Thailand is famous for its delicious traditional Thai cuisine which packs a bunch of flavors. But don’t overlook how Thai desserts attract tourists from around the globe.
Locals love eating fresh fruits or Thai desserts at the end of their meals to cleanse their palettes. However, many Thai sweets are also popular snack options between meals.
There are many unusual dishes that you can hardly find outside of the country. Mango Sticky Rice is the most wanted and national Thailand dessert.
What Is Special About Desserts In Thailand?
Traditional Thai desserts are often prepared with fresh fruits, palm sugar, and rice flour. Rice, coconut milk, and coconut cream are the most common Thai dessert ingredients. You can find these two in almost all desserts in Thailand.
Another thing that makes Thai desserts different from others is the extensive use of intense aromas like fragrant flowers and jasmine candles. Even if all Thai sweets contain similar ingredients, each has its own taste and texture that makes it unique.
The following are the twenty-five best Thai desserts you must try on your next visit to Thailand.
Most Popular Dessert In Thailand
Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice)
A list of Thai desserts is incomplete without mentioning Khao Niao Mamuang or Mango sticky rice. The high demand and popularity of this classic dish make it the national sweet dish of Thailand.
If you haven’t tried this heavenly traditional Thai food yet, keep it on your must-have list.
Khao Niao Mamuang consists of mangoes with sweetened steamed glutinous rice. The rice is first steamed, and then coconut milk is added for a creamy flavor. These sticky rice are then served with fresh slices of sweet juicy mangoes and eaten with hands or a spoon.
You can find it easily throughout the country. It is a special dish of summer because the best Thai mangoes are available in the summer. Mostly Nam Dok Mai and Ok-rong mangoes are used for this delicious Thailand dessert.
Traditional Thai Desserts – Rice Sweet Dishes
Khao Niaow Tu Rian (Durian Sticky Rice)
Durian, known as the king of fruits, is a love it or hate it delicacy. If you are not a fan of durian fruit, this Thai dessert might not be the best for you.
We know durian with rice sounds a bit odd! But in Thailand, locals are going crazy over this Khao Niaow Tu Rian or durian and sticky rice. Personally, I cannot get enough of it.
It is a traditional Thai dessert and popular street food. The recipe is almost the same as mango and sticky rice, but you will get durian instead of mangoes.
The Thai food is made with sticky rice soaked in coconut milk and served with slices of fresh durian fruit. The creamy sticky rice tastes perfect with the soft and silky durian fruit. If you have a curious palate, this dish is a must-try for you.
Khao Lam (Bamboo Sticky Rice)
Until now, you might have noticed how much glutinous rice is added to Thai cuisine. You will see a lot of variations and side dishes with Thai glutinous rice.
Khao Lam is one of the best Thai street food and snacks. It is made from sticky rice, coconut cream, and red beans.
The rice mixture is stuffed in hollow bamboo and then roasted slowly over charcoal. After it is cracked open, you will see a creamy and sweet Thai dessert in bamboo.
Khao Lam can be prepared with white glutinous rice or black sticky rice. Even though all the other ingredients are the same, different textures and flavors will give you a different experience. In my opinion, the black sticky rice is a must-try.
Bua Loi (Rice Balls With Coconut Milk)
Bua Loi or Bua Loy is also known as water lily because of its appearance. The Thai dessert consists of small colorful balls floating in creamy coconut milk.
Bua Loi is inspired by a Traditional Chinese dessert, Tangyuan, and is eaten during the Lantern festival. In Thailand, this sweet dish is served at the Dongzhi Festival (Winter Solstice Festival).
To make these balls, rice flour, mashed taro root, and pumpkin are rolled into small balls and then cooked with sweet coconut milk. You can find a lot of varieties of this Thai dessert in different regions of Thailand.
Some variations include food coloring instead of natural coloring, while some contain soy milk instead of coconut milk. Sometimes, Bua Loi also has sweet eggs, so make sure to confirm it if you are looking for vegetarian Thai sweets.
Thai Desserts – Ice creams And Shaved Ice
Itim Kati (Thai Coconut Ice Cream)
Coconut ice cream is another refreshing Thai dessert to delight your taste buds. It is a rich ice cream, delivering the aromatic taste of coconut.
The ice cream uses a few ingredients to preserve the natural flavor of coconut, including coconut milk and sweet syrup. Many vendors also sell this Thai dessert in coconut shells for an enhanced experience.
Coconut ice cream in Thailand is widely available in restaurants and local stores. It is served with various toppings, like peanuts, sweet corn, and sweetened syrups. Chatuchak Weekend Market is a popular place to try this natural ice cream.
Ruam Mit (Thai Iced Dessert)
Ruam Mit is a famous Thai dessert that encompasses a lot of ingredients. The name of the desert means to combine friends. It is an excellent way to describe the combination of diverse and colorful ingredients.
The preparation of this sweet dish is very similar to Filipino halo-halo, which means there is no set recipe. The beauty of this dessert of Thailand lies in the fact that it contains dozens of toppings and is easy to customize.
The most common items you can find in Ruam Mit Thai are tapioca pearls, colored vermicelli, sweet potatoes, jackfruit, lotus roots, coconut milk, and shaved ice.
Oh Eaw (Thai Shaved Ice Dessert)
Oh Eaw is another shaved ice Thai dessert. The name Oh eaw is given after the main ingredient, seeds of the o-aew plant. You can easily find this dessert in Thailand, but the best one is only served in Phuket.
The seeds of the plant are soaked in water and then squeezed to extract a jelly-like material. Oh eaw is served with red kidney beans and grass jelly. All these ingredients are served in a bowl with shaved ice and sweet syrup.
Popsicles are very common Thai desserts. You can find vendors on local markets or streets selling these ice sticks in different flavors.
The popsicles are kept in a large circular stainless steel pot. This pot includes many tubes filled with different flavors of cool popsicles. The vendor shakes this pot back and forth to keep them from sticking together.
The common flavors you can find in Thailand are cola, soda, lemon, orange, strawberry, grapes, and mixed fruits. You can try every flavor of this refreshing Thai dessert.
Thai Desserts – Puddings And Custards
Khanom Khrok (Sweet Coconut Pudding)
Khanom khrok is also known as coconut rice pancake or coconut pudding cake. It is an ancient dessert of Thailand with a sweet and salty coconut milk flavor.
Coconut pudding delivers a fruity aroma of coconuts with a slightly salty note. It feels crispy at the bottom and creamy on the inside.
The main ingredients include rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. All the ingredients are mixed well and then poured into a large iron pan. The delicious Thai dessert is served with green onions, taro, corn, or pumpkin.
You can find several stalls on the streets in Thailand selling this convenient and tasty snack.
Khanom Tuay (Coconut Milk Custard)
Khanom Tuay is a healthy and satisfying Thai dessert waiting for you on the streets of Thailand. It is a popular dessert in Thailand, perfect for sweet cravers. You can easily find it on every street and restaurant.
The main ingredients of khanom tuay are rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar. Pandan leaves are also added for additional flavoring. The traditional Thai dessert feels smooth and sweet on the palate.
The best part about the dessert is its presentation. The confectionery is served in a small and adorable porcelain bowl. Just grab your spoon, dig into the bowl, and start enjoying the delicious bites of rich creaminess.
Tub Tim Grob (Thai Red Ruby Dessert)
Tub Tim Grob is a popular Thailand dessert that is listed in CNN’s best 50 desserts. The name Tub Tim Grob means crispy rubies. It is a refreshing cold Thai dessert with a delicious flavor of water chestnuts and coconut milk.
This Thai dish includes shaved ice with crispy and crunchy water chestnuts. The chestnuts are sliced into little cubes and food-colored to give a ruby-like appearance. One of the most appealing parts of this dish is its striking visuals.
The water chestnuts are then coated in tapioca flour and boiled in water. These soft water chestnuts are served cold in coconut milk with shaved ice.
Khanom Tako (Thai Pudding With Coconut Topping)
Khanom Tako is one of the famous Thai sweets. It is a fragrant dessert of Thailand with sweet coconut cream and a glutinous bottom layer.
This is a pudding prepared with a jelly-like base and then topped with coconut milk. The interesting thing about this Thai dessert is that it is served in small cups made of pandan leaves.
It might include various other ingredients like sago pearls, water chestnuts, sweet corn, sweet beans, and chopped fruits. This delicious Thai dessert is also available in other countries, so you can enjoy it even when you are not in Thailand.
Thai Desserts – Breads And Dumplings
Cho Muang (Thai Flower Dumplings)
Cho Muang is a traditional Thai dessert. Its eye-catching violet color and flower-like shape make it an unusual dessert in Thailand.
Cho muang means violet bouquet, referring to its appearance. These Thai sweets look like flower bouquets when arranged traditionally on a plate.
It is not a typical Thai dessert. This delicious treat can include peanuts, chicken, or pork and still gives you the best dessert vibes. The filling of sweet or savory delights is covered with batter and then carved into a flower-like shape.
After steaming, you will have one of the most beautiful and delicious violet flowers on your plate. Cho muang is sprayed with coconut milk and served with lettuce, giving honor to the original recipe of this dish.
Because of the delicate and time-consuming process required to create these little gems, these are now getting rare in Thailand. You can only find this expensive Thai dessert in certain dessert houses.
Roti Sai Mai (Roti-Wrapped Candy Floss)
Islamic culture has greatly influenced the diversified cuisines of Thailand. Likewise, Muslims brought Roti Sai Mai to this region. This Thai dessert originates from the old capital of the country, Ayutthaya.
The dessert is a Thai-style fluffy and silky cotton candy wrapped in a crepe-like sweet and chewy Roti. Roti Sai Mai is the highly preferred Thai sweet for the locals.
Although the Thailand dessert comes in a variety of eye-catching colors, the taste is almost the same. Still, a range of flavors like sweet strawberry or tangy blueberry is available. This tasty Thailand treat is usually sold on roadside booths, but you can easily find it anywhere throughout the country.
Roti (Sweet Flatbread)
If you visit Thailand in winter, roti should be the first Thai dessert you try. It is a signature confectionary of Thailand, mostly enjoyed in the winter. This Thai dessert is also influenced by Islamic culture.
The roti is pan-fried bread stuffed mostly with bananas and eggs. It is commonly topped with sweet condensed milk. Some vendors also drizzle it with other toppings such as Nutella, honey, cheese, or more.
This crispy and delicious roti pairs best with hot milk or hot tea. You can imagine this is also a popular option for Thai breakfast amongst the locals.
Almost every street in Thailand has vendors selling this dessert of Thailand. The big markets have this snack in large quantities to attract the people coming for shopping.
Khanom Bueang (Thai Crispy Pancakes)
Khanom Buaeng has a 600-year-old history, making it one of the best Thai desserts. It is also a popular Thai snack and street food.
Khanom Buaeng is commonly known as Thai pancakes or Thai crepes. This dessert of Thailand looks like a Mexican taco or a small crepe. It can have both sweet and salty fillings.
The Thai food has a crispy crust with soft and smooth coconut cream filling. The filling is a perfect mixture of meringue-like cream, egg whites, and sugar with a marshmallow-like texture.
The crepe is topped with coconut shavings or egg yolk before serving. You can smell the delicious aroma of these pancakes while walking on the streets of Thailand.
Thai Desserts – Snack Style
Kluay Tod (Deep-Fried Bananas)
Kluay Tod is a traditional Thai dessert made from slices of Kluay Nam Way (Thai banana). Eating these fried bananas feels like munching on slightly sweet crisps. The crunch from the outside and the softness from the inside make kluay tod one of the best Thai desserts.
The slices are first dipped in a batter mix and then fried in oil. The batter is a mixture of rice flour, all-purpose flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, salt, walnuts, ripe coconut, and water.
You can enjoy this fruity Thai dessert alone or with various other things like ice cream, chocolate sauce, or honey. It is easily available on nearly all streets of Thailand.
Chao Kuai (Grass Jelly)
Chao Kuai is Thai-style grass jelly, like Teachew. Originally, it was prepared with Chinese mesona. It is a jelly-like traditional Thai dessert eaten in the Southeast region.
This Thai grass jelly has a slightly bitter taste. It is also added to other Thai desserts, bubble drinks, and some traditional Thai drinks.
This Thai dessert is either served chilled with ice, condensed milk, and natural brown sugar or with fruit toppings. Some popular fruit toppings served with Chao Kuai are jackfruit, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, and toddy palm fruit.
Khanom Tom (Coconut Balls)
Khanom Tom is the best Thai dessert and snack that not just pleases your taste buds but also your eyes. It consists of rice flour dumplings, stuffed and coated with shredded coconut. The filling also contains coconut milk and palm sugar.
It has a floral fragrance infused with scented candles. Sometimes, pandan leaves or butterfly pea extracts are added for giving aroma and color to the dough.
You can easily find this popular tangy Thai dessert throughout the markets in Thailand and on the street stalls.
Auspicious Thai Desserts In Thailand To Try
It is a cultural practice in Thailand to make auspicious desserts for celebrations and traditional ceremonies. Some of these Thai desserts have the word “thong” in their name, meaning prosperity and wealth.
There are nine auspicious desserts that will give you a glimpse of traditional Thai desserts. Here is a list of some of these popular Thai sweets you can try in Thailand.
Foy Thong (Angel Hair)
Foy Thong is one of the tastiest auspicious Thai desserts usually served at weddings. This delicate dessert is influenced by the Portuguese dessert “Fios de ovos”. Its name comes from two words FOY and THONG, meaning thread and gold.
It is prepared by passing egg yolk into a narrow sieve to a sugary syrup, which brings out long and silky sweet golden threads. Eating this dessert feels like enjoying smooth and rich sugary threads.
The long golden egg yolk threads symbolize long-lasting happiness, love, and prosperity. Therefore, locals serve this delicate dessert to newlywed couples.
Thong Yip (Pinched Gold Egg Yolks)
Thong Yip is one of the nine auspicious Thai desserts representing wealth. In Thai, Thong means gold, and Yip means to pick up. Thus, Thong Yip refers to picking up wealth which most newlyweds want.
Thog Yip has a flower-like shape. These Thai sweets are also known as pinched gold egg yolks. It is made with chicken or duck egg yolks, jasmine, sugar, and flavored water.
In Thailand, it is believed that thong yip brings wealth and prosperity to the life of people. So it is a popular gift on special occasions. This traditional Thai dessert is specially prepared for weddings and housewarmings to bring financial prosperity and blessings.
Med Kanoon (Thai Jackfruit Seeds Dessert)
Although ‘kanoon’ means ‘jackfruit’ and ‘med’ translates to ‘stones’, this Thai dessert has nothing to do with jackfruit or its elements. It is another auspicious Thai dessert considered important for newlywed couples.
So what is the deal with the name? In Thai, the word noon means support, and kanoon is a symbol used for a strong foundation or support. This strong foundation is needed for starting a new relationship.
Med kanoon is an ovule-shaped sweet that is made from finely-ground mung beans. The sweets are then covered with egg yolk. They have a nutty and somewhat creamy flavor with the richness of egg yolk.
Khanom Chun (Thai Layered Dessert)
Khanom Chun is a traditional Thai dessert served on special occasions. It is a fragrant dish with an intense sweet flavor. This layered Thai sweet treat is prepared with rice flour, coconut milk, and tapioca flour.
In Thailand, the number nine is considered a lucky number. Therefore, this dessert must have nine layers and be gifted to newlywed couples. Nowadays, you might find Khanom chan with more or fewer layers or with no layers at all.
It is an oily dessert with a smooth texture from coconut milk. The traditional flavors are pandan and jasmine, but you can also find orange, rose water, and coffee flavors.
Thong Ek (Thai Wheat Dumplings)
Thong Ek is a photogenic auspicious dessert of Thailand. These Thai sweets are known for their beautiful flower-like pattern. It is served for an auspicious purpose to the family and friends.
The Thai dessert is prepared from sugar, coconut milk, and egg yolk. This mixture is then pressed into wooden molds to make a flower-like shape. You will also see a gold leaf on the flowers of Thong Ek, making them stand out among other desserts of Thailand.
The leaves of the flowers represent successful careers, promotions, and business dealings. Their preparation is very complicated and time-consuming, making them rare even in the country
Thong Yot (Gold Egg Yolk Drops)
Thong Yot is similar to Foi Thong and Thong Ek. It is one of the nine auspicious Thai sweets.
Thong Yot is known as gold egg-yolk drops because of its drop-like appearance. It is prepared from flour, egg yolks, and sugar.
The traditional Thai dessert is used for special occasions. Thais believe that giving Thong Yot to your loved ones brings a lot of money and gold. Therefore, they always serve it at weddings or promotion parties.
Discovering Delicious Thai Desserts In Thailand
Desserts have an important place in Thai cuisine. You will find many interesting desserts and sweets in Thailand; so much so that you probably cannot try all of them during your first visit.
The most popular dessert in Thailand is Mango Sticky Rice, so be sure to get a taste of that. But locals also love to eat others. Some of the most common ingredients you will see in Thai desserts are rice, coconut, and fruits.
The flavors of Thai sweets are unusual and very different from the other desserts you can find in European countries. As you explore the famous landmarks in Thailand, spend some time to indulge in these sweet treats while you rest.