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Sapin Sapin - FoodWithMae-5

Sapin Sapin

Sweet Sticky Tri-Layered Steamed Rice Cake

What is Sapin sapin

Sapin sapin is I think one of the most vibrant Filipino delicacies because of its colourful appearance. It’s steamed sweet sticky tri-colour rice cake and it’s a traditional Filipino dessert that has been around for centuries. Sapin sapin has layers with different colour and flavours which makes this an exciting rice cake to eat! 

The name “sapin-sapin” comes from the Tagalog word “sapin,” which means layers, sheets or cover and is also known as one of the ‘kakanin’ or rice cake delicacies. 

There are usually 3 layers in sapin sapin, the purple layer is Ube, the middle layer is white with coconut flavour and the yellow layer is jackfruit which is yellow.  I know right! WOW! Trust me when I say it works and it tastes amazing! Then it’s topped with latik, reduced coconut milk flakes. 

You will usually see this being served in fiestas and holiday seasons. I find this easy to make but I’m not sure why not many more Filipinos cook sapin sapin or kakanin in general? 

I hope you will enjoy my recipe! Happy Cooking!

Swap it or Common Questions

Ube flavouring- This is purple yam and Filipinos usually added this flavouring to many of our desserts and drinks. 

Mango flavours – I used mango instead of jackfruit because I couldn’t find any jackfruit flavouring in London the time I made this dessert. But if you do find jackfruit flavouring in your local shops, please use that instead. 

Vanilla flavouring – I used this flavour instead of the plain coconut milk flavour as i prefer it. But you can choose not to add this if you prefer. 

Where do I get my ingredients?

I usually buy Filipino ingredients from Chinatown, Wing Yip or Filipinos shops in Earls Court.

Sapin Sapin - FoodWithMae-5


400g glutinous flour
200g rice flour
2 cans (800ml) coconut milk
½ can (200ml) condensed milk
130g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ube flavouring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon mango flavouring
oild to grease the mold


Topping Toasted desiccated coconut Or Latik (reduced coconut milk)



In a large bowl add the glutinous flour, rice flour condensed milk, coconut milk and sugar. Mix the ingredients well until the sugar has dissolved. Using 3 bowls, separate the mixture into three parts. Once separated, add ube flavouring to 1 bowl and mix them well. In another bowl add the vanilla extract and mix them well. The last remaining bowl, add mango flavouring and mix them well. Leave them on the side for later.


Prepare your steamer and grease the sapin sapin mold to prevent the steamed cake from sticking to the mold. Once the steamer is boiling, turn the heat medium, where the bubbles are not aggressively bubbling. Place a clean kitchen towel/cloth on your steamer lid to prevent the steam water droplets from dropping down to the cake while steaming. 


Next, pour the first layer of your sapin sapin to your greased mold, this is the ube flavour and steam it for 10-14 minutes. The layer should be set and not wet before adding another layer. Then pour the next layer, this is your vanilla flavour and steam it for 10-14 minutes. Lastly pour the last layer, this is the mango flavour and steam it for 10-14 minutes.  



Take the sapin sapin out of the steamer and let it cool down on the side. Once cooled, slice the sapin sapin and add the toppings. 

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