The true meaning of Christmas isn’t about the gifts, the decorations, or even the family time. – It’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus, who came to help us be better people.
Here in this guide, we have some Filipino Christmas desserts you simply can’t miss! And since we have so much to celebrate this holiday season, it only makes sense to throw some (delicious) Filipino Christmas desserts into the mix!
Let’s proceed to know these delectables!
1. Buko Pandan
Buko pandan is one of the popular Filipino Christmas desserts made from sweetened coconut milk, sugar, and pandan flavoring.
Pandan extract is used in many other types of desserts as well. These include cakes, pastries, and cookies.
Moreso, the extract can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores or online. If you want to make buko pandan yourself but don’t have any pandan extract on hand, you can substitute vanilla extract for a similar flavor. This dessert should be eaten cold or at room temperature for maximum enjoyment.
2. Puto Bumbong
Puto Bumbong is also one of the most popular Filipino Christmas desserts. This deliciously sticky rice-based cake has a sweet caramel topping that oozes through the crispy, thin crust as you cut into it. The texture and flavor are similar to an American pecan pie but with more sweetness.
Puto Bumbong is typically made in a round pan lined with banana leaves. And filled with layers of cooked milled glutinous rice, sugar water, evaporated milk or coconut milk, sugar palm syrup (gata), and grated coconut meat.
It is traditionally steamed for about 45 minutes and then cooled before slicing. Some versions will also include marmalade or cheese at the bottom of the cake before adding any other layers.
Bibingka is a type of rice cake that originates from Southeast Asia. The bibingka can either be baked or boiled.
Baked bibingka is usually shaped into squares, rectangles, or triangles. Often, they are dipped in an egg-based glaze before baking to give them a crustier exterior.
Bibingka cooked in boiling water are sometimes cooked with pandan leaves as an additional flavor.
Bibingkang manok is a variation of the traditional bibingka, where shredded chicken is added to the batter before cooking and served with cheese sauce on top. One of the delicious Filipino Christmas desserts? Yes, it is!
4. Cassava Cake
Cassava cake is included in the list of the various Filipino Christmas desserts traditionally served during the holidays. It’s a rich, dense cake made of grated cassava or yuca mixed with eggs and coconut milk.
Then, it is fried in hot oil until it turns crispy on the outside and custardy on the inside. There are variations, but this is the most common recipe. Cassavas are usually round in shape to represent coins, which is why they’re also called coins or money.
5. Pichi Pichi
Pichi pichi is the perfect one to share with family and friends, considering the list of Filipino Christmas desserts.
It’s a popular Filipino sweet made of glutinous rice balls deep-fried and then coated in sugar. It can be eaten alone or with your favorite sauce for dippings, like chocolate sauce, honey, or even ice cream.
Pichi pichi is traditionally served on New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day as an addition to the merienda spread. There are many variations of this crunchy snack with different types of fillings.
These fillings include mung beans, black sesame paste, ube jam, palm fruit jam, banana jam, sweet potato custard filling–you name it!
Pinaso is a typical Filipino dessert that is enjoyed during the holidays. It’s not just for kids; adults love it too. It’s made from rice flour and water that are mixed and formed into balls, then deep-fried in coconut oil until golden brown.
After frying, they are rolled in sugar or dipped into sweet syrup to cover them with a sweet coating. They can be eaten alone or served with ice cream and fruits such as bananas and pineapple. Equally important to note, they are on our list of delectable Filipino Christmas desserts.
7. Crema de Fruta
Looking for the best Filipino Christmas desserts to serve this season? Crema de Fruta is a yummy, refreshing dessert that is perfect for the holidays.
This recipe is so easy to make and uses only four ingredients: sugar, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and fresh fruit. The recipe calls for canned lychees or fresh mangoes, or even strawberries.
However you choose to make this dessert, it’s sure to be delicious! To serve, cut up some of the prepared fruit into small pieces and lay them on top of individual servings of crema de Fruta.
Top with whipped cream before serving if desired. Enjoy as either a breakfast or dessert!
8. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a popular dessert during the Christmas season. They’re easy to make and can be served with custard, cream, or ice cream.
Here are five recipes for fruit salad, one of the Filipino Christmas desserts, that you can try this holiday season:
- Fruit Salad Recipe with Pineapple, Mango, and Kiwi.
- Fruit Salad Recipe with Pineberry and Watermelon.
- Fruit Salad Recipe with Honeydew, Strawberries, and Orange.
- Fruit Salad Recipe with Coconut.
- Fruit Salad Recipe with Rambutan.
9. Buko Salad
Buko salad is a refreshing choice for your holiday dessert. In the Philippines, it’s a popular dish that’s eaten year-round. It’s also known as buko pandan or buko sosyete.
Traditionally, it has sweetened coconut milk in place of the water and ground rice starch mixed in with the shredded coconut to create an eggless custard.
The dish is served cold and topped with evaporated milk, sugar syrup, and black sesame seeds. Meanwhile, it can be a bit tricky to find fresh coconuts around this time of year.
But you can substitute canned young coconuts from Thailand or jars of unsweetened coconut cream. These are found in most grocery stores. They are used to make this delicious one of the various Filipino Christmas desserts.
10. Pink Gulaman
If you are looking for a light and refreshing dessert to enjoy during the holiday season, gulaman is just the thing. This sweet jelly-like dessert is made of agar agar and sugar syrup.
It can be served in various ways: with shaved ice, on top of ice cream, as a gelatin dessert, or even as popsicles.
It is sometimes combined with other ingredients like pandan leaves or pineapple juice for added flavor. The best part about gulaman? It tastes great no matter how you decide to serve it.
Well, it’s on our list of Filipino Christmas desserts; you can’t expect less from us!
11. Cathedral Jelly
In the Philippines, Cathedral Jelly is a popular dessert during the Christmas season. It is often served with hot tea or coffee to balance out the sweetness of the jelly.
The name comes from its appearance when it’s in its liquid form: it’s said to resemble a cathedral with a bell tower and spires.
If you’re not into overly sweet desserts or want something less likely to induce tooth decay, then Cathedral Jelly may be a good choice for you this holiday season.
Basically, there are many variations of this delicacy on the list of Filipino Christmas desserts. Most recipes call for these ingredients: water, sugar, gelatin sheets, and fruit juice (pandan extract can also be used). To make one serving: fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.
12. Chocolate Crinkles
Chocolate Crinkles are must-have Filipino Christmas desserts at every Filipino Christmas get-together. These chocolaty cookies are rolled in powdered sugar and can be eaten out of hand.
Also, they can be sandwiched with sweet fillings like dark chocolate ganache, whipped cream, or fruit preserves.
The combination of the crisp cookie and the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate filling is absolutely divine. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try making them into sandwiches.
Simply spread the filling over half of the chocolate crinkle and sandwich it together with another to create a delightful new treat.
13. Food For the Gods
The Philippines is known for its extravagant and over-the-top Filipino Christmas desserts. This tradition started in the Spanish era when Spaniards introduced a new way of cooking to the natives.
These decadent dishes are traditionally served during celebratory occasions, such as weddings, baptisms, and birthdays.
Not because it’s difficult to make, but because dates and walnuts are uncommon in the Philippines, another dish is in danger of disappearing.
During my upbringing, this was frequently served. It tastes like moist butterscotch combined with a crunchy cookie.
One of the most popular Filipino Christmas desserts is halo-halo. It’s a dish that combines sweetened ice with beans and fruits like avocado, jackfruit, mongo beans, and even boiled eggs.
Sometimes it also includes shaved ice topped with evaporated milk or ube syrup (purple yam).
Surprisingly, it would be hard to find someone who doesn’t know halo-halo. Halo-Halo is made from shaved ice, beans, and toppings.
There are plenty of variations as there are many different ingredients to choose from. Ingredients such as evaporated milk, banana, ube ice cream, mangoes, macapuno (coconut meat), sweetened condensed milk (from coconuts), pandan leaves (from pandan plant), and more.
The shaved ice is the base for this dessert, and it is topped off with a scoop of something sweet. The different types of toppings make each one unique.
15. Ube Halaya
This delicious and rich dessert is a staple in Filipino households during the holiday season. It is made by simmering boiled ube (purple yam) with sugar, water, and salt until it becomes a deep brown color. The boiled mixture is then poured over ice to cool down.
Proceeding this dessert can be eaten on its own or topped with grated coconut, crushed pinipig (rice crackers), and toasted sesame seeds.
If you have never tried this popular dish, which is also one of the Filipino Christmas desserts, try making some this year for your family’s Christmas celebration!
16. Leche Flan
Leche Flan is a delicious and decadent dessert perfect for the holidays. The ingredients are simple and readily available in any grocery store.
Leche Flan is easy to make, takes about an hour from start to finish, and has a beautiful presentation that will impress anyone who sees it.
This post will show you how to make Leche Flan with step-by-step instructions so you can celebrate this holiday season in style with your family and friends.
The steps to make this treatment of the Filipino Christmas desserts: First, fill a large pot or wok with water and bring it to a boil on the stovetop.
Next, add the sugar, condensed milk, water, eggs, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt into a blender or food processor.
Finally, blend until smooth; set aside. The Leche Flan wraps up our list of different Filipino Christmas desserts to try out this season!
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s no denying that the holiday season means some seriously delicious treats, especially when you’re celebrating with your family and friends!
If you’re wondering what some of the most popular Christmas desserts are in the Philippines, this list of Filipino Christmas desserts will be your go-to guide for getting ideas for your next gathering!