Sapin Sapin Recipe

Sapin Sapin means “layered” and this Filipino dessert is distinguishable from others because of its colorful layers of glutinous rice topped with toasted desiccated coconuts. It is made out of glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, flavoring and food coloring. The usual colors of sapin sapin are purple, yellow or orange and white. Traditionally, the purple layer is mixed with ube halaya or ube jam, the yellow or orange layer is mixed with langka (jackfruit) or corn, and the white layer is plain.

I made Sapin Sapin for our Media Noche (New Year’s Eve) dinner. My first daughter loves this Filipino dessert and especially obsessed eating the latik (toasted desiccated coconuts) which I made too.

As Filipinos, we serve sticky desserts for 2 reasons. We believe that the stickiness of the dessert represents the closeness of the family. The other version is also anchored to its stickiness which like a magnet will attract good fortune and stay with a person. But aside from all those superstitions, let’s not forget that we serve Sapin Sapin or other sticky dessert in special occasions or simply for merienda (snacks), because of its deliciousness and sweetness.

I’ve tried making Sapin Sapin a few years back, please check it out too. It only has 3 layers which is purple, orange and white. Today, I’m going to make 4 layers (purple, yellow, white and red).

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and please let me know your feedback. Thanks!



2 cups glutinous rice flour
1 pack coconut milk (500 ml)
1 can condensed milk
3/4 cup white sugar
coconut oil
food coloring (purple, yellow, red)

For the LATIK:

1 pack coconut milk (500 ml)


1. In a bowl, mix glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, condensed milk and white sugar. Keep mixing until fully incorporated.
2. Prepare 4 separate bowls, divide the mixture equally into 4 bowls. In this recipe, I put 2 1/2 ladle into each bowl.
3. Now, you have to add in the food coloring. To make purple, add in purple food coloring and ube extract (you may also add ube halaya or jam). To make yellow or orange, add in yellow or orange food coloring (you can add in langka or corn if you desire), To make red, just add in red food coloring until you’re happy with the color. And you can leave white as is.
4. Spray or brush an 8 inch round pan (or any baking pan you desire) to avoid the Sapin Sapin to stick to it.
5. Prepare your steamer and turn the heat into medium high. Put red mixture into the pan first. Cook for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Add the second layer which is the white mixture, cook for 15 minutes again or until cooked. Next, put in the yellow mixture, cook for another 15 minutes or until it’s cooked. Lastly, add in the purple layer and cook for 15 minutes or until fully cooked.


1. Now, let’s cook latik (toasted desiccated coconuts). Pour coconut milk into a non-stick pan or saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Simmer over low heat until the milk reduces to thick cream, about an hour. Stir frequently.
3. Continue cooking and stirring until the cream separates into coconut oil and latik.
4. Turn the heat off as soon as the crumbs turn a deep caramel brown color.
5. Drain the coconut oil, which can be used for sautéing, baking and for hair treatment.
6. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a month.
7. Serve and share with family and friends!

happy cooking,


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