Panocha Recipe: Sweet Filipino Treat

Since I was knee deep in a grasshopper, panocha has been cooking in my family’s kitchen, and it has been a time of celebration and connection.

It is like a recipe that has been passed down like an heirloom in my Filipino heritage. Making this golden brown delight brings back memories of storytelling and laughter.

let me take you through the scrumptious world of panocha, a traditional Filipino sweet that’s as fun to make as it is to say.

Imagine peanuts and molasses in a soft, chewy package. If your taste buds are going cha-cha already, you are in for a single treat!

Join me on this culinary adventure as we slather on the sticky, sweet goodness of this Filipino treat. Your sweet tooth will thank you, and your inner kid will make a happy dance with every morsel.

Key Points You Need to Know.

1. I love the simplicity of the Filipino panocha recipe! It requires just a handful of ingredients, including jaggery (panela or muscovado sugar), coconut milk, and glutinous rice flour. This makes it a quick sweet treat that I make without lots of effort or a visit to the specialty grocery stores.

2. From what I have seen, consistency is the key to a perfect panocha. The mixture should be thick enough to maintain its shape but not difficult enough to cook. I learned to constantly stir it to find the right texture and to keep it from burning.

3. How adaptable the panocha is. The basic recipe is excellent by itself, though I have also seen panocha with such things as peanuts or toasted sesame seeds. I have tried adding nuts; they give the chewy something crunchy.

4. Presentation is a crucial component of a lot of dishes—panocha included. I prefer to pour the panocha mixture into individual molds or baskets called magkono, which not only makes them attractive aesthetically but also provides a traditional touch. These are cute containers that also make the treats portable and easy to talk about.

5. The very best part of panocha-making is the aroma it emits when it cooks. The smells of caramelized sugar and coconut are so comforting and appetizing in my kitchen. It is a sensory experience, from the tactile task of molding them to the taste test.

A delicious and golden brown sweet Filipino Panocha dessert capturing traditional Filipino culture and cuisine


Panocha is a cherished Filipino sweet treat, combining the earthy flavors of unrefined sugar and peanuts in a chewy, molasses-like texture. This traditional confection brings a piece of Filipino heritage to your table with every bite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 8 servings
Calories 200 kcal


  • Prepare the Molds: Lightly grease your molds with coconut oil. Set aside.
  • Melt the Sugar: In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the jaggery and water. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, until the jaggery fully dissolves.
  • Thicken the Mixture: Continue to cook the mixture, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until it thickens and darkens in color, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Add Peanuts: Stir in the peanuts (if using) and mix well to ensure they're evenly distributed.
  • Mold the Panocha: Carefully pour the hot mixture into the prepared molds. Let them cool and set at room temperature.
  • Unmold and Serve: Once set, carefully remove the panocha from the molds. They're now ready to be enjoyed!


  • Using muscovado sugar instead of regular jaggery can add a deeper molasses flavor to your panocha.
  • The consistency of the mixture is key; it should be thick but pourable for perfect molding.
  • Be careful when handling the hot sugar mixture to prevent burns.
Keyword Filipino Dessert, Jaggery, Panocha, Peanuts, Sweet Treat

Understanding the Basic Panocha Components.

I always start by discussing the important ingredients of panocha, which is a sweet concoction that has thrilled my taste buds since childhood.

The primary ingredient is unrefined sugar, what we call “panutsa” in the Philippines. This sugary base is combined with peanuts for a nutty flavor.

Water is also added to the mixture to achieve the desired consistency. The quality of these ingredients can make or break your panocha.

Ready for the Perfect Batch?

When I make panocha, I always have my cooking utensils ready. I make use of a heavy-bottomed, large pan to stop the sugar from burning and a wooden spoon to stir continuously.

I have learned that careful control of temperature is key to the glossy amber effect of a good panocha.

A Cooking Process Demystified.

People often find candy-making daunting, but I find that the correct method of demystification helps. I dissolve the sugar in water on medium-high heat; patience is necessary.

When dissolved, I keep a vigilant watch, stirring the mixture and waiting for it to thicken. If the mix becomes syrup, stirring gets more vigorous.

At this stage, I add the peanuts and spread them out evenly.

Timing is everything.

My experience is that panocha must be made just right. I learned to watch for all the signs that the mixture is ready to pour into the molds.

It pulls away from the edges of the pan and gets dark brown. This is the point at which a delay of minutes produces a batch that’s either too hard or, vice versa, too soft.

Molding the delicacy.

When my panocha mixture is just right, I pour it right into the waiting molds. I’ve tried different shapes and sizes, but I like circular molds because they’re traditional and can be carried easily. Cooling is the critical phase. I leave them at room temperature; I don’t want to hasten it.

Pairings and enjoyment.

I often think about how you can enjoy panocha when done. This dessert is versatile; it goes well with a strong coffee or at the end of a hearty meal. Its unique texture and flavor make it stand out alone or with other treats.

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Panocha is so simple yet so sweet—it makes me think of Filipino Christmas celebrations.

Common Panocha Pitfalls: Troubleshooting.

All through my panocha-making journey, I’ve encountered some roadblocks, which I am keen to share. If I get it way too thick, a splash of water can be added. On the other hand, when the mixture is way too runny, it generally means it needs more heat time.

Each batch is a learning experience for me to enhance my technique and appreciation of this traditional treat.

7 Tips for making perfect Panocha

1. Source high-quality, unrefined cane sugar for the most effective flavor.

2. Patton’s, such as studying and cooking utensils before beginning.

3. Be patient and watchful while cooking to avoid burning.

4. Use visual clues like color and texture to time pouring.

5. Allow enough cooling time so the panocha can set correctly in the molds.

6. Try various pairings to experience the full flavor of panocha.

7. Remember, troubleshooting is all part of learning Panocha.

FAQ on Cooking Panocha

What is Panocha?

Panocha, also called panela or piloncillo in other cultures, is a traditional Filipino sweet treat made from unrefined sugar, generally formed into cakes or blocks. It’s made by boiling sugar cane juice until it hardens. It’s a common confection of Filipino cuisine and is used in many desserts.

What does panocha sound like in English?

The word ‘Panocha’ is pronounced as pah-NOH-chah. The emphasis is typically on the second syllable, which helps make it sound distinctly sweet to the ears, just like the treat itself.

Is Panocha healthy?

Panocha contains natural sugar but should be eaten in small amounts. It’s less processed than refined sugar but still contains more nutrients and minerals; it’s a healthier alternative. But indulgence must accompany a healthy diet.

Can Panocha be used as a substitute for other sweeteners?

Yes, panocha may substitute for white sugar, brown sugar, or any other sweetener in many recipes. It provides a dark, molassesy flavor to nearly all dishes, whether savory or sweet.

What are the main ingredients in a typical Panocha recipe?

A typical panocha has unrefined sugar and water. Some variations add peanuts, milk, or butter for much more flavor and texture.

How long does it take to make Panocha?

Panocha will take only a few minutes to prepare; just melt the sugar and shape it into shapes. However, the cooking process might take a little time to get the sugar caramelized with no burning.

Are there different types of Panocha?

Yes, there are variants of Panocha with coconut, vanilla, or nuts. Each region of the Philippines might have its own version of this scrumptious treat.

What’s the texture of panocha?

Panocha is generally hard and somewhat chewy in texture. When bit into or even broken apart, it becomes granular but dissolves easily like other raw sugar blocks.

The best way to store panocha?

Panocha should be kept dry and cool to avoid it melting or becoming too sticky. Wrap it in wax paper or another similar material to maintain its quality.

Where can you buy Panocha?

Panocha may be bought at Filipino markets, specialty grocery stores, or online. It’s typically in the ethnic food section, along with various other traditional Filipino ingredients.

Final Thoughts on the Panocha Recipe

I usually have a thing for cultural treats, and panocha is on my list. It connects us to the agricultural past of the Philippines in a special way—through taste and traditions. Savouring a bite of panocha is eating history—simple but filled with stories.

Whether you make it from scratch or find it at your local market, this panocha recipe is a sweet introduction to Filipino cuisine. It is a reminder that, at times, the very best flavors start with the simplest things.

So the next time you want to make your life a bit sweeter, think Panocha and let the caramel tell its tale.Filipino Dessert