Wajik: Sweet Glutinous Rice Dessert Cake (Vegan)

Wajik is a sweet dessert cake made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and palm sugar. It’s enjoyed throughout the Malay Archipelago, and, in Java, is also served in ceremonies.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Wajik is a traditional confectionery made of glutinous rice, (palm) sugar and coconut milk. It is believed to have originated from Java, but is also popular in other regions and neighboring countries such as Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. 

Wajik is what we call it in Java. Different regions have different names. In Sumatera, wajik is called pulut manis, in Sulawesi it’s called baje or waje, and in Brunei it’s called wajid. Whatever the name, it’s made of the same basic ingredients. 

In Javanese culture, wajik is often a part of the selamatan ceremony. During an official marriage proposal for example, wajik is often brought by the family entourage of the future groom as one of the gifts to the future bride. The sweet and sticky texture of the dish symbolizes a sweet marriage life, one in which the couple will always stick together.

Traditional wajik has a glossy light to deep brown color, depending on the palm sugar. However, people also make it in different colors by using natural or food coloring. In that case, granulated sugar substitutes the palm sugar. Sometimes, additional ingredients such as durian are also added to make flavored wajik.  

Wajik is sweet and flavourful. The aroma from the pandan leaf, along with the coconut and palm sugar, makes it very delicious. The natural oil from the coconut milk coats and shines the grains. It’s a beautiful sticky rice cake with a soft and slightly chewy texture, perfect with coffee or tea. Wajik is also a popular choice to break a fast because of its high content in sugar and carbs. 

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Wajik: Sweet Glutinous Rice Dessert Cake (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Wajik is a sweet dessert cake made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and palm sugar. It’s enjoyed throughout the Malay Archipelago, and, in Java, is also served in ceremonies.


  • 500 gr sticky rice
  • 200 ml hot water
  • 250 gr palm sugar, shaved
  • 50 gr granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • 300 ml water
  • 120 ml coconut milk (instant)
  • ½ tsp cooking oil
  • 18x18 cm baking pan


  1. Wash and soak the sticky rice for 5 hours.
  2. Drain, and then steam for 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the rice to a big bowl, and add the hot water. Mix well.
  4. Put the rice back in the steamer and steam for another 25 minutes over medium flame.
  5. Meanwhile, put the palm sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and 300ml water in a saucepan, and cook it until the mixture dissolves.
  6. Strain the syrup to remove impurities, and transfer it to a cooking pan/non-stick wok.
  7. Add the coconut milk and pandan leaves, and cook it over medium low heat for 15 minutes or the syrup is slightly thickened.
  8. Remove the pandan leaves.
  9. When the sticky rice is done, transfer it to the palm sugar syrup and mix it well.
  10. Cook it for around 8 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  11. Grease the baking pan with the cooking oil evenly.
  12. Transfer the sticky rice to the baking pan.
  13. Gently but firmly press the rice to compress and smooth it evenly using a spatula.
  14. Let it cool and set at least for 4 hours or overnight.
  15. Cut and transfer the dish into a serving plate.


  • Use new and high quality white sticky rice for the best result.
  • Make sure the steamer is already steaming hot when adding the rice.
  • Leftover wajik can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed up in the oven for a few minutes before consuming.

Keywords: sticky rice, indonesian desserts, indonesian kueh, vegetarian desserts, lactose-free

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