Thailand definitely has a sweet tooth with a lot of sweet desserts. Thai desserts are an integral part of Thai cuisine. While most of travelers are familiar with savory dishes like Mango Sticky Rice, very few people know other Thai traditional desserts. Discover 18 authentic Thai desserts you must try in Thailand.
The authentic Thai desserts are prepared with many fresh and quality ingredients such as tropical fruits, palm sugar, rice flour and coconut milk. A unique feature of Thai desserts is the scent, such as the one from jasmine aromatic candles and other fragrant flowers. Although the ingredients are not very different, each dessert in Thailand has its own flavor.
If you have the opportunity to come to Thailand, you should try these Thai desserts to add a touch of sweetness to your journey.
1. Khanom Tuay (Coconut Milk Custard): ขนมถ้วย
Khanom Tuay is one of the most popular local desserts in Thailand. The biggest feature of this dessert is its serving as Khanom Tuay is served in a small porcelain bowl. This Thai dessert is made of rice flour, coconut milk and sugar. Pandan leaf juice can also be added to flavor. It tastes like glutinous rice and coconut milk with a smooth and sweet flavor. Some people say that it tastes a bit like cheese. To eat it, you just need to dig it up with a small spoon. Vendors selling Khanom Tuay are often seen on the street, as you will notice hundreds of small bowls stacked. This dessert is also often served at local restaurants. One small bowl should cost about 3-5 Baht.
2. Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice): ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง
Mango Sticky Rice, Khao Niao Mamuang in Thai language, can be regarded as Thai national dessert and can be found being served in almost every restaurant in Thailand. It would be a pity to leave Thailand without enjoying this perfect dish. Khao Niao Mamuang is prepared from sticky rice which is first steamed, then dipped in sweet coconut milk for a wonderful taste. Finally, the rice is served with slices of fresh mango, which is soft, tender, and juicy. This Thai dessert is especially common in summer since it is eaten cold and summer is the time when mangoes are at their best. The traditional Mango Sticky Rice is the preferred way to end a Thai meal.
3. Bua Loy (Rice Balls in Coconut Milk): บัวลอย
Bua Loy is a traditional Thai dessert. It is made from white rice flour rolled into small balls like lotus seeds. Some colors such as yellow, purple, green, and pink are added to form the colorful balls for the dessert to look more attractive. This Thai dessert is served with sugar and coconut milk. Some people like to eat it with eggs or ginger juice.
4. Roti Sai Mai (Cotton Candy): โรตีสายไหม
Roti Sai Mai is a very popular Thai snack, originating from Ayutthaya province. Even if it is especially popular in the ancient capital of Siam, this Thai dessert can also be found on the streets of Bangkok. You can even taste it in the gourmet area on the 5th floor of Emporium Shopping Mall. Roti Sai Mai consists of a crepe-like crust "Roti" and is covered with silk-like sweets "Sai Mai" with eye-catching colors. Usually, Roti Sai Mai is offered in a variety of colors. In fact, it is just for making the dessert more beautiful, as it tastes the same. You can wrap and eat as many Sai Mai as you like. Roti Sai Mai is definitely not as sweet as you would think. The chewy texture of Roti and the fluffy sweetness of Sai Mai go very well together. If you will have a chance, you must try it!
5. Kluay Tod (Deep-fried bananas): กล้วยทอด
Kluay Tod, or deep-fried bananas, is a dessert commonly found on the streets of Thailand. This Thai treat is traditionally made from sliced Kluay Nam Wah, one kind of bananas in Thailand. The sliced bananas are dipped in the batter mix made from the rice flour, all-purpose flour, sesame seeds, baking powder or traditionally slaked lime, salt, pieces of walnut ripe coconut and water, then fried in hot oil until a crisp crust forms and they become fragrant. Although fried bananas are traditionally eaten on their own, without any topping, nowadays you will often find it served with a variety of accompaniments such as ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce or honey.
6. Roti: โรตี
Roti is a signature dessert and great snack in Thailand. Thai food culture is quite diverse, and also strongly influenced by Islamic culture. You can find vendors of this sweet dough selling Roti on almost every corner of the street, as well as in the markets that attract a large number of tourists. Thai Roti is most often stuffed with bananas and eggs and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk, but most stalls offer tons of toppings for you to choose from such as Nutella, honey, cheese and more.
7. Khanom Krok (Sweet Coconut Pudding): ขนมครก
Khanom Krok is an ancient Thai dessert, often called a pancake or a pudding cake. This dessert is made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. The ingredients are mixed and poured into a large iron pan with small round notches, like the takoyaki machine. Khanom Krok has a sweet and salty coconut milk flavor and is topped with sliced green onions, taro, corns or pumpkin. The dessert has the smell of coconut milk and is slightly salty. The so-called sweet but not greasy should be the feeling. You can often see the stalls selling this dessert on the street. If you can’t find any hawker on the street, you can go to the underground store of the high-end department store Siam Paragon. The price of 1 box of Khanom Krok is about 20-30 Baht.
8. Coconut Ice Cream: ไอศครีมกะทิ
Coconut Ice Cream is a perfect dessert to beat Thailand’s heat. Most sellers have a wide variety of toppings to choose from, including peanuts, sweet corns, and sweetened syrups on top. Often, Coconut Ice Cream is served in the shell of coconut. There are many vendors selling this Thai ice cream, which is especially popular at Chatuchak Weekend Market. Coconut Ice Cream is normally sold in the price range between 20 and 30 Baht (it depends on cone, cup, bread, or coconut shell used).
9. Khanom La: ขนมลา
Khanom La is a traditional southern sweet of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. There are soft and hard sweets such as candies made using wheat flour, sugar, and eggs. Normally, this Thai dessert is eaten during the 10th Lunar Month Festival in October.
10. Khanom Bueang (Thai Crispy Pancakes): ขนมเบื้อง
Khanom Bueang is a great finger food. In fact, this dessert has a history of more than 600 years, which can be traced back to the Ayutthaya dynasty. Looking a bit like Mexican taco biscuits or just like a small piece of crepes, this Thai dessert is crispy and filled with coconut cream, sprinkled with shredded coconut, and egg yolk. The crispy crust dough and the sweet and smooth cream in the filling form a perfect match. Khanom Bueang is usually offered in two flavors - salty and sweet, coming from different filling. Other toppings such as dried shrimps or raisins are also very popular with Thai people. You can get fresh sweet Thai pancakes from the food stalls on the streets and in the markets. The price of one box of Thai crispy pancakes is normally 25-40 Baht.
11. Khanom Tom (Thai Coconut Dumplings): ขนมต้ม
Khanom Tom is a shredded coconut dessert. This dessert is made of glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk by hand, then cooked in pandan leaf water, and covered with shredded coconut. Some of them have filling of palm sugar inside, making Khanom Tom even more delicious. One box containing 6-8 pieces should cost about 20-25 Baht.
12. Khanom Mor Kaeng (Mung Bean Thai Custard): ขนมหม้อแกง
Khanom Mor Kaeng is well-known as a dessert of Eastern Thailand. The main ingredients of this dessert are eggs, flour, coconut milk, making it a bit similar to custard cake. Some people also add a variety of beans, taro, sweet potatoes to enhance the taste, and finally sprinkle onions on the top to roast. This dessert is rich in taste and can be seen in many night markets in Thailand. The price of Khanom Mor Kaeng ranges in around 30-50 Baht.
13. Luk Chup (Fruit Shape Thai Mung Bean): ลูกชุบ
Luk Chup, also spelled Look Choop, are sweets colored and shaped quite similar to fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, bananas, mangoes, oranges, chili, mangosteen, in a much smaller than the actual shape. Making a beautiful dessert requires a lot of time and effort, from crushing green beans, adding sugar and coconut milk to create sweetness to taste, to creating the shape, coloring and finally coating it with a layer of gelatin. Luk Chup not only looks good, it’s also really delicious and not very sweet. These Thai sweets are sold in boxes in supermarkets or stores around Thailand, so you can easily find them.
14. Kluay Buat Chi (Banana in Coconut Milk): กล้วยบวดชี
If you like bananas and coconuts, this Thai dessert will delight you! Kluay Buat Chi is banana cooked in coconut milk and served as a juicy and creamy dessert. It is a dish that can be eaten both hot and cold.
15. Tub Tim Grob (Red Rubies Dessert): ทับทิมกรอบ
Tub Tim Grob is a very popular dish of Thai people in the hot season of the year. This dessert is made of peeled water chestnuts that are cut into small pieces, then dyed in red sugar water, gently wrapped with tapioca flour, and cooked with sugar and coconut milk. Tub Tim Grob tastes better if you eat it with a few slices of jackfruit and shaved ice.
16. Sang Kaya Fug Tong (Pumpkin and Custard): สังขยาฟักทอง
Sang Kaya Fug Tong is a special combination of hard-boiled pumpkin and coconut-flavored custard. The upper layer is like a pudding made of steamed eggs, and the lower layer is a soft and fragrant pumpkin meat. Due to the steaming method, the eggs also get filled with pumpkin flavor. Some people also use duck eggs as they give a unique flavor. This dessert is not too sweet and can be bought in pieces.
17. Khao Tom Mud (Steamed Sticky Rice with Banana): ข้าวต้มมัด
Khao Tom Mud is a traditional dessert made of glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves. The glutinous rice is sweetly seasoned with coconut milk, then mixed with beans and bananas and steamed. Khao Tom Mud can be found in the majority of markets in Thailand.
18. Khanom Chan (Thai Layered Dessert): ขนมชั้น
Khanom Chan is a Thai dessert popular for its layered and chewy texture and the taste very similar to jelly. It is made from tapioca flour, rice flour, coconut milk and soft smell of pandan leaves. There are also many colors in this dessert, such as yellow, red, brown, when different materials are used to present different tastes. This layer cake is also regarded as an auspicious dessert, which can bring good luck and wealth, and make people have a better future, so it is very common in various festivals and celebrations in Thailand.