Filipino sticky rice, known as Filipino Biko, is a classic, popular dessert. It's easy to make with just four ingredients!
As a Filipino-American, I definitely grew up with a sweet tooth. Most Filipino food leans sweet versus spicy. And when it comes to dessert, there are no shortage of sweets!
We love making Turon (banana lumpia), Taisan (a fluffy Filipino chiffon cake), and these bright delicious Ube Cookies for everyday sweets.
When it came to bigger family gatherings and holidays, we almost always feasted with Leche Flan and Biko.
What is Filipino Biko?
Biko is a sweet, sticky rice dessert. If you're looking for an easy Filipino dessert to make, this is a great one to start with!
- It's made with just four ingredients: white rice, brown sugar, coconut, milk, and vanilla. That's it!
- The recipe is super easy to make: just a few steps, and then the most time is spent letting it cool and set.
- It's a portable dessert, perfect for picnics and barbecues.
- Biko can keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
4-Ingredient Filipino sticky rice
Rice - You can use any glutinous white rice in this biko recipe. The water shown in the pic above is used to cook the rice.
Brown sugar - You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar in biko, but I much prefer the richer molasses flavor of dark brown sugar. Be sure to pack the dark brown sugar well when measuring.
Coconut milk - Be sure to use canned coconut milk for this, and NOT the kind of coconut milk sold as a refrigerated alternative milk drink. The latter will be way too thin and watery for this dessert.
Vanilla - I love the addition of pure vanilla extract in this dessert. It adds a richer depth of flavor and an even sweeter aroma.
Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large pot, cook the rice in water according to package directions.
In a heavy bottom pot, whisk together the brown sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla, and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the mixture to a boil and stir, cooking until the mixture has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Spread the rice evenly into the prepared pan, then allow to set. You can refrigerate the biko until you're ready to serve.
Dark brown sugar is best for this recipe. You can use light brown sugar if that's all you have on hand, but you might want to add a teaspoon of molasses to the mix.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Kitchen tools and equipment
For this recipe, you just need a few basic kitchen tools:
Baking pan - Most biko are made in an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan or 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. You can make this in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, but your biko will be thinner.
Parchment paper - Use parchment paper to ensure the biko doesn't stick to the pan. This makes it easy to lift out and serve.
Large pots - You'll need two large pots. Use one large pot to cook the rice. Then use a heavy bottom pot or pan, such as a dutch oven, to cook the brown sugar/vanilla/coconut milk mixture.
How to serve this Filipino dessert
If you're looking for more authentic Filipino recipes to try, start with my Instant Pot Chicken Adobo recipe, and serve it over Instant Pot Garlic Rice.
For hearty meat recipes, try my favorite Filipino Pork BBQ Skewers. Or homemade Caldereta, Almondigas, or Ground Pork Menudo recipe.
More Filipino recipes
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
- 2 cups glutinous rice
- 1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large pot, cook the rice in water according to package directions.
- In a heavy bottom pot, whisk together the coconut milk, brown sugar, and vanilla, and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring the mixture to a boil and stir, cooking until the mixture has thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice to the brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Cook on low, stirring regularly, for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Spread the rice evenly into the prepared pan, then allow to set. You can refrigerate the biko until you're ready to serve.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
Tayler Ross says
I made this for dessert tonight and OMG was it delicious! And so simple to make too!
I've got to try this biko. It is one of those recipes that I've never seen before. Super excited!
What a tasty dessert! This was my first time making Biko and it turned out well thanks to your great directions. I'll definitely be making it again.
A favorite! This Biko looks so good! I love how easily it comes together with just four ingredients.
I have never heard of this dessert before but it sounds and looks so delicious and so easy to make!!