Palitaw Recipe

Palitaw is a term used to call a sweet flat rice cake that is eaten in the Philippines as a snack or dessert. Originally, grounded or pounded sticky rice is used to make this rice cake (called kakanin in the local language) – however, the practice of using packaged rice flour became common because it is more efficient.


This is made by simply mixing rice flour and water until a dough is formed. The dough is divided into small pieces then manually molded into a ball-shape figure and flattened. The flattened dough are cooked in boiling water until they float – this is the reason why it was called as such. The name was derived from the Filipino word “litaw”, which means “to float or to surface”.

I should have made this yesterday but I ran out of glutinous rice flour; I needed to go back to the Asian store this morning to replenish my stock. Glutinous rice flour is still best compared to ordinary rice flour for this recipe.

On another note, you might notice a change in the language on the video. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from our non-Filipino speaking friends requesting to use English as the main language. I thought of giving it a try to see if it will work.

Let me know your thoughts.

Palitaw Recipe
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sesame seeds, roasted
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  1. Combine glutinous rice flour with water and mix until a dough is formed.
  2. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough then mold it into a ball-shaped figure.
  3. Flatten the ball-shaped dough using the palm of your hands.
  4. Boil water in a cooking pot then put-in the flattened dough.
  5. When the flattened dough starts to float, remove them from the pot and set it aside allowing water to drip.
  6. Combine sugar and roasted sesame seeds then mix well.
  7. Roll the rice cake in grated coconut then in the sugar-sesame seed mixture.
  8. Arrange in a serving plate then serve. Share and enjoy!

Watch the cooking video

Published by

Vanjo Merano

I blog about Filipino and Asian food and recipes.

22 thoughts on “Palitaw Recipe”

  1. Thank you for sharing your recipe and video. Ok Lang po ba frozen grated coconut? Found it at Filipino store.

  2. thanks…ive tried it, and its so easy …ive never tried it back home but your recipe and procedure is reliable…for those people who cant find grated coconut…i boiled the glutinous mixture using 1 part of water 1 part of coconut milk in can and it just taste yummy…but be careful when dipping in sugar and sesame seeds it would stick so much…but yeah i will definitely make this again and hopefully theres available grated coconut nxt time

  3. Kuya parehas po b ung dessicated coconut sa grated? Like po nung ginamit nio sa macaroons.

  4. my daughter love to eat palitaw thanks for the recipe!!!! good day and more power…

  5. Dear Mr. Merano,

    I was very glad I was able to find your site online. I was able to cook plenty of your recipes already but wasn’t able to find time to make a comment.I really appreciate you and your team for making the effort to put the procedure into video because some might want to cook a certain recipe but doesn’t know some cooking terminologies.With the video they are able to watch at the same time learn from it. It is very rare that a filipino cooking website shows the process of cooking a recipe. Keep up the good work. Proud to be pinoy!
    P.S I just finished cooking the palitaw and everything is finished.

  6. Is it ok to add the info of how many servings each recipe would make? I live alone and dont want to waste too much food… although I would gladly share it… At least I would know how many people I could share it with. By the way, hopefully in the very near future, you’d have an ipad app. More power and happy eating!

  7. I’m so glad to see your video in English!!! I just left a comment on one of your other recipes before I found this one. It’s such a big help. Thanks again!

  8. kuya, i’ve tried this recipe twice. its actually good except that the grated coconut i used is kinda moist. is it because its frozen so once i defrosted it, it turns moist? where could i get a grated coconut which is a little bit dry so that my palitaw or pichi pichi wont smell like “panis”? thanks and more power.

  9. cant find any mature coconut here in europe, cant find even at the oriental shops. once i bought whole coconut from the chinese grocery but its only suitable for making buko salad its too soft. can u suggest any substitute for grated coconut.

  10. I made this yesterday and its superrr.. delicious. Thanks for sharing ur recipes. God bless!

  11. Yeyyyy!! I’ve made this already wohooo. Thanks again for the recipe. I will make sure to give you credit in my site so they know who shared the recipe :-)

    Happy Valentines Vanjo!

  12. good day kuya i am a 1st yr. college student here in one of the university in cebu taking up BSHRM in our case as a “restaurateur” we are required to cook food in different method as we go through the steaming i was searching in the youtube and luckily i was viewed ur site “panlasangpinoy” i am so happy coz nandito lahat ng details hindi ka mahihirapan we have done already cooked embutido you really right the taste was so good i love it, my groupmates anf my family, and its very affordable…we also done cooked braised vegetable. ur site really a big help for me to know better and understand verymuch as the days go through i will always visit your site and try to do what i have learn..thank u so much may God blessed u always..

  13. Hi Kuya,

    I love this food ” palitaw ” My mom usually made it when i was still small but since years i ddn’t eat it anymore. So,I’m so happy to see this recipe in your site. I’m looking forward to make this. :-)
    Thank you so much for the recipe you post !!!

    Take care and regards to your family.

  14. Thank you so much for the recipes you’ve been posting online…very helpful especially to someone who knows a limited variety of Filipino dishes…please do the video in Pilipino because it makes me feel really nationalistic and at home more so when I hear your background music–parang nasa Kamay Kainan. The actual recipe is already in English–please don’t change your format–it clicks.

    1. It can be found on any Asian store or usually at any large retail shops such as walmart and more.

      ~Hope this helps~ :]

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