Carioca are sweet chewy ball-shaped treats that can be enjoyed as dessert or snack, these are made from sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour can also be used) and sweetened shredded coconuts.

These can be considered as a street food since Carioca vendors are a common site in the major streets of Manila. Individual servings are usually skewed in bamboo skewers similar to the banana cue and kamote cue.

What I like most about this treat is its texture; it’s like eating buchi minus the sesame seeds and the filling. By the way, the sweet coating for the carioca is optional. Most of the Carioca that I tried were not coated at all – but, I find it more enjoyable when the sweet coating is applied.

Try this Carioca recipe and let me know your thoughts.


1 cup sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour can be used as a substitute)

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

3/4 cup coconut milk

2 cups cooking oil


1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking procedure:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine sweet rice flour, sweetened shredded coconut, and coconut milk. Mix well until a dough is formed.

2. Scoop about a tablespoon and a half of the mixture then form into a ball shaped figure. Set aside.

3. Heat a cooking pot then pour-in cooking oil.

4. Deep fry the mixture that were formed into balls in medium heat for 5 to7 minutes or until the color turns light to medium brown.

5. Turn off heat and remove the balls from the cooking pot. Transfer the balls to a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.

6. Start making the coating by heating a saucepan and pouring the coconut milk in. Let the coconut milk boil then add the brown sugar and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Turn off heat.

7. Dip the fried balls into the coating then skewer, if desired.

8. Serve. Share and enjoy!

Published by

Vanjo Merano

I blog about Filipino and Asian food and recipes.

19 thoughts on “Carioca”

  1. Hi! I really like carioka and I will definatly try this recipe, but I was wondering if this would still be good for the next day? WIll it change the flavour ot texture or anything? please reply, Thank you!

  2. hello! i went to philfest in florida this week and they had this and was wonderful! they also had a more crystallized coating on the carioca and i was wondering if you had any suggestions to make the sugar coat more like a semi hard coat? thank you! i love this site helps me connect back to my roots

  3. Do I need to squeeze the milk from the shredded coconut before mixing? Is this teh same as “kinudkod” na nyog? Im currently based in Kuwait, thats why I have limited resources(ingredients).

  4. If I were you, don’t try without the shredded coconut because it will pop on you and the oil will splatter everywhere. Trust me, I learned it the hard way.

  5. hi there! i tried this today and followed all the engridients listed, but wondering why when i was frying it, it sticks to the bottom of the pan and had a hard time taking them off from the oil. BTW, i used the glutinous rice flour.

  6. i tried this yesterday. it was really good and chewy on the inside but it had a really hard exterior. i remember carioca’s being softer to bite. what could i have done better? i had the oil at medium high. maybe took 10 minutes to cook in the oil. any suggestions?

  7. Hi, how much of each ingredient should you add for more servings? Thanks so much for posting the recipe. Keep it going! :)

  8. Hi there. Any substitute for shredded coconut? Im based here in west coast Australia. is this available on asian stores? hope to hear from u the soonest.. thank u.

  9. what if i omit the shredded coconut? would i need to add more sweet rice flour?

  10. OMG! My aunt used to make these and I LOVED them! I’m so excited to find this recipe and will definitely give it a try :) One question: I can only find regular GLUTEN-FREE rice flour where I live; can I use this as well and get the same results? It’s not “sweet”, but can I add some sugar? Or will the sweetened coconut be enough?

    Thanks! πŸ˜€

      1. Thank you πŸ˜‰ But what about the “gluten-free” part? To my understanding, gluten is needed to make it chewy…I DO have sweet rice, and I’m going to try to make my own flour out of it – will THIS work too?

        PS. Sorry for all the questions, but I really want this to turn out good :)

    1. hello, rice are usually labelled gluten free to make sure it is safe for people who has coeliac(gluten intolerance), all kinds of rice are gluten free and in the case of glutinous rice(sweet rice), it is sticky that is why it is called glutinous rice but it doesnt mean it has gluten!!!


      PS. Panlasang Pinoy thanks for posting this recipe, i love carioca, now i can make it!!!

  11. i’m thrilled to find your site, and you are exellent.and i used to be from chicago but moved 96 miles west.i will definitely try all your recipe.

  12. Thanks for sharing! I miss this. For sure I will be making this on the weekend and you will be seing it on my blog :) Hard to find this in our local Pinoy Resto.

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