Be it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Filipinos love their rice, especially when it’s transformed into sweet kakanin. These rice-based delicacies hold special cultural significance, gracing every occasion, particularly the holidays. Christmas in the Philippines is incomplete without these kakanin delights, seamlessly weaving centuries of history into the festive spirit. With that, here are five irresistible kakanin desserts that are worth the holiday gains.
Whether you’re making them for your family, friends, or even yourself, they are sure to add a touch of sweetness, nostalgia, and a few extra pounds to your holiday season.
Bibingka is a classic Filipino Christmas rice cake that’s a must-have during the yuletide season. Made with rice flour and coconut milk, it’s traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves. Top it with salted egg pieces, cheese, and grated coconut for that perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.
Puto Bumbong is a beloved purple rice cake steamed in bamboo tubes. It’s traditionally served during the pre-dawn Simbang Gabi masses. Its unique purple hue comes from a specific type of glutinous rice. Pair it with grated coconut, muscovado sugar, and a spread of butter for a delicious combination.
Kutsinta is a chewy, orange rice cake with a slight sweetness. Its distinct texture comes from a combination of rice flour and tapioca flour. Enjoy it with freshly grated coconut on top, and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for added crunch.
Sapin-sapin is a multicolored, multi-layered kakanin that’s as beautiful as it is delectable. Each layer has a unique flavor, including ube, jackfruit, and coconut. The layers are steamed one by one, creating a colorful rainbow of flavors that’s befitting for festive occasions.
Suman is a sticky rice cake that’s often wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. It’s served with a side of sweet coconut sauce or latik. Variations of suman can include flavors like mango, chocolate, or even durian, offering a wide range of choices to suit your taste.
These kakanin desserts represent the soul of Filipino Christmas celebrations. Whether you’re making them for your family, friends, or even yourself, they are sure to add a touch of sweetness, nostalgia, and a few extra pounds to your holiday season. Indulge in these Filipino classics that will fill your hearts and stomachs to the brim.
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