Big Island’s Best: Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie

In Hawaii, every island has that special place to buy omiyage, or “gift” – usually food – to bring back as a treat for family and friends as a taste of your travels. From the Big island of Hawaii, one of those places to go is Holy’s Bakery in the Kapa’au area of Kohala for their awesome pies.

Fortunately for us folks living on (or visiting) Oahu, our local Star Market continues to ship in and sell Holy’s pies, including peach, coconut, and the most popular: Buttered Apple. Each hand-made, then frozen with plenty of TLC and ready to bake.

Diner “E”, in his generous spirit, brought this Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie to the office for us to try, which he bought from the Star Market in Ewa Beach, Oahu. He said there were only 3 in stock, along with 5 coconut and 5 peach pies. All at $14.99 each.

What you say? $14.99 for an apple pie? That is relatively steep, but this isn’t any ordinary apple pie. This is THE apple pie!

Behold the Holy’s Pie box, which this is exactly how it will look in your local Star Market’s freezer section…

Notice there’s no fancy plastic vacuum sealed wrapper or other high tech packaging method. This is old school. I wonder if there could be a loco moco with 2 scoops rice and mac salad under the hood here? lol

Pop the hood, and you’re greeted with a raw, solid-frozen, unbaked pie…

And no it’s NOT microwaveable!

Notice the steam vent slit, which actually you can’t see a visible puka, just the shape of where it’s located.

So what did it say on the label?…

Ah. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour. So Diner “E” fired up the oven on preheat at that temp’, then placed it in there on top of a baking pan to catch any drippings…

Exactly 1 hour later, it’s done!…

Whew. Thankfully that vent in the top crust functioned properly, or this could have been a mess! Not that the interior of our office lunchroom oven was exactly in showroom condition itself, either. lol

It was left to cool down for about 10 minutes then cut to serve…

Now. You do see it says BUTTERED Apple Pie, right? As in 1 whole stick! See that white goo in the center. That’s butter fat my friends, drippin’ ‘n oozin’ out. Paula Deen, if you’re lookin’ at this, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Here’s a slice…

What you CAN see is that flaky crust, that is entirely unique to Holy’s pie. What you CAN’T see is the BUTTERYNESS, which permeates throughout the crust and filling via shear heat melting that ingredient (dabs of butter) through and through. Diner “E” made a great observation by pointing out this crust was similar to that of the Manju from Maui. I agree, it’s quite similar.

What’s most incredible is how fresh it tastes after coming piping hot out of the oven, regardless of when the the actual date of production was, or the lack of sealed packaging involved. While I can’t say how one of these tastes fresh off Holy’s assembly line and out of the oven, I’m certainly not complaining with this shipped-frozen-then-baked version.

Now, you don’t think we’d eat this pie “plain” do you?…

Yes. that’s American Cheese added in and melted on, my friends. It may sound or even look gross, but this is THE way to eat an apple pie! You must try it like this. Especially with that extra butter in Holy’s pie. It’s like sensory overload in the way the creamy characteristic flavor of the American cheese enhances the cinnamon, apples, brown sugar, and buttery, delicately-textured crust. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Everyone who had a slice couldn’t get over how simple, yet delicous this pie was. We all unanimously agreed, whether it was just $5 or $15, Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie is one of the best we’ve ever tasted.

Holy’s Bakery, Inc.
PO Box 132 Kapaau, HI 96755

*Also available at select Star Market locations on Oahu in the freezer section ($14.99 each for Buttered Apple, Peach or Coconut pies, each).

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)

Related links:
Frozen Apple Pie is a Big Island Favorite – Honolulu Star Bulletin


Big Island’s Best: Holy’s Buttered Apple Pie — 39 Comments

  1. Stop, you’re killing me with those ono-looking photos! I agree that $14.99 does seem steep for a store-bought frozen pie, but sometimes you get what you pay for. In this case, it appears that the extra bucks get you a much better quality and taste than the regular frozen stuff. I was impressed that apples were listed first for the ingredients!

  2. hey–I thought their store was in Manoa valley up near the cemetery (which shows you how long it’s been since I’ve been back). Apple? Nah–gotta have the coconut. It’s worth any price…even fourteen dollars.

  3. I love this pie !!! I remember when the Liberty House’s Garden Court used to serve it with your choice of accompaniment: cheese, cinnamon sauce and of course ice cream. The butter is what makes this melt in you mouth pie soooo ono!

  4. Kat, so next time I go to their bakery on the Big Island, I going tell them, “I know your cousin, Kat”, and ‘den they going give me discount, eh? lol

    Carol, yes indeed our lunchroom has a full-service kitchen. Come on now, how else are we going to heat up all the grinds for the office pot lucks?!

    Jodi, yeah I read they had a bakery outlet here, but consolidated back to the BI.

    Lisa, I think that’s a typo on the label. Butter should be more like the 3rd one listed, after Apples and flour; not the last! I actually didn’t find it all that sweet.. but more buttery. Yum yum.

    Lindy, that’s interesting to know. I most remember the “Liberty House Mushroom Burger”. To die for!

    Liz, yeah, tell someone who’s never tried it to put American Cheese on their apple pie, and they’d almost rather eat road kill. But honestly, if you like cheese, you’ll be HOOKED on this amazing combination of flavors. Especially with Holy’s pie, since it’s so buttery already.

    But really, American Cheese will enhance ANY apple pie. Even those “cheapo” ones that most supermarket bakeries pump out by the 100’s each day.

  5. Hi, I’m a Oahu born and I love your Holy Peach Pie. It’s been 10 years that I had one, and I want to know if there is a way to order from Hawaii to California. Please, Please anyone, let me know if there’s a way. Thank you.

    • Debbie , call aunty Hori at Holy bakery and place 20 pies to make it worth while for air freight with Hawaiian airline cargo . You can hui with others to share the shipping cost $ . Another idea is to freeze the pies that’s good for several weeks and defrost when needed for baking . I live on Oahu and usually place 25-45 pies for Christmas and share the cost with others $ .
      Aloha ,

  6. What an absolutely awesome review!!! Yoshio and Miyako Hori opened Holy’s Bakery in the 1930’s. The bakery became known as Holy’s Bakery when a signmaker in Waimea misspelled the Hori name. I have had the honor of meeting many members of the Hori family and the love and generosity they extend to their family and friends is the same love and generosity that goes into the making of their pies.

  7. If you spent summers in Kohala and were in some way related to the Hori family…you more than likely ‘worked’ in the bakery at one time or another! Hehehe. Really good memories…really good pie!!! Hi Uncle Yasu & Auntie Janet :)

  8. I LOOOOOOVE ANYTHING FROM HOLY’S – MY otha ‘ohana…. They are always there to help with fundraisers and just keeping the onolicious goodies that we all grew up with…now my girls are fortunate to enjoy the scrumptionalities of Hawaii Nei!!!!! ……MUCH LOVE – M

  9. Hello Uncle Yasu and Auntie Janet. I like the apple pie very much,
    however, Da Best is Holy’s Bakery “Egg Custard Pie!” I could
    kau kau one all by myself. Too bad, I can’t find pie in LV. Nato

  10. Wow apple pie with cheese is popular at one time which no more Zim Coffee Shop in San Francisco. It was a 24 hrs branches like Dennys. They serve apple pie with cheese sauce that heated along with the pie. It old English way to serve and eat apple pie.

  11. Tammy, glad you enjoyed the write-up.

    To everyone saying hello to Uncle Yasu and Auntie Janet, what I’d love to do is have an opportunity to visit them for a future write-up on this blog. That’d be very cool. My mom grew up in that area and remembers them from her childhood.

    • To the uninitiated, melted American Cheese on an Apple Pie probably looks and sounds GROSS. However once you try it, you’ll swear by it!

  12. Pomai, I did not see butter as ingredient on label but pie sure taste good. In San Francisco there was a chain of coffee shops called Zim and they serve warm apple pie slice with cheese sauce. It was most popular dessert item in the place. It too bad they folded many years ago for it was an 24 hour business.

    • Amy, funny you ask that, as butter is actually on the ingredients list, however it’s LAST. Hah? How come? Butter should be up at the front of the ingredients list, as that’s most definitely the first thing that pops in taste upon first bite. I swear, there’s got to be a whole 4 oz. stick in each pie.

    • Donna , don’t forget to add haupia ice cream next to the pear pie and a hot cup off chocolate kona coffee to ease the entire delght .
      Aloha !
      From Nalo

    • Norene,

      Nope. No places on Oahu that I’m currently aware of.

      Only on Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. And you need to go to “local” stores to find Holly’s awesome, supah buttery, frozen, ready-to-bake fruit pies. Like KTA on the Big Island, or Takamiya Market in Wailuku, Maui.

      • Norene ,

        Check with Times Supermarket for Holy’s pies ? I would hui with others to compile 25 pies for shipping to make it worthwhile for Holy’s Bakery . This method of pie purchase is delightful for the up coming holiday season .

        Aloha !
        From Nalo

  13. Da rising volcano oozing molten butter at da slit with crackling crust releasing steamy aroma that nauseate your tummy for da yummy .

    Aloha ,
    From Nalo

  14. Bought a Holy’s Bakery apple pie from Times Beretania on Friday and paid $15.98 for it. I think apple’s the only type they have there. The pies are also available at Hawaiian Style on Kapiolani Blvd. Check out their website: .

  15. @ Jaye – Holy’s Pies are available at Times Beretania on Oahu? Shoots! I’m so there! As stated, the one featured in this review was purchased at Star Market (same price @ $15), whom as you know was purchased by Times, whom Times was purchased by a mainland outfit, yet thankfully they’ve retained their inventory of locally-made food products, including now Holy’s Pies! Holy’s Pies are also available at select stores on Maui, including Foodland, Times, Ah Fook’s in Kahului and Takamiya Market in Wailuku.

    @ Ray, “Da rising volcano oozing molten butter at da slit with crackling crust releasing steamy aroma that nauseate your tummy for da yummy.” Ding-ding-ding, we have a winner for best slogan ever written! LOL!!!! Seriously, that’s GREAT!

  16. Pomai and other Holy’s Apple Pie lovers: The pies (selected varieties) will be on special at Times Supermarkets for 4 days, from Sept. 12 to 15 (Fri. to Mon.) selling for $$13.99.

    • Jaye,

      Mahalos for the 411 on that Times promo’ $1 off ($13.99) deal. Nice!

      Note that Tamura’s Market on Oahu is also now selling Holy’s Bakery pies for the same (regular) $14.99 each price. It’s in their current print ad.

      I’m curious how the Peach and Coconut flavors taste, yet I’m quite confident the seriously buttery Apple Pie is Holy’s go-to claim to fame. ;-)

  17. 2412 Botanical Dr. Killeen Texas. I love this pie and I didn’t know that it was still made. Do you ship to the mainland? I’ll pay for shipping. Do you also make custard pie? They don’t have anything like that here. Please let me know. Thank you so much.

    P.S. If I didn’t see the article in the star advertiser I would’ve never known you were still in business. Again thank you.

  18. Times Mccully sells Holy’s pies for over $16 so I hope Holy’s new location (Hawaiian Pie Company) in Kalihi will be less.  A bit steep for a pie but excellent.

  19. Considering you pay $5 for a slice of an average pie, $15 for eight slices is a bargain, and this is not just an average pie!  It’s Holy’s and it’s the BEST!!!

  20. with or without cheese…. just with vanilla ice cream (my favorite) or simply by itself.. this is the best pie IN the UNIVERSE. Nothing compares. 

  21. I had my first Holy’s Bakery Buttered Pear Pie back in 1981.  Then I had the peach, then the apple, then the coconut.  I’ve tried over and over to replicate the recipes, but never quite got it dead bang on.  I miss the Buttered Pear Pie.  I stopped seeing it around the early ’90’s.  Still, in Vegas now, and I miss these pies!  Not enough people here to order 25 pies, but I still have those memories.  Holy’s is the BEST pie I’ve ever had.  Doesn’t matter which one, the crust is awesome, the entire pie is buttery, and the filling doesn’t get watery like many other places.  It is just awesome!

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