Sapin-Sapin (Layered Sticky Rice Cake)

Sapin-Sapin is a Filipino multi-colored (and flavored) layered sticky rice cake. It’s traditionally made of galapong (sticky rice dough) mixed with coconut milk and sugar which is then divided typically into 3 parts; purple yam, pureed corn are usually added to make the purple and yellow layers respectively, then the third part is just left plain. Each layer is steamed until firm before the next one is added, when ready to serve it is topped with either latik or toasted, sweetened grated coconut.

It’s very time-consuming to make sapin-sapin,it’s something that most people would rather buy from stores than to make at home. Imagine before, to make sapin-sapin you have to start from making your own galapong (sticky rice dough) extract coconut milk, cook ube (purple yam) jam, it would take forever (for me especially) to finish. Thankfully, there is an easy way to make this now- by using glutinous rice flour and food color and flavorings-from there it’s just a matter of mixing the batter and dividing it and adding different colors to make layers-as many layers as one wishes.

The recipe below is adapted from this  cooking video.  

This is the first time I made this kakanin and it won’t be the time I have a craving for sapin-sapin, I know I can make it at home..that is if I’m not feeling lazy 😀

Make the latik first: boil thick coconut milk in a deep pan over medium high heat without stirring

..when it curdles and coconut oil comes out, lower heat and gently stir while cooking until the latik is golden brown

Make the sapin-sapin; you can make your layers in any order..I like the green layer – which is flavored with pandan extract -at  the bottom, so it’s the first to cook.

then’s just food color, no flavoring

yellow, also with just food color..

then last is the purple layer to which I added ube (purple yam) extract.  Cool sapin-sapin first before cutting into slices, top with either latik or toasted desiccated coconut.

Sapin-Sapin (Layered Sticky Rice Cake)
Sapin-Sapin is a Filipino multi-colored (and flavored) layered sticky rice cake. It's traditionally made of galapong (sticky rice dough) mixed with coconut milk and sugar.
Recipe type: Filipino Food, Dessert, Native Delicacy
Serves: Makes one 6 or 7 inch cake pan
  • 1⅓ cup coconut milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon pandan extract
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon red food color
  • ½ teaspoon yellow food color
  • 1 teaspoon purple yam (ube) flavor
  • coconut oil for greasing the pan and the layers of sapin-sapin
  • Topping:
  • For the latik
  • 3 cups thick coconut milk, bring to boil until oil comes out and curdled coconut milk turns golden brown
  • OR
  • just toast desiccated coconut until golden, add sugar towards the end to sweeten
  1. Make the latik first if using.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl except for the food color and flavors. Divide mixture into 3 or 4 separate bowls. Add a food color/flavor into each portion.
  3. Grease a 7 inch or 8" inch pan with coconut oil.
  4. Pour the pandan flavor into the pan; cover loosely with foil and steam until set. Brush top with a little coconut oil and pour red mixture, put the pan back in the steamer and steam until mixture sets. Repeat until all batter are used up.
  5. Turn off heat and leave pan in the steamer to cool a bit then take out pan to completely cool sapin-sapin.
  6. Meanwhile do the topping. Toast desiccated coconut in an ungreased pan over medium high heat. Add sugar if desired. Sprinkle on top of the sapin-sapin before serving. Enjoy! 🙂

Have a nice day! God Bless! 🙂 ♥

2 Responses to "Sapin-Sapin (Layered Sticky Rice Cake)"

  1. Anonymous   October 8, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you mam…i’l try to make sapin-sapin

  2. pam   April 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Sapin -sapin is the ultimate kakanin in my book Olive! I will definitely try this. Thanks for posting 🙂


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