By Madellaine Ortea 2021-01-07

5 Filipino Snacks When You Need A Sweet Fix

It's a common Filipino memory when the time arrives at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, you get yourself a small meal of delicacies. It's meryenda time for the Filipinos. Most people just eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few snacks breaks in between. But Filipinos have an almost dedicated time to eat just about whatever they want.

A pattern can be found in the ingredients of Filipino snacks. Majority of the recipes call for coconut milk, glutinous rice flour, root crops and local fruits. This is because the Philippines is abundant in coconuts, rice and other tropical crops. It's the base recipe of the common and traditional snacks called kakanin. Here are some of the top 5 Filipino snacks to make when you're craving for something sweet


Turon Recipe (Banana Lumpia with Caramel)

Fried food is one of the trademark Filipino snacks. Turon features a saging saba coated in brown sugar and wrapped in a lumpia wrapper, which is then fried in more brown sugar and served hot. Langka or jackfruit can also be added for enhanced flavor.


  • 8 pcs saging saba
  • 1 cup jackfruit, sliced (optional)
  • 16 pcs lumpia wrapper
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Oil for frying


  1. Slice the banana in half, lengthwise.
  2. Spread sugar onto a shallow bowl and coat each banana in sugar completely.
  3. Place one slice in each lumpia wrapper with a small handful of jackfruits. Fold and roll.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and add the remaining sugar.
  5. Fry the wrapped bananas in low to medium heat until the wrapper turns golden brown and coated with sugar.
  6. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil. Serve hot.


Buchi – Filipino Sticky Rice Sesame Ball – Recipes by Lucelle

This is another popular fried snack in the Philippines. Originally from China called, jian dui, this dish has been incorporated into Filipino cuisine and grew many variations. It's a chewy ball made from glutinous rice flour coated with sesame seeds that is fried until golden. The traditional filling is made from red beans, but chocolate and custard are other popular fillings that can be used.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 cup red bean paste
  • 1/3 cup sesame seed
  • Oil for frying


  1. In a saucepan, boil water over medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.
  2. In a bowl, put the flour and make a well in the center. Slowly pour the hot water-sugar mixture and stir to cook the flour.
  3. When a dough forms, knead for 10 minutes or until dough becomes smooth. If the dough is too dry or sticky, add small increments of water or flour accordingly. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough into uniform portions and roll into 2-inch sized balls until all the dough is used up. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying.
  5. Create an indent in the center of the ball and flatten it slightly to add filling.
  6. Place one tablespoon of red bean paste into each ball and close the opening by pinching the edges together.
  7. Roll again to smoothen the ball.
  8. Brush the ball with a bit of water and coat it in sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining balls.
  9. Heat enough oil in a pan to submerge the balls in. Place a few balls at a time and fry for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Keep turning the balls for an even browning.
  10. Place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Let cool and serve.


Maja Blanca | Kanto Grill Filipino Restaurant

This dish has its origins in Spanish cuisine, called manjar blanco. Instead of the Spanish version that uses regular cow's milk or almond milk, the Filipino adaptation uses coconut milk with a cornstarch mixture that is boiled down to a thick consistency. When cooled, it solidifies and holds its shape. Common add-ins are corn with either grated cheese or latik (coconut cream curds).

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can/14 ounces condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup latik (optional)


  1. Boil coconut milk in a pot over medium to low heat. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add sugar, condensed milk, and corn. Stir until well distributed. Let simmer for 5-8 minutes. 
  3. Combine cornstarch with evaporated milk and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  4. Slowly pour the milk and cornstarch mixture into the pot while constantly stirring.
  5. Cook the mixture until it thickens. Remember it will further solidify when off the heat.
  6. Immediately transfer the mixture into a tray and smoothen the top with a spatula.
  7. Let it cool for 5 minutes then transfer to the fridge to cool for 1 hour.
  8. Top with some latik and cut into large squares. 
  9. Serve cold and enjoy!



Puto Cheese Recipe - Soft and fluffy, made from scratch using flour.

Puto is the trademark Filipino snack. You can usually see a bilao lined with banana leaves plating the puto, sometimes in a colorful array. It is a steamed rice cake, traditionally made using fermented rice dough (galapong) but modern recipes call for all-purpose flour and can taste just as good.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 36 pieces cheese, sliced


  1. Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the water, milk, egg, and oil in another bowl. 
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients. Slowly mix just enough to combine all ingredients.
  4. Spoon mixture into muffin molds until it's 3/4 full. Steam for 10 minutes 
  5. Place one slice of cheese in each puto and steam for another 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from steamer and let cool before removing from the molds. Plate and serve.



Simple Ube Halaya Recipe - Panlasang Pinoy

This dish is notorious for its iconic purple hue as well as its long cooking time and arm workout. Ube is made from purple yam dissolved in coconut milk and sugar that is continuously boiled and mixed until it becomes a thick mixture. This dish is usually served at Christmas in large amounts.


  • 2 kilos purple yam, skinned and cut into large cubes
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 1 can/ 14 ounces condensed milk
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup grated cheese (optional) 


  1. In a large pot, boil purple yam for 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Grate purple yam or process into a smooth paste. 
  3. Boil coconut milk in a large pot over medium heat.
  4. Add condensed and sugar. Mix until sugar has dissolved. 
  5. Add the purple yam in small increments. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the vanilla and salt and mix again.
  7. Continuously stir the mixture, making sure to scrape the bottom to avoid burning. Continue for 45 minutes to an hour.
  8. When the ube becomes thick, turn off the heat and add the butter. Mix until butter is melted.
  9. Transfer the ube to a container brushed with butter. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to fridge to cool for 2 hours.
  10. Portion ube into smaller servings and add grated cheese on top. Serve cold.

Similar recipes can be found in Kawaling Pinoy,,  Panlasang Pinoy. Ingredients for each recipe can be found in My Tindahan.


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