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Palitaw with Yema Filling

This Palitaw with Yema Filling is an upgraded version of normal palitaw where the palitaw balls made with rice flour, butter is filled with a filling made with condensed milk, egg yolks and vanila extract. These small sticky cake balls are filled with creamy custard and coated with the classic toasted sesame seeds and sugar mix. Best partnered with a cup of hot coffee in the morning. Try this one today!


When you see some small, flat rice cakes coated with some sesame seeds and sugar in a kakanin buffet, it’s 100% likely to be palitaw. This kakanin got its name from from the Tagalog root word “litaw” which means “to float” which can be observed when it is cooked. Palitaw doughs are boiled and floats once cooked. Amaing, right? Galapong, or fermented rice flour, is the main ingredient in a palitaw. Modern versions of this kakanin uses glutinous rice flour which are readily available and more convenient to use.

Palitaw is most usually enjoyed as a breakfast or afternoon snack. The palitaw is rich in carbohydrates and will give you energy throughout the day when eaten as a snack. This treat is gluten-free and a good choice for those who wanted to enjoy kakanin but has allergies to gluten.

Our classic palitaw will never say no for an upgrade. I have tried modifying the palitaw by using different coatings or adding sweet fillings. The palitaw balls with yema filling is one of my favorite. I made this recipe since my nice loves yema filling in almost everything. She told me that the yema makes her happy and boosts her mood in a special way. I’ve been adding yema filling to a lot of dishes and it’s no doubt that yema will enhance our favorite palitaw. In this recipe, the old flat palitaw will be chubby balls now as it burst with yema filling.

If you have a sweet tooth and some special love for yema, try the palitaw balls with yema today!


There will be three components to prepare in this recipe—the toppings, yema filling and the palitaw balls.

Before we start with the palitaw, let’s make the simple toppings. The toppings depends on your liking but the sesame seeds and sugar mixture are the usual ones partnered with the palitaw. Toast your sesame seeds in a hot pan. Remember that you are NOT going to use oil when toasting. The goal is to toast the sesame seeds until light brown and this will only take a few seconds. Stir the mixture or shake your pan to prevent the bottom from burning. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds in a flat plate and scatter it a bit to cool down faster. Mix it with some sugar and the toppings is done.

The next component is the filling. The filling will be the dominant taste of our palitaw balls. We should be cautious on not getting it burnt since we will be using milk. Simply mix the filling ingredients in a heated pan and stir until it became a thick sweet cream with a custard-like texture.

For the last component, the palitaw dough is simply glutinous rice flour and water. You can use galapong which is actually the more authentic ingredient in making palitaw.  To add the filling easier and more efficient, roll the dough into balls and then flatten it. Add the filling, close the palitaw and roll it into balls again. Easy, right? When done with all the dough and filling, boil the palitaw balls. Once they float, it means that theyre cooked. Rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Roll the palitaw balls in the toppings previously prepared and enjoy!

Palitaw with Yema Filling

Course: Filipino Recipes, Snacks




  • For the toppings:
  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

  • For the filling:
  • 1 can condensed milk

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the palitaw balls:
  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour or ½ kilo galapong

  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Put the sesame seeds in a heated pan and toast for a few minutes until light brown. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds in a container to cool a bit.
  • For the yema, combine the condensed milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a pan. Mix slightly then turn off the heat. Stir continuously until smooth and sticky. Add the butter and stir until it melts. The yema should be thick and sticky. Set aside to cool down.
  • In a large bowl, add the glutinous rice flour. Gradually add the water to form a smooth, soft yet firm dough enough to knead into a ball.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of dough. Form it into a ball using your hands. Flatten the ball and place a teaspoon of yema filling. Close the dough to secure the filling and roll them again into balls. Repeat this step with the rest of the dough.
  • Heat a lot of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the palitaw balls one at a time. Let it cook until the balls float. Scoop the cooked palitaw and rinse in cold water.
  • Roll the palitaw balls in grated coconut and then transfer to a serving plate. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and sugar mixture. Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
Palitaw with Yema Filling

Palitaw with Yema Filling Recipe (TAGALOG)


Para sa toppings:

  • ¼ tasa ng asukal
  • ¼ tasa ng sesame seeds

Para sa filling:

  • 1 lata ng condensed milk
  • 4 pula ng itlog
  • 1 kutsarita ng vanilla extract

Para sa palitaw balls:

  • 2 tasa ng glutinous rice flour o ½ kilo galapong
  • 1 kutsara ng butter


  1. Ilagay ang sesame seeds sa mainit na kawali at tustahin ng ilang minuto hanggang maging light brown. Ilipat ang mga ito sa lalagyan para lumamig.
  2. Para sa yema, paghaluin ang condensed milk, pula ng itlog at vanilla extract sa isang kawali. Haluin ng konti at patayin ang apoy. Haluin ng tuloy-tuloy hanggang maging smooth at madikit. Ilagay ang butter at haluin hanggang matunaw. Dapat malapot at sticky ang yema.
  3. Ilagay ang glutinous rice flour sa isang malaking bowl. Ilagay ng paunti-unti ang tubig hanggang magkaron ng smooth, pero malambot at firm na dough.
  4. Kumuha ng isang scoop ng dough. I-roll ito sa balls gamit ang kamay. I-flatten ang dough balls at maglagay ng isang kutsarita ng yema filling. I-roll ulit sa balls ang dough na may yema. Gawin ang mga steps na ito sa iba pang ingredients.
  5. Magpakulo ng maraming tubig sa isang pot. Kapag kumukulo na, ilagay ang mga palitaw balls at hayaang maluto. Kapag lumutang na, ilipat ang mga palitaw balls sa malamig na tubig.
  6. I-roll ang palitaw balls sa grated coconut at ilipat sa serving plate. Iserve kasama ang sesame seeds at sugar mixture. Samahan ito ng mainit na kape o tsaa. Enjoy!
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