Serabi Kuah – Indonesian pancakes with palm sugar and coconut milk syrup

Serabi Kuah is Indonesian pancakes that you enjoy with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. And you can make them with either plain flour or rice flour. It’s a perfect option for dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes.

A bowl of Indonesian pancakes with brown sugar syrup and coconut milk with spoon and fork

This Serabi Kuah recipe will make fluffy and tasty pancakes drizzled with distinctively delicious palm sugar and coconut milk syrup.

Serabi Kuah

Almost everybody loves pancakes, don’t we? We can tell that from the varieties of pancakes around the globe. 

Though every country may use a different name, it’s all the same thing. 

You can find Crepe in France, Filloas in Spain, Kasik in Turkey, Crespelle in Italy, and many more. 

Now, I’m sharing with you here the Indonesian version of pancakes: Serabi.

There are a few different types of Serabi, and the one I’m posting here is Serabi Kuah. This literally means pancake with syrup. 

Indonesian pancakes with brown sugar and coconut milk syrup, with white napkin, spoon and fork.

And there is a savoury Serabi that uses rice flour and is filled with spiced Oncom. 

Both are originally from West Java.

Unlike British pancakes that you enjoy for breakfast, Indonesians like to have their pancakes for afternoon snacks.

And during the fasting month of Ramadan, this Indonesian pancake with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk is often served for breaking the fast menu. 

Main ingredients for Serabi

We only need 6 items to make this Indonesian pancake:

  1. Flour.
  2. Eggs.
  3. Coconut milk.
  4. Palm sugar.
  5. Pandan leaf.
  6. Salt.

So they’re pretty much the same as the ingredients for English pancakes with only a few differences.

For Serabi, we use coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. And we use palm sugar instead of ordinary granulated sugar.

As for flour, you can either use plain flour/ all-purpose flour or rice flour. If you are on a gluten-free diet, the latter option will be best.

When it comes to sugar, ideally you choose palm sugar/ coconut sugar, Because its flavour is distinctively good. 

But if it’s not convenient for you to get it, you can substitute it with soft dark brown sugar or dark muscovado sugar. 

As for Pandan leaf, I appreciate that you may not have it or be able to obtain it easily. If this is the case, you can omit the leaf and use vanilla extract instead. 

Though I must say that the fragrance will be definitely different. But it’s not the end of the world if you have your Serabi Kuah with vanilla flavour. It will still be tasty. 

A bowl of serabi kuah, the Indonesian pancakes with sugar syrup and coconut milk

Easy way to make Serabi

Like making any other pancakes, this one is straightforward too. 

Just put all the ingredients for pancakes such as flour, eggs, coconut milk, and salt in a blender and give it a minute blitz until you get a smooth batter. 

Or, you can put the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a hand-whisk or hand-held blender to mix and blend them into a smooth mixture.

As for the syrup, you can boil the sugar and coconut milk separately. If you choose this way, put the sugar, a pinch of salt, 100 ml of water, and half of the pandan leaf in a saucepan and boil them until you get a thick sugar syrup. 

Please make sure you stir it every now and then to avoid the sugar crystallising at the side and the bottom of the pan.

Then boil the coconut milk together with a pinch of salt. And the remaining pandan leaf in another saucepan. Boil at low heat and simmer gently until the coconut milk looks shiny. Take care and keep stirring every so often to make sure the milk doesn’t curdle. 

However, if you’re like me who wants to shortcut things and simplify, then you can make sugar syrup mixed with coconut milk.

Just put all the syrup ingredients together and cook it until it’s boiling. Then let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

How to enjoy Indonesian pancakes

Apart from the sugar syrup and coconut milk to go with the pancakes, you can also enjoy them with fresh fruits. Traditionally, Indonesians put some ripe jackfruits. But you can be adventurous by trying your own favourite fruits. 

Another thing you may want to try is putting durian in your sugar syrup. Because that’s what Sumatran people make their sugar syrup. They add durian flesh to the sugar. 

If you wonder, you can get durian at an Asian/ Chinese shop. Here in the UK, the durians are imported from Thailand. 

Just a little warning, durian has a very potent smell that some people may not be keen on. 

Can we freeze Serabi?

Like most food, yes, you can freeze your Serabi. They freeze well for about 2 months.

When you need it, take the pancakes out. And leave them in the refrigerator/ fridge to thaw overnight. Then reheat them by steaming the pancakes. 

You can also reheat the pancakes in the microwave or on a frying pan. If you do these ways, sprinkle a tiny bit of water over the pancakes before reheating. This will prevent them from going dry. 

More Indonesian sweet recipes

I do hope you find the recipe interesting enough that you’re now thinking to try making it. 

If you do so, please share what you think about your Serabi Kuah in the comments below. And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest. To sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to check my other Indonesian sweet recipes that you may love.

Thank you and all the best.

A bowl of Indonesian pancakes with brown sugar syrup and coconut milk with spoon and fork
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5 from 4 votes

Serabi Kuah – Indonesian pancakes with palm sugar and coconut milk syrup

Serabi Kuah is Indonesian pancakes that you enjoy with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. And you can make them with either plain flour or rice flour. It's a perfect option for dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes.
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Sweets & Desserts
Cuisine: Indonesian
Servings: 18 pieces


  • Mixing bowls.
  • Frying pan
  • Slotted spoon


  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons plain flour see the note
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten.
  • 2 ½ cups coconut milk.
  • Pinch of salt.

For the sugar syrup:

  • ½ cup dark muscovado sugar/ coconut palm sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Pandan leaf see the note. Cut in an-inch long pieces.
  • Pinch of salt.


  • In a mixing bowl, put the flour, salt and beaten eggs together and stir well. You can use a hand whisk to thoroughly mix until there is no flour lump in the batter. Or you can use a blender or a handheld blender to mix.
  • Add the coconut milk little by little as you keep whisking until you get a smooth batter. Set aside.
  • Get your syrup ready by boiling the sugar, salt, coconut milk and pandan leaf together. Stir it every now and then. Once the syrup reaches the boiling point, let it simmer for at least 3 minutes before you turn the heat off. Set aside.
  • Heat your non-stick frying pan, and put a ladle of Serabi batter on it. Cook the pancake about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Serve your Indonesian pancakes with the syrup.


  • For a gluten-free option, you can use also rice flour instead of plain flour. 
  • If you use pandan leaf from Thailand, you’ll only need one piece for this recipe. Cut the leaf in half and use one half for the sugar and the other half for the coconut milk. 
  • If pandan leaf is not available, it can be substituted with vanilla extract. For this recipe, one teaspoon of vanilla extract is sufficient.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 3mg


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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