Many traditional Thai dessert recipes have been around for countless generations, but have been more recently influenced through Thai trade with other countries. Thai people often use desserts for religious and cultural ceremonies, since they are known to bring good luck due to their interesting names and colors. Many dessert recipes require elaborate preparation, while others are simple to create.
In Thai culture, it is customary to enjoy rice with almost all our meals, and Thai people have based many desserts on a rice foundation. The common ingredients in Thai desserts include sugar, eggs, coconut, coconut milk, palm sugar, sticky rice, flour and varieties of local fruits. Banana leaves are also used to prepare many desserts, especially for cooking and packing the treats. The fragrance and the taste of the leaves is absorbed to make the already sweet morsels even more delicious.
My grandma made and sold Thai sweets for living. All her Thai dessert recipes were so delicious, original and authentic and I still can’t find any store that could compare with her style and flavor.
Thai Dessert Recipes / Cooking Techniques
- Steaming technique requires a steamer to cook many Thai sweets, such as sticky rice with banana. Banana leaves are perfect to wrap the food while it is being streamed.
- Boiling technique is an easy method of preparing sweet treats. You can make a delicious coconut sauce dessert by boiling the coconut milk, adding black beans or rice balls, then finishing with some sugar.
- Stirring technique involves long mixing and simmering of the ingredients on the stove until dry and thick. Thais use this method to preserve some food and fruit, as well. Preserved durian, banana and pineapple are popular among Thai people and are often made into homemade jam or jelly.
- Deep frying technique is needed for making crunchy Thai sweet snacks, such as fried banana. These recipes are usually served golden brown and piping hot.
- Boiling in syrup technique is similar to the usual boiling method. However, these Thai food recipes are cooked in syrup instead of water. The syrup does not need to be served, but it certainly makes the dessert well cooked and super sweet.
- Baking technique is similar to the western style cooking method. However, most Thai families do not have an oven at home to bake their food. Many Thais use improvised ovens which are coal fired and placed outside the home.
Varieties of Thai Dessert Recipes
Here are some of the most famous Thai desserts which can be made at home:
- Mango with sticky rice is perhaps the most popular dessert ever and is always in demand everywhere in the world. The cooking method is simple and is mainly based around the perfect sticky rice. Thai sweet mango is ideal to be served with the sticky rice and can usually be found at Asian markets.
- Thai pumpkin custard is a whole squash filled with homemade custard. This dish is also famous worldwide. If you like custard, try this dessert! It is so delicious and virtually unrecognizable as tasting like pumpkin in the Western sense.
- Thai coconut dumplings are sweet and warm little snacks. Kanom Krok is a truly street food treat. This dessert provides a lovely coconut flavor in every bite.
- Thai sticky rice with banana is wrapped and stored in banana leaves. This dessert is so awesome and it reminds me of my grandma’s own Thai recipes. I recommend using plantain bananas, which are similar to the authentic type of Thai bananas used for this recipe.
- Thai black sticky rice with custard is an exotic treat. The consistency of black sticky rice is thicker and chewier than white sticky rice. If you can’t find black sticky rice, white sticky rice can be substituted for this dish. For your convenience, the traditional ingredients are also available online.
- Squash in coconut sauce is a delightful treat. This dessert contains great nutrition such as vitamins, minerals and fiber from squash family.
- Fried banana fritters are a fun and easy dessert recipe. It is perfect for sweet cravings after meals.
- Thai coconut pudding is also known as Kanom Tuay. The dessert has two layers of pudding. The low level provides a sweet coconut pudding taste and the top layer is salty. Both levels combine to balance the flavors and provide a unique sensation.
- Black beans sticky rice is a delicious dessert to keep you warm. This traditional recipe will satisfy your sweet cravings during cold days.
- Thai fried banana consists of bananas wrapped with spring roll skins, served with honey and ice cream. Some chefs substitute pancakes or crepes instead of the spring roll wrapper. The dessert can be decorated with white sesame on the top. However, this is subject to personal taste preferences.
- Sweetened cassava is also called mun chuam. This traditional dessert is very simple to make for a nice treat. It’s needed a few ingredients to prepare.
- Bua loy is another popular dessert among Thai people. It is as known as rice balls in coconut sauce. The dish requires glutinous flour, taro, squash, panada, coconut milk and sugar. Many Thais like to add egg when boiling this sweet food.
- Thai potato balls are elegant sweet snacks. This classic recipe is perfect to cook with your kids.
- Thai steamed cake is called kanom salee. This morsel is not decorated with frosting. The cooking technique utilizes steam to finish the cake, rather than baking, which is not used at all in this recipe.
Thai Dessert Recipes / Summary
Thai desserts are very interesting to learn how to make and reflect the culture and traditions of a culinary dynasty. Thai meals are never complete without a nice desert recipe to finish things off properly. Most desserts are not too difficult to prepare, but some need lots of practice to become an expert. I like to eat deserts, so I like to make them, as well. How convenient!
Personally, I like to cook all kinds of desserts, not just Thai treats, and have invented many of my own “Western” favorites, as well. I regularly bake cakes, cookies, pies and tarts. Sometimes, I have a craving for sticky rice and when this happens, there is just no denying it or substituting anything else.
If you have never tried it, give it a go and see what I mean! Don’t limit your cooking skills, but instead, try new culinary adventures. Try ending your next meal with a surprisingly scrumptious Thai desert, just for the fun of it!