Sapin-Sapin Recipe

Sapin-sapin is a Filipino rice cake made from glutinous rice and coconut milk. This delicious dessert dish is usually composed of layers each with a different color and flavor. Normally, sapin-sapin is composed of 3 layers: the bottom layer is colored yellow and has the flavor of ripe jackfruit; the middle layer is white and has the flavor of young coconut or just plain coconut milk; the topmost layer is violet in color and has the flavor of purple yam. Sapin-sapin is topped with latik, which is a coconut milk residue. Latik is made by reducing coconut milk and cooking the reduction until it browns. I should give the credit to my wife and daughter for this gorgeous looking dish. They were the ones who patiently created this wonderful work of art. This Sapin-sapin recipe produces an awesome tasting result. I wish I could have more, but it quickly disappeared. Don’t worry; I will do a special version with an accompanying cooking video. For the meantime, enjoy this recipe. It is worth the effort.

Try this Sapin-sapin Recipe. Let me know what you think.

Sapin Sapin

Sapin-Sapin Recipe


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 7 oz. (1/2 can) condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup ripe jackfruit
  • 3/4 cup mashed purple yam
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ube extract
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (or coconut oil)
  • Violet food coloring
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1/4 cup latik

Cooking Procedure

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour and sugar. Mix well.
  2. Pour-in the condensed milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until the texture becomes smooth.
  3. Divide the mixture into 3 parts.
  4. Add the mashed purple yam and ube extract on the first part along with the violet food coloring. Stir thoroughly and then set aside.
  5. Shred the jackfruit (without the seed) in a food processor. Add the processed jackfruit on the second part along with the yellow coloring and then mix well. Set aside. Note: leave the 3rd part as it is.
  6. Arrange the steamer on your stovetop and pour-in about 1 quart of water. Turn on the heat and let the water boil.
  7. Grease a round baking pan by brushing cooking oil or coconut oil.
  8. Pour-in the first part (colored violet) on the greased baking pan. Make sure that the mixture settles. Cover the baking pan with a cheesecloth and then steam for 12 to 16 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking pan and then pour-in the white mixture. Use a spatula to spread it on top of the violet mixture. Remove excess water from the cheesecloth by squeezing it. Put it back on the baking pan. Steam for another 12 to 16 minutes.
  10. Remove the baking pan from the steamer and then pour-in the yellow mixture. Spread the mixture over the succeeding one using a spatula. Try to remove the excess water again from the cloth and then put it back on the baking pan. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Note: If you think that the mixture is still a bit runny, try to steam for 5 minutes more.
  11. Arrange a clean banana leaf over a wide serving plate. Brush coconut or cooking oil on the leaf. Use a spatula (brushed with oil) and gently run on the side of the baking pan to prevent the mixture from sticking. Turn the baking pan over the banana leaf and let the cooked sapin-sapin fall.
  12. Brush oil on top of the sapin-sapin (the violet part should be on top). Sprinkle with latik.
  13. Serve for dessert. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 8

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  1. cynthia says:

    ist he yam pre cooked then mashed ? not usre if yam is supposed ot be raw or cooked prior to being used in this receipe.

  2. SezAuz says:

    Hi Vanjo. I just wanted to say I have just tried this recipe for the first time and it was absolutely delicious. It was easy to follow and turned out perfectly first time, as with all the other recipes I have tried from your site. Thank you!!

  3. Ginniemae says:

    Instead of stove top steaming to make the Sapin Sapin, can I use the oven instead? Fill a container 1-2 inches of water, place the pans with the mixture 1 at a time and bake it like the way the leche flan is made?

  4. Miriam, unless you are experienced enough in using approximations, I will recommend the use of measuring devices such as cups and spoons. This recipe is formulated using exact measurements and not proportions. Sorry.