The Most Popular Dessert in Asia: Exploring Sweet Delights across the Continent

Choose the dessert you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 26, 2024 05:59
Delve into the delightful world of Asian desserts with StrawPoll's latest ranking: "What is the most popular dessert in Asia?" From the velvety smoothness of Japanese Matcha ice cream to the heavenly aroma of Indian Gulab Jamun, we've got a tempting array of sweet treats that will leave your taste buds singing. Join thousands of dessert lovers as they cast their votes and crown the ultimate Asian dessert champion. Don't see your favorite on the list? Worry not, simply suggest the missing option and let others discover the hidden gems of Asia's dessert landscape. So, indulge your sweet tooth and embark on a mouthwatering journey through the irresistible flavors of Asia. Cast your vote now and let the dessert wars begin!

What Is the Most Popular Dessert in Asia?

  1. 1
    This traditional Thai dessert is a sweet and savory combination of sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and topped with fresh mango. It is a popular dessert during the summer season.
    Mango Sticky Rice is a traditional and highly popular dessert in several Asian countries, particularly Thailand. It is made with glutinous rice, ripe mangoes, and a sweet coconut sauce. The combination of the sticky rice's texture, the juicy sweetness of the mangoes, and the creamy coconut sauce creates a delightful and refreshing treat.
    • Ingredients: Glutinous rice, ripe mangoes, coconut milk, sugar
    • Texture: Sticky and chewy
    • Flavor: Sweet and slightly tropical
    • Preparation Method: The glutinous rice is soaked, steamed, and then mixed with a coconut milk mixture. The ripe mangoes are peeled and sliced. The dish is typically served with an additional drizzle of sauce on top.
    • Serving Temperature: Usually served chilled or at room temperature
    Mango Sticky Rice in other rankings
  2. 2
    This Japanese dessert is made with green tea powder and served as a soft-serve or scoop. It is popular among tea lovers and is often paired with mochi or wafer cones.
    Matcha Ice Cream is a popular dessert in Asia made from finely ground green tea powder, called matcha, combined with milk, sugar, and cream. It has a rich and creamy texture with a distinct grassy and slightly bitter flavor.
    • Color: Vibrant green
    • Texture: Smooth and creamy
    • Flavor: Grassy and slightly bitter
    • Ingredients: Matcha powder, milk, sugar, and cream
    • Preparation Method: Mixing matcha powder with milk, sugar, and cream, then freezing the mixture in an ice cream maker
  3. 3
    This Chinese dessert is a pastry filled with sweet or savory fillings such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or egg yolk. It is a traditional dessert during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
    Mooncakes are a traditional Chinese dessert enjoyed during the Mid-Autumn Festival. These round or square pastries have a rich, dense filling and a thin crust. The fillings can vary, but commonly include lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or salted egg yolks. Mooncakes are often intricately decorated with intricate patterns and designs, symbolizing good luck and harmony. They are typically enjoyed with tea as a way to celebrate and honor family reunions.
    • Shape: Round or square
    • Filling: Lotus seed paste, red bean paste, salted egg yolks, and other variations
    • Crust: Thin and flaky
    • Decoration: Intricate patterns and designs
    • Symbolism: Good luck and harmony
  4. 4
    This Filipino dessert is a mix of shaved ice, evaporated milk, and a variety of sweet and savory toppings such as fruits, beans, and jellies. It is a refreshing dessert during the summer season.
    Halo-Halo is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in the Philippines. It is a refreshing and colorful dessert made up of various ingredients layered in a tall glass or bowl, creating a delightful mix of flavors and textures. The name 'Halo-Halo' means 'mix-mix' in Filipino, highlighting the unique nature of the dessert.
    • Ingredients: The dessert typically includes a combination of shaved ice, sweetened fruits, jellies or agar, beans, coconut strips, flan, and evaporated milk. Some variations may also include purple yam (ube) or ice cream.
    • Texture: Halo-Halo is known for its unique texture, as it combines crunchy, chewy, and creamy elements to provide a delightful mouthfeel.
    • Flavors: The dessert offers a medley of flavors, including sweet from the fruits and jellies, creamy from the milk and flan, and earthy from the beans and coconut.
    • Presentation: Halo-Halo is often served in a clear glass or bowl to showcase its vibrant layers. The colorful arrangement of ingredients makes it visually appealing.
    • Customization: One of the charms of Halo-Halo is its customization. Each person can adjust the ratios of ingredients to their liking, making it a personalized dessert experience.
  5. 5
    This Korean dessert is a shaved ice dessert topped with sweet toppings such as red bean paste, fruit, or ice cream. It is a popular dessert during the hot summer months.
    Bingsu is a popular dessert in Asia that originated in Korea. It is a shaved ice dessert topped with various sweet toppings. The ice is shaved into a fine, fluffy texture, resembling snow, and is typically flavored with condensed milk. The toppings can vary but commonly include fresh fruits, sweetened red beans, chewy rice cakes, and a variety of syrups or sauces. Bingsu is often enjoyed during the summer months as a refreshing treat.
    • Origin: Korea
    • Texture: Fine and fluffy shaved ice
    • Flavor: Sweet, often with condensed milk
    • Toppings: Fresh fruits, sweetened red beans, rice cakes, syrups, sauces
    • Season: Popular during summer
  6. 6
    This Japanese dessert is a fish-shaped cake filled with sweet fillings such as red bean paste, custard, or chocolate. It is a popular street food snack in Japan.
    Taiyaki is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in Japan. It is a fish-shaped cake made of a crispy, pancake-like batter filled with various sweet fillings. The outer shell is golden brown and has a slightly crunchy texture, while the inside is soft and fluffy. Taiyaki is often enjoyed hot off the grill, giving it a warm and comforting taste.
    • Shape: Fish-shaped
    • Batter: Crispy and pancake-like
    • Fillings: Various sweet fillings (e.g., red bean paste, custard, chocolate, cheese)
    • Texture: Outer shell is golden brown and slightly crunchy, while the inside is soft and fluffy
    • Cooking method: Grilled
  7. 7
    This Japanese dessert is a sweet rice cake filled with sweet fillings such as red bean paste, strawberries, or ice cream. It is often enjoyed during special occasions such as New Year's.
    Mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert that is also widely popular in many parts of Asia. It is a soft and chewy rice cake made from glutinous rice flour, also known as sweet rice or mochigome. The texture of Mochi is distinctively smooth and elastic, giving it a unique mouthfeel. It is often filled with various sweet fillings, such as red bean paste, matcha (green tea) paste, or fruit fillings. Mochi is commonly consumed during special occasions and festivals in Asia, and it has gained worldwide popularity in recent years.
    • Ingredients: Glutinous rice flour, water, sweet fillings (red bean paste, matcha paste, etc.)
    • Texture: Soft, chewy, and elastic
    • Color: White or various hues depending on fillings
    • Shape: Typically round or rectangular
    • Sweetness: Moderately sweet
  8. 8
    Egg Tart
    Homkinsming · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This Chinese dessert is a small pastry with a rich and creamy egg custard filling. It is often served as a dim sum dish in Cantonese cuisine.
    Egg Tart is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in countries like China, Hong Kong, and Macau. It is a small pastry tart filled with a smooth and creamy egg custard. The crust is typically buttery and flaky, offering a delightful contrast to the rich filling. The Egg Tart is often served warm or at room temperature.
    • Size: Small bite-sized tart
    • Crust: Buttery and flaky
    • Filling: Smooth and creamy egg custard
    • Temperature: Often served warm or at room temperature
    • Origin: China, Hong Kong, Macau
    Egg Tart in other rankings
  9. 9
    This Southeast Asian dessert is made with shaved ice, coconut milk, pandan jelly, and sweetened red beans. It is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
    Chendol is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It is a refreshing sweet treat that consists of a bowl of shaved ice topped with a variety of ingredients. The main components are green pandan jelly, coconut milk, palm sugar syrup, and red beans. These ingredients are piled on top of the shaved ice, creating a colorful and flavorful dessert.
    • Green Pandan Jelly: A chewy, jelly-like substance made from pandan leaves extract, giving it a distinctive green color and fragrant aroma.
    • Coconut Milk: Creamy coconut milk is drizzled over the shaved ice, adding richness and a creamy texture to the dessert.
    • Palm Sugar Syrup: A sweet syrup made from palm sugar, which is known for its unique caramel-like flavor. It is generously poured over the dessert, providing a sweet and syrupy taste.
    • Red Beans: Cooked red beans are often added to the dessert for a bit of heartiness and texture. They offer a contrasting color and a slightly nutty flavor.
    • Shaved Ice: Finely shaved ice forms the base of Chendol, creating a refreshing and cooling effect when combined with the other ingredients.
  10. 10
    This Chinese dessert is a sweet soup made with black sesame seeds, sugar, and water. It is often served warm and is believed to have health benefits for the skin and hair.
    Black Sesame Soup is a popular dessert in Asia, particularly in countries like China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is a sweet, velvety soup made from ground black sesame seeds and various other ingredients. The soup has a rich, nutty flavor and a thick, smooth texture. It is often served warm or hot and is enjoyed during cold weather or as a comforting dessert.
    • Main ingredients: Ground black sesame seeds, water, sugar
    • Texture: Thick and smooth
    • Flavor: Rich and nutty
    • Serving temperature: Warm or hot
    • Serving style: As a soup or dessert

Missing your favorite dessert?


Ranking factors for popular dessert

  1. Cultural significance
    The dessert should hold importance or have a unique meaning in the culture or traditions of the region.
  2. Popularity
    The dessert should be well-known and widely enjoyed by a large part of the population in the Asian region. This can be analyzed through surveys, sales data, and online search trends.
  3. Taste preference
    The dessert should cater to the taste preferences of a majority of the people in Asia and should be preferred over other desserts.
  4. Authenticity
    The dessert should have originated or have strong ties with the Asian region and represents the culinary skills and tastes of the people.
  5. Availability
    The dessert should be easily available in different regions of Asia – in local markets, cafes, and restaurants.
  6. Adaptability
    The dessert should have the ability to be modified or adapted to suit the taste preferences of different cultures and ethnicities in Asia.
  7. Geographic distribution
    The dessert should be popular across different countries and sub-regions in Asia.
  8. Seasonality
    The dessert should be enjoyed throughout the year or should have a significant impact during a particular season or occasion.
  9. Health aspects
    With growing health consciousness, desserts that can be considered relatively healthier or have a balance between indulgence and nutrition may be taken into account.
  10. Social media influence
    The presence of the dessert on social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest, along with the number of shares, likes, and comments, can be a factor in determining its popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular dessert in Asia. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Dessert is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 225 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Dessert once every 24 hours. The rank of each Dessert is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular dessert in asia

When it comes to desserts, Asia is a treasure trove of flavors and ingredients. From the rich and creamy to the light and refreshing, Asian desserts come in a wide range of textures and tastes. In many parts of Asia, sweets are often enjoyed as a snack or a palate cleanser rather than a decadent dessert. Ingredients like glutinous rice, coconut milk, and red bean paste are often used to create sweet treats that are both satisfying and comforting. However, there are also plenty of indulgent desserts to be found in Asia, such as matcha-flavored ice cream, mango sticky rice, and black sesame mochi. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to determine which dessert is the most popular in Asia. One thing is for sure: no matter where you go in Asia, you're sure to find a delicious dessert that will leave you craving more.

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