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25 Popular Traditional Indonesian Desserts

Have you ever had Indonesian desserts? I was able to taste many different varieties of the local traditional desserts after spending two weeks touring the country, and it was love at first bite!

Indonesian desserts in a collage.

If you love to try foods from around the world, be sure to check out these traditional Italian desserts, these traditional German recipes, and this Jamaican rum cake. Food is the real reason I love to travel!

Where is Indonesia?

Raja Ampat in Indonesia

Located between the Indian and Pacific oceans in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is a beautiful archipelagic country officially known as the Republic of Indonesia.

If you go (and you should!) here’s a wonderful Bali itinerary you can use for exploring.

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.

Food market fruit stand in Indonesia.

The Food

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 foods 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.

Young coconut in a spoon with half coconut behind on a tray.

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. 

Light blue cart used for street food vendor in Indonesia.

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.

Dessert wrapped in banana leaf in Indonesia.

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.

Pandan leaves in a bowl on a tray.

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!

Indonesian Fruit Cocktail Recipe

This Indonesian fruit cocktail recipe is similar to Es Teler but I’ve switched up the fresh fruit a bit using mango instead of jackfruit. Using young coconut here is key. Make this for a delicious breakfast simply by leaving out the syrup.

Indonesian fruit cocktail on a tray.

Klepon – Sweet Rice Cakes

This sweet rice cakes dessert from Wandercooks is so pretty and delicious! This only takes 20 minutes to make, so you can have it on the table for dessert easily once you have the ingredients.

Green Indonesian desserts on a wood board

Bingka Telur Egg and Coconut Milk Cake

Another super easy recipe featuring coconut, this dessert is similar to what we know in the states as a pudding or custard. The flavors of this Bingka Telur are fantastic!

Bingka Telur Indonesian dessert on a black platter.

Sweet Coconut Glutinous Rice Balls

This dessert actually turns out like sweet rice cake once they’re prepared. Another one that is easy to prepare.

Sweet glutinous rice balls Indonesian dessert with sweet drizzle.

10 Layer Cake Recipe

This 10-layer cake (yes, you read that right!) is a little more challenging than the other recipes here, but it’s certainly impressive! It’s actually a dutch dessert, probably from times when Indonesia was a colony of Holland in the early 1800s.

10 Layer Cake Indonesian dessert.

Kue Lumpur (Mud Cakes)

The flavors of this Kue Lumpur is similar to what we eat as rice pudding, but with a smoother texture. You’ll love this one!

Kue Lumpur, a popular Indonesian dessert.

Surabaya Layer Cake 

You probably have just about everything in your fridge or pantry to make this Surabaya cake. I doubt you’ll have the chocolate paste that gives this that rich chocolate flavor, but you can order it and have it in a couple of days.

Yellow and brown layer cake from Indonesia.

Kuih Lapis 

Another traditional layer cake but with different flavors this kuih lapis has a springy texture and wonderful flavors.

Kuih Lapis , a popular Indonesian dessert.

Kue Pepe

This is also called Indonesian Thousand Layer Sticky Cake, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have that many layers!

This kue pepe is a chewy dessert, more like candy but not quite as sweet.

Red and white sticky layer cake.

Black Glutinous Rice Porridge

Rice pudding seems to be one of those desserts that are made everywhere! It looks delicious!

Black Glutinous Rice Porridge Indonesian dessert

Kue Dadar Gulung

Kue Dadar Gulung is an Indonesian pancake and stuffed with coconut pudding. Pandan juice (a traditional ingredient from the Pandan leaf) gives the pancakes the light green tint.

Kue Dadar Gulung Indonesian dessert.

Homemade Mochi Ice Cream

Most people would think mochi to be a Japanese dessert, but as I mentioned, the recipes do crossover a lot in Asia. Isn’t this one beautiful?

Pink and green ice cream balls on white plate.

Wingko Babat Cake 

This Wingko Babat cake has just 5 ingredients and is super easy to prepare. The flavors will wow your friends and family!

Pieces of wingko babat cake on a white plate.

Ongol-Ongol Hunkwe 

Also called Mung Bean Cake with Coconut, this ongol-ongol dessert has a softer texture, kind of like what we know as Jello, but with a richer flavor. It’s great with a cup of tea.

Slices of ongol caramel colored Indonesian dessert

Ongol-Ongol Singkong

Another ongol but this is more of an Indonesian Steamed Cassava Cake, made with Cassava or yuca. This dessert is vegan and Gluten-Free.

Pieces of cassava cake topped with coconut on a brown tray.

Martabak Manis 

These Indonesian sweet pancakes called Martabak Manis are so delicious and you’ll often find it when in the markets. This dessert is a traditional street food in Indonesia.

Martabak Manis dessert.

Indonesian Avocado Milkshake

You might not think an avocado milkshake sounds like a dessert, but just wait until you taste this one to make that judgment!

Green milkshake in a mason jar with a red and white straw.

Bola-bola Ubi Jalar

This is another traditional Indonesian street food made with sweet potatoes, this Bola-bola is served on a stick for easy eating and walking.

Indonesian street food sticks on a white plate.

Serabi Solo Cake

This dessert is served with grated cheese on top, but it’s not savory at all. Serabi Solo Cake is definitely one you need to try!

Serabi Solo Cake Indonesian dessert.

Putu Ayu 

This Putu Ayu steamed Pandan Cake tastes sweet and salty with the coconut really bringing out the flavors of traditional Indonesian desserts.

Small green flower shaped cakes on a baking sheet.

Nastar Cookies

Nastar cookies are also known as pineapple tarts, but not just because of their shape.

These tarts are shortbread cookies with a filling made from fresh pineapple. I can’t wait to try this one!

Nastar cookies pineapple Indonesian tart.


Colenak is made from grilled fermented cassava and sweetened with Palm Sugar Sauce. 

Layers of dessert with pandan leaf on top, called colenak in Indonesian desserts.

Agar-Agar Dessert

Agar-agar is a very popular Indonesian dessert. It’s vegan as well as gluten-free, and can be made with all kinds of colors like matcha and red bean paste.

Agar agar red, white, and green Indonesian dessert.

Rainbow Lapis Cake

This traditional recipe is similar to cake, but it’s served cold. It’s such a pretty dessert!

Rainbow Lapis Cake sliced on a white plate.


This is another dessert made with cassava, Gethuk is a very popular traditional pastry served with coffee or tea.

Gethuk, an Indonesian dessert, piled high on a green tray.

Kuih Koci Black Glutinous Rice 

This dessert is actually traditional to Indonesia as well as Malaysia. Made with black glutinous rice flour and palm sugar and served in banana leaves was one of my favorites when I was in Indonesia.

Kuih Koci traditional Indonesian 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

Mango with coconut in a jar topped with crushed ice on a bamboo board with a white cloth and other ingredients.

Indonesian Desserts

A list of the best Indonesian desserts you can make at home so you can have a taste of this lovely and delicious country.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indonesian


Some of the Ingredients you will need from an Asian Market

  • Pandan leaves
  • banana leaves
  • palm sugar
  • young coconut
  • glutinous rice flour
  • black glutinous rice flour


Choose Your Favorite of these Easy Indonesian Desserts and Make It Today!

  • Indonesian Fruit Cocktail Recipe
  • Klepon Sweet Rick Cakes
  • Bingka Telur Egg and Coconut Milk Cake
  • Sweet Coconut Glutinous Rice Balls
  • Spekkoek Layer Cake Recipe
  • Kue Lumpur Mud Cakes
  • Surabaya Layer Cake
  • Kuih Lapis
  • Kue Pepe
  • Black Glutinous Rice Porridge
  • Cantik Manis Recipe
  • Homemade Mochi Ice Cream
  • Wingko Babit Cake
  • Ongol Ongol Singkong
  • Martabak Manis
  • Indonesian Avocado Milkshake
  • Bola Bola Ubi Jalar
  • Serabi Solo Cake
  • Putu Ayu
  • Nastar Cookies
  • Colenak
  • Peach and Blueberry Agar Agar
  • Es Gabus
  • Gethuk
  • Kuih Koci Black Glutinous Rice
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