How to Make Authentic Pastillas de Leche (Filipino Milk Candy)

Updated on February 5, 2020
kerlynb profile image

Kerlyn loves to share her passion for Filipino food with others so that they too can delight in delicious Southeast Asian cuisine.

Pastillas de Leche are a popular Filipino dessert.
Pastillas de Leche are a popular Filipino dessert. | Source

Pastillas de leche is one of the most well-loved desserts from the Philippines, where people get fresh milk from carabaos or water buffalos and make them into these sweet and succulent milk candies.

Making pastillas is as easy as 1-2-3, and you only need a few main ingredients: milk and sugar.

While cow, goat, or commercial condensed milk may be used, authentic pastillas de leche are made of pure carabao’s milk, which is milked from carabaos ploughing the rice fields in the countryside.

What’s the difference? Carabao’s milk is said to be creamier and richer, giving pastillas de leche a distinct tang. Plus, the texture should be extra-smooth, almost velvety.

Carabao’s milk is easy to find in the Philippines and in other Southeast Asian countries. Elsewhere in the world, people can buy carabao’s milk in Asian supermarkets.

The genuine pastillas de leche has milk extracted from  Philippine carabaos.
The genuine pastillas de leche has milk extracted from Philippine carabaos. | Source

Pastillas de Leche Recipe

Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 50 (5-gram) pastillas (or 40 if using cow milk)


  • 1 liter of pure carabao milk (or cow or goat milk)
  • ¾ cup sugar (½ cup sugar if using cow or goat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Pour one liter of fresh milk into a pan. Add the sugar.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of cornstarch into the mixture, making sure everything is well-stirred.
  3. Put the pan over medium heat. Stir slowly and continuously until the milk-and-sugar mixture thickens a bit. Once the mixture is thick, lower the heat.
  4. Continue stirring the gooey milk mixture over low heat until it forms into a ball that can be scooped off the pan with a ladle.
  5. Put the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool.
  6. While waiting for the pastillas de leche to cool, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cornstarch on a cutting board.
  7. Once cool, roll a small lump of pastillas into a log.
  8. Trim to desired length or size.
  9. Cut pieces of bond and Japanese paper.
  10. Place each piece of pastillas into Japanese paper. Then, wrap each of them once more with bond paper.

Pastillas de leche are simple and easy to make!
Pastillas de leche are simple and easy to make! | Source


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    • profile image

      Evangeline Miles 

      12 months ago

      What do you mean by "cooked corn starch"? Thanks.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Is it granulated or powdered sugar?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I want to know what is cooked cornstarch? I'm a little bit confused about it. I want to try your recipe. Thank you.

    • profile image

      vina jayubo 

      6 years ago

      that is a delicious food pastillas.

    • Alphapx profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      I have tasted this one. I really want to eat this everyday. LOL! Thanks for sharing on how to make this milk candy. In our place, we call it yemas or yema.

    • profile image

      Phoebe Gavino 

      8 years ago

      yummy and Delicious pastillas .

    • profile image

      Phoebe Gavino 

      8 years ago

      super yummy and delicious Pastillas i ever had, thanks for sharing hub. good job!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @mafe That's great to know :) Thanks for reading and leaving your comment mafe.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love Filipino dishes especially deserts. I already tasted pastillas de eche and it made me say SWEET just like Filipinos..=)

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @mottiandbander Oh we're so the same so I have to say hi sweet-toothed cousin! Candies are fun, milk candies rock! :D

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Arlynne That sounds like a quick, easy, and yummy treat :) I do just the same with powdered milk and sugar. For a twist, I add in a sprinkle of coffee. Yes, coffee-flavored pastillas!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @kitikits It's so easy to make, isn't it? Even high school students can earn making it :)

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @leann2800 Glad to introduce you to our very own pastillas de leche :) Thank you for stopping by my hub.

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Erin Boggs1 Onigiri? Omusubi? Rice balls? Yum-yum!

      Oh, you can make substitutes if your Asian store doesn't carry carabao's milk. You can use condensed milk. The end product would still be heavenly, sinful :)

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Movie Master Hope you get the time to try it out :) Thanks for the comment and the vote, really appreciate them.

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @Farmer Brown Right, nothing beats fresh. I love Red Ribbon's pastillas though :) I can eat a whole pack by my self and still crave for more,LOL!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @lord de cross Delicioso indeed! Thanks, thanks for dropping by Lord!

    • angelina1607 profile image


      8 years ago

      Woww yummy,,delicious really!

    • silkwormy profile image


      8 years ago from Manila, PH

      Useful and voted up. I'm happy this is the Hub of the Day pick.Pinoy pride...hurray!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Congrats!!!! Where would I find Japanense paper?????

      Can I substitute another paper? Would love to try these.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      8 years ago from Mexico

      Congratulations on the nomination, I am happy for you. Never tasted this Filipino candy, maybe one of these days :)

    • anjperez profile image


      8 years ago

      congratulations kerlynb for being picked as hub of the day. you very well deserve it. you can write hubs that are entertaining and full of information. this pastillas de leche reminds me of my childhood. now this has become a treat anybody can enjoy. superb!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day! My wife is from Cambodia and she lived on a Refuge Camp in the Philippines during the Khmer Rouge Regime. I showed this article to her and she wanted me to tell you that she loves this recipe! Thanks for sharing! Voting up and sharing!


    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 

      8 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      Great hub and the pictures really makes me want some. Yum!

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hiya Kerlyn, oh I love pastillas de leche! It's one of my favourite Filipino sweets. I didn't know about the carabow milk.. I just eat them! lol Great job! Voted up up up! Cheers!

      Have a nice day,


    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      I have never heard of these before but they sound really good. Congratulations on Hub of the Day.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome hub for a unique recipe! Love the detailed pictured and information. Congrats on getting Hub of the Day!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      8 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Great hub! I have a sweet tooth, so just the picture by itself looks wonderful....

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      8 years ago from USA

      Oh, this sounds delicious! I am adding this to my holiday treats list. Thank you for the recipe.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      8 years ago from Taos, NM

      kerlynb: Your receipes are always delicious! These look so good. You do such a great job writing and illustrating your hubs. Congratulations on hub of the day! You are so deserviing and I am so happy for you!

      Voted up!

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      8 years ago from London

      That looks so lovely, what a great hub. I haven't heard about this before, and can't wait to try it!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      8 years ago from USA

      This sounds really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Wow, this is a real informative recipe. I never heard of pastillas de leche until I read your hub. I am not sure I would try making it myself, but if someone else made it, I would love to taste these.

    • Eaglekiwi profile image


      8 years ago from -Oceania

      Great hub kerlynb!

      Cant wait to try this out.

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 

      8 years ago from India

      This looks really easy to make and outright delicious! I'm craving for such a sweet so will definitely try this out soon :) Thanks for sharing.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      I have never heard of milk candy before. It is such a nice color and I can only imagine how sweet and tasty it must be. Congrats on hub of the day.

    • emzitinasas profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      my mouth is watering for some pastillas de leche.

      i don't have the time to make my own so i just eat powdered milk and add a little water. haha! :))

    • chamilj profile image


      8 years ago from Sri Lanka

      I like it. Looks very tasty. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      8 years ago from Western New York

      That is an interesting recipe - simple to make and it has just a few ingredients! I'll have to try this one with the kids!

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 

      8 years ago from Virginia, USA

      I have seen these but never knew what they were. Now I can't wait to try them out. Excellent hub!

    • mottiandbander profile image


      8 years ago from Chd

      Me also love candy.nice hub.

    • kitikits profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      Oh Wow! I used to make Pastillas de Leche when I was in high school and I sell them too. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have never had one of these but it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing.

    • Erin Boggs1 profile image

      Erin Boggs1 

      8 years ago from Western Maryland

      Carabaos milk sounds really good by itself, and the recipe seems simple enough to make. Hopefully I will be able to make these soon, I think I will see if my local Asian market has any carabaos milk.

      Although I have to be honest I am still trying to master making the Japanese dish Onigiri.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi kerlynb, another mouthwatering recipe, I'm looking forward to trying this one too!

      Well written and voting up.

    • Farmer Brown profile image

      Farmer Brown 

      8 years ago

      Oh I love this candy! I will have to get my hands on carabao candy...or hit Red Ribbon the next time I'm west or northeast. Although, nothing is better than fresh!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      8 years ago from New York

      Delicious!milky pills? LOL!

      love the sweeteness and the pics. Thanks for putting together this hub... for us!Delicioso! amiga!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @MonetteforJack Hi! Thanks for your message :) Oh, but I've never sampled salt water taffy :( My folks just sent me cherry taffy wrapped in these really cute pink pieces of paper and I thought the wrapper and the size looked almost like those of pastillas.

    • MonetteforJack profile image


      8 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

      You really make my mouth water with this recipe !!!

      Ah, Kerlyn, pastillas de leche is far from taffy :) Taffy are like Toffees ... they're chewy. I wish I could send you the Salt water Taffy, Kerlyn! Salt water taffy is a native candy of Atlantic City, NJ -- the city just next to my town.

      Dirt Farmer -- pastillas de leche is more like a very, very, milky and creamy texture of ladyfingers cookies with really sweet, milky , creamy taste. It is chewy but very soft chewy kind, the type that is light and airy in the mouth, that breaks very easy.

      Good hub !!!

    • kerlynb profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      @The Dirt Farmer LOL! Yeah, almost like taffy, just without the fruit flavors :)

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      8 years ago from United States

      It's like taffy! Another interesting, well-written hub. Awesome!


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