Have you ever had Indonesian desserts? I was able to taste many different varieties of the local delicious desserts after spending two weeks touring the country, and it was love at first bite!
Located between the Indian and Pacific oceans in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a beautiful archipelagic country officially known as the Republic of Indonesia.
This stunning destination is made up of thousands of islands and 300 local languages. Because of the natural beauty, water sports are very popular. Many people go just to dive in Indonesia.
I found the people to be warm and friendly, very welcoming to visitors, and proud of their history.
Make sure to visit Yogyakarta in Central Java if you go. Just across from Yogyakarta, you can see Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia.
Indonesia is not only known for its beauty, but also for the goods produced there, such as cocoa, coffee, coconut, palm oil, palm sugar syrup, bananas, tamarind, nutmeg, and other spices.
Going to the local markets to explore is my favorite way to learn about a region's cuisine.
I remember being told the main ingredients in Indonesian food would be seafood and rice, which was fine by me as I love them both, but I had no idea they had such amazing Indonesian desserts - and so many different kinds of sweets!
From the lovely Kampung Daun restaurant in Bandung, the capital of the West Java Province, to the treats served on our farewell cruise off Gili Trawangan, I loved it all!
Even the little Indonesian sweets in our boxed lunches were delightful! Indonesia loves its desserts!
When I was in Southeast Asia visiting 6 Asian countries on the Holland America Maasdam, I found a lot of traditional desserts with the same sweet flavor as those I had in Indonesia.
Why I Love Indonesian Sweet Dishes
Indonesian cuisine takes many cues from other nearby cultures depending on what part of Indonesia you're visiting. We were all over the country!
If you visit eastern Indonesia you'll be eating a mix of Indonesian cuisine with Polynesian traits. However, most Indonesian dishes are typically associated with Chinese food.
Try this easy recipe for Indonesian Gado Gado to get a sense of the flavors and preparation of everyday main meals in Indonesian cooking. Gado Gado is a very popular dish in Indonesia.
For some really easy recipes, check out some of the most popular snacks on this list of delicious Indonesian snacks.
You'll find plenty of Indonesian dessert sweets that feature coconut in different ways. The meat of the young coconut is not the same as the fruit we buy in our local grocery store as it has a very different texture.
The coconuts in Indonesia are softer and easier to scoop out of the shell.
It also gives the Indonesian desserts a unique spongy texture, but one I grew to love. You can often buy coconuts and other sweets from street vendors.
Glutinous rice four is also used in a lot of the country's food, with other popular desserts focusing on the regional tropical fruits in Indonesia, like jackfruit or breadfruit.
Banana leaves are popular, too, and often used to wrap desserts that will be steamed right in the leaves.
And if you're wondering why some of the Indonesian desserts are bright green, it's because they use the extract from the pandan leaf which also lends a slight vanilla flavor. The pandan leaf is one of the basic ingredients in Indonesian cooking.
My trip to Indonesia took about 27 hours each way from the United States (and worth every hour to get there!), but with these recipes, you can take a culinary trip to Indonesia without leaving your home!
Perhaps after a taste of these Indonesian sweets from this beautiful country, you will want to start planning your vacation to see wonderful Indonesia.
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So you can try the flavors of Indonesia, too, I've gathered recipes for some of the classic popular Indonesian desserts so you can satisfy that sweet tooth with something special! Please let me know if you make any of these!
And if you do go to lovely Indonesia, don't miss having a cup of kopi luwak, known as one of the most expensive coffees in the world, alongside your dessert!
Want to learn more about Indonesia? Check out my experience in Bandung where we learned about the traditional games played in this beautiful country.
And as most people fly into Soekarno-Hatta Airport, check out my thoughts on this Jakarta Airport Hotel. (I loved it!)
More About Indonesia
This post was first seen on Food, Fun & Faraway Places on December 3, 2019, and was updated with additional information on June 22, 2021.