10 Most Delicious Filipino Desserts

Simply Delectable Desserts in the Philippines

Bibingka
Bibingka | Source
Leche Flan
Leche Flan | Source

Filipino desserts possibly have something really important to do with the generally sweet nature of most Filipinos.

Notwithstanding typhoons, earthquakes and countless difficulties of living in the Philippines, Filipinos almost always find solace, if not joy, in Filipino desserts.

As sugary as the Filipinos’ character and as rich as their culture, Filipino desserts come in different sizes, colors, and presentations.

They are usually served in the Philippines as the last part of the meal, giving Filipinos a sense of fullness they need to go on working for the rest of the day.

They are also eaten for merienda or the customary snacks eaten in-between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.

Oftentimes, though, they are eaten randomly, satisfying the Filipino indulgence for something simply sinful yet heavenly, sweet yet yummy.

There are plenty of mouthwatering Filipino desserts that it is quite impossible to include them all in just one list. Below, however, are possibly the most delicious Filipino desserts.

1. Leche Flan

Arguably the superstar among the heavenly Filipino desserts is leche flan, a sweet, rich, and luscious Filipino dessert similar to the world renowned crème caramel.

Leche flan is commonly served during special occasions in the Philippines like fiesta or feasts, Pasko or Christmas, and Bagong Taon or New Year.

This Filipino dessert is prepared by mixing and steaming egg yolks, sugar, evaporated milk, and condensed milk in medium-sized oval-shaped aluminum pans called llanera.

As simple as the ingredients seem, cooking up the perfect – smooth in texture, syrupy, chrome yellowish in color – leche flan, however, requires plenty of practice and plain expertise.

2. Halo-Halo

In the ruthless heat of the tropical Philippine weather, Filipinos count on one divine Filipino dessert to keep them cool – halo-halo.

In fact, in the unforgiving summer days in the Philippines in the months of April and May, every other neighborhood street corner is likely to have its own halo-halo stand.

Halo-halo got its name from the word local word halo, which means “mix.”

To make halo-halo, Filipinos mix shaved ice; sugar; varied sweetened fruits like beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit, sweet potato, silky coconut, banana-like plantain, corn, mung beans, and jackfruit; and other ingredients like coconut gelatin, agar-agar gelatin, and tapioca pearls.

The whole concoction is then topped off with leche flan, haleya ube, sorbetes, pounded crushed young rice, and evaporated milk.

Halo-halo is usually served in tall glasses or large bowls.

3. Sorbetes

Popularly peddled in the street of the Philippines is the Filipino dessert sorbetes, the Philippine adaptation of the world-popular ice cream.

Unlike most ice creams, however, sorbetes is made from local coconut milk and not the usual cow’s or animal’s milk.

Sorbetes comes in different flavors – mango, cheese, chocolate, ube or purple yam, and strawberry – and colors – yellow, brown, violet, and pink.

It is served in wafer or sugar cones, cups and even in bread buns.

4. Puto Bumbong and Bibingka

Inescapably linked with the Christmas season are the Filipino desserts bibingka and puto bumbong, which Filipinos feast on after attending the traditional Catholic midnight masses that precede Christmas day.

What makes these Filipino desserts special is that they are loved by people from all walks of life. They are sold as street foods in the Philippines to cater to the common people but also offered as a treat in five-star hotels and high-end restaurants for well-heeled customers.

Bibingka is primarily made of rice flour, coconut milk, and water, which are placed in banana leaf-lined terra cotta containers that are then heated on coals.

Puto bumbong, on the other hand, is steamed glutinous rice – puto – that is cooked in bamboo cylinders – bumbong.

5. Pastillas de Leche and Yema

Lovable, small and dairy Filipino desserts often prepared as candies, yema and pastillas de leche are influences of the Spaniards who stayed in the Philippines for over 300 years.

Yema is custard candy made of condensed milk, egg yolk, and sometimes butter. Its ingredients are simply heated, mixed, and then cooled.

Pastillas de leche, on the other end, is made by boiling milk and sugar together until they are thick. It is then cooled and formed into mini logs by hand before being rolled into sugar.

Both Filipino desserts can be individually packed in paper or cellophane.

6. Ginataan or Guinataan

Made with gata or coconut milk, ginataan refers to various kinds of dessert and viands. Thus, its literal translation in English is “made with coconut milk.”

The most popular among the many kinds of ginataan is ginataang halo-halo, a dessert that is a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, sweet potato, taro, purple yam, plantain, jack fruit and tapioca pearls.

Ginataang halo-halo is best served hot during the Philippines’ rainy season.

7. Mango Float

This frozen Filipino dessert features one of the most popular and well-loved fruits in the Philippines – mango!

Mango float is made by stacking up as many layers of classic graham crackers, thinly sliced mangoes, and condensed milk as possible in a rectangular container.

It is then chilled until it becomes frozen.

8. Ube Halaya

Ube or purple yam grows abundantly throughout the Philippine archipelago and so Filipino try to make use of it as much as possible. They make them into desserts called ube halaya.

Ube halaya is prepared by boiling, peeling, and grating purple yam. The grated meat is then placed in a pan over low heat, continuously mixed with fresh and evaporated milk, and then flavored with sugar.

The resulting texture is sticky and rich, excellent enough to be a favorite dessert.

9. Buko Pie

Buko or coconut is abundantly grown in the Philippines and has served so many uses, one of which is being used as an ingredient for desserts.

A traditional Filipino dessert of baked young coconut pie is buko pie, which is made with coconut meat.

Unlike other pies, buko pie does not have custard fillings or meringue swirls. It, however, uses condensed milk, making it absolutely thick and filling.

10. Sans Rival

A Filipino dessert that literally means “without rival” is sans rival or sansrival, a flavorsome frozen treat that is made of alternate layers of crispy meringue and buttercream and then topped off with cashew nuts.

This Filipino dessert, yummy as it is, can be a bit complicated to prepare and therefore requires some practice to make.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

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Comments 25 comments

jiea vient 3 years ago

hello dear.....im so thankful for this desserts


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

I'm a huge fan of ube - regardless if it's halaya, in hopia or where ever. Have you heard of Juanchito's Bibingka? They make great bibingka. I remember my dad going to a a small shop in front of the Western Police District Office in mmanila just to buy bibingka there.

You've got great sweets selections here! I'm already craving for them! LOL


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@theherbivorehippi Hello! Thanks for visiting my hub. We love sorbetes too :) I think there are easy sorbetes recipes that you can easily follow. BTW, I've long planned to become a vegan but just don't know where to begin. Haven't eaten red meat in years although I eat seafoods a lot :(


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 5 years ago from Holly, MI

Ooooh I love that the Sorbetes is made from local coconut milk! Being a vegan...it's HARD to find desserts, especially on vacation. At least I know what to get if I ever venture there! Looks delicious!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@laral Thank you Laura :)Hope you get the time to try out some of these desserts. Mango float would be the easiest to prepare.


laral profile image

laral 5 years ago from England

Thank you for this hub. I am always curious to the other people traditional recipes and I would love the idea to try some of your ideas in my kitchen. I voted this hub "awesome".


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@mackyi Oh thanks much for visiting my hub! :) Glad you found it salivating, LOL!


mackyi profile image

mackyi 5 years ago from Philadelphia

You make me salivate with all these wonderful dishes...not to mention the shots,they are picturesque! Another great hub!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@LecheFlan_Guest It's very nice of you to share these wonderful tips. Really appreciate the time you took to comment. Many thanks!


LecheFlan_Guest 5 years ago

To Easily separate Egg yolk from the white:

Crack your eggs into a container large enough to contain them And your hand with fingers spread slightly apart (at least).

With CLEAN hands and/or gloves, carefully "pick up" each yolk with a slightly (small enough that the yolk won't pass through) spread out fingers of one hand. Most of the white should drop off, and if need be, you can transfer it to your other hand so you can hold it and further separate them apart. Transfer the yolk to a different container (where you can mix it with all other leche flan ingredients).

Much easier to than trying to separate each egg individually, and less chance of breaking the yolk*.

Egg White can be used as itself for a simple alternative

to regular eggs - that tapsilog doesn't always need the yolk ;)

*Clean egg whites - sans Any yolk, is Very important if you want to make anything that involves meringues.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@2uesday Hi! So right, some people can still indulge on ice cream even if there's no milk or cream :)


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

An amazing selection of interesting desserts, they are very colourful too. The Sorbetes which is made with coconut milk would be a good idea for anyone who is unable to eat dairy products as it is dairy free with no milk or cream in it.


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@kitikits That's something we have to try - baking leche flan! It's obviously a modern technique. Thanks for telling me about it :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@MonetteforJack You're totally right! My grandma said we have to filter the egg yolks and put aside the egg whites. At first, we thought it was such a waste. Imagine a big bowl of egg whites put to waste! But then again, we discovered some dessert recipes that use egg whites alone. So each time we would have leche flan, we would also have another dessert! LOL :D


kitikits profile image

kitikits 5 years ago from Philippines

So true! Separating the egg yolk from the egg white is very tricky and can get a bit messy :D I remember making a different flan using the egg while by putting coffee powder on it. Delish! You should try baking the leche flan instead of steaming it so you can achieve that creamy and even texture.


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 5 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

Kerlyn, I found out that the best Lech Flan is using only egg yolks. Sometimes, I come across that have egg whites in it and they're very heavy. To make it more smoother, use a hand beater. Also, avoid lifting the cover many times to avoid the bubbles. Pour the vanilla in the container and let it settle for 5 mins. before pouring in the flan to give you an even, caramelized texture. Hope this helps :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@kitikits I love leche flan too! Just cannot make the perfect one - smooth and particularly caramelized :(


kitikits profile image

kitikits 5 years ago from Philippines

Leche Flan is my all-time favorite!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@MonetteforJack and @ignugent17 Thank you, thank you! :) Pinoy desserts are really my fave! I especially like mango float :)


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 5 years ago

mouth watering pictures! I will be back to this hub every now and then. Just to look at our delicious desserts. I miss ginataang halo halo. Thanks Kerlynb !


MonetteforJack profile image

MonetteforJack 5 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

I voted up and useful! Am going to make some of it ... just some ;) Your hub made me miss all the good stuff about the Philippines. I haven't been there for 6 straight years. The way you wrote is truly amazing like a Food Style mag writer. Way to go, Kerlynb!!! Awesome!


asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

thanks darling .keep it up!


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ Author

@asmaiftikhar Oh dear, I should have placed a video on how to make mango float. It's so easy to make, cross my heart. You just get a rectangular plastic container (talk about Tupperware), line the bottom with graham crackers (classic, not the flavored graham crackers), then place sliced mango fruit (not puree nor juice) on top of the crackers, then top everything off with condensed milk. You build as many layers as you like or till the rectangular container gets filled. You refrigerate everything for some hours till the float is frozen. There you go, you've got your own home-made mango float! :D


asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

that is a tasty hub.especially the mango flot.plz describe how mango will use in that dish is that is in the form of mango purie.that is a different theme that you touch here.that is an informative and a useful hub.Actually i ask about mango because we are fond of mangoes and i want to prepare this sweet dish.Thanks.voted up!


asmaiftikhar profile image

asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

hello dear that is a very delicious hub.And in this time you touch a different theme not related to language.Mango float is a tasty one but i dont understand one thing what is the process of using mango in this sweet dish.?is this in the farm of pury.mango is called the king of fruits in Pakistan.And Pakistanis are mad about this fruit in summer.And we export this in many countries.Moreover buttermilk served after eating mangoes.

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