13 Novelty Desserts in KL And Where to Find Them

The metropolitan city of Kuala Lumpur (KL) has a truly spectacular food scene. It boasts a plethora of local and international cuisine that transcends various cultures. From classic Malaysian favorites like nasi lemak to Spanish tapas, the choice of cuisine and food in KL will leave you spoilt for choice. The same applies to desserts in KL! 

If you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth, KL is the best place to satisfy your cravings. Apart from well-loved local desserts, you will also find sweet treats from all around the world in this big city. Here are some of the best novelty desserts in KL and where to find them! 

1. Bingsu

Korean bingsu with mango

For the uninitiated, bingsu is a well-loved, often IG-worthy Korean dessert that is simply irresistible, especially on a hot day. Traditionally, it consists of shaved ice with sweet toppings like chopped fruits, syrup, and red beans (known as patbingsu). 

Perfect for a hot day, it’s no surprise that bingsu is one of the most sought-after novelty desserts in KL! What’s more, in true Malaysian fashion, many of the dessert cafes in KL also offer their own unique take on bingsu, ranging from fragrant cotton candy bingsu to even ones that come with durian! 

Bingsu from Caffe Bene Malaysia
Image credit: Caffe Bene Malaysia

When we talk about bingsu, I’m sure most people will immediately think of Caffe Bene and their famous Oreo bingsu. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bingsu at Caffe Bene as much as everyone else but personally, I think the best bingsu cafe in KL is Namoo on the Park

Located in Mont Kiara, Namoo on the Park isn’t exactly a dessert cafe, serving a variety of hearty Korean dishes along with a handful of authentic Korean desserts. While they don’t have as many different varieties of bingsu, what they have, they deliver with perfection. Their classic bingsu features plenty of fresh fruit and comes with a host of colorful syrup, making it a treat for both the eyes and palette. 

2. Kakigori 

kakigori with green syrup
Image credit: City Foodsters

In addition to bingsu, another popular shaved ice dessert in KL is kakigori. Dating back to the Heian period in Japan, kakigori is an icy dessert that is sweetened with condensed milk and syrup. 

Compared to bingsu and even Malaysia’s own ais kacang, kakigori is a much simpler dessert, often featuring only the ingredients mentioned above. That’s because the main star of kakigori is the shaved ice itself which features a smoother, fluffier texture. The ice melts quickly in your mouth, so much so that some even say it’s like eating fresh, colorful snow! 

Kakiyuki shaved ice
Image credit: Kakiyuki

No doubt, the number one place for kakigori in KL is Kakiyuki. After all, it was the franchise that started it all in the city! Featuring numerous branches scattered throughout KL, Kakiyuki serves up, in my opinion, the best Japanese shaved ice desserts in the capital. My top recommendation is their matcha kakigori which uses premium matcha imported straight from Japan! Apart from that, you can also try their uniquely-flavored apom balik flavor which I’m sure Malaysians will love. 

If you find kakigori a little too crowded, you could also check out Miru Dessert Cafe (I quite like their Milo-flavored kakigori) and Mykori which is famous for their honeydew kakigori. They even top it with cute honeydew balls! 

3. Tiramisu

plate of tiramisu

I have a confession to make, out of all the novelty desserts in KL, tiramisu has got to be my favorite. In case you’ve never had it, tiramisu is an Italian dessert that consists of sweet, coffee-flavored biscuits (savoiardi), mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, and a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder. 

Even though I enjoy the refreshing taste of shaved ice like most other Malaysians, the richness of tiramisu, the contrasting textures, and the subtle fragrance of coffee just make my mouth water! While you will have no trouble finding tiramisu in KL, I do have some cafes to recommend. 

Tiramisu from Alexis Bistro
Image credit: Alexis Bistro

First up is MY favorite tiramisu place in KL: Alexis Bistro. Based in Bangsar, Alexis Bistro has a reputation for offering the best tiramisu cakes in all of KL and I find it hard to dispute that! While the tiramisu remains generally faithful to the traditional recipe, the dessert experts at Alexis Bistro have added their own little twists to make it even tastier. By adding chocolate to the recipe, the tiramisu is richer, and with caramelized almonds on top, there’s also a unique contrast in texture as well!

For a more authentic tiramisu that remains relatively unchanged, go for the one at Michelangelo’s in Pavilion KL. 

4. Scrumptious Cakes

White cake with chocolate sauce

If you’re celebrating a special or joyous occasion, I’m sure you’ll agree that you can never go wrong with a delicious cake. And while all-time classics like Blackforests and Red Velvets are delicious wherever you eat them, KL is the city where you’ll be able to find some of the best in the world!

Strawberry cake from Jaslyn Cakes
Image credit: Jaslyn Cakes

One of the most famous cake cafes in KL is Jaslyn Cakes. With a loyal social media following behind it, this quaint little bakery in Bangsar has been churning out delicious artisanal cakes and pastries since 2014. While they do not offer overly extravagant flavors, their classic cheesecakes are to die for, not to mention their red velvet cupcakes! 

Speaking of red velvet cakes, you simply must try the one at A Slice of Heaven. Decadent to say the least, it is another one of the top bakeshops in the city, featuring novelty cakes that will make your tummy growl. If you’re looking for Insta-worthy cakes featuring more unique flavors, then head on over to Ben’s Bake Shop!

5. Artisanal Ice Cream

Ice cream options

Sometimes, the best desserts are also the simplest. I mean, who DOESN’T like ice cream, especially given the perpetually hot climate in Malaysia?

Of course, with the capital of Malaysia being the metropolitan cultural melting pot that it is, these classic desserts in KL have, naturally, also evolved. Yes, you still find classic vanilla and chocolate ice cream almost anywhere you go but if you’re looking for more novel flavors, check out my recommendations below! 

Cup of ice cream from Inside Scoop
Image credit: Inside Scoop

With multiple outlets throughout the entire country, Inside Scoop is easily the most famous ice cream brand in Malaysia. Whenever you visit one of their many cafes in KL, the sheer number of flavors to choose from will leave you in awe. Whether you like the classics like rich chocolate and vanilla or you’d like to try some of the more localized creations like teh tarik or durian ice cream, you’ll be able to find a flavor that suits you just fine!  

Another well-known ice cream parlor that serves artisanal ice cream is Whimsical Gelateria, which is famous for its gula Melaka (palm sugar) gelato (although I personally prefer mint chocolate chip!). Piccoli Lotti (branches in Subang and Damansara) is another fine option that offers top-quality ice cream that features all-natural ingredients. If you’d like vegan ice cream, then Kind Kones is arguably the best artisanal ice cream shop in KL for you! Don’t worry, there’s something for everyone!

6. Pavlova 

Meringue-based pavlova

If you’re craving a dessert that is light and flavorful, then you can’t go wrong with a good pavlova. These meringue-based cakes are a national cuisine in New Zealand and Australia even though it was named after a Russian ballerina. Talk about a dessert with an intricate history lesson! 

In terms of taste, pavlova is pretty much like a giant marshmallow with a crisp outer shell. It often comes with plenty of whipped cream and fresh fruit like strawberries and passionfruit. Apart from tasting fantastic, pavlovas are also some of the most Insta-worthy desserts in KL too! 

Pavlova from Tray Cafe
Image credit: Tray Cafe

Two of my favorite places for pavlova in Kuala Lumpur are Tray Café and Souka Bakeshop. Both these amazing cafes offer great main courses in addition to tantalizing desserts. And yes, by dessert, I mean pavlova!

Often decorated to perfection, the Insta-worthy pavlovas at both these eateries will definitely keep you coming back for more. While Souka Bakeshop often offers more traditional pavlovas (topped with berries), Tray Cafe’s cakes sometimes also include more tropical flavors like mango and lime. 

7. Crepes

Chocolate and banana crepes

One main advantage of being an adult is being able to eat pancakes anytime I want. On the rare occasions when I feel guilty, I simply switch to crepes instead! This thinner, butterier version of pancakes is super popular in France and can be either a sweet or savory treat. 

It is often filled with fruit preserves, Nutella (this is heavenly!), maple syrup, or custard among many other sweet ingredients. In KL, crepes are served in a variety of ways, sometimes even as a cake! However, if you’re looking for authentic crepes that are satisfying with every bite, I’ve got you covered. 

Nutella crepes
Image credit: Cafe de Paris KL

Perhaps the best place to get crepes in KL is at Cafe de Paris in Pavilion. This French Parisian patisserie’s signature dessert is their Nutella crepe that’s topped with bananas and strawberries. Each bite promises a harmonious combination of fluffy crepes, sweet chocolaty goodness, and the refreshing burst of flavor from the fresh fruits. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! 

If variety is the name of the game, then your best bet for awesome crepes in KL is Strangers at FORTY7 at Section 17. Here, you’ll find a large variety of sweet and savory crepes, ranging from crepes served with fried chicken to sweet treats topped with premium ice cream! The possibilities are endless! 

8. Kanafeh

Kunefeh on a plate
Image credit: Sarah Canbel

Now this is one dessert that I’ve personally yet to try. Kanafeh (also known as Kunafa) is one of the few Middle Eastern desserts in KL that you can enjoy. Made with filo pastry and soaked in sweet, sugary syrup, kanafeh is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. It is often layered with cheese and nuts to give it extra crunch and flavor and is particularly popular in Egypt. 

Now, I did say that kanafeh is a rare dessert, even in KL. However, one place where you’re guaranteed to find top-quality kanafeh is Damas Sweets. Unlike all the other establishments mentioned thus far, Damas Sweets isn’t a cafe. Rather, it is an online shop selling scrumptious desserts and snacks, with kanafeh being one of their top sellers.  

9. Churros 

Churros and chocolate on a table

After tiramisu, churros are my favorite desserts in KL. In case you’ve somehow never heard of them, churros are basically long pieces of fried dough that are dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with either chocolate or dulce de leche (a mixture of milk and sugar). It is a classic dessert in Spain and Portugal and is said to have been a reimagination of Chinese youtiao

Churros and ice cream
Image credit: Softsrve

The Bee at Publika is one of my favorite places in KL to visit for fresh churros. When fresh out of the fryer, the churros here are crispy on the outside, and warm and fluffy on the inside. Churros here are served either with traditional chocolate sauce or with Nutella or rich caramel. Whichever one you choose, you’ll surely be in for a treat! 

Apart from The Bee, Softsrve at Damansara Uptown also offers a unique twist to this classic Spanish dessert. Instead of chocolate sauce, churros here come with delicious chocolate or vanilla soft serve with pistachios! The flavor and unique texture is simply amazing on the palette! If you’d like to try churros with dulce de leche instead, try La Boca Latino Bar at Pavilion KL. 

10. Baklava

Baklava and coffee

Baklava is an Ottoman layered dessert that is made of filo pastry and filled with a variety of nuts and topped with syrup or honey. It has a flaky exterior, a sweet and savory filling, and a sweet aftertaste. 

If you’re social media savvy and you remember Salt Bae, you’ve probably seen baklava before, even if you didn’t know what it was called at the time. After all, he serves it at his restaurant and it usually comes with a pretty theatrical performance of him cutting up the dessert. Thankfully, you can also find baklava in KL! 

A zoom-up shot of baklava
Image credit: Lavandsweets

One of the most famous places for baklava in Kuala Lumpur is Lavand in Taman Sri Hartamas. Established in 2004, Lavand is an award-winning confectionary that specializes in delivering the finest baklava to your doorstep. Using only the best ingredients, Lavand offers a variety of different baklavas and even chocolates that will leave you coming back for more. My favorite has to be the flaky traditional baklavas with cashews. It’s subtly sweet and the flaky exterior simply melts in your mouth too! 

Besides Lavand, you can also order some baklava from the previously-mentioned Damas Sweets

11. Matcha desserts

Matcha cake on a plate and matcha powder

Hands up if you, like me, simply adore matcha desserts! Apart from being vibrant in color and extremely fragrant and tasty, matcha desserts are also generally light on the palette too. From matcha lattes and milkshakes to matcha-flavored cakes and macarons, there are plenty of novelty desserts in KL that feature this popular Japanese ingredient. 

Ask any true local and they’ll tell you that 108 Matcha Saro (currently closed) is one of the best dessert shops in KL for Matcha-flavored treats. Using authentic ingredients from Kyoto (which I consider the home of matcha), this dessert cafe in Suria KLCC offers premium matcha drinks and soft-serve ice cream. Their signature menu item, however, has to be their matcha-filled obanyakis, which are basically Japanese stuffed pancakes usually filled with red bean paste. One bite and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it! 

Another incredible matcha-flavored dessert in KL you have to try is Zen & Co Menjalara’s signature matcha lava cake! As you cut into the fluffy cake, molten matcha oozes out onto the plate. Stop for a few pics for Gram before digging in! If you just want to enjoy a nice matcha latte though, then you’ll want to visit the ambient Oh Cha Matcha cafe on Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi.

12. Premium waffles 

Waffles with berries on top

As a kid, one of my favorite things is waking up to fresh waffles for breakfast. I’m sure these nostalgic treats are popular among many others too. In KL, you’ll find plenty of dessert cafes that serve premium waffles, often topped with generous helpings of chocolate and fresh fruit among other ingredients. Good as both dessert or as a snack during brunch, waffles in some of the best dessert cafes in KL are in a league of their own! 

One of my go-to dessert cafes in Kuala Lumpur for waffles is The Owls Cafe. Located in Bukit Jalil, this cozy and Insta-worthy eatery serves up some of the best waffles in town. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can choose from a variety of sweet waffles, ranging from classic butter and maple syrup toppings to premium waffles topped with fresh fruits, ice cream, matcha, and even Milo! 

Waffles with fruits and ice cream

If you’re craving something a little more savory for brunch, their herb-based waffles topped with salmon, eggs, chicken, and more will surely satisfy you to the fullest! In addition to The Owls Cafe, some other top spots for waffles in Kuala Lumpur include Frisson in Damansara Uptown (currently closed/relocating) which serves salted egg waffles, Shugatori Dessert Cafe with their signature charcoal waffles, and Soft Launch Cafe where you can enjoy amazing stuffed waffles. 

13. Acai bowls

A bowl of acai with fruits, avocado and a glass of juice

In a world that is growing ever more health-conscious, acai bowls have become increasingly popular desserts. For those who’ve never heard of this healthy breakfast/dessert, an acai bowl is basically like a thick smoothie made with a combination of acai berry puree, milk, fresh fruit, nuts, and oatmeal. And, as you would expect, you can find these healthy desserts in Kuala Lumpur too! 

Four bowls of acai
Image credit: Acai Lab

Is there ever any doubt that Acai Lab is one of the top cafes in KL for a nice, nutritious acai bowl? Located in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Acai Lab is one of the earliest acai bowl cafes that gained social media fame in the city. While it has a limited selection of flavors (only five varieties at the time of writing), Acai Lab uses top-quality acai berries from Brazil to serve up amazing palette pleasers. I highly recommend the Harimau Malaysia Bowl. It consists of bananas, mangoes, dragon fruit, and granola. Oh! And it’s topped with ice cream too! 

Another acai bowl cafe that I personally quite like is Cabana Acai Bar (Publika) which serves fully customizable acai bowls featuring a wide variety of ingredients. 

Get ready for a sugar rush! 

And there you have it: 13 incredible novelty desserts in Kuala Lumpur that will keep you coming back for more. There are plenty more amazing sweet treats in KL that even some locals don’t know about. If you have a favorite dessert place in KL, let us know and we’ll check them out…for professional work purposes, of course! -wink- 

Can’t stop the cravings? Then check out some Finnish and Turkish desserts next! 

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