The Malaysian Desserts Bucket List!

Beat the heat with some amazing Malaysian desserts that you can get all over the country. Time to indulge in some Malaysian goodness. Even if it is just a bowl or two there is something for everyone.

Ais Kacang

Ais kacang is a popular Malaysian dessert. Ais kacang is traditionally made from shaved ice. The shaved ice is then drenched with colored syrup and toppings. Some of which are red beans, peanuts, agar-agar, and atap chee. Ais kacang is sold along the streets, in food courts, and even in restaurants. You can even find varieties with ice cream, chocolate, local fruits, or jelly!

Pisang Goreng

Crispy on the outside and gooey inside. Pisang Goreng or deep-fried banana fritters is a favorite snack you can find in street stalls across Malaysia. The hot and deliciously sweet bananas are fried to an extra crispy perfection. Do try it with some ice cream!


Cendol is a sweet and icy dessert consisting of pandan and coconut jelly noodles, red beans, coconut milk, and palm sugar. Revealed as Malaysian heritage food by the Malaysian Department of National Heritage, this refreshing tea time snack is super effective against the country’s hot climate!

Apam Balik

This light and sweet pancake is traditionally filled with peanuts, sweetcorn, and sugar. Now and then, you may find modern versions with chocolate sprinkles and cheese.

Leng Chee Kang

Simple yet satisfying on a hot day, Leng Chee Kang or Lotus Seed Soup contains lotus seed, longan, lily bulbs, and ginkgo nuts in a soup sweetened by rock sugar.

Bubur Cha Cha

Bubur Cha Cha is a popular Nyonya dessert with taro, sweet potatoes, yam, and bananas in a coconut-based soup. These ingredients provide natural coloring that makes the dessert vibrant and visually delicious. Sometimes other tropical fruits may be used.

Ondeh Ondeh

Pop this little Malaysia kuih into your mouth, and you’ll enjoy the “pop” of syrupy sweetness! The pandan-infused glutinous rice batter is filled with gula Melaka, rolled into balls, and rolled onto freshly grated coconut.

Tang Yuan

Tang Yuan is a warm dessert with glutinous rice balls in sweet ginger syrup. Although they are traditionally eaten during Winter Solstice Festival, Tang Yuan is also made to celebrate reunions, as the name is a homophone for “union.” It is said that you should eat the number of balls according to your age each time, although we can’t imagine eating that much even in your 20s!

Tau Fu Far

Silky soft soybean pudding – perfect when you crave something light and refreshing. In Malaysia, you can have it with a scoop of sweet syrup or gula Melaka and have it served hot or cold. If you are in Bentong, do have a bowl of this as the town is famed for its homemade soybean products. 

Sago Gula Melaka

It’s surprisingly simple to make Sago Gula Melaka – sago pearls drenched in coconut milk and palm sugar. And it tastes delightful despite that!

Pulut Hitam

Pulut Hitam is common in many Nyonya households. This creamy glutinous rice porridge in coconut milk can be time-consuming to make (as it requires soaking the rice overnight and watching it cook continuously), but the outcome is satisfying!

Kek Lapis Sarawak

There is no leaving Sarawak without getting your hands into kek lapis. This intensely rich cake is baked layer by layer, explaining the high pricing, making a satisfying tea-time snack. Specialized bakeries in Sarawak sell them in all sorts of colors and patterns.


Payasam is a rice pudding made by boiling rice, vermicelli, or tapioca with milk, sugar, and additional ingredients such as nuts, raisins, and cardamoms. It is also popular during Muslim festivals and weddings.

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