to maintain moisture and freshness. They will typically keep in this setting for a few days.
  • Keep them in the fridge if you don’t plan to use them within 3-5 days. This will help prevent them from becoming stale. Some people report that the fridge dries their bread out. If you find that this is the case, refresh your rolls in the oven by lightly glazing them with butter. Include a pan of water on a rack in the oven while reheating to add moisture to the circulating air.
  • Freeze the rolls if you don’t expect to consume them within that time frame.
  • When freezing the rolls, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
  • Thaw the rolls in the fridge, then place on a countertop to bring them to room temperature.

All commercially manufactured breads and store-bought rolls should indicate an expiration date that is stamped on either the bag or a tag that closes the bag. Look for this date when purchasing to make sure that the bread should have enough shelf life until you plan to use it.

Always look over your bread before consuming to check for signs of spoilage. Throw away the package if you notice at any point that your bread has started to mold, smell sour, or feel damp or sticky.

That means toss the whole thing, unfortunately, not just the individual roll!

Pesto Chicken Pull Apart Sliders Picture

Why Are Hawaiian Rolls So Good?

Honestly, great question. Hawaiian rolls are addictively delicious, and we can tell you why!

  • Texture: Soft, fluffy, and airy, these rolls are not as dense as traditional dinner rolls, making them a sensory experience.
  • Flavor: Sweet, flavorful, sugary ingredients make this bread stand out among the competition. This is why Hawaiian bread tastes so different!
  • Crust: The crust of bread is arguably the most divisive thing about it. You either love it or you hate it. I have to cut all the edges off my 6-year-old daughter’s bread, but she will consume the entire Hawaiian roll without question. This is because the crust is lightly browned without feeling thick and dry.
  • Beautiful There’s something to be said for a food that is not only wonderful to eat but equally appealing to look at.

Though simple, Hawaiian rolls are usually a glossy golden brown that will draw wanted attention to your spread and make the meal complete.

Chicken Meatball Sliders Image


Ways to Enjoy Your Hawaiian Bread or Rolls

If you’re looking to explore Hawaiian bread, the best place to start is to use it as a replacement in some recipes you may already enjoy, or eat it as you would any other kind of bread. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

  • A bun for a unique slider dish that the whole family will love, like these pesto chicken pull apart sliders.
  • Toasted or grilled, with jam on the tops of the rolls.
  • Made into a miniature French toast that is extra sweet.
  • You could also try cheesy hash brown breakfast sliders!
  • A bun for your favorite burger. (Add pineapple for that extra Hawaiian kick, or make sloppy joe sliders or BBQ pork sliders!)
  • A sweet breading to add to your stuffing.
  • As a base for delicious bread pudding (my favorite!).
  • Mini Hawaiian sweet roll sliders for your favorite little one: try a peanut butter and banana, Nutella, or PB&J kid-friendly slider at your next family dinner.
  • Speaking of kids, these pizza sliders are easy and a sure hit.

However you enjoy them, these sweet bread rolls will surely add an element of joy to your pantry and your dinner table!

Cheesy Hash Brown Breakfast Sliders Picture

You could always try to make your own homemade Hawaiian rolls, but why bother with a labor-intensive copycat recipe when King's Hawaiian rolls have already achieved the best results possible and when they are readily available at your grocery store?

This isn't sponsored content, we're just big fans. Plus, good luck replicating the Hawaiian bread recipe that your family and friends have already come to love — there's a time and place to get cute, but messing up homemade Hawaiian sweet rolls is a great way to upset a lot of people at once, even if you're a bread machine!

Take on this task for other kinds of bread, but keep your holiday meals simpler and buy sweet Hawaiian rolls next time you need them. If you want to get cheffy, just get creative using them for various mini sandwiches and side dish ideas.

Explore these other bread recipes for various other regular bread dishes, if needed!

Turkey Sliders with Cranberry Sriracha Sauce Photo

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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