Vietnamese Dessert: Best Popular Vegetarian Dishes to Try

Vietnamese Food is famous for its subtle flavours and ultra-fresh ingredients. Vietnamese Dessert is not only a refreshing treat on a balmy day, but an adventure in texture and flavour. There are so many different dessert dishes in different regions of Vietnam, from puddings to pastries. On this article today, we would like to share with you the 10 best popular and well known vegetarian sweet snacks Hanoi to Saigon you must taste on your Travel in Vietnam.

1. Vietnamese Sweet Soup (Chè Vietnam): Vietnamese Sweet Soup, the Best Famous Dessert Dishes in Vietnam, include any traditional sweet soup, beverage, pudding, or any other custard-like dessert that is made with a base of either water or coconut cream and served either hot or icy cold. Other ingredients for making chè include various jellies and fruits, beans and pulses, rice and grains, and even tubers and cereals.


It is believed that Sweet Soup Desserts originated in the central region of Vietnam, but today they are widely available throughout the country and prepared in countless variations. Because of their hearty contents like beans and sticky rice, they are a popular snack item commonly sold in plastic cups at Vietnamese grocery stores, while one of the most popular chè varieties prepared at home is the so-called chè đậu trắng and chè chuối. Best places to try in Hanoi Old French Quarter is Lutulata Desserts & Drinks, 39 Hàng Cót, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội. If you travel to Central Vietnam, Chè Huế will be ideal option to choose.

2. Sticky Rice Balls in Ginger Syrup (Chè trôi nước): Chè trôi nước is a Vietnamese dessert that combines sweet ginger-flavored soup and rice balls. The soup is usually sweetened with palm sugar, and it's sometimes additionally flavored with pandan leaves, while the filling inside the glutinous rice balls traditionally includes a combination of coconut milk and mung bean paste.


Although it is considered a traditional Vietnamese specialty, it is believed that the dish was modeled on tangyuan—a similar sweet soup of Chinese origin. Chè trôi nước is always served warm, typically garnished with coconut milk and roasted sesame seeds.

3. Grean Bean Cake (Bánh đậu xanh): This traditional Vietnamese dessert was originated from Hải Dương Province, 60km away from Hanoi. It combines green beans, vegetable oil or pork fat, sugar, and flavorings to create a cake with a fudge-like consistency and a smooth texture. It is believed that the cake first appeared in the 1920s, and since then, this simple combination has earned a status of a favorite local sweet and has become well-known in the entire country.


Green bean cake will become more delicious with a cup of hot tea. The bitterness of tea lessen the sweetness of the cake and make the cake melt in your mouth. Moreover, the fragrance of cake and tea mingle and calm your mind. Therefore, green bean cake and tea are often served together to the guests. This is the custom of Vietnamese to show the hospitality.

4. Vietnamese Fruit Cocktails (Chè Thái): This versatile dessert usually consists of a cream base that is enriched with various ingredients. Typical additions include various types of canned fruit such as lychee, jackfruit, longan, or red-colored water chestnuts, as well as coconut milk, pandan-flavored jelly, and the sweet liquid in which the fruit was preserved.


Main ingredients for making Chè Thái are Durian, Chestnuts, and Coconut Milk. The dessert is finished off with the addition of ice cubes and should be served immediately. This is one of the best Vietnamese Dessert to Try when you travel in Vietnam.

5. Vietnamese Banana Cake (Bánh chuối): Bananas are the star ingredient in this classic Vietnamese dessert which can be steamed (hấp) or baked (nướng). It usually consists of sliced bananas and a creamy combination of condensed milk, sugar, coconut milk, and optionally bread, eggs, or shredded coconut.


Depending on the ingredients and the cooking procedure, the cakes can vary in shape and texture, while other varieties come in a form of banana fritters or incorporate additional ingredients and flavorings. Steamed versions are often served sprinkled with sesame seeds and doused in coconut milk.

6. Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake (Bánh bò): Bánh bò are traditional, coconut-flavored Vietnamese sponge cakes that are prepared with a light yeast-based batter. There are several varieties depending on the shape, ingredients, and the method of preparation, but all of them have a distinct, airy texture which is why they are occasionally known as honeycomb or beehive cakes.


Bánh bò cakes can be baked or steamed and tinted with various natural colorings, while their base is usually made with rice or tapioca flour. The name bò roughly translates to a cow or to crawl, but it is not clear how and why the cakes were given their current name.

7. Vietnamese Crème Caramel (Bánh Kem Flan): Bánh Kem Flan is the Vietnamese version of crème caramel. Tender and soft, covered with a layer of sugary caramel, the French crème caramel is a timeless and classic dessert. The Vietnamese variety was directly influenced by the French, who left a significant impact on the culture and gastronomy in Vietnam during the colonization period.


Although simple in ingredients and preparation, bánh flan is a beautiful and delicate dessert. It usually employs a rich vanilla or coffee-flavored mixture of milk and eggs, which is poured in caramel-covered ramekins. When cooked, the flan is turned upside down, leaving a layer of dark, thick caramel sauce on top, which generously descends on the sides, covering the entire cake in an appetizing amber color.

8. Coconut Jelly (Vietnamese Rau câu): Rau câu is a Vietnamese jelly cake made with agar (gelatinous seaweed), coconut milk, condensed milk, and flavorings such as coconut, banana, chocolate, mocha, and vanilla. The texture is similar to that of panna cotta. Due to the usage of agar jelly, rau câu provides a great alternative for vegetarians who prefer not to consume animal gelatin.


The dessert can be found in numerous Vietnamese delis and banh mi shops, while similar treats are also prepared throughout Southeast Asia countries and Indonesia.

9. Steamed Tapioca Layer Cake (Bánh Da Heo): This traditional Vietnamese dessert consists of chewy layers that are typically made with puréed green beans, tapioca starch, rice flour, and coconut milk or sometimes with water. Traditionally, each cake has a pale yellow layer made with mung beans and a green layer that is flavored and colored with pandan leaves, while optional ingredients include durian or taro.


Once steamed and chilled, the cake is usually cut into diamond shapes. The delicate combination between the aroma of coconut milk, the fleshy taste of green beans and the soft and sweet cake layer has created an irresistible attraction.

10. Yogurt with fermented sticky rice (Sữa Chua Nếp Cẩm): Yogurt with fermented sticky rice, or sua chua nep cam in Vietnamese, is a classic Vietnamese dessert that combines the sourness of yogurt with the sweetness of fermented sticky rice.


The dish is made by mixing plain yogurt with fermented sticky rice, resulting in a creamy and slightly tangy taste. The fermented sticky rice is made by soaking sticky rice overnight, then mixing it with a special type of yeast, giving it a slightly sour taste and soft texture. This unique combination of flavors and textures makes sua chua nep cam a popular dessert among locals and tourists alike. It is often enjoyed as a refreshing and healthy snack on a hot day.

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