The 23 BEST Filipino Desserts
Many delicious Filipino desserts are enjoyed throughout the country. Desserts in various regions in the archipelago depends on what fruit or crop is abundant in the area. Some of the most popular include:
Halo-halo is probably the most popular Filipino desserts you can find in any Filipino restaurant. The word Halo-halo translates to “mix-mix” in English. It is a dessert made with shaved ice mixed with various ingredients such as sweetened beans, fruits, jellies, and ice cream. It’s then topped with evaporated milk and sometimes a scoop of ube (purple yam) ice cream.
The ingredients and toppings can vary depending on the region or place you order them. Some popular ingredients are red bean, mung bean, sweet corn, sago, langka, nata de coco, and Leche flan.
Halo-halo is a popular dessert in the Philippines, particularly during hot weather. It’s a refreshing and satisfying dessert that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a perfect dessert after a heavy meal and a great way to cool down during a hot day. It’s also a very colorful and visually appealing dessert.
Puto is a traditional Filipino steamed rice cake often served as a dessert or snack. It is made from a mixture of glutinous rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk and is typically flavored with vanilla or pandan leaves. The mixture is poured into small molds, then steamed until cooked through. Puto can also be flavored with other ingredients, such as ube (purple yam) or cheese.
Puto is often eaten on its own, but it can also be paired with other dishes, such as dinuguan (pork blood stew), and eaten as a side. It’s also popularly served with sweet coconut cream or grated cheese on top. Puto is a versatile and beloved dessert that can be enjoyed in many different ways.
This creamy custard is a classic Filipino Dessert made with eggs, milk, and sugar, similar to crème caramel. It is similar to the Spanish flan and French crème caramel.
A dessert made with young coconut meat, pandan leaves, and sweetened cream.
A sweet, deep-fried roll made of thinly sliced ripe plantains, sometimes with a jackfruit filling, and coated in caramelized brown sugar.
A sweet purple yam jam is often used as a filling or topping for desserts like cakes, pastries, and halo-halo.
A sweet, steamed glutinous rice cake made with lye water, brown sugar, and rice flour.
A traditional Filipino rice cake made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. It is also a popular snack during the Christmas season in the Philippines.
A layered glutinous rice cake made with purple yam, coconut milk, and sugar.
A layered dessert made with graham crackers, cream, and ripe mangoes.
Kakanin is a general term for desserts made from glutinous rice, such as Biko (sticky rice cake), suman (glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves), and kutsinta (steamed rice cake).
A sweet dessert made of soft tofu, arnibal (syrup made of caramelized brown sugar), and sago (small tapioca pearls), This can also be consumed for breakfast or snacks.
Fried banana skewered on bamboo sticks, coated in caramelized brown sugar.
Also called budin in the City of Tayabas. This traditional Filipino dessert is made from grated cassava, coconut milk, sugar, and egg.
Maja Blanca is a traditional Filipino dessert made from coconut milk, cornstarch, and sugar. It is similar to a custard and has a thick, creamy texture. The dessert is typically flavored with vanilla, but it can also be flavored with other ingredients, such as pandan leaves or ube (purple yam), to give it a different color and taste. The dessert is usually garnished with latik (coconut curds) on top before serving.
Maja Blanca is a popular dessert in the Philippines and is often served during special occasions and holidays. It’s a sweet and creamy dessert that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also a gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly alternative. Maja Blanca is easy to make at home, the ingredients are readily available, and the process is relatively straightforward.
Yema is a traditional Filipino sweet made from condensed milk, egg yolks, and butter. It is similar to the Spanish and Latin American sweet called “cajeta” or “dulce de leche”. The mixture is cooked over low heat and continuously stirred until it thickens and becomes a caramel-like consistency. It can be served as a dessert or as a sweet treat.
Yema is often shaped into small balls wrapped in cellophane or banana leaves. It can also be used as a filling for cakes and pastries. It is a very popular sweet in the Philippines and can be found in most Filipino sweet shops or bakeries. The sweet, creamy, and rich flavor of Yema is a perfect balance of sweet and salty. It’s a great snack to enjoy with coffee or tea.
Buko salad is a popular Filipino dessert made from young coconut meat, also known as “buko” in Filipino. The salad is made by mixing shredded young coconut meat with a sweet mixture of milk, cream, and condensed milk. The mixture is then chilled and garnished with sweetened cream, nata de coco (coconut gel), and a fruit cocktail. Some variations of Buko salad include adding small tapioca pearls (sago) and/or sweetened jackfruit (langka) to the mixture.
Buko salad is a refreshing and sweet dessert that is perfect for hot weather. Combining creamy coconut and sweet fruit is a great way to cool down and refresh the palate. It is also commonly served in special occasions and parties, as it is easy to make in large quantities. Buko salad is also a gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly alternative.
Pastillas is a traditional Filipino sweet made from carabao’s milk (Filipino native cattle) and sugar, it is also known as “pastillas de leche” or “pastillas de carabao”. The sweet is made by boiling the carabao’s milk until it thickens and then rolling it into small balls. It is then coated with sugar before it is packaged and sold. The texture of the pastillas is smooth and creamy, it has a sweet milky taste and is a perfect balance of sweetness.
Pastillas are a popular sweet treat in the Philippines, it is often found in local sweet shops or bakeries. It’s a popular pasalubong (gift) for friends and family, especially for those who come from the provinces where carabao’s milk is abundant. In some places, Pastillas de Leche is also used as a filling for other desserts like cakes and pastries. It’s a delicious and traditional sweet that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Pichi-pichi is a traditional Filipino dessert made from grated cassava (yucca root), sugar, and coconut milk. It is usually shaped into small balls and steamed until cooked through. The texture is typically chewy and can be served with various toppings such as grated coconut or latik (coconut curds).
Pichi-pichi is a sweet and chewy dessert popular in the Philippines, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, where cassava is widely grown. It’s a traditional and popular dessert often served during special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. Pichi-pichi can be flavored with different ingredients, such as cheese or ube (purple yam), to give it a different taste and color. It’s a gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly alternative.
Polvoron is a traditional Filipino shortbread cookie made from toasted flour, powdered milk, and sugar. It is usually shaped into small balls and wrapped in cellophane or wax paper. Some variations of polvoron include added ingredients like chopped nuts, chocolate, or ube (purple yam) to give it a different flavor and texture.
Polvoron is a popular Filipino sweet treat, often found in local sweet shops or bakeries. It’s a crumbly buttery cookie that melts in your mouth; it’s a sweet and creamy treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or a snack. It’s also popularly given as gifts or pasalubong, especially during the Christmas season. Polvoron is easy to make at home and can be a fun activity with family and friends; it is also a great way to use up any leftover powdered milk.
Suman is a traditional Filipino rice cake made from glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves and steamed until cooked through. It is sweetened with sugar and sometimes flavored with coconut milk or pandan leaves. It can be served plain or with a sweet dip made from coconut milk and brown sugar.
Suman is a popular dessert in the Philippines, and it is often served as a snack or dessert. It’s a traditional and beloved delicacy enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s also a perfect companion for a cup of coffee or tea and a popular pasalubong (gift) for friends and family. Suman can be made in various ways; it can be steamed, fried, or even grilled. Some regions also have their own version of suman, which is unique to their area.
Puto bumbong is a traditional Filipino dessert made from glutinous purple rice, which is ground into a fine powder and mixed with sugar and other ingredients such as coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. It is then steamed in bamboo tubes, called “bumbong” in Tagalog, which gives it its name. Puto bumbong is usually served with butter, shredded coconut meat, and a sweet syrup from sugar and vanilla.
Puto bumbong is a popular dessert in the Philippines, especially during Christmas and religious festivals. It’s a traditional and beloved delicacy enjoyed by people of all ages. It is typically found in street vendors or local eateries and is often served with hot drinks like cocoa or coffee, making it a perfect dessert for the holiday season.
Sans Rival is a traditional Filipino dessert made from layers of meringue wafers, alternated with a buttercream filling made of butter, condensed milk, and cream. The dessert is typically flavored with vanilla, but it can also be flavored with other ingredients such as nuts, chocolate, or ube (purple yam). The dessert is usually garnished with chopped nuts on top before serving.
Sans Rival is a popular dessert in the Philippines and is often served during special occasions and holidays. It’s a sweet, rich, and creamy dessert that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The name “Sans Rival” means “without rival” in French, which reflects the dessert’s rich and indulgent taste. It’s a perfect dessert to be served after a heavy meal. The recipe for Sans Rival is quite complex, it’s a delicate and time-consuming dessert to make, but the result is worth it.
These are just a few examples of the many delicious and diverse desserts that can be found in the Philippines. Each region in the Philippines has its own traditional dessert as well. Most of these desserts are available in various provinces, but some are prepared differently, and the name may also vary.
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