Peanut Tikoy Rolls

Level up your favorite Chinese sticky rice cake into fancy peanut tikoy rolls! Perfectly sweet and chewy with a creamy ube halaya filling and crunchy peanut coating, these mochi-like treats are delicious as a dessert or midday snack.

We haven’t had any brand new recipes on the blog for a while, as I’ve been mostly updating old content these past months. So I’m excited to kick off the second half of May with a fresh sweet treat. Peanut tikoy rolls!

What are they exactly? Read on for a quick rundown.

What are tikoy rolls

Tikoy is a type of Chinese delicacy made from glutinous rice flour. Also called nian gao or year cake, it’s traditionally eaten during the Chinese New Year for good luck and prosperity.

Tikoy Rolls, on the other hand, are a leveled-up version wherein the sticky rice cake is rolled around a choice of fillings and coated in ground peanuts. They were made popular in the Philippines by Chinese bakeries like Eng Bee Tin and are sold in a variety of local flavors such as pandan and purple yam.

Sticky rice cake ingredients

The sticky rice cake is very easy to make with four simple ingredients and in under 30 minutes!

Glutinous rice flour– this variety of rice flour gives the cake its characteristic chewiness. A nifty trick of telling it apart from its regular rice flour counterpart is to check the lettering color on the package. Green lettering = G for Glutinous rice flour; Red lettering = R for regular rice flour
Water– I find the ratio of 2 cups flour to 1 cup water a good starting point; feel free to adjust accordingly. If the dough feels too sticky, add more flour or if too dry, add more water.
Sugar– you can sweeten the dough with brown sugar if you want a bit of color and a hint of molasses flavor
Vanilla extract– enhances flavor

Helpful tips

Toast the peanuts in a dry skillet to bring out more flavor. Use unsalted variety for best results.
For ease of prep, ground the peanuts using a food processor or a blender. Alternatively, you can put the peanuts in a resealable bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
To easily remove the cake after steaming, make sure to generously brush the bottom and sides of the pan with oil. You can also line it with banana leaves for added aroma.
Cover the steamer lid with a kitchen towel or cotton cloth to avoid water drips on the rice cake.
Steam the tikoy in a wide pan to make it as thin as possible. Slightly flatten the sticky rice cake while it’s still warm and more malleable as it will be harder to roll once cooled.
To keep the toy from sticking, grease the working surface as well as the knife or cutter.
Use a piping bag to easily pipe the filling or a spatula to spread the filling on the tikoy slices.

How to check for doneness

Insert a toothpick in the center of the steamed cake. If it comes out clean, the tikoy is ready.

Tikoy roll varieties

These ube tikoy rolls are filled with purple yam jam and then rolled in ground roasted peanuts. They’re soft, chewy, and with a delicious ube flavor that pairs well with the nutty coating.

You can transform this tikoy roll recipe into many yummy varieties. You can add a few drops of flavor extracts such as pandan, langka, or ube to the dough for a quick change of flavor and color.

You can also use different fillings like yema, dulce de leche, peanut butter, Nutella chocolate, lotus seed paste, and red bean paste, as well as coatings such as sesame seeds, crushed cashews, and toasted rice flour.

How to serve

Enjoy these sticky rice rolls as a tasty and filling midday snack or after-meal dessert.
Wrap leftovers tightly with plastic film and transfer to a resealable bag or airtight container. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 3 months.
As the peanuts tend to lose their crunch over time, I suggest storing the rolls without the coating. When ready to serve, bring them to room temperature and roll in the peanuts.

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