Would love to bring Filipino flavors into your kitchen? Make these delicious Filipino desserts!
Historically, Filipino cuisine has been known as one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Thanks to the country’s history, there are so many influences that it’s hard to trace them back.
But what’s emerged from all these influences is a cuisine you can identify on sight: a rich, unique, flavorful, and utterly delicious variety of dishes singular to the Philippines.
That translates over to their desserts as well. Known for their lusciousness and unique main ingredient choices, Filipino desserts are some of the best in the world to satisfy your sweet tooth.
We’ll be cycling through twenty-seven of the region’s best recipes in this list.
What is the Most Popular Dessert in the Philippines?
It’s hard to say which dessert is the most popular, but there is one dessert that boasts a particularly delicious reputation in the Philippines: puto.
The small steamed rice cake is made with fermented white rice and coconut milk lends them a rich yet mellow taste. They’re so versatile and often used in savory and sweet dishes in Filipino cooking.
The texture of these Filipino recipes and their versatility make them a super popular Filipino dessert choice. Whether you want cheese puto, ube puto, or coconut puto, there’s something out there for you.
Now that we have one of the most popular desserts out of the way let’s dive into a Filipino specialty: pastries. In the Philippines, pastries aren’t just food; these sweet treats are a way of life.
Residents will often share pastries with the ones they love, bringing them home after traveling (pasalubong) or simply to enjoy as a family after one of your favorite adobo recipes. So, it makes sense to begin our journey here.
1. Banana Turon
If you love banana fritters, then you’ll love banana turon. This delicious recipe for little pastries is great for an afternoon snack or tea time. They’re small, flaky, and bursting with a creamy sweetness.
The secret to these incredible pastries is soaking the saba bananas in a ‘sugar stock’ for around ten minutes. This softens the bananas and adds more sweetness, giving you more bang for your buck.
Check out more banana desserts here!
2. Coconut Pie
Think of the coconut pie as the Philippines’ answer to an apple pie. It’s comforting, warm, and embodies everything there is to love about Filipino pastry.
Thick slices of delicious coconut are encased in a warm pastry shell, filled to the brim with a silky cream filling. Each bite is like a little piece of heaven. Trust me; this is an authentic recipe you want to try.
3. Pan De Coco
Pan de Coco – or ‘coconut bread’ – is like the softest dinner roll you’ve ever had in your life, but with the bonus of coconut. It’s a great dessert or snack to whip out at picnics, potlucks, and special occasions.
These little buns are super simple to make and store making them great to enjoy the next day. Plus, the best thing is they’re a total crowd-pleaser. Eat them just as they are, or serve them with some of your favorite spreads to keep the whole family happy!
4. Spanish Bread
Speaking of delicious bread, this Filipino Spanish bread recipe is another one to reach for on warm summer days. It’s light, sweet, and flaky, like the best French croissants.
They’re usually served as an afternoon snack in the Philippines, but you can have these anytime of the day. I highly recommend trying them out for your next brunch paired with the most popular Filipino dishes; they’re perfect with a cup of tea and fresh fruits.
5. Kamote Turon
Next up, we have another turon recipe. This time, we’re breaking out the sweet potatoes! You may not be used to this root vegetable in desserts, but trust me, it’s a winner and are perfect to enjoy after your favorite Filipino chicken recipes.
The sweet and starchy potatoes blend with pineapple juice, ube powder, and wrappers to create a soft-yet-crunchy delight. They’re coated in a sticky flavorful sauce to make them an even more irresistible Filipino food!
6. Ube Pandesal with Cheese
Ube is a purple yam that’s super common as a traditional ingredient in the Philippines, so it turns up regularly as one of the main ingredients in Filipino desserts. In this case, it’s being used to put a twist on a classic Filipino breakfast recipe.
Pandesal is a breakfast bread, but you can enjoy it anytime, including dessert time! These buns look amazing, so they’re great for impressing the neighbors or your coworkers.
7. Sugar Donuts
Who doesn’t love a good donut? This recipe celebrates the donut done Filipino-style, using buttermilk to give the dough a distinct yet gentle tang with just a handful of ingredients and the flavors of the Philippines.
These sugar donuts are super easy to make just heat oil over medium-high heat and toss in the dough. That’s why it’s a great recipe to keep in your back pocket. Next time, whip up everyone’s favorite dessert and impress the heck out of your guests!
Chiffon cakes are one of the most delicious cakes out there. They have a light, delicate crumb and a golden crust, and every bite practically melts in the mouth. This is a Filipino take on this tasty treat.
It requires no fancy frostings or pans. Just whip out your loaf tin and a cheese grater because that’s all you’ll need to finish this cake. It’s a unique and delicious choice for your next dessert.
9. Buko Pie
We’ve already touched on coconut pie on this list, so this is another take that allows you to experiment with different methods for this delicious dessert.
The key to nailing this pie is using a young coconut. They’re a little harder to work with in the cooking process, but they have the right apple-like texture to make the pie a total success.
10. Ube Pianono
Ube Pianono is a visually striking and utterly delicious Filipino dessert you can make with simple ingredients. It’s a swiss-roll style cake with a gorgeous purple color that will easily stand out on any table.
Plus, the delicious creamy center and soft, slightly-earthy cake is a luscious combination that may as well be the national dish of the Philippines. Simple to make and impressive to look at, this is the ultimate birthday party dessert.
11. Ensaymada Bread Rolls
Finally, we have an iconic Filipino pastry dish that’s as easy to make as it is delicious. These bread rolls are soft and sweet, requiring very little equipment.
You can think of these as miniature brioche rolls. They use an enriched dough recipe with some additional steps to make the dough even more buttery, so each bite is warm and rich.
Serve these up as the conclusion to your next brunch, take them on a picnic, or cap off a dinner party with a platter of these rolls. The combination of sweet and savory is out of this world!
Easy Filipino Desserts
Sometimes, the thing that makes the difference with a dessert is how easy it was to make. Low-hassle desserts deliver on all the flavor with none of the stress.
Filipino cuisine is chock full of great recipes that fit the bill. Let’s dive into just a few of them.
12. Ube Cheesecake Bars
Give a classic Filipino dessert a modern twist with these delicious ube cheesecake bars. These visually stunning bars are an easy dish perfect for sending along to potlucks, picnics, and school shared lunches.
The crust is a classic Graham-cracker and butter blend, while the filling is the perfect meld of earthy ube and luscious cream cheese.
Head to your local Asian grocery stores to pick up some ube jam or purple yam jam; it’s worth it to satisfy your sugar craving!
13. Cassava Cake
Cassava is another root vegetable that Filipino cuisine has turned on its head, using it to make delicious desserts, not just savory dishes. This recipe incorporates so many luscious flavors.
Cheese, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and the keystone cassava combine to create a moist cake.
The icing on the cake (see what I did there?) is the unbeatable coconut caramel custard topping. Roasted in the oven, the sugar caramelizes into little pockets of dark, addictive sweetness.
14. Ube Cookies
Think of traditional butter cookies. Their soft, crumbly texture, rich, buttery flavor. Their incredible aroma…
Now, add a touch of light earthiness from the favored Filipino ingredient, ube powder. The result is a vibrant purple butter cookie that stands out in appearance and flavor for the first time!
These are great as a last-minute addition to your dessert table, as they don’t take long to make. Plus, they look amazing, so they’re sure to draw a lot of positive attention.
Check more low-calorie cookie recipes here.
15. Banana Lumpia
Banana lumpia is another term for banana turon, the classic pastry we encountered a few spaces ago in this list. This is another take that uses a dark, delicious syrup to add an irresistible sweetness.
The key to excellent turon is learning what makes your signature recipe unique and a large skillet or large dutch oven over medium heat —a good way to enjoy it is to experiment with changing the sugar stock, flavored syrup, and wrapper to create your take.
Are you looking for a budget-friendly snack with low cooking time that tastes as good as it seems? Bananacues are sticks of plantains coated in brown sugar and fried in olive oil, creating a lovely, sticky Filipino popular street food often served by street vendors.
While we might not be walking the streets of the Philippines right now, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy this classic dessert comfort food at home. They’re perfect for quick and easy BBQ Filipino dessert recipes with basic ingredients to enjoy after delicious Filipino chicken recipes!
This is another take on taisan, the Filipino chiffon cake that combines sweet and savory tastes effortlessly. The light consistency and delicate crumb make it a perfect brunch or picnic addition.
Try this take on a taisan for a mellow, mildly coconut-y loaf that will knock your guests’ socks off. It only takes fifteen minutes of hands-on time to prepare, and the interplay of flavors is divine.
Love coconuts? Check out these coconut flour muffins!
Rice and rice flour are two trendy ingredients in the Philippines. This gives rise to amazing desserts like this palitaw. It’s a sweet, sticky rice cake with notes of coconut and sesame.
You can use the rice dough base to create a palitaw flavored with anything you like. While the coconut and sesame combination is a classic, experiment with other flavors to find the best for you!
Check out another coconut dessert – these coconut macaroons are delicious.
19. Ube White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie? Put a regional twist on an old classic with these incredible ube white chocolate chip cookies. They’re cheap, quick, easy, and of course, delicious.
My favorite part about these cookies (apart from how delicious they are) is their fantastic look! The white chocolate chips stand out from the purple cookie, giving them an irresistible appearance.
Send these out for your kid’s next shared school lunch, take a batch to a picnic, or even send it along as a gift. The possibilities are endless.
20. Ube Crinkle Cookies
Speaking of cookies, these ube crinkle cookies are insanely cool. Each cookie’s purple and cracked appearance makes you feel like you’re eating some sort of forbidden gem… which tastes fantastic.
If you’re looking for a cookie recipe that will shock and delight the recipient, you’ve found it. Despite how great they look, these cookies aren’t complicated to make.
Their mellow, slightly earthy flavor perfectly contrasts the sugar glaze. You won’t be able to stop eating them once you start!
21. Leche Flan
You can’t go past a Leche Flan if we’re talking dangerous foods. This dish has Spanish roots, but the Filipino variation has a richer taste thanks to an abundance of egg yolks.
Think of this dish like a Filipino crème caramel, only larger, richer, and more straightforward. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not!
Make sure to give yourself ample time to prepare this dessert. It needs to be appropriately set in the refrigerator and come to room temperature before serving, which can easily take a few hours.
22. Ube Halaya
If you’re looking for a super impressive and vibrant dinner party dessert, look no further. Ube halaya is your answer. This deep purple pudding has all the makings of the perfect dessert.
It’s sweet, creamy, and sweet without trending into sickening territory. Thanks to the ube’s earthiness, each bite is balanced enough to keep you and your guests coming back for more.
23. Cassava Cake
Cassava bibingka (or ‘cassava cake’) is a deliciously moist and creamy dessert slice that promises earthy coconut flavor in every bite. Fresh cassava root keeps the dish refreshing yet satisfying.
This is a great place to start if you’re looking to branch into Filipino desserts. It uses many of the core elements of Filipino baking, plus it’s super easy to pull together for beginners.
If you go to the Philippines, it is almost guaranteed that you will eat rice at some point on your journey. It’s a staple of the cuisine, appearing in savory and sweet dishes across the board.
In this case, glutinous rice pairs with brown sugar and coconut milk to create a sweet and sticky crowd-pleasing dessert.
This is straightforward, makes a ton of dessert at once, and will effortlessly please everyone’s taste buds. It’s the perfect dessert for your next family gathering.
25. Ube Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches translates to ‘three milks,’ making the cake so rich, sweet, and luxurious. This Filipino ube version incorporates the vegetable’s signature earthiness and purple hue.
The result is a stunning dessert that will happily be the centerpiece of any dinner party or birthday. While it may seem intimidating, this recipe is totally worth the time and effort spent on it.
In the Philippines, there’s a time of day called ‘merienda.’ It’s all about taking a moment to pause and enjoy a snack, and taho features strongly in the dessert line-up.
It’s essentially a cup of silken tofu layered with a delicious fruit and sugar syrup, stirred with some sago pearls. The result is a creamy, chewy, and well-balanced dessert perfect for warm days.
Our final dessert is yema, a quick and easy recipe for what can be best described as fluffy baked custard balls. These delightful little morsels are coated in a sugar glaze that cracks with each bite.
I’ll warn you; yema are entirely addictive. Prepare these in advance and take them to your next picnic or potluck. They’ll be gone before you sit down, and you’ll have guests clamoring for more!
- 1. Banana Turon
- 2. Coconut Pie
- 3. Pan De Coco
- 4. Spanish Bread
- 5. Kamote Turon
- 6. Ube Pandesal with Cheese
- 7. Sugar Donuts
- 8. Taisan
- 9. Buko Pie
- 10. Ube Pianono
- 11. Ensaymada Bread Rolls
- 12. Ube Cheesecake Bars
- 13. Cassava Cake
- 14. Ube Cookies
- 15. Banana Lumpia
- 16. Bananacue
- 17. Taisan
- 18. Palitaw
- 19. Ube White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 20. Ube Crinkle Cookies
- 21. Leche Flan
- 22. Ube Halaya
- 23. Cassava Cake
- 24. Biko
- 25. Ube Tres Leches Cake
- 26. Taho
- 27. Yema
- Scroll up to get a bunch of easy, yummy, and delicious recipes. Don’t be afraid to get creative with the ingredients, you might discover a flavor you didn’t know you liked.
- Get your shopping list going and make sure you’ve got all the ingredients.
- Get cooking and make your next Filipino Dessert!
Which one of these recipes was your favorite? Let me know in the comment section or on Pinterest!