Kuih Kek Ang: A Taste of Malaysian Tradition

You are currently viewing Kuih Kek Ang: A Taste of Malaysian Tradition

Kuih Kek Ang is a beloved Malaysian dessert that brings a splash of color and a burst of flavor to any celebration. This delightful treat, known for its bright red hue and tender texture, is a must-have during festive times and a delicious reminder of Malaysia’s rich culinary heritage.

A Glimpse into Its Origins

The name “Kuih Kek Ang” breaks down into “kuih,” a term for various bite-sized snacks or desserts in Malay, and “kek,” which means cake. “Ang” is Hokkien for red, a color that symbolizes luck and joy. This dessert is especially popular during Chinese New Year, weddings, and other joyous occasions, symbolizing prosperity and happiness.

What’s in Kuih Kek Ang?

The magic of Kuih Kek Ang lies in its simple yet flavorful ingredients:

  • Glutinous Rice Flour: Gives the cake its chewy, soft texture.
  • Coconut Milk: Adds a rich, creamy taste that’s essential in many Malaysian desserts.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cake, balancing the richness of the coconut milk.
  • Natural Coloring: Traditionally, the red color comes from natural sources, although today, food coloring is often used.

Making Kuih Kek Ang

  1. Mixing the Batter: Combine glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar to create a smooth batter with a thick but pourable consistency.
  2. Adding Color: Add red dye, either from natural sources like annatto seeds or food coloring, to achieve the dessert’s iconic red color.
  3. Steaming: Pour the batter into molds or a tray and steam until the cake is set. Steaming ensures the cake stays moist and tender.
  4. Cooling and Cutting: Let the cake cool before cutting it into small, bite-sized pieces.

Embracing Tradition with a Twist

While the classic Kuih Kek Ang is a favorite, modern versions have started to appear, reflecting the dynamic nature of Malaysian cuisine. Some variations include flavors like pandan, which adds a fragrant aroma and a green hue, or gula melaka (palm sugar), which introduces a rich, caramel-like sweetness.

Savoring Kuih Kek Ang

Kuih Kek Ang is best enjoyed at room temperature, which allows its flavors to truly shine. Pair it with a hot cup of tea or coffee for a delightful snack. During festive seasons, it’s often part of a larger assortment of traditional kuih, each adding its unique charm to the celebration.


Kuih Kek Ang is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of Malaysia’s cultural diversity and culinary artistry. Its vibrant color and rich flavors bring joy and prosperity to those who savor it. Whether you’re enjoying it during a festive occasion or as a sweet treat any day, Kuih Kek Ang is a delicious testament to Malaysia’s rich gastronomic traditions.