Skip to main content

Biko: Filipino Rice Cake

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Filipino biko (rice cakes)

Filipino biko (rice cakes)

What Is Biko?

One of my favorite desserts in the Philippines is biko. It can also be eaten as a snack. Other names for this dessert include sinukmani or malagkit (in Tagalog, malagkit means sticky). Biko is indeed sticky; to make it, we use glutinous, sweet, sticky short-grain rice and then combine it with coconut milk and sugar. So this cake is not cake-like at all, but rather a bit sticky and chewy. It may take some getting used to, but if you're adventurous, you will definitely want to try this.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

50 min

1 hour

10 servings


For cooking the rice:

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, available at Asian stores
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk

For the coconut milk syrup:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar


  1. Soak the rice in water overnight. Reserve the soaking water.
  2. Combine the rice, soaking water, and coconut milk in a rice cooker and follow your rice cooker's instructions to cook the rice.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
  4. Combine the coconut milk syrup ingredients in a pot. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add only half of the thickened coconut milk syrup to the cooked rice and continue to stir and cook until liquid evaporates and is absorbed by the rice, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the rice to a 9"x13" greased baking pan and spread it out evenly on the pan.
  7. Pour the other half of the thickened coconut milk syrup mixture evenly over the rice, to serve as the topping.
  8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes and allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Variations of Biko

  • You can skip steps 6-8 by adding all of the coconut milk syrup into the pot of cooked rice and finish cooking it in the pot instead.
  • You can add other flavorings such as vanilla or pandan extract (available in Asian stores), etc.
  • Before serving, top with toasted grated coconut or bottled macapuno (coconut strings, available at Asian stores).

Glutinous or Sticky Rice