Another version of rice cake is the suman malagkit made from glutinous rice, coconut milk, brown sugar and flavored with a lye solution, which makes the taste distinct. Also wrapped in banana leaf, this dessert is served with the “latik” sauce on top and is best enjoyed with coffee or hot chocolate. Grated coconut meat can also be used as a topping.

Suman with latik Photo by: Dan Brian Gerona/Wikimedia Commons


  • 2 1/4 cups glutinous rice
  • 1 teaspoon lye water
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole banana leaf cleaned


  1. Place the glutinous rice in a mixing bowl then pour-in water. Stir and soak for 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Drain excess water from the mixing bowl then add lye water and stir thoroughly. The mixture will turn yellowish. Let stand for 30 minutes. Note: do not go beyond the recommended measurement for lye water.
  3. Prepare the banana leaves. Note: Fresh banana leaves can be heated directly in fire for a very short time. This releases the natural aroma of the leaf and makes it more flexible. If you are using fresh frozen banana leaves, it is better to just wash it in warm water. You’ll need a pair of leaves per serving. The bigger leaf should measure about 12 by 10 inches while the smaller is 4 by 5 inches.
  4. Arrange the banana leaves by placing the larger leaf first in a flat surface then put the smaller leaf in the center of the larger leaf.
  5. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the rice mixture and place it over the smaller leaf.
  6. Fold the leaf to secure the rice mixture (see video for procedure) and tie with a kitchen twine.
  7. Arrange the folded banana leaves with rice mixture in a cooking pot then pour-in enough water.
  8. Turn-on heat then let boil. Simmer for 80 minutes.
  9. Turn-off heat and transfer the banana leaf covered rice cake on a serving dish.
  10. Serve with white sugar, brown sugar, or latik.
  11. Share and enjoy!