4-Ingredient Kakanin Recipes New Cooks Should Try

IMAGE Riell Santos

Newbie cooks don't have to be intimidated about making dessert. While there are many no-bake recipes that can satisfy your need for something sweet, we think you don't have to look too far from the ingredients you're comfortable working with to make something delicious. 

This is where kakanin recipes shine! Kakanin or rice cakes are perfect for new cooks who want to try their hand at making a dessert. There are no unfamiliar techniques you have to learn just to make these! 

What you will definitely need to make these easy kakanin recipes are either malagkit rice or sticky rice, or glutinous rice flour that's made from grinding the malagkit rice into a powder. Just note that there is a difference between rice flour made from regular rice and malagkit rice so you'll need to make a mental note of that when you go to the supermarket or palengke for the ingredients. 


The other important ingredient in these recipes is gata or coconut milk. You can also use coconut cream where it lists down coconut milk. The tweak you can do to make coconut cream into coconut milk is a little bit of water. For every cup of coconut milk you need, mix 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup coconut cream. 

You will also need sugar. White sugar is preferable for these rice cakes to maintain it's original color but if brown sugar is your preferred sugar, you can use this instead of white sugar with the side note that your kakanin will take on the taste and tan or brown hue from the molasses in your brown sugar. Other than that, you should be ready to go with a few more choice ingredients that's important to make each kakanin recipe. 

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Here are easy kakanin recipes we think any newbie cook can make with a high degree of success:  


Palitaw Recipe 

This may be the easiest kakanin you will ever make and might be one of your favorite kakanin recipes of all time if you love sesame seeds. The recipe is very simple: Mix rice flour and water, form, and then slip into simmering water, waiting for it to make an appearance on the surface of the water or mag"palitaw". Take each out a few seconds or so after you see it float to the top and then immediately toss with niyog or grated coconut and a mixture of toasted sesame seeds and sugar. 


You really can't get any easier than this. Watch how easy it is to make palitaw before you try the recipe yourself. 

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Jun 20, 2016

Photo by Patrick Martires

2 Puto Maya Recipe with Mangoes and Sikwate 

This isn't the fluffy puto you are thinking of! Instead, this kakanin is steamed rice balls flavored with bits of ginger and served with sweet Philippine mangoes and a hot tsokolate drink made from tablea called sikwate that's the perfect pairing for the kakanin


To make this kakanin version, you just need to steam malagkit rice that's been soaked for about 1 hour with its flavoring ingredients. Then just roll into balls and serve!

3 Maja Blanca Recipe 

Everyone knows how easy it is to make a classic maja blanca. If you have cornstarch, gata, sugar, and a can of sweet corn kernels, the recipe is as good as made! 


This classic kakanin recipe, while not made from rice flour, can be made with regular rice flour. It'll be stickier but nonetheless delicious. 

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Photo by Majoy Siason

4 Bibingkang Malagkit Recipe with Sticky Latik

For this recipe, this sticky rice bibingka version is a classic one that's made with a sticky latik that you don't have to make. This latik is the sticky kind and you can get it from your local panaderia. Also known as coco jam, it's a fantastic substitute that makes this simple sweetened steamed rice dessert less intimidating to make.    


Photo by Riell Santos

Suman Recipe 

This may be the most popular kakanin but it's easy to make at home! The hardest part of this is cooking the sticky rice and not panicking that you've put in too much liquid. However, have faith! The stickiness of the rice is what's going to make this extremely delicious when it's all done.


If you know how to cook, you know how to boil water and that's the other technique that you need to know to do this. If you have a rice cooker, you can do it all in there! You can steam the rice first and then wrap it in banana leaves. Clean out the rice cooker pot and simmer water in it to get it going. Place the steamer basket insert that comes with your rice cooker and you can finish your suman in there. Once you have done that, the rest of the process is easily made with patience since the kakanin mixture just needs to completely cook through so you end up with tender rice with every bite. Don't forget the coco jam or the sugar on top! 


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