Malaysian desserts are so tasty, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!
Although Asian cuisine is popular worldwide, Malaysian food often gets overlooked. That’s a shame because it’s really quite good.
Malaysian recipes encompass an exciting variety of sweet treats, including everything from cakes and cookies to shaved ice and sweet soups.
In response to Malaysia’s hot, humid climate, many of the desserts are cool and light.
They often include tropical fruits, nuts, and even veggies. Pandan and tapioca are also common ingredients.
Whether you enjoy icy treats or indulgent cakes, this list of Malaysian desserts has something on it you should enjoy.
1. Malaysian Shaved Ice Dessert/Ice Kacang/ABC
Shaved ice is a popular summertime snack in America, but you’ve probably never had it prepared the way Malaysians do.
It’s sometimes topped with sweet corn, red beans, nuts, and more.
This is a favorite dish of Malaysian street vendors, and with just a few ingredients and 20 minutes, you can enjoy it from home.
2. Almond London Cookies
This recipe takes less than an hour to complete.
It yields 70 of these delicious, bite-sized chocolate and almond cookies, which seem like individually wrapped chocolate bars.
Each bite is full of nutty, chocolatey goodness, and it’s tough to stop eating them once you start.
3. Cashew Nut Cookies
These tasty, party-perfect cookies are similar to shortbread cookies, but they’re made with roasted cashews for a nuttier, earthier flavor.
You’ll top each one with a cashew and buttery egg wash for extra flavor and a pretty appearance.
4. Peanut Puffs
These peanut puffs look like miniature apple pies that have been deep-fried to golden-brown perfection.
They’re sweet and crispy, and they’re traditionally served every year at Chinese New Year celebrations.
If you love peanuts, these are an absolute must-try dessert. I’ll be honest; I’m a huge peanut fan, and of all the peanut desserts I’ve tried, these are probably my favorite.
5. Onde Onde (Pandan and Coconut Dessert)
Underneath the coconut, these cute little coconut balls are blue and yellow thanks to blue pea flowers and natural pandan.
Not only are they lovely, but they’re also seriously sweet, soft, and slightly chewy. Every bite is bursting with coconut flavor.
6. Pandan Coconut Ice Cream
Pandan is another ingredient that’s frequently found in Malaysian desserts. If you’ve never had it, you’re in for a treat.
It adds a natural splash of color to your dishes and smells unbelievably good.
Use it in your homemade ice cream to make it more flavorful and aromatic than ever.
7. Bubur Cha-Cha
I love all the bright colors found in Malaysian dishes, and bubur cha-cha is one of the loveliest, most colorful desserts there is.
It features tapioca and coconut milk for plenty of sweetness, and the colors come from yellow, orange, and purple sweet potatoes, yams, and black-eyed peas.
It doesn’t get much more beautiful or tastier than this.
8. Kue Lapis (Layered Coconut Milk Dessert)
This colorful, layered dish has a springy texture that lends itself nicely to peeling it off and enjoying it layer by layer.
That’s assuming you have the self-control not to eat it all at once, of course!
Even after refrigeration, it remains bouncy and light.
9. Kue Koci Gula Kelapa (Glutinous Rice Cake with Coconut Filling)
Okay, these look a little odd, I’ll admit. However, I urge you to overlook that and give them a try because they’re intoxicatingly good.
They’re glutinous rice cakes with a coconut cream filling that’s gooey and delightful. Wrap the whole thing in banana leaves for presentation.
Serve them with coconut sauce for added sweetness.
10. Kuih Bingka Ubi Kayu (Baked Tapioca and Coconut Milk Cake)
You’ll make these soft, fluffy cakes from tapioca and coconut milk. They’re gluten-free and delightfully moist.
They’re similar in taste to pound cake, but they’re spongier and slightly sweeter.
Traditionally, they’re served with tea, but I like to serve mine with sliced strawberries and a dash of powdered sugar.
Oh, and thanks to the pandan, they smell amazing.
11. Kuih Kodok (Malaysian Fried Mashed Banana Fritters)
These deep-fried bananas take only 20 minutes to make. They have delightfully crispy outsides and soft, warm middles that taste like pure, sweet bananas.
I serve mine with chocolate sauce on the side for extra yumminess.
12. Kuih Dadar (Crepes with Pandan and Coconut
These Malaysian crepes smell as wonderful as they taste, thanks to the authentic pandan flavoring, which also gives them their unique green color.
They’re full of grated coconut and cooked in palm sugar. Best of all, they only take about 20 minutes to prep and cook.
13. Kuih Sagu
Whether you choose to wrap them in banana leaves or not, these bouncy, not-too-sweet, naturally gluten-free desserts are another traditional Malaysian favorite.
The proper name for this dessert is Malaysian nyonya kuih abok abok sago, but since that’s a bit of a mouthful, most people just call it kuih sagu.
They smell (and taste) great, have a fun, springy consistency, and take less than an hour to make.
14. Gula Melaka (Sago Pudding with Coconut Milk)
If you’re looking for a dessert option that’s easy to make, try this sago-based pudding. You’ll add the sago to boiling water until it becomes translucent.
Afterward, you’ll add it to a mold and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, mix and boil your palm sugar (or molasses) and water. Pour this syrup over your chilled pudding for a tasty, easy dessert.
15. Pulut Tai Tai (Blue Glutinous Rice Cake with Coconut Milk)
Even if this cake tasted awful, and it certainly doesn’t, I would’ve added it to this list because it’s so gorgeous!
I can’t believe there’s a naturally occurring ingredient on Earth that’s this color of blue.
The cake is firm, chewy, sweet, and moist. More importantly, it’s blue!!!!!
16. Pulut Inti (Glutinous Rice and Coconut Dessert)
This is another of those “as pretty as it is tasty” desserts.
I feel like I’m saying that a lot with these recipes, but it’s hard not to because Malaysian desserts are some of the world’s most attractive treats.
This one is intensely sweet and pretty decadent, so you may want to save it for special occasions.
It’s made with blue pea flowers, glutinous rice, coconut milk, brown sugar, pandan, coconut, and more. It has a lot going on.
17. Sweet Potato Ginger Soup
Most people don’t think of soup as a dessert, but that’s because they haven’t had this soup.
It’s made with black dates, sweet potatoes, ginger roots, dried longan, and rock sugar.
It may not look like a traditional dessert, but it certainly tastes like one.
18. Banana Cake
This banana cake is light, fluffy, moist, and positively bursting with banana flavor.
It takes a little over an hour to make, although about 50 minutes of that is baking time.
You can top it with chocolate frosting or sprinkles, berries, more slices of bananas, or powdered sugar.
You can also add nuts to add a slightly different flavor combination to this already delectable cake.
19. Bubur Cha Cha (Malaysian Coconut Milk Dessert)
This versatile dessert is gluten-free and vegan-friendly, and it’s so nutritious, you could even serve it as a relatively healthy breakfast option.
You’ll make it with taro root, white sweet potatoes, pandan, coconut milk, tapioca, palm sugar, and a few other things that are pretty good for you.
It’s an excellent way to enjoy an almost guiltless dessert.
20. Tau Foo Fah (Soy Bean Pudding)
Requiring only six ingredients and 15 minutes of your time, this soybean pudding is silky smooth and has the perfect amount of sweetness in every bite.
You can serve it warm or chilled.
21. Pineapple Jam Tarts/Cookies
These pineapple jam tarts are another dessert often served at Chinese New Year celebrations. They take about an hour to prepare, but they’re well worth the time and effort.
The cookies are buttery and flaky, almost like sweet crescent rolls, and the pineapple jam balls on top are super sweet with a bit of a tropical tang.
This is certainly a recipe you’ll want to double because these tarts get devoured quickly.
22. Sweet Potato Balls
These perfectly golden, almost perfectly round sweet potato balls are made from glutinous and white rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and sweet potatoes.
Steam and mash the potatoes, then add your other ingredients.
Once you’ve made the mixture and formed it into balls, drop them in vegetable oil and fry them for about 3 minutes.
23. Coffee Bun
Although it’s called a Mexican coffee bun, this thick, fluffy, buttery bun is hugely popular in Asia and Malaysia.
The secret to its deliciousness is in the topping, which you’ll make from butter, sugar, eggs, flour, coffee, and coffee liquor.
It gives it a unique, rich taste that’s really unlike any other dessert I’ve ever had.
24. Kuih Bahulu (Malaysian Egg Cake)
If you’re a fan of Chinese restaurants, you may have had Malaysian egg cake at some point.
However, as is true with most things, the ones you make at home taste so much better.
You’ll only need the most basic ingredients – eggs, flour, butter, baking soda, sugar, and vanilla extract.
You can make enough cakes for four people in only 25 minutes.
They’re light, spongy, and not too sweet at all. I like to add powdered sugar and just a drop or two of maple syrup on mine before serving.
25. Kuih Seri Muka (Coconut Milk, Rice, and Pandan Dessert)
For our final tasty treat, I thought I’d end on another colorful note. This dessert takes about 90 minutes to make, and it has two distinct layers.
The bottom is a rice layer that tastes mildly of coconut, and the top is a pandan custard layer, which is sweeter and softer than the bottom layer. It’s also green, which is fun.
The two layers complement each other perfectly, leaving you with a sticky, salty, yet still sweet dessert that’s perfect any time of year.
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