I’ve long wanted to try my hand at making sapin sapin but I was intimidated by what I thought to be a complicated process. When I went home to the Philippines last June, it was one of the key recipes I asked our suking magkakanin to teach me. As it turned out, I didn’t need a 7,185-mile trip to learn how to make it! It’s so easy, it’s almost child’s play. All it takes is a simple rice batter which you color and steam in three batches. I had so much fun this afternoon making this vibrant rice cake again and this time, on my own. It was a total blast mixing in the extracts and watching it come together into awesome layers of color and flavor. This can certainly be an enjoyable kitchen activity even the little chefs at home can participate in.
Sapin sapin is indeed one of the easiest Filipino dessert you can make. Prep time is less than 10 minutes which is mainly whipping the batter together and adding the necessary flavor/color boosts. Much of the cook time involved is in the making of the latik. If you want to facilitate the process, you can, of course, substitute toasted coconut (find out how to make it–>here) for the latik. But please, please, please! Take the extra step of making latik. Highly, strongly recommended! Not only do I find latik much more indulgent, the extracted coconut oil from the latik can be brushed over the steamed cake for unbeatable aroma and flavor! Trust me, will ya?
- 1 cup coconut cream (kakang gata)
- 3 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 (14 ounces) can condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon ube flavor extract
- 1 teaspoon langka flavor extract
- 9-inch cake pan
- In a pan over medium heat, add coconut cream and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid starts to thicken.
- Lower heat and continue to cook. As oil starts to separate and solids begin to form, regularly stir and scrape sides and bottom of pan to prevent from burning. Continue to cook and stir until curds turn golden brown. Drain latik from the oil and store in a container until ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, sugar and whisk together. Add coconut milk and condensed milk. Stir together until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth and well blended.
- Divide batter evenly into three bowls. In one bowl, add ube extract and stir until color is well dispersed. In another bowl, add Langka extract and stir until color is well dispersed. The remaining portion will be white and plain.
- Line cake pan with cheesecloth (for easier removal of sapin sapin from pan). Pour ube-flavored batter into pan. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Gently pour langka-flavored batter over purple layer. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Gently pour plain batter over yellow layer. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove cake pan from steamer and allow to cool completely.
- Place a wide, flat serving platter over cake pan and gently invert sapin sapin onto platter (purple layer will now be the top layer). Remove cheesecloth. Liberally brush top and sides of sapin sapin with coconut oil (from making latik). Cut into serving portions and generously top with latik.
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