15+ Sweet Malay Words For Pastries: Your Best Guide

If you’re a lover of sweets with a penchant for exploring different cultures through food, you’re in for a treat! Today, let’s discuss Malay words for pastries. Malaysia, with its rich culinary heritage, offers a delightful array of pastries found throughout the colorful, vibrant markets and cafes.

So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey and discover some popular pastries among Malay speakers.

Popular Malay Pastries

Let us check out some of the most mouth-watering pastries that the Malay people enjoy every now and then.

1. Layered Cake – Kuih Lapis

Description: Kuih Lapis is a colorful layered cake that’s not only visually appealing but also a delight to the palate. Each layer is steamed to perfection, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.

Where to Find: You can find Kuih Lapis at local markets, bakeries, and even in some homes where it’s lovingly prepared for special occasions.

2. Curry Puffs – Karipap

Description: Karipap is a savory pastry filled with a delectable mixture of curried potatoes, meat, and sometimes peas. Encased in a flaky pastry shell, it’s the perfect snack for those craving a savory bite.

Where to Find: You’ll spot Karipap being sold at street food stalls, cafes, and local markets. They’re a popular choice for quick, on-the-go snacking.

malay words for pastries

3. Cassava Cake – Bingka Ubi

Description: Bingka Ubi is a delightful cake made from grated cassava, coconut milk, freshly grated coconut, and sugar. The result is a moist, slightly sweet cake with a hint of nuttiness from the cassava.

Where to Find: Look out for this treat at traditional Malay dessert shops and local markets. It’s a comforting option for those with a sweet tooth.

4. Pineapple Tarts – Tart Nenas

Description: Tart Nenas is a beloved pastry during festive seasons. It consists of a buttery pastry base topped with a sweet and tangy pineapple jam. These tarts strike the perfect balance between sweet and sour.

Where to Find: You’ll find Tart Nenas in abundance during celebrations like Hari Raya (Eid al-Fitr) and Chinese New Year. Many families also prepare them at home for special occasions.

5. Turnover Pancake – Apam Balik

Description: Apam Balik is a delightful pancake that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s typically folded in half and filled with a variety of ingredients such as crushed peanuts, sugar, sweet corn, and sometimes chocolate or cheese.

Where to Find: Look for Apam Balik at street food stalls and night markets. It’s a popular choice for those craving a sweet and satisfying snack.

malay words for pastries

6. Banana Leaf Wrapped Snack – Lepat Pisang

Description: Lepat Pisang is a traditional Malay dessert made by wrapping a mixture of bananas, grated coconut, and palm sugar in banana leaves. The package is then steamed, resulting in a unique blend of sweet and fragrant flavors.

Where to Find: You can find Lepat Pisang at traditional food markets and during festive occasions.

7. Banana Fritters – Pisang Goreng

Description: Pisang Goreng are deep-fried banana fritters that are crispy on the outside and sweet and soft with brown sugar on the inside. They’re a beloved snack enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

Where to Find: You’ll find Pisang Goreng at street food stalls, local cafes, and even some roadside vendors.

8. Grilled Glutinous Rice Flour – Pulut Panggang

Description: Pulut Panggang is a unique pastry made from glutinous rice flour mixed with coconut milk, dried shrimp paste, palm sugar syrup, and various spices. The mixture is traditionally served wrapped in banana leaves and grilled, imparting a smoky flavor to the dish.

Where to Find: This savory delight is commonly found at Malay food stalls and is a favorite during special occasions and celebrations.

malay words for pastries

9. Tapioca And Coconut Balls – Badak Berendam

Description: Badak Berendam consists of tapioca balls filled with a sweet coconut and palm sugar mixture. The tapioca balls are usually bright green or orange, thanks to natural coloring from pandan or sweet potato.

Where to Find: Badak Berendam is often found at traditional dessert shops and is a popular choice during Ramadan and other festive times.

Malay Words For Pastries


The Art Of Pastry Making In Malay Culture

The art of making pastries, or “kuih” as it is known in Malay culture, is a skill that has been passed down through generations. Traditional Malay pastries are crafted with meticulous attention to detail. They often involve a delicate balance of ingredients, including rice flour, coconut milk, palm sugar, and aromatic herbs and spices like pandan leaves and ginger. These ingredients are carefully blended to create a harmonious flavor profile that is unique to Malay pastries. 

The history of pastries in Malay culture is deeply rooted in the region’s diverse culinary heritage. Influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous traditions, Malay pastries have evolved over centuries, adapting to local tastes and ingredients. Whether enjoyed during festive celebrations, special occasions, or as everyday snacks, Malay pastries continue to be an integral part of Malaysia’s culinary identity, preserving traditions while embracing innovation.

malay words for pastries


Embarking on a culinary adventure through Malay pastries is not only a feast for your taste buds but also a wonderful opportunity to delve into the rich cultural tapestry of Malaysia. Armed with these Malay words for pastries, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the Malay culinary world. So, the next time you find yourself at a local market or cafe, don’t hesitate to indulge in these delightful treats. Selamat mencuba! (Happy tasting!)

Learn Malay With Ling

If you learned something in this article, and you feel the fire to learn the Malay language, then download the Ling app to further your language progression in a fun, interactive space. Download it on the App Store and Play Store for free today, and you’ll be set for your next trip abroad.

You can also check out Malay basic verbs & Malay greetings to learn more Malay vocabulary and phrases on the Ling blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.