26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try

In Asia desserts is not a thing, but that’s what you think. That is why it’s a common misconception with most Asian cuisines that we may be good with savoury dishes but leave the desserts with the Western cuisine. It is also enforced in such a way with most Asian restaurants where desserts are not highlighted or at worse not even existing on their menu. Let me change that view and present you 26 Filipino Dessertd You Need to Try, while it does not encompass all Asian cuisines, it can represent what people might be missing if they don’t try them and the Filipino cuisine is a good start because it’s a good mix of Eastern and Western culture, so you will be more comfortable in taste with the Filipino desserts.


26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try is not a complete list of Filipino dessert as we have more of it, a lot of it. I removed most of the cakes and only included the ones that is so unique to our cuisine, I also omitted the rice cakes because for me it’s better as a snack since these are very filling, and I also removed the sweets like Yema and Polvoron, while they are sweet they are not a full blown dessert that you can place on a plate nicely. So what is left are light sweet items that is a good item to serve at the end of a meal.

These are not your Typical Ice Cream Flavours

Now let’s start this 26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try with an ice cream. Yes Filipinos have ice cream and the flavours are amazing.

Pinoy Ice Cream – How about some ube, cheese, sweet corn or how about chocnut ice cream? it’s a no brainer, everyone loves this icy delight.


The Sweet Salads

Filipinos also have sweet salads like the usual ambrosia. The next items will be in this category where fruits and other ingredients are served with cream and condensed milk.

Filipino Fruit Salad 1

Filipino Fruit Salad – It’s like your normal fruit salad but with a Filipino twist by using tropical fruit cocktails, lychees, corn and nata de coco. Some even put boba pearls and palm fruit on it.

Filipino Sweet Macaroni Salad 1


Filipino Sweet Macaroni Salad – Now let’s level up that Filipino Fruit Salad and add cheese and macaroni, sounds weird? Try it first.

Buko Salad 1

Buko Salad – Not a fan of sweet macaroni, then let try it with young coconut strips. This is better, right?

Buko Pandan 1

Buko Pandan – Now let’s drop the fruit cocktails and just have the coconut, nata de coco—— and pandan jelly.

Mango Jelly Salad 2

Mango Jelly Salad – Not into coconuts? then have it in mango flavour instead.

Cakes you don’t need to Bake

Then we have the ice box cakes, thanks for the Americans who introduced this to us, but instead of using the same ingredients as Uncle Sam we localized it.

Fiesta Float 1

Fiesta Float – Filipinos are such a fan of fruit cocktail that is why we see them again here, this time in an ice box cake format.

Mango Royale

Mango Royale – And like the sweet salads there is always something for those who don’t like fruit cocktails, that is why this Mango version will be better for you.

Graham de Leche 2

Graham de Leche – This is the mother of all floats, the newest member of the float family as this one was just recently created by, I don’t know who. But thank you whoever you are because this dessert is amazingly delicious! Just imagine creme caramel, whipped cream and graham crackers, it’s a heaven in a slice.

Borderline Drink and Dessert

Patbingsu, Ais kacang, Baobing, Namkhaeng sai, Kakigōri, Es campur or Halo Halo, have you encountered any of those? If not, these dessert drinks are amazing, if you Snow shaved ice then it basically similar, but these Asian counterparts is not just ice and flavouring because we add a lot of crazy stuff on it like fruits, chocolates, beans and jellies to name some.

Halo Halo 2

Halo Halo – The mother of all shaved ice dessert drink in the Philippines, it comes standard with sweetened saba bananas, sweetened sweet potatoes, sweetened jack fruit, sweetened garbanzo beans, sweetened macapuno, sweetened red mung bean, nata de coco, tapioca pearls, jelly cubes, palm fruit, pinipig, corn, leche flan, ube jam, ice cream, milk and sugar.

Saba con Yelo 2

Saba con Yelo – The simpler shaved ice version served with just the sweetened saba bananas, milk and sugar.

Mais Con Yelo

Mais con Yelo – Another simple shaved ice version served with just the corn, milk and sugar.

Sago Samalamig 1

Sago Samalamig – Sometimes without shaved ice, this refreshing drink is just made with brown sugar and boba pearls. Even before milk tea was invented this has been sold in the streets of the Philippines for quite some time already.

Salad Drink 1

Salad Drink – If you are lazy to use fork and spoon with your salad then why don’t you just drink them.

Timeless Pinoy Classic Desserts

Now let’s go check out some classics, these ones have been finishing great lunches and dinners since the dawn of time. Timeless classic desserts that every Filipino will have close to their hearts.

Filipino Style Avocado and Milk in Ice 1

Avocado and Milk in Ice – Probably the weirdest one for non-Filipinos but this one is a simple stunner. All you need is an avocado tree, sugar, powdered milk and some ice and off you go. Luckily or neighbour has a large avocado tree when I was growing up, that gave me countless desserts.

Minatamis na Saging 1

Minatamis na Saging – This type of bananas are widely used on our cuisine, in soups, as a side dish, as a snack and yes on desserts as well. BTW this can be also an ingredient which is used on saba con yelo and halo halo.

Ube Halaya

Ube Halaya – Every Filipino love eating this but hate making it, if you make this every day, trust me one of your arms will be muscular after one month. It’s a recipe with a hidden workout regime.

Leche Flan 2

Leche Flan – The Filipinos take on creme brulee but this one is much creamier, much denser, much sweeter and definitely much delicious!

Jelly Delights

Then we have the jellies, the 26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try list will not be complete without it, and we have two really popular ones.

Gulaman with Pineapples and Raisins 2

Gulaman with Pineapples and Raisins – The pink jelly that is omnipresent on all fiestas, birthday and special occasions.

Cathedral Jelly – Cream jelly like panna cotta but its studded with multi coloured fruit jelly hence the name.

Yes, Filipinos have cakes too

The last on the list would be the cakes, while we have tons of different varieties, these last six items on the list are the classics, it won’t be a Filipino birthday without any of these.

Yema Cake 2

Yema Cake – I was lying, I told you I will not put yema here but here you go. Not as a sweet but as a cake, probably the newest cake on this batch as I only had this recently.

Crema de Fruta

Crema de Fruta – The fruit cocktail made its come back, now it’s in a cake form or more of a trifle. Jelly on top, fruit cocktail on the next layer, then custard sandwiched in a sponge or chiffon cake.

Custard Cake

Custard Cake – Love leche flan and cakes then have this wonderful combo of the two. Leche flan on top, sponge cake on the bottom.

Sans Rival 1

Sans Rival – Cashews, Meringue, French Butter Cream this is the Filipinos take on the French Dacquoise.

Brazo de Mercedes

Brazo de Mercedes – Soft meringue rolled around a custard filling, do I need to say more?

Ube Macapuno Cake 4

Ube Cake – The last item on this 26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try, it’s the mother of all Filipino cakes. When you ask for a Filipino cake most of the Pinoys out there will think about this more than the other flavours. If I am restricted to one item in here, definitely this will be my pick without any doubt.

There you go, our top 26 Filipino Desserts You Need to Try, did I miss a thing? Let me know from the comments below.

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6 Responses

  1. Such an amazing collection of Filipino desserts! I would love to try every single one 🙂

  2. What an incredible array of desserts! This is bookmarked for future fun and games.

  3. What an impressive lineup of desserts here, Raymund! Like you noted, I wasn’t familiar with Filipino desserts…but you’ve got my attention now. That sweet corn ice cream and the Ube Cake both sound fantastic to me!

  4. Eva Taylor says:

    Such an interesting lineup, thank you, I was not aware of most of these unique desserts.

  5. The Halo Halo looks so good!

  6. I’d love to be at a dessert buffet with tiny pieces of all of these!

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