How Do I Make Pastillas de Leche


Pastillas de leche, or “milk candies” are a creamy Filipino confection created by combining milk and sugar over heat until it forms into a pliable ball. The ball of pastillas de leche is then divided into bite-size candies, rolled in sugar and individually wrapped. Adapted from the Field Guide to Candy by Anita Chu, this recipe calls for the addition of canned jackfruit. With a flavor similar to that of mango, canned jackfruit is soft and can be easily incorporated into pastillas de leche to add flavor without altering its signature texture.

Start to Finish: Around 45 minutes

Servings: Around 50 individual candies

Difficulty Level: Beginner


  • 1 1/2 cups milk (use fresh, organic milk, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons canned jackfruit
  • Extra sugar for rolling the pastillas de leche in


Step 1: Prepare the Jackfruit

Strain the jackfruit into a fine mesh sieve, pushing down gently on the fruit to remove as much moisture as possible. Finely chop the jackfruit, and, using the side of the knife blade or a fork, mash the jackfruit.

Step 2: Cook the Pastillas de Leche

Add the milk and sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low to medium heat, stirring frequently, until a thick, creamy “dough” forms. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the powdered milk and jackfruit, mixing until they are combined.

Step 3: Sugarcoat the Pastillas de Leche

Sprinkle some sugar onto a flat surface, such as a plate or cutting board. Pinch off a small amount of the pastilla de leche dough and roll it into a 1/2-inch ball or cylinder. Roll the dough in sugar until it is completely coated. Repeat until all of the pastilla de leche dough has been used; you should be able to make around 50 candies.

Step 4: Wrap It Up

Wrap each candy in individual candy wrappers. Pastillas de leche candies will keep for up to two weeks.


  • Roll the pastillas de leche in colored sugar to create visual appeal or in coconut flakes or crushed cookies to bolster the flavor.


  • Make the pastillas de leche your own by experimenting with different flavors. Add a splash of vanilla, almond or amaretto extract to subtly punch up the resulting flavor or sneak in a teaspoon or two of lemon or lime zest to add refreshing acidity.

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