Ais Kacang: Exploring the History, Ingredients, and Variations of Malaysia’s Beloved Dessert

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Ais kacang, also known as ABC (Air Batu Campur) is a popular Malaysian dessert that consists of shaved ice topped with various sweet ingredients. Ais kacang is a refreshing and delightful treat, especially on a hot day. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history, ingredients, and variations of ais kacang.

History of Ais Kacang

The origin of ais kacang is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated from the Peranakan community in Malacca, Malaysia. It is said that the dessert was initially made with only shaved ice and red bean paste, but over time, it has evolved to include a variety of ingredients.


Ais kacang is made with shaved ice as a base, which is then topped with various sweet ingredients such as red bean paste, sweet corn, grass jelly, and attap chee (palm fruit). The dish is then drizzled with syrup, usually made from palm sugar, rose syrup, or other flavoured syrups. Some variations of ais kacang also include condensed milk or evaporated milk, which adds a creamy texture to the dessert.

Variations of Ais Kacang

While the basic ingredients of ais kacang remain the same, different regions of Malaysia have their own unique variations. In Penang, ais kacang is often served with durian, a popular fruit in the region. In Johor, a southern state in Malaysia, ais kacang is often made with gula Melaka, a type of palm sugar that has a distinct smoky flavour. In Sabah and Sarawak, two states located in the eastern part of Malaysia, ais kacang is commonly served with sago pearls and mango.

Ais Kacang in Modern Times

In recent years, ais kacang has gained popularity beyond Malaysia and is now enjoyed in other parts of Southeast Asia and even in some Western countries. In Malaysia, ais kacang can be found in various locations, including street vendors, hawker centres, and restaurants. Some cafes and dessert shops have also started to offer more modern and innovative versions of ais kacang, such as adding fruits like strawberries or kiwi.

A delightful Malaysian dessert, Ais Kacang, features shaved ice, sweet condiments, and colorful toppings.


Ais kacang is a popular Malaysian dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. Its popularity continues to grow, and it is now a beloved dessert in many parts of the world. The combination of shaved ice and sweet ingredients makes it a refreshing and delicious treat, especially on a hot day. With its rich history and various regional variations, ais kacang is a dessert that truly represents the diversity and cultural richness of Malaysia.

Article curated by Lavanyah Magenthiran