Some of the Best Malaysian Desserts

Malaysia comprises three races, which are the Chinese, the Indians, and the Malays, so there are three main types of cuisines in the country. This affects the dessert recipes as well as the savory ones. Malaysians love to use sugar and coconut milk in their dessert recipes and you can get desserts from Malaysian restaurants, from food courts and hawker centers and from roadside food stalls.

Agar agar is Malaysian for "jello" and this is like a harder form of jello. It does not melt in the heat and it is made by boiling the agar agar powder in water until it dissolves. Sugar and fruit is added and then the agar agar is allowed to set. Another very popular dessert is "pisang goreng" which is fried, battered bananas.


Cheng tng is an interesting Malaysian dish and this liquid dessert is Chinese in origin. It is like a clear brown-colored soup with agar agar strips, barley, sliced water chestnuts, white fungus, lotus seeds, and ginkgo nuts. It is sweet and can be served hot or cold.

Cookies and Cakes

The word "kuih" is Malaysian and covers all cookies, cakes, and pastries. These bite-sized delicacies differ from the western equivalent because they are normally steamed rather than baked or fried. There are different versions of kuih found in the various regions of Malaysia but the main base for them is tapioca, rice flour, tapioca flour, and glutinous rice. Some kuih are layered, some are filled, some are wrapped, and others are deep-fried.

Recipe for Malaysian Caramel Cake

What you will need:

  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 4 oz butter flavored Crisco
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

How to make it:

Grease a nine inch round cake pan and line the base and sides with greased paper, making the sides higher than the cake pan. Melt the sugar in a small pan over a moderately high heat and keep cooking it until it turns golden brown. Let the caramel cool for half a minute, then add a tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture stops spitting and sizzling and then pour in the remaining water.

Turn the heat back up and keep stirring the caramel, scraping down the sides of the pan. Take it off the heat and stir in the Crisco. Let the caramel cool. Beat half the caramel with the flour in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, then add the rest of the caramel and keep beating until the mixture is bubbly.

Let it stand for about ten minutes. Whisk the condensed milk and eggs together until the mixture is bubbly, and then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir in the baking soda and pour the batter into the cake pan.

Let it stand in the oven for half an hour, then turn the oven on and heat it up to 300 degrees F. Bake the cake for about an hour. When the center is firm and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, it is done.

Some of the Best Malaysian Desserts

If you enjoy making Malaysian recipes you might like to sample some of the sweeter items of Mexican food too. Mexican cajeta is similar to the caramel used in the above recipe and there are plenty of easy Mexican recipes you can make if you enjoy the flavor of caramel. The Sweet Side of Mexican Food