The best way to describe our favourite CNY snacks is ‘more-ish’, because we hardly ever stop at one piece or type. Diet or no, training or not, many of us, like my husband, are bona fide CNY cookie monsters. His appetite turns monstrous when it comes to these celebratory snacks and I know first-hand that he can, and has, easily demolished two jars of pineapple tarts in about the span of an hour.

My CNY poison is bak kwa. Those sweet, salty, oily, caramel-y slices of meaty goodness are my main weakness. During the festive season, I’ve been known to clear out a kilo of it all on my own. Can’t help it. I go weak in the presence of its umami superpowers.

I know a friend who has a once-a-year kueh bangkit dependence. Those fragrant melt-in-the-mouth coconut-y cookies seem innocuously light, so she thinks nothing of throwing back a handful each time. Speaking of other ‘lightweights’, unless you stop at 1 or 2, there’s nothing lovely about what a tin of love letters can do to your waistline too.

Those who don’t have a sweet tooth aren’t spared, no thanks to other can’t-stop-eating-them snacks like savoury, spicy hae bee hiam rolls. The sweet, salty, spicy combination of flavours is a diet-killer, like really good peanut-ty achar. I should know. I’ve spooned out and scarfed down a whole jar while watching an episode of Friends. That’s both hae bee hiam and achar.

But then it’s once a year and CNY wouldn’t be so huat unless you get to enjoy and indulge. But if you fail to prepare, you’ll also be preparing to fail.  So, whether your Kryptonite be peanut cookies or sugee cake, a quick check with His Style Diary’s CNY snack calorie counter below will help you plan your next workout well, especially after an attack of the munchies.

Pineapple Tarts

pineapple tarts

A piece of pineapple tart is about 80 calories, depending on the type of pastry and the source of the pineapple filling (full fruit or just jam). Assuming there are 24 pieces in a jar, polishing off the entire bottle means you’ll need to burn a whopping 1,920 calories.


Kueh Bangkit


Per piece is 23 calories. They’re deceptively light, but that also means you tend to eat more, so just keep in mind that 10 tiny pieces will add up to about 230 calories.


Love Letters


These delightful rolls pack about 110 calories each. It’s tempting to grab a stack or a fistful of them, but be sure to work out the sums pre-workout.


Hae Bee Hiam Rolls

hbh rolls

They’re so mini, they can’t be that high in calorie, right? Wrong. Each tiny poh piah is a not-too-shabby 22 calories. Because they’re sweet, salty, spicy, has both protein and carb, some of us make a meal out of it. Consider skipping one (meal) and spending it exercising if you do.


Kueh Lapis


This premium snack is a real labour of love to make, but the really good ones are every person’s Achilles Heel. It doesn’t help that they’re great with coffee. With one sliver at 160 calories (it’s egg yolks galore), it’s just as well that the home bakers I know don’t make them in very huge trays. Phew.


Kueh Bahulu


As a kid, I absolutely loved these sugary sponge balls. Happy to report that I’ve outgrown them. If you haven’t, take note that each sweet orb is no less than 40 calories. If you don’t want to look rotund like a kueh bahulu, better bounce right into the gym before you decide to have a go at some.


Nian Gao


Tiam Kueh. Tee Ker. Sweet sticky cake. Call it what you like, prepare it how you may – battered, deep-fried, with or without a slice of yam in the middle, it’s awesome. Equally awesome is its calorie count. Per average serving (about the size of a woman’s palm) is close to 500 calories, so eat it sparingly.


Bak Kwa

bak kwa

Nearly 200 calories per slice, and nobody stops at just one, which is already rich enough. While writing this, I’d wolfed down about 3 slices, not counting the 2 I had with lunch. That’s a scary 1,000 calories, almost half my entire daily calorie intake!