Hawaiian Torta

Hawaiian Torte Appetizer
A different appetizer full of flavor for your soiree’s.

Hawaiian Torta

One winter vacation on the island of Maui, we stopped into Costco to buy some food supplies. There was this delicious Hawaiian Torte for sale there. I am sure it was local. It was so very delicious. Here is my re-creation. 

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 2 days
Servings 12 people
BarrowFamily.org Kelly Barrow


Butter/Cheese layer

  • 1 pound cream cheese **1
  • 1 pound butter

Pesto layer

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves **2
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 7-8 cloves of garlic

Tomato layer

  • sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic


Blend Butter/Cheese:

  1. cream cheese and butter, both softened at room temperature. **2

Create Pesto:

  1. In a food processor blend olive oil, Parmesan, basil and garlic until smooth

  2. Hint: or use the bottled kind like you find at Costco.

Blend together:

  1. In a freshly cleaned food processor blend the sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.

    OR pick up a jar of sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) up Costco also, use about 1/2 of the jar. Drain some of the oil, and blend it with the garlic. 


  1. Cut food-grade cheese cloth to fit over a medium bowl. Wet and wring-out cloth cheese cloth by lining it in bowl.

    This allows the Torta to come out of the bowl easily. If you just spray the bowl with Pam, it doesn't work as nicely when popping the Torta out.

  2. Place a small amount of the cheese mixture in the center of cheese cloth. Place pesto to cover cheese. Place the tomatoes over the pesto.
  3. Continue to layer cheese mixture, pesto, and dried-tomatoes. You will have some left-overs, make a small one as a gift for a co-worker.
  4. Cover cloth over cheese mixture and pesto and place in refrigerator for 2-3 days. It seems like a long time; however the flavors need to mingle.
  5. Prior to serving, invert Torta on a plate and remove Torta ball within in cheese cloth. Serve with baguettes or your favorite cracker.
  6. Serve at room tempurature

Recipe Notes

Other ingredients to add if you are adventurous: walnuts & Gorgonzola in the cream cheese

**1. My family likes a higher ratio of cream cheese. Start with an even balance and go from there. 

**2. I am not a fan of pesto and never make my own. However, in this recipe it is fantastic.  I find I can buy pesto and freeze it for when I want to make this Torte. I always use some of the cheesecloth to squeeze out excess oil.