15 Nostalgic Local Desserts in Singapore – An Ode To The Comfort We Grew Up With

Traditional Desserts Cover Image

In this day and age, when we think of desserts, visuals of over-the-top milkshakes and soufflé pancakes spring to mind. Yet, we often forget that long before our Insta-worthy confections became the next “it” thing in Singapore, old-school desserts were what we sought comfort in.

It is only right we pay tribute to our classic novelty local desserts: think Ice Kachang, Chendol and Cheng Tng! Not only do they evoke a sense of nostalgia in us, they are still the best treats to counter Singapore’s unrelenting heat.

Here is an ode to 15 Nostalgic Desserts in Singapore — and where to find them — that will leave you with a sweet taste of tradition and take you down memory lane.

75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup

Photo Credit: http://facebook.com/75ahballing/


An old-school Chinese dessert well-loved among Singaporeans is none other than Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls, also fondly known as Tang Yuan. Made from glutinous rice flour, these gooey bite-sized dumplings house thick, creamy fillings that are guaranteed to be bursting with flavours in your mouth.

They come in a myriad of different fillings you can choose from, such as peanut, sesame and red bean. Tang Yuans are also doused in various soups depending on your choice. You can also choose to have them together with your traditional paste desserts!

75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup
Golden Mile Food Centre
505 Beach Rd, #01-75
Singapore 199583
Mon to Fri: 11am – 8:30pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 8:30pm
Nearest Station: Nicoll Highway

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Ah Chew Desserts Black Sesame Paste

Photo Credit: https://www.ahchewdesserts.com/


One of our traditional staple treats is Black Sesame Paste. The reason behind this paste’s ever-growing popularity stems from a commonplace saying among the elderly that this dessert comes with a multitude of health benefits, such as preventing wrinkles and having blacker, healthier hair.

Made from ground roasted black sesame seeds, this traditional Cantonese treat is perfect for those who prefer less-sweet desserts. Leaning towards the savoury side, the viscous paste embodies hints of smokiness from the roasted seeds and comes in a smooth, slightly grainy consistency.

Ah Chew Desserts
Liang Seah Place Singapore
1 Liang Seah Street, #01-10/11
Singapore 189032
Tel: +65 6339 8198
Mon to Thurs: 12:30pm – 12am
Fri: 12:30am – 1am
Sat: 1:30pm – 1am
Sun: 1:30pm – 12am
Nearest Station: Bugis

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Granny's Pancakes Min Jiang Kueh

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@limxinnn/


Min Jiang Kueh is a dessert that has gradually evolved over the years, stemming from a once-traditional treat to now a local snack with modernised variations and flavours. The turnover pancake used to only contain coconut shavings, but we can now find it sandwiched with different chunky fillings such as ground peanuts and red bean paste.

You may also find certain Min Jiang Kueh stalls offering creative options for fillings, such as Nutella, green tea, to even savoury alternatives such as chicken floss and ham! Recognised for its moist and fluffy texture, Min Jiang Kueh is also a great grab-and-go breakfast alternative.

Granny’s Pancake
Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre
20 Ghim Moh Rd, #01-52
Singapore 270020
Daily: 5:30am – 4pm
Nearest Station: Buona Vista

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Rochor Beancurd Hot Beancurd

Photo Credit: https://https://rochorwebsite.wixsite.com/rochorbeancurd/


When it comes to “tao huey”, our minds undoubtedly turn to Rochor Beancurd House, a humble stall that has been churning out both hot and cold soybean curd for the past 50 years. The soy pudding is simply made from coagulated soy milk, curdled to delicate perfection to ensure a smooth, soft texture.

It is best paired together with a few doughy sticks of dough fritters, or even deep-fried Red Bean Buns! Snag a cup of Grass Jelly, and you will get to experience the true traditional way of enjoying bean curd.

Rochor Beancurd House
232 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574363
Tel: +65 8288 7020
Daily: 12.30pm – 2am
Nearest Station: Marymount

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Haig Road Coconut Putu Piring

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/haigroadputupiring/


Every Singaporean kid has definitely grown up eating “Kueh Tutu”: rice flour cakes moulded in the shape of a flower. Putu Piring, the lesser-known variant, sports a disc shape and is the Malay version of those favoured treats. They are often filled with gula melaka or shredded coconut and was one of those old-school snacks sold at pasar malams or via pushcarts.

Putu Piring is now a traditional delicacy that reminds us of our past culture and heritage. Made by hand, this dessert is carefully crafted to ensure there is a right balance of rice flour and brown sugar used to bring out its true cultural taste.

Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
Haig Road Food Centre
14 Haig Road, #01-07
Singapore 430014
Daily: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar/Eunos

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Mary's Kafe

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@weeteck


Sugee cake is a treat that will definitely bring you back to memory lane. The original sweet semolina pastry is inspired by both Western and Middle Eastern cuisine, with the local variant improvising off by using creamy butter, whipped eggs, and occasionally using a dash of brandy.

It is then toasted to get strong, nutty notes with a tinge of sweetness. A great pastime snack for kids to munch on, the cake is also extremely fluffy and light on the palate.

Mary’s Kafe 
BS Bendemeer Centre
20 Bendemeer Rd
Singapore 339914
Tel: +65 9852 0348
Mon to Fri: 8am – 5pm
(Closed on Sat & Sun)
Nearest Station: Bendemeer

Ye Lai Xiang Cheng Tng

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@jonnyboyeats/


Home to an enclave of famous hawker stalls, Bedok will be your next favourite spot if are looking to feast on dishes and desserts from your childhood. Featuring Cheng Tng: this clear bowl of soup is with a medley of fresh, natural ingredients such as dried longan, white fungus, gingko nuts and so on, and is the perfect way to beat the heat.

Sold in the olden day by coolies, this dessert surely brings back memories from the past. If you are looking for a refreshing perk-me-up, this is the dessert to go for!

Ye Lai Xiang Cheng Tng
1 Bedok Rd, Stall #31
Singapore 469572
Daily: 12pm – 8pm
Nearest Station: Tanah Merah

Old Amoy Chendol

Photo Credit: https://facebook.com/oldamoychendol/


You can’t call yourself a Singaporean if you have never had Chendol! This evergreen traditional dessert has been branded as Singapore’s top local dessert, boasting a mound of ice topped with pandan jelly coated in coconut milk and an abundant serving of chendol jelly worms. Throw in some red kidney beans and gula melaka sauce and the sweet treat is complete.

The best way to have Chendol? Order it on a warm day and get it the no-frills traditional way without any extra dollop of ice cream nor attap seeds.

Old Amoy Chendol
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
335 Smith St, #02-008
Singapore 050335
Tel: +65 8748 7590
Daily: 10:30am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

115 Tang Shui Bobo Chacha

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/115TangShui/


Looking for a dessert that is not only delightful in taste and decks a colourful, eye-catching appearance? BoBo ChaCha should be the next sweet treat you should go for! A Nyonya dessert that contains a medley of ingredients such as sweet potatoes, yam and tapioca jelly doused in sweet coconut milk, you can choose to have it hot or cold.

The dish is fragrant from the use from fresh coconut milk and pandan leaves, while the different jellies and potatoes add a dash of colour contrast to the dessert. Slurp on the creamy, thick soup and get a taste of this authentic local delight!

115 Tang Shui
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
335 Smith St, #02-206
Singapore 050335
Tel: +65 9641 9140
Wed to Sun & Mon: 7:30am – 5:30pm
(Closed on Tues)
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@flyeetelfly/


A gem commonly found in all hawker centres, Chin Chow, also known as Grass Jelly, is one of those desserts that truly embodies our Singaporean culture. Served in either a drink or bowl, it is a refreshing jelly-like treat with a mild flavour that we locals often make a beeline for on a hot day.

This dessert base is not overwhelmingly sweet nor syrupy, and the herbal jelly is smooth and gelatinous. You can also customise your bowl by adding in toppings such as nata de coco, or sea coconut!

Zhao An Granny Grass Jelly
Golden Mile Food Centre
505 Beach Rd, #01-58
Singapore 199583
Tel: +65 9146 7313
Daily: 11:30am – 6:30pm
Nearest Station: Nicoll Highway

Le Chasseur Tau Suan

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@3ferny/


Mung Beans Soup, also known as “Tau Suan”, is a perfect sweet and savoury dessert that Singaporeans turn to for breakfast. Accompanied with crispy sliced dough fritters, each spoonful is chock full of well-steamed split mung beans.

The soup base itself also has a full-bodied, creamy consistency that goes impeccably well with its doughy topping; the savoury fried pieces complements the sweet and sticky soup. You can even request for as many dough fritters as you like!

Le Chasseur
Eunos Industrial Estate
27 Eunos Road 2, #01-101
Singapore 409387
Tel: +65 6337 7677
Daily: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Nearest Station: Eunos

DessertStory Mango Sago

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/dessertstorysingapore/


Mango Sago is an adaptation of a traditional Hong Kong dessert containing bits of pomelo, sago and mango. This is a lighter variant of its cousin, mango pudding, and makes an easy post-meal indulgence.

Popular in Singapore for its cold, refreshing texture, this is now a perennial-favourite amongst families and has become a treat that parents often order for their kids.

Hougang Mall
90 Hougang Ave 10, #02-13
Singapore 538766
Tel: +65 6387 6620
Daily: 10:30pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Hougang

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

White Restaurant Orh Nee

Photo Credit: https://www.burpple.com/@missha/


Judge a dessert not by its appearance as this deceptively simple dessert, Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts requires a few painstaking hours in the kitchen to prepare. A ubiquitous Teochew treat, it is best made by hand to ensure a thick and buttery consistency.

Mashed or blended to form a thick paste, it is then garnished with steamed pumpkin puree and boiled gingko nuts. Despite being known to be served during special affairs, you can still expect to find this savoury treat at our local hawker stalls.

White Restaurant
Fountain Court Suntec City
3 Temasek Blvd, #B1-131
Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6255 2002
Daily: 11am – 9:30pm
Nearest Station: Esplanade/Promenade

** Multiple outlets islandwide.

Ice Shop Ice Kachang

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/singourmet/


Indulge in an addictive, thirst-quenching dessert known as Ice Kachang. Affectionately coined as “ABC”, locals have come up with their own acronym for “ais batu campur”, also known as mixed shaved ice.

Pop by any hawker stall and satisfy your sweet fix with a towering, colourful heap of shaved ice drizzled with gula melaka and syrup! It is then scattered with sweet corn, kidney red beans, attap seeds and sweetened milk.

Ice Shop

Food Opera @ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn #B4-03/04
Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6509 9198
Daily: 10am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
House of Dessert Red Bean Soup

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/House-of-Dessert-%E7%94%9C%E5%93%81%E4%B9%8B%E5%AE%B6-219274434851373/


If you are looking for an age-old dessert, opt for a good ol’ bowl of sweet red bean soup. This classic homemade dessert consists of red beans that are well-boiled in a translucent, slightly watery soup, complementing the light soup base with its natural sweetness.

Though our current artisanal versions of this dessert render a thicker, luscious red bean paste, a stark difference with our traditional red bean soup, nothing beats having it the old-school way!

House of Dessert
Tampines Round Market & Food Centre
137 Tampines Street 11, #01-02
Singapore 521137
Tue & Wed, Fri to Sun: 6am – 3pm
(Closed on Mon & Thurs)
Nearest Station: Simei