Colorful Filipino Sapin-Sapin sticky-rice cake

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  December 23, 2020

3 easy recipes anyone can make...

All the tips you'll need to get started in Japanese cooking with our first email the FREE Japanese with ease quick-start recipe guide

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Sapin-Sapin is a colorful Filipino Food made of glutinous rice. It is under the classification of sticky rice cake. It attracts people here and there, first, because of its colors.

The usual color of this rice cake is a combination of violet, red, and yellow or a combination of violet, red, and white.

It is so colorful that aside from its sweetness, the color also makes the dish. The word “Sapin-Sapin” came from the Tagalog ‘Sapin’ which means ‘blanket’.

Since there are many layers to this sticky rice cake, Sapin-Sapin became its name. Sapin-Sapin recipe is made of rice flour, coconut milk, water, sugar, food coloring, and coconut flakes.

Sapin-Sapin Recipe

Favorite Asian Recipes video

Sapin-Sapin Recipe Variation

There are many versions of this sticky cake when it comes to cooking since many provinces have their take on this sweet delicacy.

One of the common is to prepare each layer with two different flavors; the Violet with Ube Flavor and the yellow with Yellow Corn Flavor and the last one is a plain flavor.

Most Sapin-Sapin Recipes, however, stays true to its form which is a smooth and sticky kind. It has also evolved over the years.

If in the beginning, you will only see this Pinoy sweet delicacy in markets and “Turo-Turo”; today, it is also being served in food courts and even in fancy restaurants.

Of course, those versions are also fancier and the chefs put their touches to the recipe. One of the easiest ways to cook Sapin-Sapin now is the availability of flavorings such as ube.

If in the old days, you need to boil purple yam (ube) and puree corn; today, you only have to use flavorings.

They say too much use of these flavorings can be bad for the health but when using in minimal portions, it’s not too bad. These flavorings also give a distinct taste to the sticky rice cake.

Sapin-Sapin Recipe

Colorful Filipino Sapin-Sapin sticky-rice cake

Joost Nusselder
Sapin-Sapin is a colorful Filipino Food made of glutinous rice. It is under the classification of sticky rice cake. It attracts people here and there, first, because of its colors. The usual color of this rice cake is a combination of violet, red, and yellow or a combination of violet, red, and white.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 10 people
Calories 391 kcal


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • cups white sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • cups condensed milk
  • ½ cup ube purple yam mashed (optional)
  • ½ cup young coconut meat grated or finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup jackfruit finely minced (optional)
  • Food coloring (violet and egg-yellow)
  • Coconut flakes


  • Combine all the first 5 ingredients together and separate them equally into three bowls; bowl A, bowl B, bowl C, respectively.
  • Add and mix jackfruit and egg-yellow food coloring in bowl A. Add and mix young coconut meat in bowl B. Add and mix violet food coloring and ube purple yam in bowl C.
  • Grease baking pan lined with cling wrap then place in a steamer. Pour mixture from bowl A to the baking pan, cover with cheesecloth, and steam for 15 minutes. When firm, pour the second mixture from bowl B on top of the fist layer, steam for 15 minutes. Do the same process with the third mixture in bowl C.
  • When completely firm, set aside your sapin sapin.
  • Toast the coconut flakes on top of the sapin sapin and serve.


  • To make coconut flakes, just the toast desiccated coconut stirring frequently in a pan until golden brown.
  • You can also use latik if coconut flakes is not available. To make a latik, simmer 1 can of coconut milk in a saucepan until it reduces to oil. Solids will form at the top surface and continue to simmer until these solids turns to golden brown. This is the latik.
  • You can use greased banana leaf if cling wrap is not available.


Calories: 391kcal
Keyword Cake, sapin-sapin, Sticky-rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Colorful Filipino Sapin-Sapin sticky-rice cake

History of this delicacy comes from Abra province.

The mountainous part of the country that is home to the Tingguran tribe and where tourists can buy blankets and woven baskets is the place of origin for this sweet recipe.

This sweet treat may be influenced by other countries as well but it is still truly Filipino. Aside from its glorious layers, it also has latik for a topping.

Sapin-Sapin recipe

To make Latik, you need “Kakang Gata” or coconut cream.

The coconut cream must be cooked in a thick pan where it is cooked slowly until its white color becomes golden brown and from being runny, it will become thick and sweet and salty.

Some people like their Sapin-Sapin with no latik but the majority like the one that has some latik because it compliments the taste of the Sapin-Sapin.

Also check out this delicious cheesy Filipino Mamon recipe

Sapin-Sapin cake Slice

Cooking the recipe comes in several stages. The layers must be cooked separately so you also must prepare it in different bowls and pans.

The Latik is also cooked in a different pan so you could say that it will take an ample amount of time before you can enjoy the Sapin-Sapin Recipe but the wait is worth it once you try this sweet and flavorful dish.

Every month new cooking tips in your email?

Japanese recipes, cooking tips and more with the first email our FREE mini-recipe guide "Japanese with ease"


Also read: an easy but delicious Filipino egg pie recipe

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.