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Biko Cupcakes with Mango Sorbet – Gluten-Free Filipino Dessert

Biko is a new dessert to me, and unless you are Filipino, it’s probably new to you as well.  Biko is a coconut sticky rice cake.  When I say rice cake, please, please don’t picture those flavorless Styrofoam-like “desserts” enjoyed by dieters all over America. Biko cupcakes are like eating a bowl of brown sugar-topped coconut-flavored oatmeal in cupcake form. Enjoy them warm out of the oven for breakfast or top them with mango sorbet and latik (read my post about latik if that word means nothing to you) as a sweet end to a home-cooked meal.

Biko Cupcake Recipe

This biko recipe comes from Ivory Hut.  I’ve reprinted that recipe with my transformation to cupcakes below.

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5 from 3 votes

Biko Cupcakes with Mango Sorbet – Gluten-Free Filipino Dessert

Biko is a coconut sticky rice cake. Biko cupcakes are like eating a bowl of brown sugar-topped coconut-flavored oatmeal in cupcake form.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword biko cupcakes, gluten-free dessert recipe, sticky rice cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 30 cupcakes*
Calories 212kcal
Author Stef


  • 3 cans 14 oz each full-fat coconut milk (do not shake them to mix)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups sweet rice otherwise known as sticky rice or glutinous rice
  • 2 cups brown sugar divided


  • Skim one cup of coconut cream off the top of the cans of coconut milk. Depending on the brand, this may take one or more of the cans. Set the cream aside.
  • Pour the rest of the coconut milk, any cream from the cans, and the water into a large pot on medium heat. Whisk to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Add the rice and stir until rice is fully cooked (approximately 15 minutes). It should be similar in texture to a sticky risotto. If the rice starts to get sticky but isn't cooked yet (you'll have to taste it - cooking is such a rough job), then add a little bit more water and continue to stir and test until cooked. The stirring is a good arm workout (just like when you make polenta) - especially as the water evaporates and the rice becomes heavier.
  • Stir in 1 cup brown sugar and remove from heat.
  • Divide evenly between cupcake wrappers. Note: This is STICKY rice. It will stick to your typical cupcake wrappers. I highly recommend baking these cupcakes in silicone liners or in cupcake liners that are non-stick, such as the If You Care brand. Thanks to my friends on Facebook (especially Adrienne Gauthier) for the tips about the non-stick liners.
  • In a small bowl, mix the remaining cup of brown sugar and the coconut cream.
  • Spread on top of unbaked cupcakes.
  • Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes until topping is dark brown around the edges and the cupcakes have thickened.
  • Serve warm. Optionally, top with ice cream or sorbet with latik sprinkled on top.


*If you don't need 30 cupcakes, you can always eat some sticky rice pre-baked as a snack as shown in my post on coconut sticky rice.


Nutrition Facts
Biko Cupcakes with Mango Sorbet – Gluten-Free Filipino Dessert
Amount Per Serving
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Sodium 10mg0%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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10 comments on “Biko Cupcakes with Mango Sorbet – Gluten-Free Filipino Dessert”

  1. I really enjoyed your post! These cupcakes are very unique and look very yummy. I have a lot of friends at work that are Filipino and I plan on making these cupcakes to share with them. Thank you! Check out my blog if you are interested (or bored lol) :)

  2. Another non-stick option might be Reynolds aluminum foil liners. They are also excellent for keeping moisture inside regular cupcakes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Joysays:

    The biko looks great. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Anonymoussays:

    i’ve never tried ice cream on biko. i will definitely try next time we have biko. perhaps a classic filipino coconut sorbet will work great too.

    how about cutting circles out of banana leaves and using that as your liners for that added filipino touch. biko (or any kind of cake like dessert for that matter) is usually put on banana leaves.
    i’m not sure though on the availability of banana leaves in your part of the globe though.

  5. Stefsays:

    Anon – Great idea!! I actually thought about using banana leaves a bit too late to make it to the store to get them.

  6. Those look DELICIOUS ! I’ll be back on this blog for more recipes.

  7. Nicah Santossays:

    I’ve been following your blog for the past year now, and I happened to stumble upon this recipe while re-scanning your recipe list. I swear I did a double-take when I read “biko”. :D I’m Filipino, and I eat as much biko as I can take when it’s in front of me. Which tends to be a problem, since, as you can probably tell, this dessert si packed with calories. Perhaps a cupcake sized portions will help me control my biko intake..? :)

    A few notes though.. While biko is often enjoyed with fresh mangoes (it’s true what they say about Philippine mangoes being THE BEST), I don’t think I’d enjoy mine with mango sorbet. Also, as biko is super dense and sticky, I imagine the best way to eat these cupcakes are with a spoon, and not by biting into the them. :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, and for trying it out in the first place. :D woohoo, pinoy pride!

  8. Hello there. I am from the Philippines and will definitely try this –

  9. Anonymoussays:

    Can’t wait to try and make these for my family. Maybe it will remind them home, the Philippines.

  10. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours
    would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

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