Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Biko is a Filipino dessert made with glutinous rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar. It’s an easy and simple homemade dessert that is popularly served at parties and gatherings.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Without even knowing it, I was eating rice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Growing up, rice was a main food group in my diet.

I didn’t learn about low-carb until college. And even then, I thought the idea of a low-carb lifestyle was a bit ridiculous.

Rice is a staple in Filipino cuisine (and many other Asian countries). From rice porridge, rice noodles, rice cakes, and rice cereal, rice is used in many forms and applications.

As a kid, biko was my favorite sweet treat. It was something I enjoyed every birthday, holiday, and special occasion.

What is Biko?

Biko is an easy and simple dessert made with glutinous rice (aka sticky rice), coconut milk, and brown sugar.

There are many ways to cook this popular homemade dessert. Some people cook the entire thing over the pot while some people prefer to use a rice cooker. I’m sharing the method I was taught as a kid.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

To me, biko tastes like an all encompassing warm hug from your beloved grandmother. It’s sweet, fragrant, and a little over the top. It is best served warm, but it’s also great at room temperature.

This recipe makes a large batch of biko. Be prepared to share!

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Does it matter what kind of rice you use to make biko?

Glutinous rice, contrary to it’s name, does not contain any gluten. Glutinous rice is also known as sweet rice, sticky rice, or malagkit. It is a type of short grain rice known for its high starch content. Y

ou can see the different between glutinous rice and jasmine rice (medium/long-grain rice) in the photo above.

Glutinous rice (short grain) is less translucent in color compared to long grain rice because of it’s starch content. It’s the starch content that makes glutinous rice perfect for desserts and porridge. (Example: Champorado! Filipino chocolate rice porridge.)

Do not substitute jasmine rice or any other medium/long grain rice for glutinous rice. The results will not be the same!

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Secret: Soak Rice Overnight

Cooking rice is often time consuming. To shorten this process, I soak the rice in a bowl of cool water overnight.

This speeds up the cooking time because the soaked rice has had time to soften and absorb moisture. The rice is then drained, rinsed, and drained again. It is poured into a simmering pot of coconut milk and water.

Like risotto, the mixture must be continually stirred to ensure even cooking. The stirring also helps to release the starches, making the mixture thicken. Once the rice is cooked, brown sugar (and a touch of salt) is added.

The cooked rice mixture is transferred to a buttered casserole pan. A rich and creamy brown sugar coconut syrup is poured on top.

The dish is then placed in the oven to bake for about an hour. The biko is done once the syrup has thickened and is bubbly vigorously.

Allow it to cool slightly before digging in. The caramel on top will be VERY HOT.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

While other kids looked forward to rice krispie treats and peanut butter jelly sandwiches after school, every afternoon I’d hope to find a fresh batch of biko waiting for me in the kitchen.

I don’t make biko often because I could easily devour any entire pan of this by myself. It’s a special treat I make once in a blue moon.

Each bite tastes like a sweet childhood memory. It’s more comforting to me than a giant bowl of mac and cheese. Biko is one of those desserts I could never tire of.

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

Yield: 9x13-inch pan

Author Maryanne Cabrera


  • 4 cups glutinous rice
  • 3- 14 oz cans coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Place rice in a large bowl. Cover with cool water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse rice. Drain and set aside.*

  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously butter an oven safe 9x13-inch casserole pan

  3. Reserve ¾ cup of coconut milk. Pour remaining coconut milk and 1 ½ cups water in a large sauce pot. Set over medium heat and cook until mixture begins to simmer. Add drained rice. Stir often, making sure rice does not burn along the sides of the pot. Continue to cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until rice has soaked up most of the liquid.

  4. Reduce heat and add 1 ½ cups brown sugar and salt to rice mixture. Continue to cook, another 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Taste a small amount of rice to check it is cooked through. At this point, the mixture should be thick and sticky. Transfer cooked rice mixture into prepared pan. Spread into an even layer.

  5. In a small sauce pot, combine reserved coconut milk and remaining 1 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, 3-5 minutes, before gently pouring over rice mixture.

  6. Bake for 1 hour, until brown sugar topping has thickened and is bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving. The caramel topping will be very hot.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Notes:

  • Soaking the rice overnight speeds up the cooking process.
  • Soaking the rice is not necessary. You can cook the rice over the stove with the coconut milk and water mixture. Rinse and drain the rice before adding to coconut milk mixture. You will have increase the amount of water in the recipe to ensure the rice is cooked through.
  • Glutinous rice is also known as a sweet rice, sticky rice, or malagkit. Contrary to it's name, it does not contain any gluten. Glutinous rice is a type of short grain rice known for it's high starch content.
  • I use Chaokoh coconut milk.

Leftovers and Storage Notes:

Biko can be stored at room temperature for one day. Afterwards, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm up biko for a few seconds in the microwave, or enjoy chilled or at room temperature.

All images and text ©The Little Epicurean

Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Cake)

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Deborah Francisco

OMG, I love biko! It is seriously like a warm hug from your grandma! I remember the first time I was taught how to make it and it was super fun and easy. One of my fav Filipino party foods.

Joan Cajic

Never heard of biko, but I’m now curious and need to start trying out new stuff. This looks delicious, your recipes just make me smile every time.


Yum!! I LOVE sticky rice and I think this recipe just deepen my affections. Lol. Can’t wait to try this!

heather (delicious not gorgeous)

i haven’t had biko before, but i could see how cozy and comforting this would be! chewy rice and creamy coconut milk; what’s not to love?

Cindy Rodriguez

This sounds sinfully delicious! I’ve never tried it but am going to have to make it now.


Anyone know how many servings this feeds??
Please reply back, making this tonight for coworkers and family…. thanks :)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    The recipe fills a 9×13-inch baking dish. It should serve 10-12 people, depending on how large of a portion people eat.


Biko is a childhood dessert that mom fixed for us, but she wrapped it banana leaves.
Puerto Rican, but is willing to try it this way.


Love your recipe and easy to follow instructions! I haven’t eaten Biko since my childhood. I love your soaking the rice overnight method! I made this recipe today and was wondering if you used sweetened coconut milk or unsweetened?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I used canned unsweetened coconut milk (full fat). I have a link in the recipe to the exact brand of coconut milk I used.


My step-mom is from the Philippines. I just moved away from them, and I miss her so much! This recipe is going to either make that worse, or make me feel better. ha ha I hope I can get it a fraction of good she makes it.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Melissa! I hope you enjoy the recipe! (And I hope it makes you feel better, not worse!)

Orlando Barron

Wow, i grew up on filipino sweet rice now i love making it!

Della Bautista

Will this work with brown glutinous rice?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Sorry, I haven’t tried making this recipe with brown glutinous rice. I’m not sure how it will turn out.


I made this on Xmas for my mom! She loved it! The recipe is perfect.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Yay! Merry Christmas! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe!

Ed Austria

This was my first time baking anything. Followed the recipe as instructed and hoped for the best. I served this at my in-laws Christmas lunch and it was a big hit! It was so delicious that I’m planning to make it again for our New Year’s Eve celebration.


Hi! Your biko looks great! Lools just like my mom’s. I was wondering what brand rice do you use?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I use the “Sho-Chiku-Bai” sweet rice from Koda Farms or Calrose Sweet Rice.

Rosalie Binarao

I gonna try your biko recipe, as it’s looks like yummy, hope I can get more other different kind of cooking something new,..


Hi Maryanne, this is Megan from Visit Cebu. We’d like to share your photo for one of our articles–we will of course give the appropriate credits to you. Just let us know if you wish to have it taken down. Thanks!

Gail Fitzpatrick

I would love to try this recipe but could you tell me how to downsize it to bake in a 8 x 8 baking dish?
Thank you


Do you have a recipe for Cebuano Biko.
Please share in detail. Thanks


Hello Maryanne,
Thank you for this post, I enjoyed this!~ May I ask how long can Biko last in the fridge?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi! Biko can last 3 days in the fridge. Any longer and the rice will start getting stale.

Ann Sullivan

Hi can you add coconut and almonds to this recipe ?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I have not tried adding coconut or almonds. If you do add mix-ins, you will have to adjust the amount of coconut milk in the recipe to prevent the biko from drying out.


Can you make this in a foil pan for a party . I can’t use my glass one bc I don’t want it to get broken .

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Yes, you can bake this in a foil pan. You may have to adjust cooking time.


Can you double the recipe to make two pans ?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Yes, you can double the recipe. Be sure to use a large enough pot to cook the mixture stovetop. Also, you have to increase stovetop cooking time to adjust for the increased amount of rice and liquid.


I made this dish today for the first time. When I was younger I was had to wait to go to a Filipino party to have this dish…LOL. Now that I am older in my 50’s I didn’t know how easy and simple to make this dish!!! My husband who is American loves this dish and a lot of other dishes. I will be making this often. So delicious!!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    That’s great to hear! Yes, it’s simple to make. I hope you enjoy it often :)


Hi! I was just wondering whether making Biko works with short-grain rice? Like the type of rice used for sushi?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    The recipe works best with glutinous rice. You may use other short-grain rice like sushi rice. It won’t have the same chewy and starchy qualities. But, it’ll still be tasty!


Thank you! This is the best recipe I found. Soaking the rice overnight did cut done the cooking time. I did cut the recipe in half. 4 cups was a bit too much for a family of 3.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks for trying the recipe! Yes, the original recipe makes a large batch. Glad you cut the recipe in half :)


I tried it and OMG, it was love at first bite. With sliced bananas and strawberries it was absolutely perfect. I was hoping that my boyfriend wouldn’t like it so I could eat the whole thing by myself but he obviously also loved it :( Thanks so much for sharing!!!!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thank you for trying the recipe! Yes, it’s delicious with fresh fruit! I’m so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed it :)

Monica Ortega

Do you have a recipe for bibinka? I’m Mexican but I must of been Filipino in another life! I love Filipino food! Thank you for your time. Just made Biko and this recipe is so easy to follow and it came out delicious!!

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks for trying out the recipe! Glad you enjoyed it. I have a cassava bibingka recipe on the site.


Outstanding recipe


Bike is definitely a treat that I remember as a kid. My grandpa was filipino & we would go to alot of church gatherings where I could get my fill. It bring back good memories. Thank you now I can make it for my grandkids.

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you enjoy the recipe! It’s one of my favorites.

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