Cendol: Iced Sweet Dessert

Escape the sweltering heat and indulge in the refreshing and delightful world of Cendol, a timeless iced sweet dessert that hails from Southeast Asia. This beloved treat features an exquisite symphony of flavors and textures, combining tender pandan-flavored rice flour jelly, aromatic coconut milk, and velvety palm sugar syrup, served over a bed of crushed ice. A staple in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, Cendol is the perfect way to cool off and satisfy your sweet tooth. Let’s dive into the process of creating this icy delicacy at home.

Cendol: Iced Sweet Dessert



  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Palm Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup palm sugar, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Crushed ice

Cooking Steps


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornstarch, pandan paste, salt, and water until well combined and smooth.
  • Prepare a steamer and bring the water to a boil.
  • Pour the cendol mixture into a heatproof dish and steam for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is set and firm to the touch.
  • Remove the dish from the steamer and let it cool completely. Once cooled, cut the cendol into small pieces or press through a cendol mold or sieve to create the traditional worm-like shape.

Palm Sugar Syrup

  • In a saucepan, combine the palm sugar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the palm sugar has completely dissolved and the syrup has slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.


  • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and salt over low heat until warm and well combined. Do not let it boil. Set aside to cool.
  • Fill individual serving bowls or glasses with a generous amount of crushed ice.
  • Top the crushed ice with the prepared cendol pieces.
  • Drizzle the cooled palm sugar syrup and coconut milk over the cendol and ice.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy your refreshing Cendol dessert.

To create an authentic and delicious Cendol, it’s essential to use fresh and high-quality ingredients. The key to achieving the dessert’s signature flavor is the use of pandan paste and palm sugar. When selecting palm sugar, opt for dark, rich, and fragrant blocks or discs, as they lend a deeper, more complex sweetness to the syrup. Additionally, using freshly squeezed coconut milk enhances the overall creaminess and aroma of the dessert. As you savor each spoonful of Cendol, immerse yourself in the delightful interplay of flavors and textures, a testament to the captivating charm of Southeast Asian desserts.

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