Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)

Give this classic Filipino rice cake recipe called “Biko” a try. It is a sweet native snack made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, vanilla, and brown sugar.

Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)
Party Holiday No-Bake Special Occasion Sweet Snack Savory Vegetarian

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

This recipe of biko is very simple, and it is beginner friendly. No need for hassle and extra steps when you can achieve a rich taste with few simple steps. But first, let us find out what bikois.

What is Biko?

Biko is a popular rice cake delicacy in the Philippines. This recipe version of Filipinos is made from sticky rice (locally called "malagkit"), coconut milk, and brown sugar. Usually, this dish is present during special occasions such as birthdays, fiestas, or any family gatherings. Biko is very common midday snack, while some people eat biko as a dessert due to its sweet taste.

Main Ingredients When Making Biko - Glutenous Rice, Coconut Milk, Sugar

If you are planning in making the basic biko, you will need the main ingredients listed above, otherwise you cannot get the classic and traditional biko. In this recipe, we have added crushed peanuts however, that step is optional. Biko in itself is very filling, some people eat it as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is sweet enough to be dessert, but filling enough to be the main food during primary meals throughout the day without feeling hungry.

How to cook glutenous rice?

If you have not tried cooking glutenous rice before, just follow the instructions below:

  1. Rinse the glutenous rice using regular cold water. Repeat process until you achieve a clear color of the water.

  2. Soak the rice in water overnight to soften grains and reduce cooking time. Make sure the entire rice is covered in water to evenly soften the entire rice. If you don't have enough time to soak the glutinous rice overnight, you may soak it for at least 4 hours.

  3. When you are ready to cook the glutinous rice, drain the soaked rice and transfer to the steamer. Steam the rice for about 20-30 minutes, until the grains are tender, and rice is fully cooked. In this recipe, I used a rice cooker. Just use the rice to water ratio recommended below.

What is the Ratio of Water to Glutinous Rice?

Ideally, the rice to water ratio when cooking is 1: 1.25 (or 1.5). Meaning, for every 1 cup of uncooked glutinous rice, add 1.25 cups to 1.5 cups of water.

Fun Facts

  • Glutenous rice are also termed as sticky rice, waxy rice, or sweet rice. It is very common in Asia.

  • The largest biodiversity when it comes to sticky rice worldwide is in Laos.

  • Glutenous rice is gluten-free. It is named as "glutenous" due to its sticky, glue-like texture when cooked but no, it does not contain gluten.


  • 500g glutinous rice
  • 5 cups coconut milk
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts


  1. Cook glutinous rice first in the rice cooker the same way on cooking regular rice.

  2. In a separate skillet, combine coconut milk, brown sugar and vanilla. Boil and stir over medium heat until consistency thickens.

    Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)
  3. Stir continuously until the coconut mixture's consistency is thick enough.

    Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)
  4. Add the glutinous rice over coconut mixture and mix well together. Continue mixing until the oil bubbles. (Note: But do not overcook!)

    Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)
  5. Transfer the Biko in the serving platter and sprinkle the top with crushed peanuts. Serve and enjoy!

    Classic Biko Recipe (Sticky Rice Cake)