Vietnamese jelly cake (thach rau cau): A sweet temptation worth sampling

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Vietnamese jelly cake is a delightful and visually stunning dessert

Vietnamese jelly cake is a delightful and visually stunning dessert (Source: Collected)

Vietnamese jelly cake, or Vietnamese gelatin cake, is a delightful and visually stunning member of Vietnamese cakes. With its unique textures and flavors, it reflects the rich culinary tapestry of Vietnam travel, enticing both locals and travelers alike. Whether dining in humble eateries or big restaurants across the country, you are likely to encounter this treat featured prominently on the menu.

1. Typical ingredients for Vietnamese jelly cake

Vietnamese jelly cake is crafted from a unique combination of ingredients. They include agar-agar, a seaweed-derived gelatinous substance, blended with creamy coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, and a variety of flavors like banana, chocolate, and vanilla. Its texture resembles panna cotta but carries a delightful chewiness, providing a refreshing taste with every bite.

Notably, this dessert holds appeal for vegetarians as it excludes animal gelatin. Adding to its allure is the straightforward preparation, making it a favored choice for home cooks. Furthermore, it is readily available in Vietnamese delis and supermarkets, offering a convenient treat for those eager to indulge.

The popularity of Vietnamese jelly cake has been consistently rising

The popularity of Vietnamese jelly cake has been consistently rising (Source: Collected)

>>> Check out: Vietnamese banana cake: A delicious dessert to savor on your trip

2. Basic guide to make Vietnamese jelly cake

Crafting delicious Vietnamese jelly cakes includes choosing the right agar-agar powder, which should be crispy and flexible. It is recommended to choose durable molds made of hard plastic or other heat-resistant materials. They should also have intricate details for shaping visually appealing jelly cakes. 

No matter which agar-agar powder brand you have, you should follow package instructions for accurate preparation. If you want to add other ingredients like syrup, coconut milk, or coffee, you should reduce the amount of water used in your recipe. The agar-agar juice should be kept warm, as they will solidify once cooled. Thus, it is better to cook in small batches and add other ingredients separately.

>>> Read more: Vietnamese honeycomb cake: An irresistible dessert for the sweet tooth

3. Variations of flavors and colors in Vietnamese jelly cake

3.1. Vietnamese jelly cake with pandan flavor

Vietnamese jelly cake with pandan flavor is an intricate delicacy

Vietnamese jelly cake with pandan flavor is an intricate delicacy (Source: Collected)

Ingredients: Agar-agar powder (Vietnamese jelly powder), sugar, coconut milk, pandan leaves, condensed milk, evaporated milk, salt

Step 1: Prepare pandan juice

  • Blend the pandan leaves with a little water and strain to extract the juice.

Step 2: The first layer (coconut layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Add 200ml of coconut milk to the mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Pour the combined mixture into a mold and allow it to set.

Step 3: Second layer (pandan layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar, a pinch of salt, and the pandan juice.
  • Bring to a boil and add 200ml of coconut milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set coconut layer.

Step 4: Third layer (condensed milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 100ml of condensed milk and 100ml of evaporated milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set pandan layer.

Step 5: Chill and serve

  • Allow the entire jelly cake to cool and refrigerate until fully set.
  • Once the mixture has set, cut it into your preferred shapes, and serve.

3.2. Vietnamese jelly cake with coffee

Vietnamese jelly cake with coffee is an exotic twist on the traditional recipe

Vietnamese jelly cake with coffee is an exotic twist on the traditional recipe (Source: Collected)

Ingredients: Agar-agar powder (Vietnamese jelly powder), sugar, instant coffee powder, condensed milk, evaporated milk

Step 1: Prepare coffee mixture

  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder in a small amount of hot water.

Step 2: First layer (coffee layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and the dissolved coffee mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and pour into a mold, allowing it to set.

Step 3: Second layer (milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 200ml of condensed milk and 200ml of evaporated milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set coffee layer.

Step 4: Chill and serve

  • Let the entire jelly cake cool and refrigerate until fully set.
  • Cut into slices and serve chilled for a delightful Vietnamese coffee jelly cake.

3.3. Vietnamese jelly cake with coconut

Enjoy the delightful union of Vietnamese jelly cake with coconut

Enjoy the delightful union of Vietnamese jelly cake with coconut (Source: Collected)

Ingredients: Agar-agar powder (Vietnamese jelly powder), sugar, coconut milk, condensed milk

Step 1: First layer (coconut layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 400ml of coconut milk.
  • Pour the mixture into a mold and allow it to set.

Step 2: Second layer (milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 200ml of condensed milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set coconut layer.

Step 3: Chill and serve

  • Let the entire jelly cake cool and refrigerate until fully set.
  • Cut into slices and serve chilled for a delicious Vietnamese coconut jelly cake.

3.4. Vietnamese jelly cake with fresh fruit

Elevate your dessert repertoire by savoring Vietnamese jelly cake with fresh fruit

Elevate your dessert repertoire by savoring Vietnamese jelly cake with fresh fruit (Source: Collected)

Ingredients: Agar-agar powder (Vietnamese jelly powder), sugar, assorted chopped fresh fruits (strawberries, kiwi, mango, pineapple), sweetened condensed milk

Step 1: First layer (fruit layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Arrange the chopped fresh fruits in a mold.
  • Pour the agar-agar mixture over the fruits and allow it to set.

Step 2: Second layer (milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 200ml of sweetened condensed milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set fruit layer.

Step 3: Chill and serve

  • Let the entire jelly cake cool and refrigerate until fully set.
  • Cut into slices and serve chilled for a refreshing Vietnamese fresh fruit jelly cake.

3.5. Vietnamese jelly cake with dragon fruit

Indulge in the delightful flavors of Vietnamese jelly cake with dragon fruit

Indulge in the delightful flavors of Vietnamese jelly cake with dragon fruit (Source: Collected)

Ingredients: Agar-agar powder (Vietnamese jelly powder), sugar, peeled and diced dragon fruit, coconut milk, condensed milk

Step 1: First layer (dragon fruit layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Arrange the diced dragon fruit in a mold.
  • Pour the agar-agar mixture over the dragon fruit and allow it to set.

Step 2: Second layer (coconut milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Add 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 200ml of coconut milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set dragon fruit layer.

Step 3: Third layer (condensed milk layer)

  • Mix 5g of agar-agar powder with 500ml of water.
  • Incorporate 75g of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in 200ml of condensed milk.
  • Pour the mixture over the set coconut milk layer.

Step 4: Chill and serve

  • Let the entire jelly cake cool and refrigerate until fully set.
  • Cut into slices and serve chilled for a delightful Vietnamese dragon fruit jelly cake.

>>> Don’t forget to try Vietnamese coffee cake during your trip!

4. Creative presentations of Vietnamese jelly cake

The Vietnamese 3D jelly cake is a genuine culinary marvel. Unlike regular jellies, crafting 3D jelly cakes is akin to creating an inverted picture, requiring a significant amount of imagination and skill. Specially shaped needles are employed to meticulously design flowers and leaves, transforming the cake into a captivating work of edible art. These cakes have gained popularity at parties due to their unique aesthetics. Recognized as one of the most breathtaking Vietnamese desserts, the 3D jelly cake is a delectable masterpiece that captivates not only the taste buds but also the eyes.

3D Vietnamese gelatin cake is a favored selection for special occasions

3D Vietnamese gelatin cake is a favored selection for special occasions (Source: Collected)

>>> More on: Vietnamese flan cake (banh flan): a creamy dessert to savor once

Beyond being a treat for the senses, Vietnamese jelly cake serves as an emblem of Vietnam’s culinary ingenuity. It is a delightful masterpiece, with see-through jelly of diverse textures and flavors that make a visually stunning dessert. When in Vietnam, make sure to explore this exquisite treat for an unforgettable experience.

Vietnamese jelly cakes are readily available in iconic cities like Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc. While in these extraordinary destinations, don’t miss the chance to visit VinWonders Hanoi, VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium, VinWonders Nam Hoi An, VinWonders Nha Trang, and VinWonders Phu Quoc. These entertainment complexes provide a broad array of activities catering to various interests. Whether you are fascinated by aquatic wonders, educational adventures, or exhilarating experiences, VinWonders has something for all. 

For a memorable stay, it is recommended to opt for the accommodation at Vinpearl, where modern architecture seamlessly blends with the beauty of nature. At Vinpearl, you will not only enjoy top-notch facilities but also a diverse range of culinary experiences.

Experience the epitome of entertainment with VinWonders

Experience the epitome of entertainment with VinWonders

>>> Book tickets to VinWonders Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Nam Hoi An, VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium, and VinWonders Hanoi to make the most of your experience!

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