The Happy Home Cook: Maja Blanca and Latik Topping

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Maja Blanca and Latik Topping (Photo by Astig Vegan)

Maja Blanca and Latik Topping (Photo by Astig Vegan)

If you grew up in the US, yellow corn might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of sweet desserts. But if you grew up in Asia including the Philippines, you’ve probably had yellow corn in your icy drinks, sweet pudding, ice cream, and pastries. If you come to think of it, corn, mainly yellow corn kernels, in desserts makes sense –it’s sweet, crunchy, and fun to eat. To compare, it’s just as indulgent as corn on the cob slathered with butter, but sweeter. Growing up, I enjoyed eating a type of corn pudding called Maja Blanca.

In Filipino cuisine, Maja Blanca is a corn pudding made of coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch, and yellow corn kernels. Usually, Filipinos top it with coconut milk curds or latik. To make the curds, simply reduce the coconut cream for 15-20 minutes or until it forms golden crumbles. For presentation as well as for infusion of aroma, Filipinos serve Maja Blanca in a container lined with banana leaves. Because of its simple methods, you can easily make this pudding at home. because of its simple methods. Perhaps the hardest part is waiting for it to set so you can finally eat it!

If you like, you’re more than welcome to experiment with this recipe. For example, you can add more sugar, or use toasted coconut flakes instead of latik. Also, you can add vegan condensed milk if that’s available in your area. And if you prefer less wait time for the pudding to set, you can use a bit of a firming agent called agar-agar powder. Heck, you can even throw other ingredients besides corn. Recently, my mom added shreds of yellow jackfruit in this dish and everyone loved it!


  • 2 cups coconut cream (coconut milk is also okay)

  • ½ cup organic sugar, or more to taste

  • pinch of sea salt

  • ¾ cup yellow corn kernels

  • ½ cup cornstarch mixed in ½ cup water

For the topping:

  • latik (see recipe below) or

  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes

For presentation:

  • Banana leaves, optional

For the latik:

  • ½ cup coconut cream


1.     Combine coconut cream, sugar, salt, and corn in a pot. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

2.     Taste and add more sugar if needed.

3.     Slowly and carefully pour the cornstarch mixture. Mix well to avoid lumps. Keep mixing until the consistency is gooey like glue.

4.     Turn off the heat and transfer the pudding to a container, preferably one that is lined with banana leaves

5.     Let the pudding cool down to solidify (about 45 minutes to an hour). You can put in the fridge to speed up the process.

6.     Serve with toasted coconut milk curds or latik on top (see recipe below). Alternatively, you can use toasted coconut flakes.

How to Make Toasted Coconut Milk Curds or Latik

1.     Pour coconut cream to a pan and cook over high heat until the cream reduces in half.

2.     Lower heat and mix well until it forms golden curds. You will notice some oil separation. Reserve the oil which you can use for cooking other flavorful dishes.

3.     Turn off heat and serve the crumbles on top of Maja Blanca.

Yellow corn in sweet dishes may throw you off, but I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and giving it a try. If you do, you might be pleasantly surprised. Besides, making Maja Blanca takes very minimal effort and ingredients. But if you’re feeling creative, you can play it up and add or replace ingredients. After all, it’s a very versatile recipe. In the end, you’ll understand why Filipinos love Maja Blanca so much. For sure I do, with extra yellow corn and coconut milk curds. Kain na, let’s eat!

First published in

Chef Richgail Enriquez

Chef Richgail Enriquez

RG Enriquez at discovers ways to show that Filipino food can be vegan, healthy, and delicious without losing its soul. Born and raised in the Philippines, RG veganizes the Filipino food of her childhood. She has appeared on the television show, "Adobo Nation" and given demonstrations and talks at "Savor Filipino", "Taste of South Lake”, “Barrio Fiesta”, Pitzer College, and Cal-State East Bay.

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