How To Make Biko At Home, Two Ways

There aren’t many dishes that are so perfectly balanced in terms of flavor and texture that they can actually be eaten as snacks as well as desserts. Biko is one of those dishes. A traditional Filipino delicacy, Biko is a rice based dish that tastes amazing and is very easy to make.

At first glance, you may think making it is a lot of work, but in reality, this dish is fairly simple to put together. Also, it uses some very basic ingredients that are easy to find.

It is so delicious and sumptuous that it makes for the perfect dessert to bring to a potluck or even serve as a tasty, sweet snack at tea. Now the main question is how to make Biko? Well, like we said, the process is fairly easy to grasp and follow. Read on to learn the recipe.​

An Introduction To Biko

As we mentioned already, Biko is a traditional Filipino dish. Since it is a rice based dish, it falls under the category of rice cakes. This is why the dish is known as a “kakanin” (this word is derived from “kanin” which stands for rice). Biko is traditionally served as either a dessert or a mid-afternoon or tea time snack (also known as meryenda).


This Filipino delicacy is also served in a unique way; locals use a circular bamboo tray that has been woven and covered with banana leaves to serve this dish. This tray is known as Bilao.

Biko is then served on these leaves and garnished with a special coconut milk based residue known as Latik. This dish is a must-have at local birthday parties, town fiestas, and family get-togethers.

What You’ll Need

Biko is one of those desserts that look luxurious. By that we mean, it looks like it must have a lot of exotic ingredients and fancy cooking skills involved in its making. However, we are here to tell you that traditional Biko is actually a three ingredient recipe.

Yes, we are not joking. You just need rice, milk, and sugar to make Biko. Here are the details of all the ingredients you will need to make this dish:

Glutinous Rice

The main hero of this dish is the rice. Glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, waxy rice, or sweet rice, is a type of rice that has a really high amylopectin (a component of starch) level which makes it sticky and moist when cooked.
This stickiness is the reason this rice is named “Glutinous”. The name has nothing to do with the gluten content in the rice. This rice is actually gluten-free. This rice also requires the least amount of cooking because of its low water content.

Glutinous rice isn’t really that hard to find. Most grocery stores and big departmental chains have many varieties of this type of rice. Here is a guide to help you choose the right brand. You can also buy this rice online.

Buying the right kind of rice is really important because the taste and texture of the dish depend on the quality and kind of rice you use to make it.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a naturally creamy and slightly sweet, delicious liquid that is found in mature coconuts. It differs from coconut water in that it is actually juiced out of the meat of a mature coconut and is not just found floating inside the body. Coconut milk is not just tasty but it also has many health benefits. It is also one of the primary ingredients in making Biko.

Coconut milk is easy to find and is available in many different forms and flavors. Follow this guide to get your hands on the best variety. You can also make coconut milk at home if you don’t want the processed variety.

You can also use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in this recipe. The cream is easily available in stores and online.

Brown Sugar

The third ingredient you need to make Biko is brown sugar. While brown sugar is essentially white sugar with added molasses it is healthier than white sugar and also has a different texture. Although unprocessed sugar is also brown in color, usually brown sugar refers to the one with added molasses.

Brown sugar is available easily and in many varieties. You can even make it at home or buy it online.

How To Make Biko

Now that you have all the ingredients at hand, let’s get to the actual recipe for cooking Biko. There are actually two ways you can cook Biko; one method asks you to cook the rice over a stove in an open pot, the other one asks you to use a rice cooker for the same purpose. 

You can make delicious Biko with both methods, but the rice cooker method is quicker. Here we will relay both the methods so you can choose the one you are more comfortable with:

Method 1


  • Glutinous rice, 4 cups
  • Coconut milk 14-ounce cans, 3
  • Brown sugar (divided), 2 cups
  • Coconut cream, 1 cup


  • Soak the rice in 8 cups of water overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Drain the water from the rice and put it aside.
  • In a pot, mix the coconut milk with a cup of water and let it simmer over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, add the rice. Keep stirring the rice to prevent it from sticking and reduce the heat.
  • Once the rice is cooked, sticky, and dry, add one cup brown sugar. Make sure the rice is cooked before you add the sugar. If the rice is sticky and dry but not yet cooked, add small amounts of water to it and stir until it’s cooked.
  • Mix the rice and sugar well. Once mixed move the rice over to an oiled 9"×13" pan. Smooth the top by lightly patting the rice.
  • Mix the coconut cream and the remaining brown sugar together until smooth, and pour over the rice mix.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until the top is dark brown and firm. Cool before serving.​

Method 2


  • Glutinous rice, 4 cups
  • Coconut cream (divided), 2 cups
  • Brown sugar (divided), 2 cups


  • Soak the rice overnight and drain on the day of cooking. Set aside.
  • Place the rice in a rice cooker and cook on the “sweet rice” setting. Add as much water as is normally required by your rice cooker.
  • Once cooked, mix one cup of brown sugar, and one cup of coconut cream in it.
  • Move the rice mixture into a greased pan. Mix the remaining coconut milk & brown sugar and drizzle it over the rice mixture.
  • Bake at 350° F for one hour or until the top turns dark brown and thick.

To Make The Latik

Take two cups of coconut cream & boil it. Keep cooking it with constant stirring until the liquid starts becoming thick. Once that happens, lower the heat, and continue to cook until the oil separates from the solids. Keep stirring and scraping the sides until the solids or curds turn golden brown. Drain the oil & your Latik is ready.


Enjoy Delicious Biko

Biko is truly a sumptuous dish that is perfect for parties, get-togethers, and teas. It is one of those dishes that combine great taste with a pleasing texture so it can be enjoyed by everyone. It also has just the right amount of sweetness so that the taste isn’t overbearing and the dish isn’t overly heavy. Next time you have family or guests over wow them by serving this amazing dish that is so easy to make.

Did you like this tutorial? If so, would you like to see more tutorials like these in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.​

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