Best Vietnamese Dessert – The sweet side of Vietnam

When considering Vietnamese cuisine, iconic dishes like phở, spring rolls, and bánh mì often steal the spotlight. Yet, the world of Vietnamese desserts remains largely unexplored, with its intricacies and distinctiveness often overlooked.

To shed light on this lesser-known aspect of Vietnamese gastronomy, Viland Travel invites you on a flavorful expedition through our list of  the best Vietnamese dessert. Each dish encapsulates the essence of Vietnamese sweet treats, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of flavors and textures that characterize this culinary tradition. Join us as we uncover the hidden gems of Vietnamese desserts, inviting you to experience a symphony of flavors that captivates the palate and leaves a lasting impression.

A sweet journey through the best Vietnamese dessert

Desserts in Southeast Asian cuisine often share common ingredients like coconut, banana, pandan, and rice flour. These staples reflect the resourcefulness of the region’s people, using what’s readily available. This culinary similarity is a testament to shared traditions shaped by environment and history, evident in the diverse flavors and textures of the best Vietnamese dessert.

Each dessert embodies Vietnam’s cultural richness and heritage, showcasing a blend of flavors and techniques passed down through generations. From the creamy indulgence of Che to the comforting warmth of Banh Bo, these treats offer a taste of Vietnamese tradition and ingenuity. Whether enjoyed as a sweet ending to a meal or a special treat on its own, each dessert tells a story of resilience and creativity.

As you indulge in these delectable delights, take a moment to appreciate the cultural significance woven into every bite. Each dessert is not just a culinary creation but a reflection of Vietnam’s vibrant history and culinary heritage. So, whether you’re sampling these treats for the first time or savoring familiar flavors, let each bite be a celebration of Vietnam’s rich culinary tapestry. Below are our top picks for the best Vietnamese dessert, make your list so you can tick them off on your vacation in Vietnam.

Vietnamese sweet soup – Che

Vietnamese sweet soup, known as Che, is a beloved traditional dessert enjoyed across the country. Combining a variety of ingredients such as beans, fruits, nuts, and glutinous rice, che offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a perfect indulgence.

Among the many variations of che, some stand out as favorites among locals and visitors alike. Che Suong Sa Hat Lu, or “rainbow dessert,” is a visual treat with its vibrant layers of red kidney beans, pandan jellies, and mung bean paste, topped with ice and coconut cream. Che Chuoi, featuring tapioca pearls, coconut cream, and grilled bananas, offers a creamy and satisfying pudding-like experience.

For special occasions, Che Troi Nuoc is a popular choice, featuring rice flour balls filled with mung bean paste, served with ginger syrup and coconut cream. Meanwhile, Che Khuc Bach offers a mildly sweet and aromatic experience, akin to a Vietnamese panna cotta, with lychees and almonds in a bowl of crushed ice.

Whether enjoyed at street vendors, local markets, or restaurants, che is a delightful dessert that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor these delectable treats during your visit to Vietnam.

Vietnamese peanut brittle – Keo Lac

Vietnamese peanut brittle, known as Keo lac, is a delectable vegan delight that tantalizes the taste buds with its irresistible sweetness and crunchy texture. Made primarily from peanuts and sugar, this traditional treat is elevated with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, adding an extra layer of nuttiness and crunch to every bite.

Found commonly at transportation hubs and roadside stalls throughout Vietnam, Keo lac is a beloved snack enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Its portability and satisfying flavor make it the perfect on-the-go treat for busy travelers exploring the vibrant streets of Vietnam.

One of the delightful customs associated with Vietnamese peanut brittle is its pairing with a piping hot pot of tea. This harmonious combination of sweet and savory flavors, coupled with the warmth of the tea, creates a comforting and indulgent experience that is cherished by many.

Whether enjoyed as a quick snack during a bustling day of sightseeing or savored leisurely with a cup of tea, Vietnamese peanut brittle offers a delightful culinary experience that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Its simplicity, yet irresistible appeal, makes it a timeless favorite that leaves a lasting impression on all who taste it.

Mung bean cake – Banh dau xanh

Mung bean cake, known as Banh dau xanh in Vietnamese, is a delightful treat made from ground mung beans, sugar, and grapefruit flower essential oils. This unique combination results in a soft and sweet cake that is cherished during festive occasions like the Lunar New Year. 

Much like Keo lac, mung bean cake is often enjoyed alongside a soothing cup of tea, making it a perfect accompaniment for quiet moments of relaxation. Beyond its delicious taste, this dessert is also believed to offer various health benefits. It is said to aid digestion and contribute to smoother skin, adding to its appeal as a wholesome indulgence.

In Vietnam, mung bean cake holds a special place in the hearts of locals, particularly during celebrations and gatherings with loved ones. Its rich flavor and nutritious properties make it a popular choice for those seeking both a satisfying treat and a boost to their well-being. If you have the opportunity to visit Vietnam, be sure to sample this delectable dessert for a taste of tradition and a touch of sweetness in every bite.

Yogurt with fermented sticky rice – Sua chua nep cam

Yogurt with fermented sticky rice, known as Sua chua nep cam in Vietnamese cuisine, is a beloved dessert offering a delightful blend of flavors and textures. This classic treat combines the tartness of yogurt with the sweetness of fermented sticky rice, creating a harmonious balance that tantalizes the taste buds.

To prepare this delectable dish, plain yogurt is mixed with fermented sticky rice, resulting in a creamy and slightly tangy flavor profile. The fermented sticky rice undergoes a special fermentation process, where sticky rice is soaked overnight and combined with a unique yeast, imparting it with a distinctive sourness and soft texture.

Sua chua nep cam is cherished for its refreshing qualities and is often enjoyed as a healthy snack, particularly on warm days. Its creamy consistency and intriguing blend of sweet and tangy flavors make it a popular choice among both locals and visitors seeking to indulge in Vietnam’s culinary delights.

Whether savored as a dessert or enjoyed as a midday treat, yogurt with fermented sticky rice offers a taste of Vietnamese tradition and culinary ingenuity, showcasing the country’s rich culinary heritage and appreciation for unique flavor combinations.

Pandan rice cake – Banh duc la dua

Pandan rice cake, known as Banh duc la dua in Vietnamese cuisine, is a cherished dessert crafted from a blend of rice flour, pandan leaves, sugar, and coconut cream. Renowned for its delicate texture and tantalizing aroma, this cake boasts a tender and chewy consistency, complemented by the subtle sweetness and fragrance imparted by the pandan leaves and coconut cream. Typically adorned with roasted peanuts, shredded coconut, or sesame seeds, banh duc la dua offers a delightful medley of flavors and textures.

Crafting banh duc la dua involves blending rice flour with pandan juice extracted from the aromatic pandan leaves, resulting in a vibrant green hue and refreshing taste. After steaming until firm, the cake is expertly cut into bite-sized portions before being adorned with an array of toppings. A beloved treat in Vietnamese culture, pandan rice cake holds a special place as both a snack and a dessert, offering a delightful interplay of flavors and a comforting indulgence to those fortunate enough to enjoy it.

Honeycomb cake – Banh bo

Honeycomb cake, known as banh bo in Vietnamese, is a cherished delicacy hailing from the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Crafted from a simple blend of rice flour, sugar, water, and yeast, this dessert captivates with its distinctive honeycomb-like structure, a result of the unique fermentation process.

The cake’s preparation involves steaming, which yields a soft, fluffy texture that melts in the mouth. Often infused with fragrant pandan or rich coconut, banh bo boasts a subtly sweet flavor profile that appeals to a wide range of palates. Its versatility makes it suitable for various occasions, from casual snacking to festive celebrations.

In the Mekong Delta, banh bo holds a special place in the culinary landscape, gracing dining tables at gatherings and festivities. Its popularity extends beyond the region, captivating the taste buds of locals and travelers alike. For those seeking to explore the diverse world of Vietnamese desserts, banh bo is a must-try delicacy that offers a delightful glimpse into the country’s rich culinary heritage.

Vietnamese layered cake – Banh Pia

Banh Pia, a Vietnamese layered cake, stands out among the array of delightful desserts from Vietnam. Originating in the southern region, this flaky pastry boasts a unique texture and flavor profile that captivates taste buds far and wide. Crafted from a blend of wheat flour, lard, and sugar, the dough undergoes a meticulous process of folding and rolling to achieve its signature layers.

What sets Banh Pia apart is its versatile fillings, which include mung bean, taro, or durian, encased within the delicate pastry layers. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of slightly sweet and buttery notes, perfectly complemented by the creamy richness of the fillings. Whether enjoyed as a midday snack paired with a cup of tea or coffee or presented as a thoughtful gift, Banh pia holds a special place in Vietnamese culinary culture.

With its irresistible combination of flavors and textures, Banh Pia has earned its status as a must-try dessert for locals and visitors alike. Its popularity transcends borders, making it a beloved treat cherished by friends and family across Vietnam and beyond. Indulging in Banh pia is not just a culinary experience but a journey into the heart of Vietnamese tradition and hospitality.

Final thoughts

Vietnamese cuisine, renowned worldwide for its delicate flavors and fresh ingredients, offers a tantalizing array of sweets that are both refreshing and rich in texture and taste. Exploring Vietnamese desserts is an adventure in itself, from sweet soups to pastries, we hope you found your picks for the best Vietnamese dessert to taste on your travels in Vietnam.

At Viland Travel, we recognize the profound role food plays in immersing oneself in a culture authentically. That’s why our Vietnam tailor-made tours are meticulously crafted to lead you on a culinary odyssey across Vietnam. From vibrant street food markets to hidden local gems, each dining experience is carefully curated to showcase the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. With every bite, you’ll discover the heart and soul of Vietnam, creating cherished memories of your gastronomic journey.