27 Traditional Malaysian Desserts In Malaysia To Try

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When trying famous Malaysian food, make sure you don’t skimp on dessert! Malaysian desserts are to die for. They even have sweet soups to try!

Between the cakes, the cookies, and all the other delicious pastries, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the top desserts in Malaysia to try.

Malaysian Cakes For Dessert

Banana Cake

The first Malaysian dessert that we’re going to recommend you to try is the all-time favorite banana cake. This dessert in Malaysia is popular all over the world mainly because it is frequently served at weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. Its origin isn’tknown but it is believed to be popularized by countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, and North America. 

Banana cake has a fluffy, moist texture. Note that banana cake and banana bread are different from each other. Banana bread is in a loaf form, but banana cake is multi-layered. 

Compared to banana bread, Banana cake has a royally luxurious look. It is topped with white frosting, nuts, bananas, powdered sugar, and drizzled caramel. It has a strong banana flavor paired with a rich nutty taste and a hint of bitterness (in a good way).

Ang Ku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake)

Ang Ku Kueh is an excellently simple but delicious dessert in Malaysia. This is one of the traditional Malaysian desserts which originated from China.  

What’s interesting is that Ang Ku Kueh kind of translates to Red Tortoise Cake in English. This pastry is shaped like a tortoise, and the animal symbolizes longevity and prosperity in Chinese culture. That is why you will sometimes see this on ritual offering tables as well.

Ang Ku Kueh is steamed on a piece of banana leaf. This Malaysian dessert has soft, sticky skin. But don’t worry; it doesn’t really stick to your teeth. 

The traditional color of this Malaysian dessert is red and orange, but nowadays you can buy it in every color you want. The best part about this Malaysian cake is its mung bean filling that gives a nutty and sweet taste. 

Kuih Bingka Ubi Kayu (Cassava Cake)

Kuih Bingka Ubi Kayo is translated into English as cassava cake. As indicated by the name of this Malaysian dessert, the main ingredient is grated tapioca or cassava. 

Cassava is cooked in fresh coconut milk, giving this Malaysian cake a vibrant creamy taste. Cassava cake has a mild sweetness and a milky, earthy, slightly nutty flavor. It is fragrant and chewy with a crunchy crust. 

Kuih Bingka Ubi Kayu is more conventional during tea time. Fun fact, cassava is rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. Who knew cake could be good for you too?

Kuih Sagu (Rose Sagu Cake)

Kuih Sago has an elegant, cute, and very feminine appearance. This Malaysian sweet is colored pink and topped with white and creamy grated coconut. It is also bite-sized and served in a banana leaf. 

Kuih Sago is one of the famous traditional desserts in Malaysia, so it is sold everywhere in the country. This Malaysian sweet has a soft, bouncy, and wobbly texture. It smells a lot like rose and a bit of pandan essence. 

Banlulu (Egg Sponge Cake)

Banlulu is a tiny, finger-food-sized cake. There are three popular variations that only vary in shape: Cermai Banlulu is a star-shaped cake, Gulung is rolled, and Lapis is layered. Banlulu is a traditional Malaysian dish always served during festivals and weddings. 

Bahulu has a slightly dry texture with a crunchy outside. It is very soft inside and tastes sweet and eggy. 

This beautiful Malaysian cake is good when you’re eating outside, like having a picnic or going to school, because it is very convenient to bring. Banlulu is an adorable must-eat dessert in Malaysia. 

Kuih Deri Muka

Kuih Deri Muka is a popular street food you can find almost anywhere in Malaysia. Kuih means cake. Due to its very smooth surface, this cake is dubbed deri Mika, which means ‘pretty face’.

This Malaysian dessert has two parts. The bottom consists of glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, making it dazzling white and creamy. The top is a milk custard flavored and naturally colored by pandan, giving a vibrant green color and refreshing fragrance.

Pulut Inti

Pulut Inti consists of plentiful white glutinous rice and sweetened grated coconut. It is wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked by grilling. It is an everyday Malaysian dessert that can be served part-time as breakfast and snack. 

You can eat this while walking to school or take it out when you’re late for work. This dessert is a trendy Malaysian cake, so it is everywhere in Malaysia.

Pastries In Malaysia Desserts

Bakeries are great spots to find various desserts in Malaysia that include pancakes, crepes, buns, and deep-fried snacks.

Kuih Dadar Gulung (Kuih Ketayap)

Kuih Dadar Gulung is a sweet coconut pancake. In Malay, “Dadar” means omelet or pancake, while “Gulong” means roll. It looks like a green tortilla. 

This Malaysian sweet is popular in many other countries such as Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. The wrapper of this Malaysian dessert is made from glutinous rice flavored and colored by pandan leaves. It has a refreshing essence of pandan. The filling consists of grated coconut caramelized with palm sugar. 

The overall look of this Malaysian dessert is elegant and pleasing. The taste of pandan and caramelized fillings complement each other well. Kuih Dadar Gulung is perfect for formal occasions.

Coffee Bun (Papparoti)

The coffee bun originated in Malaysia but is also popular in Mexico. It is so prevalent in Mexico that it is known widely as Mexican bread. 

The coffee bun is heavenly soft and fluffy, like eating a cloud. It is coated in coffee, giving it a distinct and perky aroma. It has a rich buttery taste and is best enjoyed freshly baked while still warm.

With a crispy crust and soft interior, it is no surprise that this is a popular favorite. Some bakeries even make it with a nice coat of butter inside. Even though it is already coffee-flavored, this pastry is best paired with a cup of warm coffee.

Cekodok   

This Malaysian sweet is a traditional fritter of Malaysia shaped like a ball. Cekodok is also popular in Indonesia and Brunei.

Its main ingredient is overripe bananas. It doesn’t require any extra sugar, as the overripe bananas sweeten the dish enough themselves. Coconut milk is the secret ingredient that makes this dish so creamy. 

The texture of Cekodok is excellent. It has a brown crunchy outside and soft inside. This dessert is perfect for teatime and breakfast in Malaysia

Dodol

Our next must-try Malaysian dessert is incredibly delicious. It originated in Indonesia but is popular in various countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. 

Dodol is made from coconut milk, coconut jaggery, rice flour, and palm sugar. It often comes in either a triangle or stick-like shape. The preparation for this dish requires constant vigilance so the milk doesn’t burn.

Dodol has a sticky and chewy texture and tastes similar to caramel thanks to its palm sugar base. 

The best part of this Malaysian dessert is it has a long shelf life. You can store this in a refrigerator for a maximum of 9 days. 

Kek Lapis Sarawak

Kek Lapis Sarawak is a beautiful, colorful, and fantastically patterned multi-layered cake. This traditional Malaysian dessert has a soft and wobble texture. It’s moist and buttery with a little bit of a vanilla taste. 

Kek Lapis Sarawak is a famous street food in Malaysia, so it can be found everywhere. The attractive visual often draws visitors to try them, and they are a work of art in their own right. They may be slightly more costly, but we assure you it’s worth every penny.

Goreng Pisang

Goreng Pissing is a popular dessert and street food in Malaysia and many other Southeast Asian countries. It is a banana coated in a thick batter and deep-fried. Typically, it is also sprinkled with sugar.

The saltiness of the batter perfectly complements the sweetness of the banana. It has a firm crust and a soft inside. Goreng Pissing is a common snack sold by street vendors all over Malaysia.

Apam Balik

Apam Balik is a traditional Malaysian pancake. This dessert is usually seen in night markets but is also an excellent breakfast. The flavorful and filling nature makes it famous in Malaysia among both locals and travelers.

Apam balik has a soft and fluffy texture. The filling consists of sweet corn, crushed peanuts, and sugar. It is sometimes topped with white frosting, grated cheese, chocolate drizzle, sesame seeds, and condensed milk. 

Apam Balik is a delightful Malaysian dessert—a pancake on a whole different level.

Malaysian Cookies

Kuih Bangit (Tapioca Coconut Cookies)

This Malaysian cookie has a well-known minimalist appearance. It originated in Malaysia. Kuih Bangit means “to rise”. The rising of the bread while in the baking process is super magical to watch

This Malaysian cookie has a pale range of colors from white to yellow to brown. It is richly creamy, sweet, and crispy. It is also low in calories, so feel free to eat as many as you like! 

Kuih Ros (Rose Cookies)

Kuih Ros, or rose cookies, are tiny, beautiful Malaysian Desserts. As the name suggests, the cookies are shaped like small flowers. They are very crispy and have a sweet, milky taste.

These are popular snacks during festivals like Chinese New Year, where you will find vendors sell whole container of them at street markets. Nevertheless, Kuih Ros are also perfect for a quick breakfast in Malaysia. They pair really well with coffee, especially when freshly fried.

Soup And Porridge Style Malaysian Desserts

Bubur Cha Cha

Bubur Cha Cha originated from Nyonya, China. It is popular in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Phuket. Bubur Cha Cha is a popular Malaysian breakfast food, but you can also have it as a snack. 

It consists of pearl sago, yams, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, bananas, pandan leaves, salt, and sugar. This dessert in Malaysia has a sweet and creamy taste. The smell of pandan is immensely refreshing, and the pearl sago is very chewy. You can either eat this hot or cold. 

Pulut Hitam (Black Glutinous Rice Sweet Soup)

Pulut Hitam is a black-sweetened porridge that is topped with dazzling white evaporated milk or coconut milk right before serving. The base ingredient here is glutinous rice which makes it a rather filling dessert in Malaysia.

The aromatic porridge draws more flavor from the pandan leaves used during cooking, while the gula melaka gives it extra sweetness. It is an excellent source of fiber and anthocyanins with a thick and gooey texture.

This dessert takes quite a bit of effort to make due to the slow-cooking process to achieve the thick consistency. It is served warm and is perfectly satisfying to eat during the rainy and winter season.

Tau Fu Fah (Soybean Pudding)

Tau Fu Fah is the Cantonese term for soybean pudding. This refreshing and healthy dessert can be enjoyed warm or cold. It is very light and literally melts in your mouth as you slurp a jiggly spoonful of it in.

This Malaysian dessert also has a nice cooling effect. You will often find vendors pairing it with palm sugar and fresh ginger to extra sweetness or flavor. Similarly, soybean pudding can be used as a base for other toppings like tapioca balls, boboa or blend with grass jelly.

Tang Yuan

Tang Yuan is a warm dessert frequently eaten during the Winter Solstice and Lantern Festival, reunions, weddings, and birthdays. It is believed that you should have the same number of mochi balls as your age on your birthday. 

Tang Yuan consists of boiled mochi balls in warm sweet ginger syrup. The mochi balls are soft, gooey, and chewy. It’s incredibly tasty and some love to eat this every single day.

Lee Chee Kang (Sweet Lotus Soup)

These Malaysian desserts include dried lotus seeds, longans, lily bulbs, dried persimmons, and malva nuts. The dried lotus seeds have a sweet and mildly bitter flavor. The dish has a crunchy and chewy texture. The dried persimmon has a concentrated fruity flavor and sweet taste like honey. 

This Malaysian dessert is also very healthy. It can reduce body heat, improve blood circulation, nourish skin, and improve digestion. 

Cold Malaysian Desserts

Ais Kacang

Ais Kacang is a tremendously popular cold Malaysian dessert. It is always on the must-eat list of tourists from all over the world. 

Ais Kacang is made from shaved ice drizzled with palm sugar and topped with red beans, sweet corn, peanuts, agar-agar, and attap chee. You can complete this with ice cream, evaporated milk, or condensed milk.  

This dish has a rich nutty flavor with pandan essence and milky sweetness. The jelly is so fluffy, soft, and wobbly. Ais Kacang is incredibly delicious when the weather is warm.

Durian Cendol

This Malaysian dessert is very pleasing to the eye. It contains shaved ice, green rice, worm-like pandan jelly, coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, and durian fruit. 

Fun fact, Cendol was once served without ice because Malaysia didn’t have a definite source of ice. It was only served with ice when Malaysia was able to acquire ice through Britain. 

This dessert has a cold, milky, and nutty flavor. It also smells excellent, thanks to the pandan.

Drinks For Desserts In Malaysia

Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik comes from the word ‘Teh’, referring to ‘tea’, and ‘Tarik’, which combines to mean ‘pulled tea’. 

The name comes from the way the tea is prepared. It is poured to and fro between two metal cups, with increasing distance, thus resembling a pulling motion. This technique used to make Teh Tarik creates foamy little bubbles on the top. 

Teh Tarik is made of black tea, sugar, and condensed milk. It creates a unique drink that is creamy, sweet, and has less caffeine than coffee.

This Malaysian dessert is the national drink of Malaysia but is also popular in other countries such as China and India. 

Air Bandung (Sirang Bandung)

This Malaysian dessert is well-loved in countries like Singapore and Brunei. Air Bandung is an excellent drink. It contains evaporated milk or condensed milk and rose syrup. 

It has a luscious sweet and creamy taste. Because of the rose syrup, this Malaysian dessert is pink and smells like a flowery rose. 

Many people prefer it with spicy food. Most Malaysian dishes paired with rice are super spicy, so Air Bandung will significantly help you take that spiciness.

Buah Jamba Juice (Ambarella Juice)

Ambarella is a tropical fruit from Southeast Asia. It is a healthy with various benefits, such as improving the digestive system, helping hydrate your body, faster wound healing, boosting immunity, and aiding weight loss.

The fruit features a sweet taste with a hinge of spicy. It also has a mild sour or acidic taste like pineapple or green mango.

Buah Jamba juice is not too sweet when the ice is added. It has a hint of sourness. This Malaysian dessert can be seen in most food stalls in Malaysia. People also use this to treat throat infections. 

Discovering Traditional Malaysian Desserts

These fantastic Malaysian desserts are meant to be enjoyed. They make for a great refreshment while exploring the different landmarks in Malaysia. These delights offer a journey through Malaysian culture unlike anything else. 

Whether you are trying sweet soups, crunchy cookies, or beautiful cakes, Malaysia will have a dessert for you. You will even find stories and culture behind some of these visually beautiful and incredibly flavorful treats!


PIN THESE MALAYSIAN DESSERTS AND SWEETS FOR LATER!

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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