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Sweet coconut rice cakes just became your new favorite dessert

When I was a little girl, I knew that on the day when my mom packed my lunch with delicate sweet rice cakes, my classmates would flock around me at the lunch table, curious about the sweet treats that didn’t resemble a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie.

“What’s that?” they would point, their voices clearly both uncertain and intrigued.

Coconut Rice Cakes
Image: Liren Baker/SheKnows
Rice Cakes
Image: Liren Baker/SheKnows

Some days, when I was feeling confident, I would explain the sweet delicacies, and then there were other days when I secretly wished she could have just thrown some store bought cupcakes in the bag, like the one Joey brought, individually wrapped with the creme filling and the white frosty swirls on top. But either way, I was always glad once I took my first bite — it was better than any prepackaged treat with the fake tasting creme filling. In the Philippines, there are all manners of enjoying rice, and not just as a side for all the savory dishes. Desserts made with rice come in all shapes and forms, and one of the classic pairings is with coconut. I especially loved “suman,” which is a coconut rice cake steamed individually wrapped in banana leaves — I always thought they were probably perfectly portable for school.

Now that I have children of my own, I am tickled to see that they share my love for coconut rice cakes. And so, this version is my take on suman. It’s baked in the oven, then sliced and enjoyed warm with a sprinkling of toasted coconut sugar. If you have ever had sweet coconut sticky rice, then you will love this — it’s like a coconut rice pudding but in cake form! And isn’t it more fun with cake? Visit to view other fresh recipes and sign up to have them delivered straight to your inbox.

Coconut Rice Cakes
Image: Liren Baker/SheKnows
Coconut Rice Cakes
Image: Liren Baker/SheKnows

Coconut rice cakes recipe

Serves 16


  • 2 cups RiceSelect® Sushi Rice
  • 2-1/2 cups water, plus more for soaking
  • 14 ounces coconut cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, divided


  1. Place sushi rice in a bowl and cover with water. Let the rice soak for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Drain the cloudy water.
  2. Place the prepared rice with 2 1/2 cups water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes on low heat, or until the rice is cooked. If you have a rice cooker, this may be used as well. When the rice is cooked, remove from heat and let it sit while covered as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8×8 pan, lining it with parchment paper and spraying with cooking spray.
  4. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the coconut cream and 1 cup of granulated sugar. When the sugar has fully dissolved and the coconut cream is thick, about 4 to 5 minutes, remove from heat. Stir the coconut cream, cooked sushi rice and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of shredded coconut and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes, then remove from oven to cool while you make a toasted sugar coconut topping.
  6. In a small pan over medium-low heat, toast the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of sugar, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the coconut is toasted and fragrant. Take care not to burn the coconut or sugar. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the warm cake and gently press down.
  7. Use a serrated knife to slice the cake. Best when served warm.

This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between RiceSelect® and SheKnows

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