Top 10 Reinvented Filipino Desserts and Kakanin

Celebrate Buwan ng Wika with our beloved delicacies.

( Our grandmothers are probably rolling their eyes right now. A champorado brownie? Really? What was the problem with the warm spoonable version? S’mores have been turned into macarons, creme brulees have been either shrunk to tarts or enlarged into cakes. Evolution is only natural, even with food.


To celebrate Filipino culture this August, we’ve rounded up native delicacies that have crossed over to modernity: hybrids, reinventions that will break you out of your dessert routine. Here are fresh takes on your traditional Pinoy kakanin and panghimagas. Nothing will beat the originals, but these 10 come quite close.




10. Turon KC (P100) by Kanin Club

The hardened caramel coat is hugging the giant fried roll a bit too tightly that it’s almost hard to bite through it. But persevere and you’ll be rewarded by a generous filling of ube halaya, macapuno strip, and monggo beans nearly overpowering the bananas. On top, a sprinkle of white sesame seeds. It's definitely not the turon of our childhood but it manages to provide the same level of satisfaction and comfort. Enjoy it with a scoop of ice cream for an additional P50.



Kanin Club has branches at UP Ayala Technohub, Quezon City; Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City; Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City; Westgate, Alabang Zapote Road, Muntinlupa City; 49 Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City.


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9. Sikreto ni Maria Clara (P175) at Fely J's Kitchen

A name like that definitely raises curiosity. Before you take your prerequisite Instagram photo, dig deep into the bowl of macapuno ice cream dotted with panocha. Underneath that stark white layer is the secret affair of suman and fresh ripe mangoes. Together, this threesome creates a pleasurable medley in terms of flavor and texture.


Fely J’s is at 2/F Greenbelt 5, Makati City.




8. Piaya Ice Cream (P120) by Sarsa

This is one of those ideas that seems so simple, you wish you’d thought of it yourself. But you didn’t. Chef JP Anglo did. It’s essentially an ice cream sandwich, but keep it on the plate to avoid making a mess with your hands. A scoop of ice cream squeezes itself in between two homemade discs of crisp unleavened bread, all of which is heavily doused with muscovado sugar syrup and dredged with pinipig. It’s at a standard thickness, but it delivers on so many levels.


Sarsa is at Forum South Global, 7th Avenue corner Federation Drive, Bonifacio Global City.



7. Maja Blanca Crepe (P180) by Sentro 1771

It's an upscale version of the popular corn and coconut milk pudding. Instead of serving it as is, Sentro has shaped their maja blanca into logs and clothed in thin crepes. Muscovado syrup wraps around the ensemble speckled with corn kernels and sugar shards (which are a tad unnecessary). Make sure to have a little bit of everything in every bite to truly remind you of that delicious kakanin.



Sentro 1771 has branches at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; 2/F Greenbelt 3, Makati City.



6. Savor Maruya (P159) by Zarzuela

It's a hot and cold dessert that will have you popping one piece after another. It's oddly addictive and reminiscent of turon: pieces of banana and jackfruit have been battered and deep-fried to a wonderful crisp. It is crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and lightly drenched in chocolate and dulce de leche sauce. No matter how full you are, this is a dessert that would have you digging.


Zarzuela is at 6/F Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City.




5. Ube Leche Flan Cake (P500/eight-inch round cake) by Anghelica’s

The humble leche flan is upgraded as a two-layer dessert. The caramel custard firmly plants itself on top of an ube sponge cake. Both are light in flavor and body, which makes it easier and faster to finish. The two components would make for delectable desserts individually but they work best as pair-like a match made in dessert heaven. Plus, the price is a small amount to pay for indulgence.


For orders, contact Anghelica’s at 0917-725-6038.



4. Champorado Eh (P165) by XO 46 Bistro Filipino

This champorado doesn't come warm and in a bowl. Instead, it arrives on the table solid and almost as cold as the accompanying mantecado ice cream. XO 46 has transformed our all-time favorite chocolate porridge into something of a brownie, with the champorado as base, topped with thick fudge, and finished off with a dusting of cocoa powder. With all that chocolate found in a small block of dessert, one would think it would be cloyingly sweet. But it's not. It hits the sweet spot just right.



XO 46 has branches at G/F Le Grand Condominium, 130 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City; 2/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.



3. Ginumis with Panucha Ice Cream (P110) from Bistro Pamana

This shaved ice dessert is one of our all-time favorite refreshers (yes, no matter the weather). Sago, pinipig, and gulaman are sweetened a dual force of coconut cream and a sweet syrup made of coconut sugar. The finishing touch is a few scoops of ice! The ginumis is a more modest version of the halo-halo, but Pamana’s makes it outstanding with the homemade panucha ice cream. The result is much more sinful dessert.


Bistro Pamana is at 106 Perea Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.




2. Dulce (P100/mini tart) from CINQ

CINQ is notorious for too-pretty-to-eat gustatory elegance, and this one is no different. Dulce is another undeniable beauty: a tart bronzed shell is filled with a mixture of pastillas de leche and chopped pili nuts, then dusted with a veil of powdered sugar. For an additional P20, you can enjoy it with langka or guyabano jam, which you might as well gor for because a little extra goes a long way.


CINQ Gourmet Desserts is at G/F CEO Flats, 4 Jupiter Street, Makati City.



1. Pichi-Pichi with Quezo de Bola (P130/three pieces) at Chef Tatung’s

It’s been featured and raved about multiple times, with good reason. It's just that darn good. Soft and supple pandan-flavored cassava dumplings are covered with a slightly loose custard sauce that's been torched and crowned with grated quezo de bola. The blanket of luscious, silky sauce makes the dessert transcend way above the usual. Don't feel the need to refrain from scraping the remnants off the plate or even ordering another. Many customers before you have already done just that.



Chef Tatung’s is at Molave Lane, Acacia Estates, Taguig City.

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