Thai Sweets (Khanom Wan)

Thai sweets, or ‘Khanom Wan’, come in an enormous variety of colours, shapes, flavours and ingredients. Thai sweets, and Asian sweets in general, use a different range of ingredients and flavours to Western cakes and deserts. They often use rice, beans and custards.

Different to Western Sweets

Many of these won’t be to Western tastes, but some will and they are very cheap (generally 10 THB for two bite sized portions). For years I always give the stalls selling Thai sweets a wide berth as, to be honest, they looked horrible. However, over time I have become addicted to Thai sweets and I now eat them all the time. Below is a list of three personal favourites.

Thai Sweets
Thai sweet stall in the market

Khanom Chan

Khanom Chan means ‘layer cake’ in Thai. It consists of sheets of Thai jelly made from sugar, coconut milk and flour mixed together and left to set a flat dish. They come in different colours and flavours. My favourite one is the green jelly which is flavoured with a type of cactus leaf. The flavour is very subtle, like a sweet avocado.

Khao Tom Mud

Khao Tom Mud is sticky rice cooked with coconut milk, sugar and black beans inside a banana leaf. These come in small packages of banana leaf normally cooked over coals or embers. This is tasty and a real ‘jungle’ food which has been made in Thailand for centuries.


Takoh is a coconut custard. It is made by steaming tapioca with coconut cream, young coconut flesh and sugar. This is normally served in a small banana leaf dish.

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