Thai Desserts (Khanom Wan Thai): The Ultimate Thailand Sweets Guide

By Mark Wiens 29 Comments

Thai street food guideThai desserts are yet another explorable sector of the extensive realm of best Thai dishes.  An indulgence of Thai desserts is an eye-opener to a new angle of Thailand’s sweet flavors and a food gastro-adventure that’s sure to never get boring.

After eating and gathering over 100 best Thai dishes, it was surely time to devour all the sugary treats that Bangkok has to offer.

Most Thai desserts are a sweet and sometimes filling snack opposed to a light and airy Western style dessert.  They are characterized by sweet syrups, coconut cream, tropical fruits, and sweet sticky rice.

The ultimate guide to Thai desserts is divided into a few categories to make it easier to navigate: Sticky Rice Desserts, Jelly/Custard/Gooey, Soup/Pudding, Cakes/Bread/Pancakes, Fruit/Based, Ice Cream, and Random.

If you have a chronic sweet tooth or an occasional sweet craving, this Thai Desserts (Khanom Thai): The Ultimate Thailand Sweets Guide is for you!

I have “***” my personal favorites with 1-3 stars.  My personal choice really comes down to sticky rice durian and Bua Loy Nam King, though most are quite delicious.  Take a look at the list and feel free to let me know your favorite Thai desserts!

Khao Neow Toorien ข้าวเหนียวทุเรียน (Durian Coconut Milk Soup with Sticky Rice)***

Sticky rice with chunk of Durian swimming in a thick coconut cream syrup is surely one of the most unique Thai desserts. If you love durian, nothing else will do!

sticky rice durian
Nam Kati Niew Durian

khao tom mudKhao Tom Mud ข้าวต้มมัด
(Banana Leaf Sticky Rice)

It’s made from sticky rice, coconut milk, sugar, sweet black beans, all candied in a banana leaf wrapper and ready for you to eat.


thai banana dessertKhanom Gluay ขนมกล้วย
(Banana Treat)

Sticky rice, bananas, sugar and shredded coconut made into a green treat. It becomes green by soaking Pandanus leaves in cool water and adding it to the mixture.


Khao Neow Ma Muang ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง (Sticky Rice with Mango)*

Sweet sticky rice with sweet yellow mango on top and covered in coconut cream syrup. Khao Neow Mamuang is among the most popular Thai desserts to eat in and outside of Thailand. In Bangkok, you’ll find mango sticky rice all over during mango season.

sticky rice mango
Khao Niew Mamuang


Khao Neow Moon ข้าวเหนียวมูน (Colored Sticky Rice)*

Selection of sticky rice made with sugar, coconut milk, salt and a little flavor to create the variation of color

Khao Niew moon
Khao Niew Moon


khanom jarkKhanom Jark ขนมจาก
(Palm Leaf Treat)

Flour, coconut meat, sugar and salt grilled in a palm leaf wrapper


Khao MahkKhao Mahk ข้าวหมาก
(Fermented Rice Pudding)**

Whole grains of sticky rice sweetly fermented into a pudding that remains slight crunchy


Khao LamKhao Lam ข้าวหลาม
(Sticky Rice in Bamboo)

Sticky rice is sweetened with black beans and thick coconut syrup and roasted in a bamboo poles over low fire. After the khao lam is roasted, it’s hacked open with a machete and ready to be served.


Khao Neow Sang Kaya ข้าวเหนียวสังขยา (Sticky Rice with Custard)**

This Thai dessert consists of sweet sticky rice topped with a slice of creamy custard. It’s rilling, rich, and delicious.

khao niew sang kaya
Khao Niew Sang Kaya

khao niew damKhao Neow Dam ข้าวเหนียวดำ
(Sweet Black Sticky Rice)

This is the sweet black sticky rice version with shredded coconut on top.


Khao Mao Tod ข้าวเม่าทอด (Fried Banana with Roasted Rice)**

It’s a super ripe banana that’s wrapped with roasted unripened sticky rice and coconut before being deep fried to a serious crisp on the outside. It’s like an even sugary beter version of a fried banana.

Khanom Khao Mao


Khanom Khao Mao ขนมข้าวเม่า (Unripe Sticky Rice Dessert)

Unripe roasted sticky rice used to make a sweet dessert


tong yip thaiTong Yip ทองหยิบ
(Flower Egg Yolk Tart)

Egg yolk, sugar, and flower water boiled in sugar syrup and formed into flower like shapes. Tong Yip, Tong Yord and Foi Tong make up a popular trinity of Thai desserts.


Tong Yord ทองหยอด (Round Egg Yolk Tart)

Egg yolk, sugar, and flower water are boiled in sugar syrup and formed into round balls to create this sugar lovers sweet.

Tong Yord


Foi Tong ฝอยทอง (Shredded Egg Yolk Tart)

It’s basically the same ingredients used in the two Thai desserts above; Egg yolks and sugar are boiled in sweet syrup and then formed into hairlike shapes.

foi tong
Foi Tong

thai dessertKhanom Krok ขนมครก
(Coconut Rice Dumplings)*

These traditional coconut and rice flour dumplings are cooked into little kettle cakes and often topped with a choice of green onions, sweet corn, taro, or just plain. Served hot, they will melt in your mouth.


Woon thai jellyWoon วุ้น
(Jelly)

All kinds of Thai jelly similar to Jello – not too special but sometimes good to eat.


thai jelly woonWoon Ma Plow (Coconut Jelly)

Clear coconut jelly hardened into a coconut shell is a fantastic way to eat jelly.

Khanom Chun ขนมชั้น (Thai Jello)

Sugar, coconut milk, and flour mixed and set in cookie pan to harden into a jelly is a very popular Thai dessert.

thai khanom chun jelly
Khanom Chun

khanom chun coffeeKhanom Chun Gafe ขนมชั้นกาแฟ
(Layered Coffee Jelly)

This is one of the popular variations of a normal Thai khanom chun sweet.


khanom duangKhanom Duang ขนมด้วง
(Sticky Morsels)

Tapioca and rice flour with coconut milk and sugar made into little food colored morsels and sprinkled with shredded coconut


Sang Kaya Fug Tong สังขยาฟักทอง (Pumpkin and Custard)**

It all begins with a pumpkin that’s hollowed out and filled with the creamiest custard you can ever imagine. The whole pumpkin is then sliced into pie like pieces and served normally as a takeaway treat. It’s rich and sweet.

sang kaya fuk tong
Sang Kaya Fug Tong


kanom piek poonKhanom Piek Poon ขนมเปียกปูน
(Burnt Coconut Jelly)

Flour, sugar, and shredded coconut meat residue that is burnt on the outside to create the black effect and made into a jelly


Takoh ตะโก้ (Coconut Cream Jelly)**

Tapioca flour mixed with heavy coconut cream, coconut pulp and sugar  and all mixed and steamed to create an intense coconut custard. Sometimes takoh is served just plain while other times it’s placed over a bed or tapioca. It’s often prepared in banana leaf wrappers.
Khanom Takoh Coconut Dessert


woon kai egg jellyWoon Kati วุ้นกะทิ
(Condensed Milk Jelly)

It’s a jello like jelly with condensed milk topping.


Khanom Thuay ขนมถ้วย (Thai Coconut Custard)**

Quite similar to Thai takoh, khanom thuay is little coconut milk custard made in bite sized bowls. It’s normally found as a Bangkok street food sold from meandering carts and stalls.

khanom thuay
Khanom Thuay


Khanom Sai Sai ขนมไส่ใส้ (Coconut Treat)

Coconut fruit inside with coconut pudding outside and covered in a banana leaf


Khanom Thien ขนมเทียน (Sticky Cake)

Tapioca flour and peanuts made into a wet cake and wrapped in a banana leaf. Especially eaten during Chinese New Year in Thailand when you’ll see it all over the streets and markets.

Khanom Thien


Bua Loy Nam King บัวลอยน้ำขิง (Mochi Rice and Sesame Balls in Ginger Water)***

This is one of my all time favorite Thai desserts. It consists of two main parts. The dumplings are made of a rice flour encasing with  black sesame seed paste in the middle. They are served floating in sweet ginger soup. There’s a great place to eat bua loy nam king in Chinatown Bangkok.

bua loy
Bua Loy


sakoo piekSakoo Piek สาคูเปียก
(Tapioca Pudding)*

Tapioca balls in sweet pudding paste


tao huay nam khingTao Huay Nam Khing เต้าฮวยน้ำขิง
(Soft Tofu and Sweet Croutons in Ginger Water)**

Vibrant sweetened ginger water with pieces of soft tofu and sweet croutons


nam kang saiNam Kang Sai น้ำแข็งไส
(Mixed Ice Dessert)

You get a choice combination of various jellies and candied fruits which are scooped into a bowl and topped with chunks of ice and then doused in sweet syrup, coconut milk, and sometimes other sweet syrups. Nam kang sai is one of the perfect Thai desserts on a hot afternoon.


Khanom Wan Ruam Mit (Mixed Sweet Dessert)

A sweet concoction of mixed treats


Rang Nok รังนก (Sweet Bird’s Nest Soup)**

Bird’s nest soup made into a healthful dessert snack, and just barley sweet

birds nest soup
Rang Nok


pakim kai towPakim Kai Tow ปะกิมไข่เต่า
(Sweet Salty Soup)

Sweet and salty soup combined together with sticky rice flour and coconut milk


fug tong gang buanFuk Tong Gang Buad ฟักทองแกงบวช
(Pumpkin in Coconut Milk)

Pumpkin candied in coconut milk with sugar and salt


Taptim Grob ทับทิมกรอบ (Water Chestnuts in Coconut Soup)

Water chestnuts in a sweet icy coconut soup


Nam Tao Hoo น้ำเต้าหู้ (Tofu Water)*

This is essentially the Thai version of soy milk, or juice made from soy beans. It’s creamy and fresh and often sweetened with a load of sweet syrup. You can order it less sweet if you’d like.


Salim ซาหลิ่ม (Glass Noodle Dessert)

Glass noodles in sweet coconut milk


khanom tungtagKhanom Thungtag ขนมถังแตก
(Sweet Thai Pancake)

Flour and coconut milk with yeast, salt and sugar mixed into a pancake. Eaten with foi tong or an assortment of toppings.


Roti Gluay โรตีกล้วย (Banana Pancake Treat)*

A doughy pastry fried in butter with a banana and egg mixture on the inside before being covered with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Can be found all of over Thailand but is especially a popular Thai dessert in the South.

You might also try other versions of Thai pancakes like this.

thai roti gluay
Roti Gluay


Khanom BuangKhanom Buang ขนมเบื้อง
(Sweet Thai Crepe)

Sweet Thai crepe with meringue and foy tong on top


Khanom SahleeKhanom Sahlee ขนมสาลี่
(Sweet Bread)

Flour, sugar and lime juice mixed into a sweet bread and steamed to remain cooked and still moist and fluffy


tuang muan sotTaung Muan Sot ทองม้วนสด
(Sweet Rolled Sesame Pancake)

Soft pancake with roasted sesame seeds


tong muanTong Muan ทองม้วน
(Crunchy Pancake)

Flour, coconut milk, eggs, salt, sugar and black sesame seeds cooked in a waffle maker


Tua Pap ถั่วแปบ (Peanut Rice Cake)*

Soft rice flour morsels with peanuts, mung beans, sesame seeds and coconut

khanom tua pap
Tua Pap


Khanom Pang Wan ขนมปังหวาน (Sweet Breads)

Not really Thai but a selection of hamburger buns filled with synthetic bright sweet things. Thai desserts sometimes take on interesting forms, shapes and flavors!

sweet thai bread
Khanom Pang Wan


roti sai maiRoti Sai Mai โรตีสายไหม
(Thai Cotton Candy Burrito)**

Especially famous as being a product of Ayutthaya, roti sai mai consists of two main items: candy floss and thin crepe pancakes. The hairlike candy floss is placed into the thin pancakes and eaten like a burrito.


Khanom MunKhanom Man ขนมมัน
(Coconut Cassava Cake)

Cassava mixed with coconut and made into a moist cake


Khanom Tua TudKhanom Tua Tud ขนมถั่วตัด
(Coconut Peanut Cake)

Ground peanuts mixed with coconut and formed into moist cake


thai custard cakeKhanom Moa Gang ขนมหม้อแกง
(Thai Custard Cake)*

Thai custard cake baked and sprinkled with deep fried red onions


Khanom Tuay FooKhanom Tuay Foo ขนมถ้วยฟู
(Sweet Steamed Bread)

Plain flour with sugar and food coloring steamed into a sweet bread snack


Khanom Tarn ขนมตาล (Palm Sugar Pudding)

These small little cakes taste a little like corn bread, but instead of corn, they are made from palm heart. They are steamed in palm branches and then served along the streets of Bangkok.

Khanom Tarn
Khanom Tarn


cake gluay homCake Gluay Hom เค้กกล้วยหอม
(Banana Muffin)

Muffin made with banana


khanom piaKhanom Pia ขนมเปี๊ยะ
(Chinese Baked Cookie)

Rice flour cookie with sweet filling


khanom thomKhanom Thom ขนมต้ม
(Dessert Balls)

Flour and sugar made into small bowls with nutty filling and covered with shredded coconut


Pang Gi แป้งจี่ (Coconut Pancake)*

Small bite sized coconut pancakes

pang gi
Pang Gi


Khanom Khai ขนมไข่ (Baked Egg Cake)

Cake made with eggs and flour and shaped in a small molded pan

Khanom Baa Bin ขนมบ้าบิ่น (Fried Cake)***

Sticky rice flour and sugar fried on a griddle to become crispy and golden


Khanom Keng (Sticky Cake)

A traditional cake made with super sticky rice flour


Nam Ponlamai Ruam Ban (Thai Mixed Fruit Smoothie)***

The super Thai style mixed fruit shake created with the finest tropical fruits blended with ice and sweet coconut water makes for the finest and freshest Thai desserts available. You can find Bangkok’s best fruit shake at Nang Loeng Market.

thai smoothie shake
Nam Polomai Ruam Ban

gluay buad cheeGluay Buad Chee กล้วยบวชชี
(Bananas in Coconut Milk)

Like many other Thai desserts, this one consists of fruit, coconut milk, and lots of sugar. Bananas are simmered with coconut cream to create a pudding like banana coconut sweet stew.


putsa chuamPutsa Cheum พุทราเชื่อม
(Candied Chinese Date)

Candied Chinese dates in sweet syrup


looktan chuamLooktan Cheum ลูกตาลเชื่อม
(Candied Palm Seeds)

Palm seeds boiled in water and then highly sugared


Grataun Song Kreung กะท้อนทรงเครื่อง (Candied Santol Fruit)*

Santol fruit candied and mixed with a peanut, chili, dried shrimp flavored sweet glaze

santol song kreung
Grataun Song Kreung


Thai mangoesMamuang Nam Pla Wan มะม่วงน้ำปลาหวาน (Green Mango with Sweet Sauce)*

Green mangoes are sliced into strips and then served with a sweet fish paste with dried shrimp and red onions. It’s a unique and delicious combination when eaten with the sour mango.


Gluay Cheum กล้วยเชื่อม (Bananas with Syrup)

It’s basically bananas that are soaked in highly sweet syrup and sometimes eaten as is or sometimes topped with coconut syrup.


Gluay Kaek กล้วยแขก (Fried Sweet Bananas)*

Battered and deep fried bananas into a crispy crunch are hard to dislike. They are slightly sweet, but crunchy and delicious.


Itim Kati ไอติมกะทิ (Coconut Ice Cream)***

It’s coconut infused Thai style ice cream topped with roasted peanuts and usually served in a coconut shell.

thai coconut ice cream


Itim Khanom Pang ไอติมขนมปัง (Ice Cream Sandwich)*

What could be better than coconut ice cream? How about coconut ice cream in a bun with sweet sticky rice on the bottom. A  sliced bun, sticky rice, scoop of ice cream, peanuts, preserved palm fruit and condensed milk combined into a true Thai ice cream sandwich. Thai desserts can be fun and interesting to eat!

thai ice cream bun
Thai Ice Cream Bun Sandwich

thai ice cream popsicleItim Bohrahn ไอติมโบราณ (Creamy Popsicles)**

Fruit flavored frozen ice cream rectangles


Itim Tod ไอติมทอด (Deep Fried Ice Cream)

Good old fashioned deep fried ice cream

Look Choop ลูกชุบ (Mung Bean Candy)

Smashed and sweetened mung bean paste made into cute candies to look like fruit and glazed in sweet candy

look choop
Look Choop


med kanunMed Kanun เม็ดขนุน
(Mung Bean Yolk)

Mung bean paste formed in egg yolk and sugar


mun sumpalung chuamMun Sumpalung Cheum มันสำปะหลังเชื่อม
(Candied Cassava)

Cassava candied in sweet syrup


Kai Wan ไข่หวาน (Sweet Eggs)

Eggs cooked in sugar water with a hint of ginger

kai wan sweet eggs
Kai Wan


Toorien Guan ทุเรียนกวน (Durian Paste)

Fragrant Durian with sugar made into a substance that resembles toothpaste.

Note: Eat at your own risk, some may not consider Toorien Guan to be the best of Thai desserts!

durian paste guan
Durian Guan


mamuang guanMamuang Guan
(Mango Fruit Roll-Up)

Mango made into sweetened and dried fruit roll-up sheets


lod chongLod Chong Nam Kati ลอดช่องน้ำกะทิ
(Green Noodle Surprise)

Green noodles made from flour and pandanus leaves and eaten with a ladle of sweet coconut milk


Khanom La Grob ขนมลากรอบ
(Honey Candy)

Made from flour egg yolks and honey and fried in a big pan

What looks good?  Do you have a favorite Khanom Wan, Thai dessert?

What are your favorite Thai desserts?

Don’t forget to check out 100 best Thai dishes!

If you enjoyed this, please be sure to check out the Eating Thai Food Guide and the Vegetarian Thai Food Guide now!

29 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

  • suzette

    7 years ago

    I had a sweet treat on the street. It was peanut brittle inside, jelly around and rolled in sesame seeds. What is it called and recipe?

  • zarin tasnim

    8 years ago

    Khao Neow Sang Kaya ข้าวเหนียวสังขยา (Sticky Rice with Custard)** I ate this one in chiangmai but cannot find this dessert in bangkok .can you help me by telling the address.

  • joyce

    9 years ago

    Hi Mark! Love your posts! Do you have a recipe for thai rolled ice cream?
    Thanks!

  • Zurab

    9 years ago

    Mark, you are awesome! Coming to Thailand soon, would be really funny to see you by pure luck somewhere in Bangkok sitting and eating street food! lol

  • Abha goyal

    9 years ago

    I ate crispy roasted rice topped with fresh coconut grated and some coconut milk and sugar and salt at the village at Siam Niramit show in Bangkok. I would like it’s recipe. I do not know the name.

  • Sherrie-Anne Deita

    9 years ago

    Can you please give me the recipe of khanom LA tnx..
    Sent to my email

  • Peter

    10 years ago

    Some great gluten free deserts here thanks (from gluten free diet person).

  • zyaki

    10 years ago

    Hi! your site is very informative and helpful. Thai foods are really amazing and really tasty. Before going here,I just weigh around 55 kgs… and after a month or two… I gained 10 kgs. My friends usually asked me about the english names of all the Thai foods so I told them to echeck your site. Thanks for sharing your tasty experience in Thailand. Thumbs up for the food photography!

  • Alan

    10 years ago

    Great pixs and a good job done compiling it.

    I have seen some sold on the streets and it would be great to know where exactly to obtain the desserts.

    Cheers

  • Natt

    10 years ago

    Yes, we do with coconut ice cream 🙂

  • Mod

    11 years ago

    Thank you for posting such wonderful pictures and comments. I truly miss eating these desserts.

  • qseara

    11 years ago

    It’s not Woon Kati(วุ้นกระทิ). It’s Woon khai (วุ้นไข่).
    Woon kati has white and green color.
    search วุ้นกระทิ for pictrue

  • utsanee

    11 years ago

    I think you are wrong about no.3
    Khanom Gluay ขนมกล้วย
    (Banana Treat)

    Khanom Gluay is not look like that and it wasn’t has any rice in it. please correct your website
    thank you

    • Jah

      11 years ago

      I agree with Utsanee. As I first saw the picture of your, I thought it was a kind of Bajang (บ๊ะจ่าง). But after reading your describtion, I think it may be just a new style of Khao Tom Mud (Banana Leaf Sticky Rice) with banana filled. (http://bit.ly/1hYOzi6 http://bit.ly/GZBdXy)

      When you say Khanom Gluay (ขนมกล้วย) that exactly means a mixture of bananas, some kind of flour and coconut milk in various styles and sometimes it comes with shredded unsweetened coconut sprinkled on top. May be these pictures would make it clearer >>> http://bit.ly/19agLN5 http://bit.ly/15L4WMX http://bit.ly/H360mP

  • Sandy M.

    11 years ago

    Hi Mark…

    A group of friends of ours will be taking a trip to Thailand to try the cuisine….no airplane ticket required!!! What I mean is…..every other month our group of friends get together and feature the food of that country that has been chosen. Coming up is Thailand and I’m in charge of the dessert. Could you please share what you would recommend I make for our “Dinner Around the World” party???

  • bb

    11 years ago

    วุ้นกะทิ ไม่ใช่นะ ในภาพนั้นวุ้นไข่

  • Kitti

    11 years ago

    Mark, try durian chip and banana chip (กล้วยเบรคแตก)

  • YoFR

    11 years ago

    You’ve made a great job with this list! Congrats and thanks a lot! We’re preparing our trip to Thailand in August and one of my worries is if I will be able to eat everything as I can’t eat gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oat…). When you say “flour”, what kind of flour do you mean? And are all noodles made of rice flour?
    I can’t wait till August…!

  • Joy

    11 years ago

    Hi,

    May I know whereabout in Bangkok can I find the multi color mango sticky rice & durian sticky rice?

    Thanks!

  • shailendra

    12 years ago

    hi
    loved your site. amazing work. makes my mouth water. can you please suggest best places in bangkok to have these deserts. thanks in advance

  • Enrico

    13 years ago

    Hello Mark,

    I just wanted to say, I thank and loathe you in equal measures – ever since coming across this page I have been rather infatuated with Thai Desserts, and just the need to explore the gastronomy of the worlds’ cultures. I have been to Thailand once, in 2000, and essentially everything on this page is alien to me. As of today however, I have just returned from a local Thai Festival, my purchase list?
    – Khao Tom Mud
    – Khao Niew Mamuang [not tried yet]
    – Khao Niew Sangkaya
    – Foi Tong
    – Khanom Chun
    – Takoh Bai Toey
    – Khanom Wan Ruam Mit
    – Khanom Mun
    – Khanom Tom Bai Toey
    – Med Kanun
    – Khanom Tarn [I think]
    – An egg custard slice
    – A Banana pudding slice
    – Tua Pap [I think – clear dumpling stuffed with peanuts served with chillies and coriander?]

    And they are all. Spectacular. No durian unfortunately, something I really want to sample. My flanks don’t thank you [yes, I did buy them all at once, no, I didn’t have to try them all at once..but I barely had the choice].

    Regards,
    Enrico

    • Enrico

      13 years ago

      They were mind-blowing [especially the mango with sticky rice, Jeebus]. Particularly as I cannot fathom why I cannot stop devouring them, though the sooner they are gone, the better [especially as there’s another Thai festival at the end of the month..]! Beyond being tasty, they are just so interesting and diverse…talking of which, I also sampled Guay Jub. It was awesome. The unnamed desserts by the way I think are lod chong nam kati for the drink, khanom gluay for the banana pudding, khanom mor gaeng for the egg custard, and saku sai kem for the tapioca balls.

      I have no idea for a return to Thailand – when the means are available I would think. Much in your vein, I would like a worldwide exploration, concentrating on face-stuffing aspect though! Thanks for inspiring

  • New

    13 years ago

    This is really helpful!!! 🙂

  • Ralph Thompson

    14 years ago

    great post thanks

  • Katherine

    14 years ago

    i’ve been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it’s supposed to be good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.