Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With These 5 East Malaysian Desserts


Malaysia is a melting pot of culture and cuisine. With culinary inspiration from far and wide, there is always something new to taste and discover. But why rock the boat? We love ourselves some tried and true favourites from East Malaysia. Read on to find out what they are!


1. Ais Kacang


Okay, granted you can find these in West Malaysia as well. But wait until you check out the varieties available in Kuching! The Sarawakian array does not stop at just the run of the mill ‘Ais Kacang Merah’. For those looking for a little fancy with their local delights, try the ‘White Lady’. It is a sweet, creamy shaved ice drink made from evaporated milk, grenadine syrup, mango syrup, longan, lychees, and diced slices of fruit. Or if you’re looking for something unique, try the ‘Matterhorn’! Sharing the same name as the famous peak in Switzerland, this treat is made up of shave ice, lime juice, pineapples, longans, jellies, cincau jelly, and cendol jelly. 



Our favourite choice is Boon Khai Delights at SOHO, Jalan Wan Alwi, Kuching. A local establishment with a dedicated band of followers. Be prepared to be spoilt for choice when you view their menu. You can also find fried prawn and sweet potato fritters, and Belacan Bee Hoon to round up your culinary trip in Kuching!


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Santapan petang ini #merecik

A post shared by Azri i. (@azriisamudin) on Mar 8, 2017 at 11:43pm PST


2. Gula Apong Ice-Cream


Okay, so the basic of this is that Gula Apong is to Sarawak what Gula Melaka is to Malacca. Gula Melaka is derived from coconut, while Gula Apong is made from the Nipah palm. Following us? The Gula Apong Ice-Cream has been around for a few years but it is still a novel experience to first-time visitors to Sarawak. Soft serve ice cream, usually vanilla, is dressed with the gula apong syrup with an optional choice of a generous sprinkling of cornflakes and finely chopped peanuts. The resulting taste profile is a punch of sweet and salty from the combination of the syrup and the peanuts. 


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The very famous ice cream with gula apong.Only in Kuching 🍧.

A post shared by Chris Wee (@weechuanchin) on Jul 3, 2015 at 8:03am PDT


For a unique experience, be sure to head on down to the iconic Air Krim Bergula Apong at Open Air Market! Located in front of Elektra House at Kuching, it is purportedly the birthplace of this delicacy and as such many Kuchingnites will willingly queue up for hours to get their ice cream fix. Their ice cream flavours change daily between pandan, vanilla, and chocolate. Don’t leave without taking a picture for the Gram at the mural and neon signage nearby!



3. Coconut Pudding


When in Rome, do what the Romans do. Therefore, when in Kota Kinabalu, you gotta do what the locals do! Coconut puddings may seem like a tourist gimmick, but hear us out. The actual dessert itself is a mainstay amongst the locals and you can find them at any seafood stall. They come served in whole coconuts. The actual pudding itself is inside the coconut and tastes like coconut milk. Not too sweet nor too rich, it is the perfect choice to cap off a delicious seafood dinner!


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Lepas tu hantar yaya kat imago. Straight ke sepanggar. Makan puding dalam kelapa, lokan bakar dan air kelapa bakar.

A post shared by Aika Sufiana (@aika_gurlz88) on May 7, 2019 at 12:13am PDT


As mentioned, you can easily find coconut puddings anywhere there are stalls or restaurants serving seafood in Kota Kinabalu. And if you find yourself wanting to take some home with you for a midnight snack (or two!), they come in easily transportable plastic cup versions too!


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Fresh coconut, grilled coconut or coconut pudding. Many ways to enjoy the coconut roadside stall along Jalan Sulaman.

A post shared by borneo insider (@borneo.insider) on Jun 27, 2016 at 10:45pm PDT


4. UFO Tart


What in the world is a UFO tart, you ask? According to local Sandakan folklore, a local baker burnt his tarts but instead of throwing away his spoiled goods, he dressed them up with custard and introduced the first iteration of the UFO tarts. But do be aware that these tarts do have another less than stellar name - Cow Dung Tart. Because whilst some may see a UFO, others may see the droppings of an animal. This UFO tart is vanilla-flavoured cake base topped with lusciously creamy yellow custard that is a delectable bite of heaven.



Head on down to Sandakan, the birthplace of this taste trend for an authentic experience at Syn Ming Heng Cake & Coffee. The whole ambience of the shop is a throwback to a bygone time of kopitiam dining, so order your UFO tart and a cup of coffee. As the tarts themselves aren’t too big, treat yourself to more than just one, sit back and enjoy!


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Bullseye. UfO tart or sometimes also known Cow dung tart found only in Sandakan. Selling at RM1.50 per cow dung. #sabaheats

A post shared by Sabah Eats (@sabaheats) on Jun 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT

5. 3-Layer Tea (Teh C Peng Special)


Now this one may be a little bit of a cheat on our part, but we couldn’t have a list about East Malaysian indulgences without including this baby! The iconic layers are known throughout Malaysia itself and is a favourite of both locals and tourists alike. An upgraded version of the Teh C Peng which is just iced tea and evaporated milk, the Teh C Peng Special is easily recognisable with its three distinct layers made up of iced tea, evaporated milk, and gula melaka syrup. 


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#having #breakfast #with #her ❤️

A post shared by www (@wwinsonnnn) on May 21, 2014 at 6:28pm PDT


Teh C Peng Special is perfect not just as a dessert, but at any hour of the day. Top recommendation for where to have that cold glass of perfection is at Sin Chong Choon. There is no missing this place. Not only is it on the way to Kuching International Airport (good for those last-minute craving fulfilments), but you can’t miss the giant mug of Teh C Peng Special attached to their signboard. 


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A post shared by samlim212 (@samlim85212) on Oct 8, 2019 at 10:54pm PDT


So there you have it! 5 indulgences that you should definitely pencil down into your wish lists when it’s clear to travel. Obviously there were some sugary perfections that we could not fit into this list but that’s for another time! We hope everyone is holding up okay and we will see you all outside having your favourite desserts soon! Stay safe, everyone. 


In light of the current circumstances, Mayflower Holidays recognise that our customers may have difficulty in reaching us through our customer support helpline. We strongly urge customers with non-immediate concerns to contact us via email at or through our contact form if you have any concerns or issues. Meanwhile, we would like to remind everyone to stay safe during this period of restricted movement. See you again soon!