Pronounced ‘la-tee-ja’, this is a classic Chamorro dessert.  A light, creamy, custard-like pudding topped with a generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon tops a layer of scrumptious cake.  I say ‘custard-like’ only because my version of Latiya contains NO eggs, unlike most of the variations of this recipe.

The cake options are endless, but my favorite, by far, is carrot cake, and not just any carrot cake, mind you, but a moist rich version made with carrots (of course), pineapples, raisins, and lots and lots of nuts!

Pound cake is another favorite for this, as is another classic Chamorro dessert:  Chamorro Cake.

The key to assembling this oh-so-yummy dessert is to put lots of space between the pieces of cake.  This way, you can pour the creamy latiya topping in between the nooks and crannies.  Oh, I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Here’s my recipe for “classic” latiya…give it a try.  I think you’ll like it!  :)

If you are a coconut-lover like me, scroll on down for my coconut version of my latiya recipe.


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The photo below contains my recipe for “regular” Latiya.  Click on the thumbnail below to open a full-sized version of the photo to view my recipe.



Drumroll please…..and now for my Coconut Latiya Recipe.  You don’t want to miss out on this one.

Annie’s Coconut Latiya:



  • 1 Sara Lee pound cake (I use the smaller one and slice it about the width of my thumb)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can water (use milk can)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 HEAPING teaspoons corn starch
  • Cinnamon


  1. In a medium pan, combine the evaporated and coconut milk (reserve the can of water), butter, sugar, vanilla and coconut flakes. Cook over medium heat.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with the can of water. When the butter has melted, add the cornstarch/water mixture.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil; continue cooking for about a minute longer then immediately pour over pound cake.
  4. Sprinkle the top of the latiya with cinnamon then allow to cool.


  1. Jenn says:

    What can be used as a substitute for coconut milk?

    • Jenn, my “classic latiya” uses evaporated milk (mix a can of evaporated milk with a can of water). It’s my coconut latiya recipe that uses coconut milk. Click on the thumbnail of the photo in my recipe above to get my recipe for “Classic Latiya”.

  2. Erika says:

    is there anyway to make the Latiya sugar free?? my father in law is chamorro and i would really love to make a chamorro dessert for him but he has diabetes

  3. Sepe says:

    Thank you for sharing….I’ve been using different recipe and can’t wait to try yours, will let you know the outcome.

  4. Freddie Naputi says:

    HafaAdai Annie it’s Fred Naputi I’m so taken with your site gof mauleg Chelu!

  5. m says:

    could you please tell me the exact measurement of the coconut milk? i have a 5.6 fl oz and 14 oz can. i wasnt sure.

  6. kea says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Im still learning from my mom but a great reference none the less

  7. Margaret says:

    Do you have any recipe for fried chicken?

  8. Maria says:

    Si Yuus Maase Annie!
    Thank you for sharing your Latiya recipes.
    I prepared the coconut Latiya and we enjoyed our dessert for the evening.
    I am excited to try the other Chammorro recipes you are sharing.

  9. Colleen says:

    I am from the outer islands north of Guam and I know for a fact that this is called Lantiyas.

    • Hello Colleen. I do know that the islands of the Northern Marianas call this dish “lantiyas”. On Guam, however, it is called Latiya (without the “n” and “s” at the end). This word, like many other Chamorro words, have different variations on Guam versus the other Mariana islands. In fact, there are some words used in the CNMI that are not used on Guam at all. Thanks for your note, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

  10. Jevon says:

    I made the regular latiya with the Sara Lee pound cake. Perfection! Not too sweet!! Thanks Annie!! For bringing my chamorro roots to Texas!!

  11. […] This is an absolutely delicious cake, a favorite on Guam.  This is absolutely fantastic served without any frosting; however, it’s also delicious served with fresh fruit, whipped cream, or as a base for Latiya. […]

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