Pastillas, sometimes called pastillas de leche, are a milky, chewy candy from the Philippines. Some recipes call for reducing fresh milk with cornstarch until it is very thick. Using a popular variation on this technique, we mix nonfat dry milk with sweetened condensed milk to make the thick, sticky dough in just minutes. We also added salt, vanilla and ground cinnamon to our pastillas dough to complement the candy’s smooth, milky flavor. Slideshow: More Candy Ideas 

Anna Painter


Credit: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine

Recipe Summary test

40 mins
64 candies


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir the nonfat milk with the condensed milk until smooth. Add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon and stir until well combined. (The mixture will be very thick and sticky.)

  • Dust a work surface generously with confectioners’ sugar. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with more confectioners’ sugar. Scrape the pastillas dough onto the prepared work surface. Lightly dust your hands with confectioners’ sugar and kneed the mixture a few times until smooth. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 20 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.

  • Using your hands, roll each pastillas into a 1 1/2-inch cylinder. Wrap each pastillas in a square of clear cellophane and twist the ends to seal.

Make Ahead

The wrapped pastillas will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1 week.