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Espasol: Filipino Toasted Rice Flour Cakes

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.

Espasol are Filipino cakes made from toasted rice flour

Espasol are Filipino cakes made from toasted rice flour

What Is Espasol?

Since rice is a staple food in the Philippines, many dessert and snack foods are made from rice. For desserts, we use short grain, glutinous sweet rice, which is also used in other Asian countries. Some sweets, such as biko, call for the use of the whole rice grains while others require the use of rice flour, such as espasol.

What makes this dessert different is that the rice flour is toasted before mixing it with the sugar and coconut milk. Coconut milk is another common ingredient in Filipino cuisine because coconut trees are abundant in the Philippines.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

12 servings


  • 3 cups glutinous or sweet rice flour, available at Asian stores
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 cans coconut milk


  1. Place the rice flour in a pan over medium heat and stir constantly for about 10 minutes until it turns brown. Set aside 1/2 cup of the toasted rice flour for later.
  2. Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the 2 1/2 cups of toasted rice flour to the sweetened coconut milk mixture and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. The rice is done when you take a spoonful of the rice mixture and it sticks to the spoon and doesn't drop or fall when you turn the spoon over.
  4. Remove the pot of rice from the heat and allow it to cool.
  5. Sprinkle some of the reserved, toasted rice flour on a flat surface. Place the cooled rice dough onto that surface. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to about 1/4 or 1/2 inch thick (depending on how thick you want it).
  6. With a knife, cut the dough into 1-inch x 4-inch rectangles.
  7. Roll the rectangular rice cakes into the reserved toasted rice flour to coat them.


  • Salt: You can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in step 2 to add some saltiness if desired.
  • Shapes: Cut the dough to any shape you want, such as circles, diamonds, or triangles. You can also form the dough into log shapes.
  • Fresh coconut topping: Sprinkle the espasol with grated fresh coconut before serving.

Sweet Rice Flour