17 Essential Kuih Hari Raya & Cookies Enjoyed By Malaysians

17 Essential Kuih Hari Raya & Cookies Enjoyed By Malaysians

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Don’t Miss Out On These Essential Kuih Hari Raya & Cookies For A Sweet Eid Celebration This Year!

With the arrival of the crescent moon ushering Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Malaysian Muslims from East to West Malaysia prepare themselves to embrace the festive spirit with open hearts and, yes, you guessed it, open homes.

Ask anyone who has ever been to a Malaysian Muslim’s open house for Eid and it will be synonymous with the mention of delectable cookies, kuih, and a scrumptious array of traditional homemade dishes tied to Hari Raya

The central theme is definitely the reunion of families and dearest friends. But since we Malaysians hold a great love for food, it’s no wonder why many fondly remember the assortment of traditional kuih Raya and modern Hari Raya cookies (red velvet cookies anyone?) from the cherished practice of making it together with mom or senior relatives, down to its delicious flavours and textures.

Join us as we embark on an exploration of sweet delights in various forms of kuih Raya that adorn the table during Hari Raya, so that you’ll have a mental list of the essential kuih Raya and Hari Raya cookies that you simply must try or get for your family home this Hari Raya!

17 Essential Kuih Raya & Cookies To Enjoy This Eid In Malaysia

Tepung Pelita kuih.

1. Kuih Pelita (Tepung Pelita)

The locally favoured Kuih Pelita found in almost every Ramadan bazaar makes its way to homes even during the Hari Raya celebrations. It is sometimes sold by street vendors year-round in takeaway boxes neatly stacked within the all-too-familiar plastic yellow bakery trays in Malay heartlands.

Kuih Pelita is made up of two layers; a salty and rich coconut milk custard at top layer, and a silky, sweet and aromatic pandan custard at the bottom layer. This combination makes it an especially delightful dessert with the signature banana-leaf case adding to its already appealing charm. 

This kuih Raya’s ingredients typically include rice flour to thicken the custards, coconut milk, pandan leaves, and sugar, where it is boiled into two distinctive custards before being poured into a folded banana-leaf case. However, modern variations these days tend to include serving kuih pelita in plastic cups over the traditional hand-folded banana-leaf cases.

Biskut sarang semut. Photo by luffiya cookies hq.

2. Biskut Sarang Semut (Ant Nest Cookies)

Biskut Sarang Semut is perhaps one of those kuih Raya that takes top place for its interesting name which literally translates to Ant Nest Cookies because of its resemblance to an ant’s nest.

This particular kuih Raya is a crunchy and crumbly delight that is made with butter, flour, and baking powder to form the cookie dough, then thoroughly coated with chocolate and rainbow rice to give it its “nest-like” appearance. 

More atas versions of Biskut Sarang Semut include chopped nuts or sesame seeds for extra crunch, and it's best enjoyed with plain coffee or tea to complement its sweetness.

London Almond cookies. Photo by biskiuthelena.

3. Almond London

Almond London cookies are a top favourite for both young and old during the Hari Raya celebrations (especially so for the young). It’s a delightfully crunchy Hari Raya cookie that is made by dipping a crunchy baked cookie dough in melted milk chocolate before sprinkling chopped nuts on it.

Some modern variations include coating the Almond London cookies in dark or white chocolate with some opting to replace the almond with sweeter alternatives like chopped hazelnuts or pecans. If you’re lucky, some high quality bakers or homemade ones tend to include a half or a whole almond within the cookie itself!

Mazola Biscuits. Photo by marziah_mokhtar.

4. Mazola Biscuits (Biskut Kacang Mazola)

Named after the brand of oil originally used in the recipe, the much beloved Mazola Biscuits are a testament to the adaptation of modern ingredients into traditional recipes.

Mazola Biscuits have a delightful buttery and nutty flavour with a melt-in-the-mouth texture which makes it highly addictive to snack on during the Hari Raya celebrations. It is often made with ground peanuts, flour, Mazola oil, and icing sugar, shaped into balls, topped with a peanut pressed into its surface, then baked until it forms a beautiful golden surface.

Kuih Kapit folded version. Photo by su-lin.

5. Kuih Kapit

This classic kuih Raya is a regular delight in Malaysia’s multi-cultural celebrations, with Hari Raya being one of them. It is a thin and crispy kuih Raya that is made from a batter of coconut milk, sugar, rice flour, flour, and eggs.

Making Kuih Kapit involves a special process that involves coating the batter on a special iron mould that is then placed over a charcoal fire, cooked for a few seconds, then released once it has a more solid form so that it may be hand-folded into its signature envelope shape.

This traditional method typically sees family members coming together to make it for Raya as it does call for a group effort to cook and fold it into shape!

Kuih Kapit rolls. Photo by Choo Yut Shing.

These days you’ll find these kuih Raya either in a more simplified rolled up form, or filled with delicious spreads like durian, chocolate, or the ever popular peanut butter spread.

Rolled pineapple tarts. Photo by Wiki Farazi.

6. Pineapple Tarts (Tart Nenas)

Pineapple Tarts are synonymous with festive celebrations in Malaysia and are enjoyed almost year-round these days. Think buttery, crumbly pastry made from a mixture of butter, egg yolk, and flour, then filled with a sweet and slightly tangy pineapple jam which can be store-bought or homemade by boiling down fresh pineapples, rock sugar, and spices like cinnamon and star anise.

Pineapple Tarts. Photo by Choo Yut Shing

This kuih Raya comes in two common variations; the open-faced pineapple tart, and the rolled pineapple tart. The open-faced pineapple tart is often the more crunchier one of the two thanks to its sturdier crust, while the rolled pineapple tart typically features a melt-in-your-mouth buttery crust.

Regardless of its form, these delicious morsels are best enjoyed with milk coffee or teh tarik for a rich Raya snack session. But if you'd like to balance out its tangy sweetness, then black coffee and unsweetened tea are your best bet.

Dahlia Cookies. Photo by Souha.Co.

7. Dahlia Cookies (Biskut Dahlia)

Dahlia Cookies are aptly named after the dahlia flower, but there’s more to these beautiful cookies than its flowery namesake. If you enjoy buttery cookies that melt in your mouth with a hint of milkiness, then this is it. 

Dahlia Cookies are essentially melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies that are made from a dough of butter, cake flour, milk powder, icing sugar, and eggs, which is piped into its signature flower shape with a special nozzle before baking. This results in a buttery and crumbly cookie with a chopped cherry bit at its centre to complete its delicate floral appearance.

One popular modern variation of this kuih Raya includes baking it with coffee, giving it a nice bittersweet coffee flavour that cuts some of its sweetness away.

Kuih Bangkit, also known as Tapioca Cookies

8. Kuih Bangkit (Biskut Bangkit)

Similar to Kuih Kapit, the classic Kuih Bangkit is a mainstay in Malaysia’s cultural celebrations. It’s a light, airy, and melt-in-your-mouth type of cookie that releases a sweet coconut taste with every bite thanks to its common ingredients of coconut milk, tapioca flour, icing sugar, eggs, and flour. 

That said, there is one unique part of Kuih Bangkit that not many know about unless they’ve made it themselves - the flour is usually fried to create its unique texture before it is mixed into a dough and shaped using moulds, then baked.

Modern variations of this traditional kuih Raya include pandan, red velvet, chocolate, and matcha versions of Kuih Bangkit. But that said, the original is still the best and it pairs deliciously with unsweetened black tea, green tea, or black coffee to complement its natural sweetness from the coconut milk and icing sugar.

Florentine Biscuits. Photo by Cats Coming.

9. Florentine Biscuits (Biskut Kacang Karamel)

Florentine Biscuits are not traditionally part of the usual collection of Hari Raya cookies, but it has become highly popular over the recent years as a modern symbol of culinary fusion between Western and local flavours.

These yummy biscuits are made with nuts like almonds or hazelnuts, sometimes dried fruits like raisins, and seeds like pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, then coated in caramelised sugar or honey before it is baked until the caramel turns golden, resulting in a superb crunchy and sweet biscuit with a strong nutty flavour.

Kuih loyang or beehive cookies.

10. Rose Cookies (Kuih Ros)

These rose-shaped crispy kuih Raya are a true traditional Eid delight that expresses hospitality in open houses. While they are typically found during Hari Raya and the Lunar New Year, some traditional bakeries make this year-round because of how well-loved it is.

Rose Cookies are crispy and light with a sweet vanilla or coconut flavour as a result of its cooking process. It is made from a thin batter of rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar which is then used to coat a special flower-shaped mould before it is deep-fried in oil. Some homecooks even sprinkle on some sesame seeds to give it a hint of added texture and flavour.

While most kuih Raya is enjoyed with unsweetened black coffee or tea, Kuih Rose is best enjoyed with a light, fragrant tea or a cold, sweetened beverage like bandung (rose syrup with milk) to contrast its crispiness.


11. Dodol

Enter dodol, a traditional sweet confection that is deeply rooted in Malay culture. This is one kuih Raya that traditionally required communal effort to stir and prepare thanks to its lengthy process. But it’s almost always highly worth it when you see the younger ones happily enjoying it.

Dodol is a thick, sticky and chewy sweet with a sweet and rich flavour derived from the ingredients it is typically made from; namely gula melaka and coconut milk, with added flavours like durian, pandan, or chocolate which are sometimes added to create different flavours of dodol. Think of it as the Malaysian version of the American taffy.

While the traditional method involves continuous hours stirring the dodol ingredients over a low flame to prevent it from sticking and burning, modern methods now only require under an hour to cook over medium to high heat in a non-stick pot like the Cosmo Casserole.

Peanut Puffs (Karipap Kacang). Photo by [springparty].

12. Peanut Puffs (Karipap Kacang)

Peanut puffs look just like a small version of Malaysia's favourite savoury snack, the curry puff. But these bite-sized puffs are typically enjoyed as a traditional kuih Raya during the festive season. Peanut puffs are typically firm as a whole, with a flaky and crispy shell for its exterior and a sweet, slightly savoury peanut filling within.

How it’s made involves a similar process to that of curry puffs where you’ll need a pastry dough plus your filling mixture of ground peanuts and sugar. Some recipes call for a hint of spices like cinnamon to be mixed into the filling before it is folded up into the dough and deep-fried.

Kuih Ketayap or Kuih Dadar. Photo by Alpha.

13. Kuih Ketayap

Many would be familiar with Kuih Ketayap’s more common name; Kuih Dadar. This particular kuih Raya is a traditional Malay kuih that used to be enjoyed primarily during Hari Raya, but is now available throughout the year at Malay kuih stalls.

It consists of a soft pandan-flavoured crepe that encases a sweet filling of sweetened grated coconut and gula melaka. Some variations these days include adding a pinch of salt into the coconut filling to enhance the kuih Raya’s sweetness or to use a cheaper sweetener like brown sugar - but I’d say it’s best to stick to the traditional ones that use gula melaka for the best experience!

Kuih Semperit. Photo by Nadia Dizarch Zin.

14. Kuih Semperit

Many would argue that Kuih Semperit is just another name for Biskut Dahlia because of how similar they appear, but they’re both two separate kuih Raya altogether. Biskut Dahlia is essentially the Malay equivalent of butter cookies, whereas Kuih Semperit is a custard-based butter cookie.

Kuih Semperit comes in two common forms; it is either piped out into a flower-shaped cookie (which is where the confusion between Biskut Dahlia and Kuih Semperit originated), or it is piped with a flat-tipped nozzle to form a long-ish strip similar to a spiky cat’s tongue cookie.

It is made from a mixture of flour, custard powder, butter, and sugar, then piped into a flower or a strip, and baked until it is just lightly golden. This gets you a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth cookie with a delicate texture and light custard flavour.

Cornflake cookies. Photo by Karen.

15. Cornflake Cookies

Cornflake Cookies are a homemade Hari Raya delight that has made its way into part of the mainstream kuih Raya lineup that you’ll often find in open houses. Locals highly appreciate its crunchy texture and sweet-saltiness that represents a blend of tradition and contemporary flavours.

There are two common variations of this beloved treat. One of them appears like a cluster of cornflakes bound by caramelised syrup giving it a slightly chewy crunch, whereas the other is a crumbly cookie made with crushed cornflakes which gives it a melt-in-the-mouth texture with a hint of crunch. Both are incredibly delicious so it’s definitely worth trying them both out this Raya!

Kuih Makmur

16. Biskut Makmur

One of the top timeless traditional Hari Raya cookies, Biskut Makmur is a traditional Malay cookie that is only prepared for Hari Raya. Unlike most of the kuih Raya you see here, Biskut Makmur is one of those that are only found during this festive period.

It’s a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth cookie with its primary ingredients being flour, butter or ghee, icing sugar, and a filling made up of ground peanuts or almonds. Once baked, it is rolled or coated with additional icing sugar all over, giving it the appearance of little snowballs. 

Because it’s relatively sweet thanks to the icing sugar, Biskut Makmur is best enjoyed with black coffee or unsweetened tea.

Sugee cookies with glazed cherry topping.

17. Semolina Biscuits or Sugee Cookies (Biskut Suji)

Sugee Cookies are a popular traditional Raya delight made with semolina, also known as suji. This traditional delight holds a consistent place in many open houses thanks to its rich, buttery taste and crumbly texture that many enjoy.

It’s made from a batter of semolina, clarified butter, icing sugar, and flour, which is then rolled into balls before it is baked until lightly golden. Some recipes include vanilla essence or vanilla extract for a stronger flavour profile.

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