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Pastillas de Pili (Filipino Pili Nut Candy)

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.

Pili nut candy

Pili nut candy

What Are Pastillas de Pili?

Pastilla is the Spanish word for bar or stick. These candies are cut into bars, hence the name pastillas. Pilis are a type of nut cultivated in the Philippines. It's similar in appearance and texture to a Brazilian nut.

In the Philippines, pastillas refer to a type of candy containing milk and sugar, similar to the sweets found in India. These candies can vary in texture—some are soft and melt in your mouth, others are slightly firmer, and still, others are chewy. The recipe can be modified to suit your preference.

This is what pili nuts look like.

This is what pili nuts look like.

This is what the shelled pili nuts look like.

This is what the shelled pili nuts look like.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

40 min

45 min

20 to 24 pastillas


  • 1 cup unsalted, sugar-free pili nuts, ground; available at Asian stores
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting surface to roll dough


  1. Combine all ingredients (except powdered sugar) in a pot and simmer over low heat. Stir often.
  2. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes until dough-like consistency is attained. Allow to cool.
  3. Transfer to a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar and flatten with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inches, depending on your preferred thickness.
  4. Using a knife, cut the flattened dough into bars 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide by 3 to 4 inches long. Serve and enjoy.


  • Add more sugar for a sweeter candy.
  • Use fresh milk or condensed milk. If using condensed milk, reduce or eliminate the white sugar.
  • Use corn syrup instead of sugar.
  • Use peanuts instead of pili nuts or any nuts desired.
  • Add your favorite flavor extract, such as vanilla.

Pili Nuts