Pandan Kuih Rose – Recipe

I'm back from Malaysia! Actually I've been back since last Saturday, but you'll forgive me for not posting anthing because of sheer travel exhaustion, I hope.

If you follow me on Instagram (@tashcakes.tastes... plug plug plug...) you will have been treated to an almost obscene amount of Malaysian food porn from me. Colourful ais kacangs and cendols, pungent durians, chewy kuehs... I even branched out and posted some beautiful savoury stuff.

Anyway, you're not here to read about my Instagram exploits or my holiday- you're here to see how I made these things:

They're deep fried. Sounds good? Thought so. Read on.

Although kuih rose (or kuih loyang) are popular snacks in Malaysia, I didn't get to eat any this trip around. However, I did manage to find this at a local supermarket:

It's a kuih rose mould! They can come in various sizes and even shapes, but this is a more commonly-found one.

It's pretty old school: a chunky brass end with a wire hook. The way you use it is pretty old school too: you simply dip it in batter and fry in oil. Note: I said old school, not easy.

I'd actually rate making perfect kuih rose right up there with the technical difficulty of making macarons. One misstep from ingredients to oil temperature to technique, and you have wonky biscuits, or burned biscuits, or unevenly-cooked biscuits.

My first attempt on the right.

Onto oil temperature: I'm afraid I have other advice other than to wing it. All hobs are slightly different, and I don't know the exact temperature for frying (so that's no use if you have a thermometer- sorry!) Accept that your first one or two are going to come out a bit dodgy- but there's more than enough batter to work with, so don't worry.

My 'reject pile' XD

Also, when you get more confident, you can fry two or three at once. Practise with one first: you'd be surprised how fast these things turn brown when you're not looking.

As you can see, I used green pandan flavour in some of the biscuits: all I did was split the batter into two and added the flavouring into one of them. To be honest, I couldn't taste the difference between the two: the flavour is dominated by the coconut milk. Still, they looked interesting.

I mentioned there's a lot of batter to work with, didn't I? This recipe produces a LOT of batter, and you ARE going to get bored as soon as 25% of the way through frying these things. This recipe is part cooking, part endurance. I used about 75% of the batter for the cookies (it took me at very least an hour of standing over the stove), and then used the rest of the batter to make pisang goreng (banana fritters, also very Malaysian).

I promise you, the hard work is worth it for these delicate, lace-like treats. They're lightly fragrant with the coconut, not too sweet, and dangerously more-ish. You have been warned.

2022 UPDATE: You can now watch me make these on my YouTube channel:

Ready? Got a spare hour or two? Let's go.


150g rice flour + 100g glutinous rice flour (or 250g rice flour- I just ran out of regular rice flour)
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
400ml thick coconut milk
200g caster sugar
A few drops pandan paste (optional)


1) Make the batter by whisking the wet ingredients together, then sifting in and whisking the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms.

2) Heat some sunflower oil in a small saucepan on a low to medium heat, until a wooden chopstick sizzles very, very slightly when dipped in.

3) Preheat your mould by sitting it in the hot oil for a minute or two.

4) Remove the mould from the oil, shaking off any excess oil (careful not to splash yourself!), and dip into the batter without fully immersing it. Hold it there for about six seconds to get a solid coating around the hot mould.

Sudden green! (Because I forgot to take a shot after the above one)

5) Plunge your coated mould into the hot oil, holding it so it doesn't touch the bottom of the pan. Count to 15-20 seconds, and raise the mould with a little jiggle to free the kuih rose.

6) Flip the biscuit over when it's browned a little for even cooking, and remove to drain on kitchen towel (or old newspapers) when it's nice and golden brown all over. It's easiest to do all this with chopsticks and a slotted spoon, as the biscuit will still be soft in the oil and you don't want to misshape it.

7) Repeat these steps over and over and over and over and over and over and...

8) Yeah, you get the idea.

Enjoy, and have fun!

And be careful. It wasn't just the first time I'd made kuih rose; it was also the first time I'd deep fried anything, ever. I have a pretty wicked oil burn from a splash on my arm right now- so watch what you're doing!

Bonus: This batter also makes amazing waffles.  Can't be bothered to turn aaaaall that batter into kuih roses? Make waffles. Boom.


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