Instagram-worthy and increasingly over-the-top desserts have been gaining popularity recently, but once in a while we just crave a simple “old school” dessert without the frills. After all, traditional desserts are still around for a reason – they’re just so good! And don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed by the long list of options available; we’ve come up with a list of our favourite traditional, local desserts and snacks to share with you.
A pandan-infused kueh (bite-sized snack) filled with gula melaka (palm sugar). Find it at:
- Bengawan Solo outlets
- Tiong Bahru Galicier (unique because they use sweet potato for the dough rather than the commonly used pandan extract)
Nonya Kueh Lapis
Traditional Peranakan snack made by steaming rice a mixture of flour, tapioca flour, water, sugar, coconut milk and food colouring to produce a soft rice-flour pudding. You can also peel off each layer to eat it rather than biting it all in one go!
- Borobudur Snacks Shop
Ang Ku Kueh
A Chinese kueh made with soft glutinous rice-flour skin wrapped around a sweet filling – peanut or mung beans. Known for its bright red colour.
- Poh Cheu Soon Kueh and Ang Ku Kueh (unique because they have more flavours than the two “regular” ones)
A disc-shaped traditional steamed rice-flour kueh filled with coconut or peanut.
- Tan’s Tu Tu Coconut Cake
- Lau Tan Tutu Kueh
Min Jiang Kueh
Hokkien pancake traditionally filled with peanut or red bean paste. More varieties are available these days, including everything from cheese to Nutella!
- Pancake King
- Mr. Bean
Shaved ice that comes with a multitude of toppings ranging from red beans, jelly and sweet corn to attap chee (a sweet, translucent, gelatinous ball that is harvested from the immature seed of the Nipah palm) and sweet syrup
- Jin Jin Hot/Cold Dessert
Soya beancurd that can be served hot or cold in a sweet syrup or soy milk.
- Rochor Beancurd House
- Selegie Soya Bean
Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour typically served in sweet soup or syrup. Tang yuan comes filled with various pastes such as peanut or black sesame.
- Ah Balling Peanut Soup
- 115 Tang Shui
A Teochew dessert made with taro/yam and blended into a smooth, sweet paste. It’s normally served with gingko nuts and pumpkin.
- Mu Liang Zai Liang Kee Restaurant
A clear sweet soup packed with various ingredients like longan, barley, sweet potato and white fungus. Can be served hot or cold.
- No Name Cheng Tng
Rainbow ice cream bread
Ice cream wrapped inside rainbow bread is a staple dessert that many Singaporeans would have eaten, especially during their childhood.
- Available from old-school ice cream vendors in carts – try along Orchard Road, outside Takashimaya.
A light chiffon cake flavoured with the juice of pandan leaves.
- Pure Pandan
- Bengawan Solo
- Galicier Confectionery (Tiong Bahru Galicier)
A steamed sticky dough made from glutinous rice flour, which is cut into small pieces and coated with a sugar peanut or black sesame dust.
- Hougang 6 Miles Famous Muah Chee
- Heavenly Snacks
Top Spots to Try:
- Ah Chew Desserts – serves both hot and cold traditional desserts
- Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry (Galicier Confectionery) – serves up a number of Nonya kuehs and pastries; more of a grab-and-go place.
- Xing Xing @ Maxwell
- 115 Tang Shui @ Chinatown
- Ah Balling Peanut Soup @ Golden Mile
For more helpful tips head to our Living in Singapore section.