What Is Polvoron?

what is polvoron the bailiwick academy

Ever come across a treat that’s so unique it makes you pause and wonder, “What’s this?” Polvoron is one such delight that’s perfect for dessert or merienda. But what is polvoron, exactly?

Well, this Filipino shortbread is definitely a treat, something that has been captivating the taste buds of generations of Filipinos for a long time already. And in this article, we’ll talk about where it comes from, what’s in it, and why people love it. 

Let’s dive in!

What is a polvoron?

So, first things first. Polvoron, often referred to as “polvorones” in Spanish, is a traditional Filipino shortbread cookie that is renowned for its crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is a sweet, powdery confection characterized by its oval or round shape, depending on the polvoron molds used. The polvoron or shortbread cookies are usually presented in colorful cellophane or Japanese paper—the colors add to the fun of eating one.

The Filipino’s polvoron can also be eaten as a dessert or snack powder from jars. The toasted flour and/or powdered milk sugar make for an attractive treat, especially for children.

What is polvoron in English, and its origin?

“Polvoron” derives from the Spanish word “polvo,” which means powder. This highlights its powdery consistency. While it is similar to a type of Spanish shortbread also called “polvorón,” the Filipino version has unique characteristics and preparation methods since it was adapted to suit local tastes. It’s now as Filipino as banana ketchup or chicken adobo!

What is Filipino polvoron made of?

The primary ingredients of this Filipino food include:

  • Toasted flour: Toasting flour provides the polvoron with its crumbly texture. This flour is carefully toasted for the polvoron’s distinct flavor and aroma.
  • Powdered milk: Powdered milk is a must in any polvoron recipe. It adds a creamy and milky flavor and is one of the key elements that set it apart from traditional shortbread cookies.
  • Sugar: Polvoron’s sweetness comes from sugar, which is blended with the other ingredients to create a balanced taste. It can be granulated sugar, milk sugar, or any kind of powdered sugar. Do take note that the choice of sugar affects the color of your end result.
  • Butter or margarine: Butter or margarine is the binding agent for this Filipino shortbread cookie, holding the ingredients together and giving polvoron its melt-in-your-mouth quality.
  • Toasted rice: This is an optional ingredient. Some add this to add a crunch and additional texture and flavor to polvoron.

Why is polvoron so popular among Filipinos?

For Filipinos, polvoron isn’t just a treat; it’s a piece of nostalgia. Many Filipinos recall childhood memories of making these with their grandparents or receiving these sweet treats during school events, fiestas, or from relatives returning from trips. Given its compact nature and colorful wrapping, polvoron is also a favorite pasalubong (gift/souvenir) for Filipinos to give when they visit friends or relatives.

What is the best powdered milk for polvoron?

While various brands can be used, it’s recommended to use high-quality, full-fat powdered milk to achieve the best taste and consistency.

Can polvoron expire?

You might assume that polvoron doesn’t expire because of its dry texture. However, like any other food product, polvoron can expire. That’s especially true since it has dairy content from powdered milk and butter. 

Always check the expiration date if store-bought. If you’ve made homemade polvoron, consume it within 1-2 weeks for the best taste and freshness. The best way to store polvoron and keep it fresh is to store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, or refrigerated for a longer shelf life.

Can polvoron make you fat?

Polvoron contains sugar, butter, and milk – all of which have calories. Plus, it’s a sweet treat and is definitely not a keto dessert food. This means that, yes, regularly consuming them in large amounts without burning off the calories can lead to weight gain.

Can polvoron have flavors?

Yes, you can make polvoron that has different flavors. One popular variant is the ube polvoron, which incorporates the flavor of ube or purple yam. This gives the treat a distinctive purple hue and adds a unique taste to the candy.

Other flavors can be white chocolate, peanut, mango, matcha, cookies and cream and pretty much whatever else you can think of! 

How do you make polvoron?

There are plenty of polvoron recipes you can follow, but here are the basic steps:

  • In a pan, toast the flour over low heat until it turns golden brown. Let it cool.
  • If you want to add toasted rice, get a separate pan, then toast the rice until it’s crispy and fragrant. Allow it to cool, then crush it into small bits.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the toasted flour, milk, sugar, and butter, and crushed toasted rice. Melt the butter and add it to the dry mixture. Mix well until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Using polvoron molds or your hands, shape the mixture into your desired shapes, whether round, oval, or whatever shape of mold you have. 
  • Let the polvoron set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • When done, you can serve as is, or wrap them in colorful cellophane or paper.

Now you have your homemade polvoron to enjoy or share with friends and family!

Want to make better polvoron at home?

Making polvoron is straightforward, allowing many to enjoy its taste. But wouldn’t you want to craft a polvoron that’s not only delicious but also world-class?

If the answer is yes, then we have some good news for you! Check out Chef Miko Aspiras’ latest course here at The Bailiwick Academy: Madrid Fusiòn Polvoron!

Chef Miko originally showcased his artisanal polvoron creations at the prestigious Madrid Fusión, a globally renowned culinary event that gathers top culinary talents and food enthusiasts from around the world. They were received with acclaim—and now, he’s sharing his recipes with us!

The Milky Cashew Polvoron has a buttery richness of roasted cashews that melds harmoniously with the velvety smoothness of pure milk. Meanwhile, the Strawberry Goat Cheese Polvoron offers a delightful contrast, uniting the subtle tang and sweetness of strawberries with creamy goat cheese. For an exotic twist, the Ube Coconut Polvoron combines the vibrant Ube with the tropical charm of coconut. 

And last but definitely not the least, the Maiz con Kasuy Polvoron pays homage to cherished nostalgia, reimagining the classic corn and cashew combination with a modern touch, creating a delectable symphony of sweet and nutty flavors.

These polvorons are perfect not just for eating at home; they’re great for gifting, for catering menus, and food businesses!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy today and start making artisanal polvoron now!

Final Thoughts

Polvoron is a sweet treat that many Filipinos love. It brings back memories for some and introduces a new taste for others. From its simple ingredients to the fancy versions made by chefs, it shows how a simple snack can become something special. 

If you haven’t tried polvoron yet, it’s guaranteed that you’re in for a treat. And if you already love it, there’s always a new flavor to try. So, whether you’re making it at home or tasting a chef’s version, enjoy every bite of this Filipino favorite!


Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more baking and cooking tips, kitchen tricks, and much more!

1 thought on “What Is Polvoron?”

  1. Pingback: Edible Christmas Gift Ideas To Make - Online Baking and Cooking Classes - The Bailiwick Academy

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.