Three-Ingredient Pastillas: A Filipino-Inspired Delicacy

Updated on June 29, 2020
dredcuan profile image

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

Learn how to make three-ingredient pastillas: a Filipino-inspired delicacy
Learn how to make three-ingredient pastillas: a Filipino-inspired delicacy | Source

Pastillas, or pastillas de leche, comes from the Spanish for "milk pills." Despite the origin of its name, this famous delicacy originated in the Philippines.

Traditionally, pastillas are made from the milk of a carabao, which is the native Filipino water buffalo. The milk is combined with butter and sugar and then cooked thoroughly to form a paste. Continuous stirring is required to avoid scorching.

Since I did not have fresh carabao milk in my refrigerator, I decided to try using powdered milk instead. The result turned out well, so I'd like to share my technique with my readers. I imagine that fresh carabao milk may be hard to find in many parts of the world, but by using powdered milk, you can enjoy this Filipino delicacy in your own home.

pastillas ingredients
pastillas ingredients | Source


  • 1 1/4 cups powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Oil, for molding
utensils for making pastillas
utensils for making pastillas | Source


For Preparation:

  • 2 large bowls
  • 1 medium bowl
  • spatula
  • measuring cups
  • plate

For Molding and Packaging Homemade Pastillas:

  • teaspoon
  • container or sealed plastic or cellophane wrap

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 30 pieces


  1. Mix powdered milk and condensed milk together in a bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour or until the mixture becomes firm.
  3. Once set, remove the bowl from the refrigerator.
  4. Oil palm of your hands to help you easily roll the mixture.
  5. Start with a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball or a cylindrical shape. Do the same with the rest of the mixture. You should end up with 30 equal-sized pieces, give or take.
  6. Coat the pastillas with sugar and arrange them on a plate.
  7. Chill again for 1 hour or more before serving.

Three-Ingredient Pastillas: Recipe Video

Tips and Techniques

  • Choose any brand of powdered milk.
  • Use flavored condensed milk such as ube, chocolate, buko pandan, etc.
  • Replace the powdered milk with chocolate cocoa powder, if desired.
  • Add any extracts or essences you prefer; e.g., mango, banana, pineapple, etc.
  • Make sure the mixture is sufficiently chilled. This will make the dough easier to shape.

Finished Product

no-cook homemade pastillas recipe
no-cook homemade pastillas recipe | Source

Questions & Answers

  • How can I mold the pastillas in my hand without sticking in my hand?

    Apply a small amount of oil in palms/hands from time to time. This helps in preventing pastillas from sticking if using bare hands. Also, make sure you achieved the right consistency of the pastillas.

  • How can I store these pastillas and for how long?

    I usually store mine inside the refrigerator for two weeks up to months. If you are living in countries that have cold weather, you may keep it in cold areas of your house. It's similar to how supermarkets store it on their shelves. This recipe is preservative-free so proper storage is necessary so that the milk won't get spoiled.

  • What powdered-milk brand would you recommend to use in making this pastillas?

    I'm using a local brand, Alaska. It isn't too sweet.

  • Can I use buttermilk in making pastillas?

    Buttermilk has a different taste compared to regular milk so I wouldn't recommend it.

© 2018 Travel Chef


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    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      21 months ago from Manila

      Hi Liz,

      I used powdered milk in here so you don't really need to use any liquid milks. Try it! You will love it for sure!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      21 months ago from UK

      I think I might struggle to get carabao milk in the UK. But I am wondering whether I could experiment with other milk.

    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      21 months ago from Manila

      Hello Mary,

      I love eating pastillas as well. I enjoy any flavor of it. This recipe is not the traditional way of making one but the taste is the same.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      21 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      As a child, I love eating pastillas.

    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      21 months ago from Manila

      Hi Renee21,

      They originated in the Philippines during Spanish colonization. It's the reason why people back then used a Spanish term to name the dish.

    • renee21 profile image

      Tori Leumas 

      21 months ago

      This looks interesting. I've never heard of pastillas before. Where do they originate?


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