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Try this colorful Filipino delicacy, Sapin-Sapin. A dessert that will give you not only one but three flavors that you will surely adore.  Four, if you add the Latik, a yummy toasted coconut curd topping. Layered Sticky rice cake in white, violet and yellow with Latik toppings.


What is Sapin-Sapin

Sapin-Sapin is Filipino steamed dessert that is made of glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and flavoring. Its main distinguishing factor from other ‘kakanin’ or rice delicacies is its multiple layers in varying colors.

Each color represents a different flavor. The word Sapin-Sapin, after all, means layer after layer in Tagalog.

The white represents the base flavor which is the coconut. The purple is for ube (purple yam) and the yellow is for jackfruit. It is also usually sprinkled with Latik, a delicious toasted coconut curd, made from simmering down coconut milk or cream.

Sapin Sapin with 3 colorful layers of Purple yam, Jackfruit and Coconut.

Sapin-Sapin Ingredients

The main ingredients for this delectable and chewy dessert are glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar. Traditionally, natural flavorings are added like jackfruit and ube halaya or purple yam jam.

But the modern-day and most commercially sold Sapin-Sapin tends to use artificial flavor. Most probably for economic reasons.

In this Sapin-Sapin recipe, I used fresh jackfruit and self-made Ube jam. Plus I added some macapuno (coconut meat strings) on my white layer. The result was very tasty and flavor-filled sticky rice cake.

Do not be tempted to add more of the good thing. I am talking about the jackfruit. The amount in the recipe is really enough. Add more and it may overpower the rest of the flavors and might result in a yellow layer that won’t firm up even after steaming for a long time. Trust me on this one.

Sapin-Sapin Ingredients with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and flavors like ube, jackfruit and coconut sport strings.

How to Make Sapin-Sapin

The process of making Sapin-Sapin is really very simple:

  1. Mix glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Divide the mixture equally into three and add flavors to each.
  3. Steam a layer in a greased pan, one at a time, until all three layers are cooked.
  4. Let it cool down and transfer to a serving plate and top with Latik.

This Spain-Spain recipe makes about 12 servings or more. Because it is mainly made of glutinous rice, this dessert is quite filling.

You can also cut the measurements into half using the same size of pan with much thinner layers. This one is prepared in an 8×8-inch pan and the result was about 3-inch high.

How to Make Sapin Sapin with macapuno, ube and langka flavors.

Other Filipino desserts and delicacies to try

  • Cassava Cake – made from cassava roots (yuca) that has a creamy custard topping or try a simple Cassava Suman
  • Tibok Tibok or Maja Blanca – is both milk pudding
  • Kutsinta – small steamed sticky rice cakes with brown sugar and annatto
  • Pichi Pichi – steamed grated cassava covered in grated coconut
  • Biko – whole glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and brown sugar
  • Espasol is also made from toasted glutinous rice flour and coconut milk

Filipino Sticky Rice Cake with 3 layers, white, violet and yellow.

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Filipino Sticky Rice Cake with 3 layers, white, violet and yellow.
4.75 from 4 votes


Not only one but three flavors to enjoy! Try this Sapin-Sapin, a Filipino dessert made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, sugar, and flavorings.
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: sapin-sapin
Servings: 12
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes



  • 4 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 2 cans (13.5 fl. oz) coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup jackfruit - - chopped finely - see Note 4
  • 1/2 cup macapuno (coconut sport strings) - - see Note 1
  • 1/2 cup ube halaya - - see Note 4
  • 1/4 teaspoon violet liquid food color - - see Note 2
  • 1/4 teaspoon yellow liquid food color - - see Note 2
  • 1 teaspoon pandan flavor - - optional


  • 2 cans (13.5 fl. oz) coconut cream/milk - - see Note 3


  • Make the Latik. Pour contents of coconut cream in cans to a non-stick pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook while stirring from time to time until the oil and curd separate.
    Remove from heat once it becomes light brown. Remember that it will continue to cook and brown while it cools down so remove it from heat early enough or the latik would burn.
  • In a bowl, mix together the glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, and sugar. Keep on stirring until the texture becomes smooth.
  • Divide the mixture into three equal parts and place each in a smaller bowl.
  • Add the macapuno and pandan flavor to one bowl. The ube halaya and violet food color on the other bowl. lastly, the jackfruit and yellow food color to the last bowl.
  • Grease an 8x8-inch round pan that is at least 3-inch high with the coconut oil from the Latik.
  • Pour the yellow mixture and steam for 8 minutes over medium heat. Test with a wooden stick if the top is tacky but no longer runny.
  • Now, pour the purple mixture on top of the white layer and steam again for 8 minutes. Do the same test to see if it is done.
  • Lastly, pour the white mixture on top and this time cook for 12-15 minutes. Insert the wooden stick and if comes out clean, it means it is done.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it cool down completely. Run an oiled knife around the sides of the pan to let it loose. 
  • Place a plate, lightly greased with coconut oil, on top of the pan and turn it over to transfer the Sapin-Sapin.
  • Sprinkle with Latik on top and serve.



Note 1 - I used sweetened Macapuno from the jar. You can also use fresh coconut strings, just make sure to drain them well before adding to the mixture.
Note 2 - I used McCormick liquid food coloring and this is the measurements I used to achieve a nice yellow and violet color.
Note 3 - You may also use freshly grated coconut to make coconut milk instead of using the canned ones. Here is the recipe.
Note 4 - You may also use artificial flavoring by using about 4-5 drops each.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 21mg1%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 0.5mg1%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 4 stars
    Hi Bebs!
    I love your most of your recipes and follow them so thank you much.
    I made this today craving for sapin sapin on a wintery Sunday afternoon. Made 1 & 1/2 of the recipe to come up with an 11 x 2 inch pan size. I followed your recipe but just adjusted to more colour flavouring. I noticed that the batter is too sticky and lacking firmness don’t know if its the coconut milk to glutenous flour ratio. I decreased the sugar but its my personal preference.I also think it can use a bit more coconut cream or milk for much creamier flavour. It taste great though. Thank you.

    1. Hi Maylene, you must be from Australia or New Zealand, if you have winter now. I can only think that it must be the glutinous rice. Like any other rice, some absorbs more liquids than others depending on the type and age.

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe and all my friends love it
    I added a teaspoon on ube flavor and langka flavor to give it an extra richness 🙂

  3. Hi! Is it also possible to bake Sapin-Sapin in the oven if placed in a water bath? At what temperature and how many minutes should each layer be baked in the oven? Also, should it be covered so the water won’t get inside? What about baking it without the water bath? Thanks.

    1. Hi Jane, I have not tried making it in the oven but I think it should work with water bath. Just follow the same instructions and check with a stick to see if a layer is done and not tacky anymore before adding the next later.

  4. 5 stars
    Substituted the sugar with coconut palm sugar, so the mixture was darker and had to adjust the food coloring too. Notwithstanding the darker color, it tasted awesome! Thank you!

  5. Hi. I tried doing this but with 4 cups (640 grams) of flour and 2 cans of coconut milk, it wasn’t a smooth batter. For some reason, it was like really sticky dough.

    1. Hi Carissa, flour and rice flour has different capacity to absorb water and it will not work with flour, it has to be glutinous rice flour.

        1. How big is you can of coconut milk. It should be 400ml each so that is 800ml in total. More than enough for just 4 cups of sticky rice flour.

    1. Hi Jing, it was intentionally omitted as different brands of food colors have different intensity. You just have to start with a small amount and add more until you get the color you like. Note that some food color tends to darken when cooked while others fade.

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