Delicious, flaky Filipino otap recipe & cooking procedure

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  March 13, 2022

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Aside from its famous lechon dish, Cebu is a popular destination for both Filipino and foreign tourists. You want for nothing when it comes to delicacies there, like otap (also spelled utap), which you can buy as “pasalubong” or travel cookies.

It can be bought in souvenir shops, supermarkets, markets, and even by ambulant vendors at the different bus lines.

But you can make these yourself as well, so let’s start making a batch!

Delicious flaky otap recipe
Otap Recipe (Cebu Biscuit)

Delicious, flaky Filipino otap recipe

Joost Nusselder
This otap recipe originated from Cebu and is known in the entire country for the otap’s oblong shape. It's a kind of baked biscuit (cookie) that's brittle and garnished with sugar.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 8 pcs
Calories 640 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening 1/4 for the dough and another 3/4 for the shortening mixture
  • ¼ cup Nutri-oil some extra Nutri-Oil as needed, for oiling the dough and the board
  • 1 brown egg
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cake flour

Instructions
 

  • Combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, 1/4 cup of shortening, Nutri-oil, the brown egg, instant yeast, vanilla, and water in a mixing bowl and knead until you get a smooth and elastic dough.
  • Divide the dough into 2 portions and set aside.
    Divide the otap dough in two portions
  • Prepare a shortening mixture by mixing together 3/4 cup of shortening and the cake flour. Divide it into 2 portions.
    Otap shortening mixture
  • Oil the table.
  • Roll out each portion of dough onto a lightly floured board.
  • Spread the shortening mixture onto the dough.
    Spread shortening mixture onto dough
  • Fold the edges of the dough together to enclose the shortening mixture.
    Fold the edges over the shortening mixture
  • Put some oil on top of the dough and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then, thinly roll out the dough on an oiled board and brush the surface with some more of the oil.
  • Roll tightly like a jelly roll (makes 2 rolls about 1 inch thick).
    Roll the otap dough tightly like a jelly roll
  • Brush the top of the dough again with some oil.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes and then cut them crosswise to the desired portions. You'll probably want to make about 8 to 10 pieces from this amount of dough.
    Cut the otap dough into 8 to 10 pieces
  • Brush the surface of each individual piece again with some of the oil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Now, roll out each portion and dip one side in sugar.
    Roll out each piece and dip in sugar
  • Transfer them to a greased baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes or until they're nice and crispy.
    Bake the otap until crispy

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 10gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 304mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Biscuit, cookies, otap
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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How are you finding our otap recipe so far? It’s easy, right?

If you’re going to visit Cebu, be sure to taste their very own otap, paired with coffee on a sweet morning or on a productive afternoon. Whatever you choose, don’t miss it!

Delicious flaky otap

Although making Cebu’s otap is very easy, there are actually a few cooking tips and tricks that you can apply to make your otap even more irresistible.

Otap Recipe (Cebu Biscuit)

As you may have noticed, our beloved otap is all about crispiness and sweetness. A balance of everything is what will make your first bite worth cherishing.

Check out our beautiful biskotso toasted bread from the Philippines

Closeup of Otap ng Cebu

For many Filipinos, this otap delicacy is well-loved by children and the elderly. It’s a great way to start a long day of play or work. Otap can also be served as a snack paired with juice or coffee.

If you’re out of baking ideas, then you should definitely try this sweet and delicious, flaky otap.

Also check out this Filipino banana bread recipe with ripe bananas and vanilla

Cooking tips

Now, how can you make your otap as good as the one from Cebu?

Well, all you need to do is follow some of my cooking tips here:

  • To prevent sticking when flattening the dough, lightly grease the rolling pin.
  • These baked goods will remain crisp for 3 to 4 days. So if you still have lots to spare for another day, store them in sealed containers or package them as gifts in paper bags with plastic lining.
  • Use white sugar for coating and brown sugar to go with the dough.
  • Cool down the otap before serving. And while doing so, you can also make a pitcher of juice or prepare a mug of coffee to go with the otap.

Feel free to experiment as well, like adding caramel or chocolate to dip your otap. Don’t be shy about unleashing your creative kitchen skills!

Substitutes and variations

I’m all about dissecting this otap from the inside and out, so what if you don’t have all the ingredients?

Then check out some of these awesome substitutes and variations. 1 or 2 missing ingredients shouldn’t stop you from making this recipe, right?

Using brown sugar for the coating

Ideally, you should use white sugar for the otap coating. But if you can’t find it, a pack of brown sugar will do.

Using a kitchen knife instead of a dough cutter

If it’s your first time cooking something like this, I can empathize that you don’t all have the baking materials. But there’s nothing to worry about if you don’t have a dough cutter. You can still use your ordinary kitchen knife.

All the other ingredients for making this recipe can easily be found in the markets. But if you find yourself without one, improvise.

How to serve and eat

What makes an otap recipe different from other cookie recipes in the Philippines is that aside from the otap’s thinness and rough texture, you need to be very careful when eating a piece.

This makes eating otap an adventure since whenever you take a bite from it, the otap will literally fall apart into many little fragments, covering your tabletops and floor in flakes of crispy dough and sugar!

There’s a trick to eating otap though!

You need to put your other hand under your chin when biting the bread so that the fragments and sugar won’t fall onto the floor, but onto your hand. This leaves you with some delicious fragments of the dough and sugar to eat from your hand as well.

Since this otap recipe produces a hard biscuit, you can eat it with a hot beverage such as coffee or hot chocolate. But be careful with the fragments that’ll probably fall and settle at the bottom of your cup!

Similar dishes

Aside from the delectable otap, you can also try some of its similar dishes, which I find equally irresistible as well.

Salvaro

Salvaro is a local delicacy in Polompon, Leyte. It’s made of excellent coconut bread that’s tasty and healthy, and is highly recommended for breakfast and lunch. Like otap, this one is also another great choice for pasalubong or meryenda.

Piyaya

Piaya is among the province of Negros Occidental’s most delectable offerings.

The term “piyaya” translates to “pressed pastry” or “sweet flatbread,” which explains its thin characteristics. Muscovado and glucose syrup are used to fill the dough, which is then rolled out and topped with sesame seeds before being fried on a griddle.

Biscocho

Biscocho is said to be the Filipino version of biscotti, an Italian bread. Biscocho is a type of bread that’s been toasted and then covered or coated with butter, sugar, and occasionally garlic.

FAQs

I know you’re super excited to proceed with the cooking process, but before doing so, let me answer some of your questions. After all, it’s good to cook while everything is under control.

Is otap vegan?

Yes, otap is a great vegan treat.

Where is otap stored?

To keep it crisp and lovely, otap should be kept in a cool, airtight container. It can last up to a week on the counter.

Is otap good for the diet?

Otap is a sugary and sweet delicacy, so this may not be appropriate for you if you’re on a strict diet. However, if you eat regular servings moderately, then you’ll be just fine.

Have this sweet treat

Based on what I’ve told you about otap so far, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be one of the items on your list to try this year. It’s easy to make and the ingredients don’t cost much either. If you’re a coffee lover and looking for some awesome recreational activity to distract your mind with, making otap is definitely a must!

Get your snack-loving family or friends to help you as well! Again, as long as you have the flour, yeast, some eggs, vegetable shortening, sugar, and a spark of motivation, you can effortlessly make this delicious recipe.

While following the cooking procedures in this cooking recipe, don’t forget to be creative as well. Own your otap in one try!

‘Til next time.

Do you have some awesome otap recipe cooking tips and tricks you’d like to share with me? Don’t be shy and let me see some of those!

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family as well!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

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.