Sapin-sapin is a sticky rice cake from the Philippines, it originated in a northern province called Abra. The name came from the word sapin which means sheets or layer, it is also the main characteristic of this rice cake, its vibrant multi coloured layers. It is made out of steamed glutinous rice flour served with latik and/or toasted coconut. Usually it is made with 3 to 4 layers which have a slight variation in taste and texture, the purple layer usually consists of purple yam, the orange layer have a hint of aniseed, the white layer contains young coconut meat and green is flavoured with pandan.
It might look hard to make but trust me it is really easy. The only hard part in making this one is the waiting time, because you have to individually steam each layer before adding a new one in, this method makes sure that colours and flavours won’t mix together.
3 cups glutinous-rice flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 can 400g condensed milk
6 cups coconut milk
1 cup grated ube (purple yam)
2 tsp annatto powder
1/2 tsp anise extract
1/3 cup macapuno, drained and finely chopped
1 cup desiccated coconut
1. In a large mixing bowl combine together glutinous-rice flour, sugar, condensed milk and coconut milk.
2. Divide into 3 equal portions then place on 3 individual bowls.
3. In the first bowl add grated ube, mix well until smooth
4. In the second bowl add annatto powder and anise extract, mix well until smooth
5. In the third bowl add macapuno, mix well until smooth
6. Place the first mixture (purple) in a greased pan lined with cling wrap then place in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture sets. Remove from steamer.
7. Add the second mixture (orange) on top of the steamed mixture, place back in the steamer and steam for 15 -20 minutes or until the mixture sets. Remove from steamer.
8. Add the last mixture (white) on top of the steamed mixture, place back in the steamer and steam for 30 more minutes.
9. Remove from steamer; let it cool before slicing and serving.
10. In a pan desiccated coconut, toast using low heat until golden brown in colour. Serve sapin sapin topped with toasted coconut flakes.
Note : I updated the above recipe as one reader noticed the measurements were wrong, apologies if someone earlier used the old recipe I missed an ingredient on the first version and wrongly indicated the amount.