How to Make the Authentic Filipino Milk Candy Pastillas de Leche

Updated on May 30, 2016
Pastillas de Leche
Pastillas de Leche | Source
Pastillas | Source

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

Making pastillas is as easy as 1-2-3 and you even need only a couple of main ingredients to make it: milk and sugar.

While cow, goat, or commercial condensed milk may be used, the authentic pastillas de leche from the Philippines makes use of pure carabao’s milk wheedled out of 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, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth tang. Plus, the texture should be extra-smooth, almost velvety.

Carabao’s milk is plenty in the Philippines and in other Southeast Asian countries. Elsewhere in the world, people can buy carabao’s milk in Asian stores.

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

Genuine Pastillas de Leche – Ingredients and Tools

  • 1liter of pure carabao’s milk (substitutes: cow’s or goat’s milk)
  • ¾ cup sugar (1/2 cup sugar if cow’s or goat’s milk is used)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • pan
  • ladle for stirring
  • bowl
  • board

How to Prepare Pastillas the Traditional Way

  1. Pour one liter of fresh, pure carabao’s milk into a pan and add in ¾ cup of sugar. If cow’s or goat’s milk was used, cut down the sugar to ½ cup.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of cornstarch into the mixture, making sure everything is well-set.
  3. Put the pan over medium heat. Stir slowly and continuously until the mixture of milk and sugar thickens a bit. Once the mixture is thick, lower the heat.
  4. Over low heat, continue stirring the gooey milk mixture until it forms into a mass that can be lifted off from the pan with the ladle.
  5. Put the mass of pastillas into a bowl. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. While waiting for the pastillas de leche to cool, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cooked cornstarch on a board.
  7. Once cool, get a small lump of pastillas then roll it onto a board, making logs of milk candies.
  8. Trim the logs of milk candies into desired length or size.
  9. Cut out pieces of bond and Japanese paper.
  10. Place each piece of pastillas into Japanese paper. Then, wrap each of them further into bond paper.

Notes about this Pastillas De Leche Recipe

  • It takes more or less 45 minutes to process one liter of fresh carabao’s milk into pastillas de leche.
  • That much carabao’s milk can make about 50 pieces of pastillas that each weighs five grams.
  • If cow’s or goat’s milk was used, about 40 pieces of pastillas de leche could be made.

Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista

All Rights Reserved

Filipino Pastillas de Leche Recipe


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    • profile image

      Yolanda 4 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 4 years ago

      that is a delicious food pastillas.

    • Alphapx profile image

      Alphapx 4 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 6 years ago

      yummy and Delicious pastillas .

    • profile image

      Phoebe Gavino 6 years ago

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

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • profile image

      mafe 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

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

    • angelina1607 profile image

      angelina1607 6 years ago

      Woww yummy,,delicious really!

    • silkwormy profile image

      chelle 6 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 6 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 6 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

      anjperez 6 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 6 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 6 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

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

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 6 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

      moonlake 6 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 6 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 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

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

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 years ago from USA

      This sounds really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 6 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

      Eaglekiwi 6 years ago from -Oceania

      Great hub kerlynb!

      Cant wait to try this out.

    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 6 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 6 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

      emzitinasas 6 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

      chamilj 6 years ago from Sri Lanka

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

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 6 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 6 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

      mottiandbander 6 years ago from Chd

      Me also love candy.nice hub.

    • kitikits profile image

      kitikits 6 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

      leann2800 6 years ago

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

    • Erin Boggs1 profile image

      Erin Boggs1 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 years ago

      Delicious!milky pills? LOL!

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

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 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

      MonetteforJack 6 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 image

      kerlynb 6 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 6 years ago from United States

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