7 Vegan Filipino Dessert Recipes You Have To Try!

Filipino cuisine has some of the best desserts in the world. (Am I being bias? I’m not sure haha) Luckily for those with a sweet tooth, as Filipino desserts are sweeter and Filipino recipes tend to use lots of sugar. 😜

Here are 7 vegan Filipino dessert recipes to try, some of which are usually accidentally-vegan, and others with the help of vegan milk alternatives.

I’ve made these vegan Filipino desserts for family parties and work potlucks, and they’re always a hit.

Are Filipino Desserts Vegan-Friendly?

Similar to other Asian cuisines, traditional Filipino dessert recipes have always used coconut milk. BUT as more dairy products became available, coconut milk kept being replaced or supplemented with dairy creams and condensed milk products.

Thankfully for vegans and lactose-intolerant folks, there are now vegan condensed milks and vegan evaporated milks to use as alternatives in Filipino vegan desserts.

These dairy-free alternatives are such a game changer for those who still want to enjoy the Filipino desserts they grew up with without compromising on the taste.

Vegan Filipino Recipes Featured Here:

  • Lelut (Ginataang Mais)
  • Vegan Buko Pies
  • Vegan Ube Halaya
  • Karioka
  • Putong Nasi (Bibingkang Malagkit)
  • Vegan Buko Fruit Salad
  • Salukara Waray Pancakes

Vegan Alternatives Used in Vegan Filipino Desserts

Can of Natures Charm Vegan Condensed Milk

Natures Charm Vegan Condensed Milk

Similar texture and nice sweetness. Buy it here.

Can of Natures Charm Vegan Evaporated Milk

Natures Charm Vegan Evaporated Milk

Similar texture and subtle coconut taste that doesn’t affect the recipe. Buy it here.

Try These 7 Vegan Filipino Desserts

1. Lelut Mais – Sweet Corn and Rice Porridge

“Lélut Mais” in Kapampángan, or “Ginataang Mais” in Tagalog is one of the best and easiest Filipino desserts to make. Lelut Mais is a sweet porridge made from glutinous sweet rice, corn, sugar, and coconut milk.

It’s eaten in the Philippines as a light midday snack (merienda) or for dessert. It can be eaten warm or cold. It’s usually vegan by default, but always make sure to ask in case.

I’ve made this for non-Filipinos & everyone always loves it! I highly recommend making this for potlucks and parties.

2. Vegan Buko Pies – Coconut-filled Vegan Pies

Recipe Pinterest Pin of mini fried vegan coconut buko pies

If you’re familiar with the Filipino food restaurant chain, Jollibee, then you’ve probably tried their fried pies at least once. This is my vegan version of their classic buko pies.

These buko pies are filled with young or unripe coconut strips, vegan sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and cornstarch for a thickener. The crust uses vegan butter and is perfectly crispy.

I could eat vegan buko pies everyday.

3. Vegan Ube Halaya – Purple Yam Spread

Recipes Pinterest Pin of vegan ube, a spread made with purple yam and vegan condensed milk

The use of ube, or purple yam, has become well-known beyond the Filipino community in the US. Sadly, you’ll rarely see vegan ube desserts (except awesome bakeries like San & Wolves who sell great vegan Filipino sweets and breads!)

Ube halaya (or Úbi alaya in Kapampangan) is a thick jam, filling, spread, or pudding dessert, depending on how you eat it. This Filipino vegan ube recipe uses frozen purple yam, vegan sweetened condensed milk, vegan evaporated milk, brown sugar, and vegan butter.

The thing about making ube from purple yam instead of just the ube extract is the patience needed to stir the ube on low heat, sometimes up to an hour! But 100% worth it.

4. Carioca – Fried Sweet Sticky Rice Balls

Recipes Pinterest Pin with two sticks of carioca, a Filipino dessert of fried coconut balls glazed in brown sugar sauce

Carioca, or karioka, is my favorite street food dessert from the Philippines.

Carioca are deep-fried glutinous sweet rice balls made with glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and coconut shreds. After being fried, these chewy, soft, and crispy balls are coated in a brown sugar and coconut milk glaze, then skewered on BBQ sticks.

My sauce recipe uses gula melaka sugar for a smoky flavor depth, and it’s forever addicting. The sauce is similar to coco jam, and it’s the best thing I’ve made.

5. Putong Nasi – Kapampangan Sweet Rice Cake

Recipes Pinterest Pin of Bibingkang Nasi, a Filipino dessert of baked cake of cooked glutinous rice topped with brown sugar sauce

Bibingkang Nasi (or Putong Nasi) is a beloved Kapampangan dessert. Also called Bibingkang Malagkit in Tagalog. We usually have it at family parties. And when I became a vegan, sometimes putong nasi was the only thing I could eat there!

Puting Nasi is naturally vegan and uses glutinous sweet rice, coconut milk, and brown sugar, and then is baked on banana leaves. The sauce topping is similar to the one used for karioka.

It’s often mistaken for another accidentally vegan Filipino dessert, biko, but putong nasi is sweeter and richer in flavor, and has a softer texture.

6. Vegan Buko Fruit Salad – Filipino-Style Fruit Salad

Recipe Pinterest Pin of vegan Filipino Buko fruit salad, a cold fruit salad of cocktail fruits, coconut strips in vegan condensed cream

Buko fruit salad is another Filipino dessert recipe I grew up with, especially during the hot summers. Sadly, you’ll rarely see this dessert made vegan unless you specifically go to a party hosted by a Filipino vegan.

Filipino buko fruit salad is a mix of coconut jelly, attap palm seed (kaong), stripped young coconut meat, canned fruit cocktail, vegan sweetened condensed milk, and coconut cream. Sometimes small squares of vegan cheese are added.

It can be eaten as is, but usually frozen first.

7. Salukara Pancakes – Waray Fermented Rice Pancakes

Recipes Pinterest Pin of Salukara, folded pancakes on banana leaves, made from rice

Salukara is a fermented rice pancake from the Waray people of Eastern Samar, Philippines. It’s made from rice, coconut milk, and sugar, & is traditionally fermented with coconut wine (tubâ). In this recipe I use instant yeast.

Salukara tastes like fermented bibingka. Salukara is usually eaten with hands like a snack and with coffee. Salukara is usually always vegan as well!

Enjoy These Vegan Pinoy Recipes

Along with some already vegan-friendly Filipino desserts, we can use the really great veganized dairy products like vegan condensed milks and evaporated milks from Nature’s Charm to enjoy the Filipino desserts we love and that are part of our upbringing and culture.

While Filipino food is not one of the most vegan-friendly cuisines, we don’t have to miss out.

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