Filipino Otap: What is it and Where Did it Originate?

We may earn a commission on qualified purchases made through one of our links. Learn more

Otap is a popular oval-shaped snack that’s either a cookie or a biscuit made out of flour, sugar, yeast, eggs, and vegetable shortening mixed together to create a sweet, flaky, and appetizing bite. This treat comes in small sizes and is coated with sugar toppings that are well-loved by children.

The recipe is known for its 11-stage baking process, which is visible in its layered and crisp texture.

Otap is often served with a cup of coffee for Filipino working adults, or a bottle of juice for very active children.

For less than a dollar, you can already have your own otap pack. It’s currently sold in many retail stores, so simply ask the vendors and they’ll give you a pack of otap with 5 or 10 pieces inside.

What is otap

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


This otap recipe here originated from Cebu, a small island in Central Visayas known for its otap. It’s a kind of baked biscuit (cookie) that’s brittle and garnished with sugar.

However, due to its popularity and incredible taste, it’s now widespread all over the country.

So yes, there’s no need to go to Cebu to buy otap! You can either ask for it in any retail market in the Philippines, or better yet, make it yourself.

Shaping Otap: The Art of Creating the Perfect Filipino Pastry

To achieve the perfect otap, you need to have the right recipe and ingredients. The main ingredients for otap are flour, sugar, shortening or butter, and water. The recipe usually includes a series of steps that involve mixing the ingredients, rolling out the dough, and shaping the pastry. Some recipes may also include cinnamon or other spices to add flavor to the pastry.

The Shaping Process

The shaping process is the key to achieving the perfect otap. Here are the steps to shape otap:

  • Roll out the dough thinly into a long sheet.
  • Spread sugar and shortening or butter on top of the dough.
  • Fold the dough in half and press the edges to close it.
  • Slice the dough into smaller portions.
  • Pour sugar on top of the sliced dough and let it cool.
  • Slice the dough into even smaller pieces and shape them into oval or flat shapes.
  • Bake the otap in the oven until it becomes flaky and golden brown.

The Different Shapes of Otap

Otap comes in different shapes and sizes, depending on the region where it originates. The most famous otap is the one sold in Cebu, which is considered the otap capital of the Philippines. The typical otap from Cebu is white and sold in a box, while the otap from other regions may come in different colors and shapes.

The Texture and Taste of Otap

Otap has a similar texture to puff pastry or French palmiers. It is flaky and crispy, with a slightly sweet taste. The sugar used in otap gives it a crunchy texture and a caramelized flavor. The key to achieving the perfect otap is to make sure that it is thinly flattened before baking to prevent it from becoming too hard.

Tips for Making the Perfect Otap

Here are some tips to help you make the perfect otap:

  • Use the right type of flour to achieve the right texture.
  • Make sure to roll out the dough thinly to achieve the desired texture.
  • Check the oven temperature to make sure that the otap is baked evenly.
  • Let the otap cool before slicing and shaping to prevent it from breaking.
  • Flatten the otap as thinly as possible to achieve the desired texture.

How to Savor the Sweetness of Otap

  • In a bowl, mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add 1 egg and stir until smooth.
  • Fold in 3 cups of all-purpose flour and mix until the dough forms.
  • Let the mixture stand for a second to allow the ingredients to mix well.

Shaping and Baking the Otap

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll the dough into a rectangular shape, approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut the dough into smaller rectangular pieces, approximately 2 inches wide and 3 inches long.
  • Place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a little space between each piece.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges turn slightly golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let the otap cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store the otap in an airtight container to keep them fresh for days.

Enjoying the Otap

  • Break a piece of otap away from the rest and savor the sweet, crunchy goodness.
  • Dip the otap in a cup of hot coffee or tea for a quick everyday treat.
  • Spread a little butter or jam on top of the otap for a more indulgent snack.
  • Crush the otap into small pieces and use as a topping for ice cream or yogurt.
  • Slice the otap thinly and use as a crust for pies or cheesecakes.

Remember to be careful when shaping the otap mixture, as it can be sticky and difficult to handle. It’s also important to check the otap often while baking to ensure they don’t burn. With a little love and patience, making and enjoying this local Filipino treat is easy and satisfying.

Keeping Your Otap Fresh: The Ultimate Guide

So, you’ve made a delicious batch of otap using your favorite recipe. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to store them properly to keep them fresh and tasty for as long as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Store your otap in an airtight container to prevent moisture from getting in and making them soggy.
  • Keep your otap in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A pantry or cupboard is perfect.
  • If you live in a warm and humid climate, you may want to store your otap in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for longer.
  • If you want to keep your otap warm and fresh, you can reheat them in the oven for a few minutes before serving. Just sprinkle some water on them and bake them at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.

How Long Can You Store Otap?

Otap can last for several days if stored properly. Here are some guidelines:

  • Freshly made otap can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • If you store your otap in the refrigerator, they can last for up to a week.
  • If you freeze your otap, they can last for up to 3 months.

Why Otap is a Great Vegan Snack

Otap is a great vegan snack because it’s made with simple ingredients like flour, sugar, and oil. Here are some reasons why otap is a great vegan snack:

  • It’s easy to make and doesn’t require any animal products.
  • It’s sweet and satisfying, making it a great snack for any time of day.
  • It’s perfect for baking and can be used in a variety of recipes.

So, whether you’re vegan or not, otap is a delicious and versatile snack that you can enjoy anytime.

Is Otap Really a Healthy Snack Option?

Otap is a unique Filipino snack originating from the local province of Cebu. It is a primary export product of the Philippines, and it is a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pastry that is baked to perfection. The texture of otap is similar to a cookie, puff pastry, or brittle.

What is Otap Made Of?

Otap is made of generous amounts of flour, sugar, and shortening. The dough is folded several times to achieve its characteristic crumbly texture. The primary content of otap is carbohydrates, which provide energy to the body. However, otap is not a good source of protein or other essential nutrients.

Is Otap Healthy?

While otap is a delicious snack, it is not the healthiest option out there. Here are some things to consider:

  • Otap is high in calories and sugar, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems if consumed in excess.
  • Otap does not contain any significant amount of vitamins or minerals that are essential for good health.
  • Otap is not a good option for people who are watching their blood sugar levels or have diabetes.

Are There Any Benefits to Eating Otap?

Despite its drawbacks, otap does have some benefits:

  • Otap is an authentic Philippine snack that is enjoyed by many people around the world.
  • Otap is a great snack to enjoy with fruits or other healthy foods like sinigang or manok.
  • Otap can be a good source of energy for people who need a quick pick-me-up.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about otap. It’s a delicious Filipino pastry made with flour, sugar, and butter, and it’s perfect for a snack or breakfast. 

You can’t go wrong with otap, so go ahead and give it a try!

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.