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


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.

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.

Pastillas de Leche Recipe

Cook timeReady inYields

45 min

45 min

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!


kat on May 10, 2020:

how do you make hard pastillas version like sitsiriya's?

Evangeline Miles on June 29, 2019:

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

Katie on March 25, 2019:

Is it granulated or powdered sugar?

Yolanda on January 10, 2014:

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

vina jayubo on October 10, 2013:

that is a delicious food pastillas.

Alphapx from Philippines on April 03, 2013:

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.

Phoebe Gavino on January 31, 2012:

yummy and Delicious pastillas .

Phoebe Gavino on January 31, 2012:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 19, 2011:

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

mafe on October 12, 2011:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

@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 (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

@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 (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 12, 2011:

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 11, 2011:

@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 (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on October 11, 2011:

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

angelina1607 on October 10, 2011:

Woww yummy,,delicious really!

chelle from Manila, PH on October 09, 2011:

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

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 09, 2011:

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

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

Claudia Tello from Mexico on October 09, 2011:

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

anjperez on October 09, 2011:

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!

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on October 09, 2011:

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!


Valerie Washington from Tempe, Arizona on October 09, 2011:

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

Rosie Rose from Toronto, Canada on October 09, 2011:

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 from America on October 09, 2011:

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

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 09, 2011:

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

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on October 09, 2011:

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

Marlene Bertrand from USA on October 09, 2011:

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

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 09, 2011:

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 from London on October 09, 2011:

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

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on October 09, 2011:

This sounds really good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on October 09, 2011:

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 from -Oceania on October 09, 2011:

Great hub kerlynb!

Cant wait to try this out.

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 09, 2011:

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.

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on October 09, 2011:

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 from Philippines on October 09, 2011:

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 from Sri Lanka on October 09, 2011:

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

Leah Lefler from Western New York on October 09, 2011:

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 from Virginia, USA on October 09, 2011:

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

mottiandbander from Chd on October 09, 2011:

Me also love candy.nice hub.

kitikits from Philippines on September 30, 2011:

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

leann2800 on September 29, 2011:

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

Erin Boggs1 from Western Maryland on September 29, 2011:

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 from United Kingdom on September 29, 2011:

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

Well written and voting up.

Farmer Brown on September 29, 2011:

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!

Joseph De Cross from New York on September 29, 2011:

Delicious!milky pills? LOL!

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

kerlynb (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 29, 2011:

@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 from Tuckerton, NJ on September 29, 2011:

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 (author) from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on September 29, 2011:

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

Jill Spencer from United States on September 29, 2011:

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

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