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Filipino Carioca

Filipino Carioca – A delicious dessert recipe from the Philippines! Fried sticky rice balls with a coconut caramel sauce that are addicting!

Filipino Carioca

Filipino Carioca

I am so excited to be sharing this fantastic recipe from The lovely Abigail Sotto Raines’ new cookbook Rice. Noodles. Yum.  This great cookbook just came out a few days back and I got the chance to have a copy of it to check out! If you love southeast Asian food or if you have never tried making any recipes from the region before, it is worth checking out.  There are so many recipes in it that I am really excited to try out that range from fun noodle dishes to bite sized desserts such as this carioca recipe.

Carioca Recipe

When I first flipped through the cookbook, I was completely drawn towards her carioca recipe.  It was a treat I had never had before but it sounded right up my alley with loads of coconut and caramel sauce.  The recipe called for just seven simple ingredients that I was able to find right at my local grocery store.

Rice Noodles Yum

Apart from coconut, the other main ingredient in carioca is glutinous rice flour.  If you have never used it before, never fear! It is avaliable at most grocery stores or right on amazon (HERE is the one I used).  It is different from rice flour because glutinous rice flour is made with short-grain white rice while other rice flours are usually made with either long-grain or medium-grain rice.  Weirdly enough, despite the name, glutinous rice flour doesn’t have gluten in it!

Karioka Recipe

Now carioca can either be served on a wooden skewer or individually.  The skewer is definitely less messy but I opted to serve them individually with toothpicks to poke in.  After placing them on a plate, I drizzled the caramel sauce on top and then poured the extra in a little bowl to dip the carioca into.  These are definitely best served immediately but I found that you could re-crisp them up by placing them in the oven at 350 degrees the next day for just a few minutes or in a pan over medium heat, making sure to turn them over at least 1-2 times.  If you do not not plan on serving them all at once, try to avoid drizzling those you are saving with the caramel sauce.  They will get much more soggy.

Filipino Dessert Recipe

One more additional note, if you do not have sweetened shredded coconut, you have a few options.  You can use unsweetened shredded coconut plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar instead.  Additionally, if you only have shaved coconut instead of shredded, put the coconut into a food processor with the shredding attachment and run it until the coconut is closer to the shredded consistency.

Coconut Carioca

Can’t get enough of this filipino carioca recipe? Try these other recipes!

  • Italian Affogato – A delicious Italian dessert made from vanilla gelato or ice cream and topped with espresso.
  • Danish Aebleskiver – A fun, bite-sized classic danish breakfast! Light and fluffy pancake batter cooked in an aebleskiver pan until brown.
  • Hungarian Kifli – Rich and flaky traditional Hungarian cookies filled with a light walnut filling
  • Swedish Muskotsnittar – A Swedish crispy butter spice cookie made with just 6 ingredients.
  • Japanese Matcha Ice Cream – An easy summer dessert made with only 4 ingredients!

Filipino Recipe

Yield: 6 servings (24 balls)

Filipino Carioca

Filipino Carioca

Filipino Carioca - A delicious dessert recipe from the Philippines! Fried sticky rice balls with a coconut caramel sauce that are addicting!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups neutral cooking oil for deep-frying (more if needed)
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a bowl, mix the glutionous rice flour, sweetened shredded coconut, and coconut milk until a dough forms. Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball. Repeat until all the dough is used up. A cookie dough scooper is helpful for this.
  2. Heat the cooking oil in a saucepan over medium heat to about 350 degrees. To test if the oil is hot, dip skewer into it. When bubbles form around the skewer, the oil is ready. Fry the dough balls in batches for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned all over. Scoop onto a strainer lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. Repeat until all the balls are cooked. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, stir together the coconut cream, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil, lower the heat slightly, stir and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  4. Dip the balls into the sauce, or to avoid sticky fingers, thread about four balls onto a wooden skewer and pour the caramel sauce over. Serve individually or on skewers.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1093Total Fat: 95gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 68gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 290mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 5gSugar: 20gProtein: 6g

This nutritional information can vary depending on the specific products you choose so this is a general guess of the correct nutritional information based on the products I used. Please keep that in mind when making the recipe.

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