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11 Unique Filipino Desserts to Savor On

By | Last Updated: 15th December 2022

The desserts of the Philippines occupy a special place in Filipino cuisines, with rice being the prime ingredient in most of these sweet delights. Read on to know the list of top desserts that the Philippines has to offer.

Filipino Desserts

1.  Halo-Halo – A Popular Filipino Ice Cream Dessert

Halo Halo Popular Filipino Dessert


What is it: A cold and tasty Filipino dessert, having evaporated milk, crushed ice, sweetened beans, pinipig rice (glutinous rice), gulaman (agar), and fruit slices as its main ingredients. A dollop of ice cream added as a garnish enriches its taste further. The invention of this dish dates back to the 1920s or 30s. Presently its popularity spread to America as well as other parts of the world.

What does it taste like: Just like its presentation, which is a fusion of everything, its taste is also a mixed one, milky, creamy, toasty, and nutty. The addition of ice cream enhances its flavor to the fullest.

2. Biko – A Sticky Rice Dessert of Filipino

Biko Filipino Sticky Rice Dessert


What is it:  A mouthwatering rice cake, eaten mostly in festivals or special occasions, prepared from sticky rice or malagkit, brown sugar, as well as coconut milk. It is often referred to as kakanin with kanin in Tagalog, meaning rice. Usually topped with coconut shavings or grounded nuts, biko is sold outside churches in the Philippines post the midnight mass. Traditionally, bamboo trays with banana leaves dipped in coconut oil were used for serving this sweet dish.

What does it taste like: Sweet, sticky, aromatic, and nutty, it tastes the best when served hot.

3. Ube Halaya – A Tasty Purple Dessert of Philippines

Ube Halaya Purple Filipino Food Dessert


What is it: A jam-like dessert, having purple yam as its main ingredient. Ube means yam and halaya translate to jam in Spanish. Toppings on this dessert include grated coconut, cheese, or dollops of butter. Ube halaya also serves as a garnish in pastries as well as other desserts.

What does it taste like: This sweet sensation comes with a creamy texture, with the addition of yam making it all the more crunchy.

4. Turón – Filipino Banana Dessert

Turon Filipino Food Dessert


What is it: Sweet fried rolls stuffed with slices of banana and jackfruit, coated with brown sugar. Fillings include mango, sweet potato, coconut, and cheddar cheese. They are typical street food in Filipino, often sold alongside camot cue (sweet potato fries sold on sticks) and banana cue (banana fries coated with caramelized sugar served on bamboo sticks). Though traditionally saba banana was mostly used in preparing this dish, the standard varieties may also be opted for if the latter is unavailable.

What does it taste like: Soft and crunchy, while the flavor could even be a little cheesy if you use overripe saba. Seasoning it with chocolate sauce or a scoop of ice cream would enhance its richness further.

5. Maja Blanca – A Coconut Milk Dessert for Christmas

Maja Blanca Filipino Desserts with Coconut Milk


What is it: A delicious coconut pudding, mostly served during holidays and festivals, particularly Christmas. Besides coconut milk, the other ingredients include cornstarch and condensed milk. Corn kernels do not form a part of the traditional Maja Blanca. However, they remain in the present version, transforming the name of the dish to Majat Blanca maíz or Maja maíz.

What does it taste like: Having a rich texture, it is creamy though not too sweet. The corn kernels give it a soft, juicy flavor, while the toppings of latik, if at all added (coconut cream), make it crunchy.

6. Mamon- A Delicious Sponge Cake of Philippines

Mamon Philippine Desserts


What is it:A mini chiffon sponge cake having all-purpose flour, baking powder, and vanilla as its main components. Grated cheese and a spoonful of butter serve as garnishes.

What does it taste like: Fluffy, tender, and buttery, often teamed with a cup of coffee.

7. Bibingka – A Traditional Filipino Rice Cake

Dessert in the Philippines


What is it: A rice cake, eaten for breakfast in most households during the Christmas season, having rice flour and coconut milk as its main ingredients. Traditionally, people used a terra cotta pot lined with banana leaves for serving this dish. Some have tried to establish a connection between Bibingka and the Goan dessert Bebinca, mentioning that the Portuguese might have introduced this delicacy in the South East. However, they are two different desserts, the only similarity being that coconut milk is used in the making of both.

What does it taste like: Soft and spongy just as rice pudding, mostly eaten warm or hot.

8. Sapin-Sapin –A Rice -Coconut Dessert

Sapin-Sapin Easy Filipino Dessert


What is it: A layered dessert made with rice and coconut with each layer having a separate ingredient as its flavoring. For instance, the purple layer is made up of ube or sweet potato; the orange or yellow layer has jackfruit while the white layer is devoid of any flavoring. Toppings of latik or toasted coconut shavings serve as garnishes.

What does it taste like: This multi-colored cake has a diverse taste, sweet, crunchy, smooth, soft and nutty, all because of the various ingredients that go into its making.

9. Puto – A Mouth-Watering Steamed Cake

Filipino Dessert Puto


What is it: A steamed rice cake often coupled with savory dishes, it is said to be influenced by the Indian sweet dish putu.

What does it taste like: Soft and moist, just like freshly cooked rice.

10. Pitsi-Pitsî (Pichi Pichi) –A Gelatinous Steamed Dessert

Traditional Pichi Pichi Filipino Dessert


What is it: Often consumed as a mid-afternoon snack, it is a jelly-like dessert made with grated cassava as well as sugar. When steamed, a coating of grated coconut is added to enhance its taste.

What does it taste like: Sticky and mildly sweet, tasting the best when eaten on the same day of its preparation.

11. Buko –Traditional Fruit Salad of Philippines

What is it: A delicious sweet salad having shredded coconut (buko) as its prime ingredient alongside a host of fruits like pineapple and strawberry chunks.

What does it taste like: Often served for birthdays and special occasions, it would be a chewy and sweet fusion, making your mouth water to the fullest.

Buko Traditional Fruit Salad of Philippines


These yummy delicacies of the Philippines would compel you to develop a fondness towards desserts, even if you do not have a sweet tooth.

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