You must have seen a plethora of coconut desserts when you were in Thailand, if you have visited this country before. Thai people have been using coconuts in their cooking and one major application is Thai coconut dessert. In this article, we will be covering a variation of Thai coconut cake and other common popular Thai coconut desserts. Do not mistake this with young coconut or roasted coconut which we have exclusive articles for.
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Modern Thai coconut cake
We have tried modern Thai coconut cakes in many places. On our recent trip in Thailand, we tasted a few different types. The first one is sponge cake with cream layers in between and young coconut meat on top. This is the typical modern coconut cake found in Thailand. We tried 2 of these in Summer House Ayutthaya and also Baan Gliwang in Hua Hin.
We had a unique experience on our Ayutthaya trip where we visited Ayutthaya Retreat (a hotel with a restaurant inside). They serve young coconut cakes with a twist. The twist is, they layer sponge cake and coconut jelly in their cake, topped with coconut meat. The coconut jelly is made from young coconut water which added an interesting texture to the Thai coconut cake.
Traditional Thai coconut desserts
Traditional “cake” or “pancake” made from coconut milk
“Baa Bin” or Thai coconut pancake is made from mixing flour with coconut milk and young coconut to make the Baa Bin paste. You can then cook the paste on a flat pan or you can cake it in small trays. See full recipe here.
“Kanom tuay” which means dessert in a bowl. Kanom tuay is essentially coconut pudding/custard made by steaming 2 layers of ingredients. The first layer is sweetened rice flour and the second layer is coconut milk. The first layer is usually sweet, and it is also commonly mixed with pandan to provide fragrance and green color. You will find this dessert when you go to eateries to eat boat noodles.
“Kanom krok” is a unique Thai coconut “cake” which has a crispy shell but soft filling. You can make the soft filling from a mixture between sweetened coconut milk and flour. People can find this dessert on the street where vendors cook the coconut mixture in a hot pan with multiple small holes. See full recipe here.
Other coconut desserts using traditional recipes
There are also many other traditional desserts that do not resemble cake or pancake but they use coconut or coconut milk as main ingredients.
“Ruam mit” is one of the most common coconut milk desserts. It is a mix of items served in sweetened coconut milk. The items usually include sago, water chestnut (made into red ruby dessert), jackfruit, taro, chendol etc.
“Khanom tom” or coconut ball with main ingredients being flour and coconut. You can make the ball using rice flour and the filling uses shredded coconut melted with palm sugar and coconut milk. It has a chewy texture and use shredded coconut as coating on the outside.
“Khao lam” or bamboo sticky rice is another popular Thai traditional coconut dessert. There are two types of this dessert, one uses white sticky rice and the other black sticky rice. You can mix the sticky rice with sugar, sweet red beans, and coconut cream. Then, you can insert the mixture into cylinders of hollow bamboo. Next, roast the bamboo over coals. See more information about Khao lam in this article.
Should you try Thai coconut desserts?
Definitely! Coconuts in Thailand are of high quality and taste really good. With good ingredients, you can expect tasty Thai coconut desserts as well. There are a broad variety of coconut desserts that you can find in the country. You might find your favorite after you try a few of them. If you are not a big fan of sweet stuff, you need to exercise caution when buying desserts in Thailand though. Also, try small quantity as they tend to be on the sweeter side (Thai people love sweets in general).
Learn more about Thailand through our other posts!