There are so many different countries and cultures in Asia and this is reflected in the variety of their desserts.
Whether you’re looking for a new dessert to make at home, want to replicate a dish from your favorite Asian restaurant, or are trying to make a sweet that is popular with your family, making Asian desserts at home is easier than you might think.
In this article, we will list 26 easy Asian desserts (see also ‘26 Fantastic Filipino Desserts‘) that you can make at home.
1. Banh Bao Chi
These cute, little snowballs originate from Vietnam. They can have a variety of different fillings and this recipe gives you directions for both a coconut filling and mung bean filling.
The fillings are rolled inside a dough mixture and coated in desiccated coconut to get that snowball look.
Black sesame is a common ingredient in many Japanese desserts (see also ‘25 Deliciously Decadent Traditional Japanese Desserts And Sweets‘) and this recipe adds them to nutty and buttery cookies. The cookies should be thin and crispy when made and be a mix of savory and sweet.
You can freeze these cookies and even when not frozen they will keep for a few days so they also make great gifts.
Including a soup in a list of Asian desserts may seem strange at first, but this black sesame soup has a sweet and nutty taste that makes it best suited for the end of a meal instead of as a starter.
With only three ingredients it’s very easy to make although you will need to soak the glutinous rice for several hours before making the soup.
Castella cake is popular in several Asian countries but this recipe uses a Japanese recipe. Castella cake is very similar to sponge cake but it’s sweeter and includes honey in both the recipe and as a finishing syrup.
You can easily identify castella from sponge cake by the dark top and bottom.
This dessert is also known as Chinese jello (see also ‘28 Of The Best Traditional Chinese Dessert Recipes‘) and it’s a nice and refreshing dish that can be eaten during the summer. It uses unflavored gelatin, almond extract, and some fruit cocktail to make a light but delicious dessert.
You will need to give the gelatin enough time to set before serving which can take up to four hours.
Egg tarts became popular in China around 100 years ago and are a mix of traditional Cantonese steamed egg pudding and the English custard tart.
They’re easy to make and you can use store-bought puff pastry if you wish. The filling is made from eggs, vanilla, and evaporated milk.
This Chinese-style mango pudding is a refreshing treat on hot days. It’s also quick and easy to make so you won’t need to spend too long in a hot kitchen making it!
It only requires a few ingredients and it gets its consistency from gelatin sheets mixed with cream and milk. After the mango has been added and the mixture blended, just chill the pudding until it becomes firm.
This is a popular New Year candy that is similar to nougat and is eaten for Chinese New Year. The recipe is very straightforward and only needs three ingredients, which are marshmallows, roasted peanuts, and powdered whole milk.
You will need to leave the mixture to become firm overnight and then it should be cut into rectangles and wrapped in candy foil.
The design of these cookies is supposed to symbolize coins so they’re commonly eaten at Chinese New Year to bring good fortune for the year ahead.
They can be eaten all year round, however, and thankfully, they’re easy to make. Once the dough is made and ready to be baked, you should place a sliced almond into the center of the cookie.
Agar jelly is refreshing and delicious and this makes it a popular dessert in the heat of Thailand. The dessert alternates between cream and coffee layers and this balances out the mild and strong flavors of the jellies.
You will need a mold to set the layers and this can be of any shape or size you wish.
Both a dessert and a snack, this recipe combines several species with roasted peanuts. You will need Chinese five spice powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and organic sugar to make the delicious coating.
Once roasted, leave the peanuts overnight to crisp before eating.
Known in English as a Korean rice cake, this dessert is gluten-free and vegan. The rice cake is made from sweet rice flour, sugar, salt, and water and can be cooked in the microwave.
The cake is then dusted all over with a soybean powder coating.
This is a very common dessert in Japan, where it is commonly known simply as purin. It’s similar to a western flan or creme caramel and you will need to make a caramel sauce for your pudding.
Setting the pudding requires a bain marie which is an easy technique to use even at home.
14. Ji Dan Gao
This is Chinese steamed sponge cake. When baked it should have a spongy texture that isn’t crumbly and will have a light and vanilla flavor. It’s a straightforward cake to make and only requires a few ingredients.
Baking the cake (see also ‘20 Flavors That Are Amazing In Any Celebration Cake‘) takes around 20 to 25 minutes in a steamer.
Khaja is a popular dessert in India and is commonly made to celebrate Diwali, although it can be eaten at any time of the year. They’re made from flour, melted butter, salt, and water that is mixed together to make a dough.
The dough is rolled into layers and served coated in syrup.
Kulfi is popular in several countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It’s similar to ice cream and can be frozen in popsicle molds to make small individual servings.
This recipe uses milk, condensed milk, and whipping cream as its base with pistachios, almonds, and cardamom pods for flavor. You can add a crunchy topping if you wish.
This recipe takes the simple sugar cookie and adds matcha to give it a Japanese flavor. It’s best with high-quality matcha powder and a little powder goes a long way.
These cookies are quick and easy to make and only need around 10 minutes in the oven.
Matcha is one of the most popular Japanese flavors and mochi is one of the most popular desserts. This recipe combines them both to make a very Japanese dessert.
The mochi is made from glutinous sweet white rice and is then mixed with matcha powder and coconut milk (see also ‘33 Easy To Make Coconut Milk Recipes‘).
Known as Nokcha Dasik or Omija Dasik in Korean, these cookies combine traditional Korean cookies with matcha powder and omija tea.
Traditionally they are made with Dasik molds to get the right size and shape but you can use small pie cutters. They also come in different colors which are made from different flavors.
This recipe gives you several different ways to make the cookies depending on what tools you have and which flavors you wish to make.
Roll cakes are very popular in Japan and come in a wide variety of flavors, however, this is yet another recipe made with matcha powder. It’s a sponge cake that is rolled with a layer of cream and shouldn’t be too sweet.
The sponge cake should be light and fluffy instead of crumbly and dry. Both the cake and the cream filling (see also ‘28 Delicious Cake Filling Recipes‘) include matcha powder so you will get a double dose of the green tea flavor.
This is a popular Thai dessert and one you will commonly find on the menu in Thai restaurants. It’s made from sticky or glutinous sweet rice that is prepared in a rice cooker (see also ’23 Easy Recipes For Your Rice Cooker‘) and then mixed with coconut sauce and sugar.
Once mixed, serve with some mango and add additional toppings as you wish.
Modak is popular in many different Indian cultures and states and is a sweet dumpling dish. In the Hindu religion, it’s thought to be the favorite sweet of Lord Ganesha and is made as an offering during Ganesh Chaturthi puja.
You can shape modak with either a mold or by hand and once you have filled the dumplings and sealed them, they can be steamed to cook.
23. Nama Chocolate
This is a popular type of chocolate that you will commonly find in stores and gift shops throughout Japan. It’s similar to ganache and is made from fresh cream and chocolate.
It’s then cut into small cubes and dusted with a coat of cocoa powder. As it has a high concentration of cream in it, it doesn’t keep as long as regular chocolate and should be eaten within a couple of days of being made.
It makes a great dessert but can also be packaged as a gift for friends and family.
24. Steamed Pear
Known in Korean as baesuk, steamed pears (see also ‘26 Easy Pear Desserts Everyone Will Love‘) are often eaten in Korea when someone has a cold as it can help with sore throats and coughs. Of course, it’s also a delicious dessert to have at any time!
You will need a Korean pear and this is then filled with honey, cinnamon powder, ginger, and jujubes and steamed.
Red bean paste is a very common ingredient in Asian desserts, especially in Japan and China. It may sound a little weird as it’s not as sweet a filling as you would typically expect in desserts, but it works surprisingly well.
The sticky rice cake is made with glutinous rice flour and this dessert is very similar to mochi.
Fried bananas are popular in several Asian countries and as the name suggests, this recipe takes the Thai approach where it is known as Goreng Pisang.
To make these, dip some ripe bananas into batter, dry rice flour, and then sesame seeds. These can then be air fried and served with vanilla ice cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about Asian desserts.
What Are the Most Popular Asian Desserts?
This can vary greatly from country to country across Asia. Some of the most popular desserts include red bean buns and egg tarts in China, castella and mochi in Japan, and bingsu in South Korea.
There are many different cultures and tastes across Asia and the desserts are just as different.
Are There Special Desserts for Special Occasions?
Yes. Different countries in Asia have special desserts for different occasions. For example, in Japan, it is traditional to eat mochi on New Year, and in China, people eat mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival.
In this article, we listed 26 delicious desserts from all over Asia. Whether you like sweet or savory desserts there is sure to be a recipe that suits your needs.
We hope that whatever type of dessert you’re looking for, there is a recipe here that you will enjoy.