Puto (Filipino Steamed Cakes) in a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves.

Puto: Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes

Puto: Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes. The varieties of puto are as plentiful as the many regions of the Philippines. Try this easy recipe made with rice flour.

Puto (Filipino Steamed Cakes) in a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves.
Puto: Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes

Puto are Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes — and the varieties of puto are as plentiful as the many regions of the Philippines. Traditionally made with ground rice that has been soaked in water overnight, this version is easy to make with at home with rice flour (and in a pinch, cake flour works, too). I thought it would be the perfect treat to share to celebrate my blog’s 8th anniversary.

Bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves filled with steamed rice cakes, or puto.

I sat in the armchair, my baby nephew on my lap, drinking his bottle of milk. As I tipped my chin down to watch his little toes wiggle, I rested my head on the crown of his, and felt a calm I haven’t felt in such a long time. Its the peace you feel when all that matters in the world is the little universe you hold in your arms, and I soaked it up for as long as that bottle lasted.

Babies have that affect on you, and I nearly forgot. It made me think of my own little guy, who no longer fits on my lap, or drinks from a sippy cup. It made me think of a conversation I had with him the other morning before school, right after my visit home to see my nephew — we were talking about this blog, and how he couldn’t remember life without it or any other way. And that struck me, because 8 years ago, when he was just out of sippy cups, I started this little home on the web, and it’s been my baby. I’ve nurtured it, and it has grown, and it has surprised me, in more ways that I can count.

This space has been a part of my children’s lives as much as it has been a part of mine. We’ve all had a role in it, shaped it, and it’s not just my daughter and son and husband. It’s also all of you who come to visit, and who cook alongside with me.

I’m celebrating my blog’s 8th anniversary, which in the blogging world is nearly ancient, but it also means that it’s as exciting as ever. And to celebrate, I turn to my roots, and to one of my kid’s favorite parts of their heritage: the kakanin.

Puto - steamed rice cakes from the Philippines - in a bamboo steamer.

A long time ago, I introduced to you their favorite form of kakanin, which is the umbrella term that is used to describe the delicacies made of glutenous rice. There are so many kinds, some using glutenous rice flour, others galapong, which is rice soaked in water then ground, as well as some that use the sticky rice, or malagkit, whole.

Puto is one of the most popular — and if I were to describe it to you, in the most simple terms, it’s like a muffin — or a cornbread muffin — but steamed, instead of baked. And as you would serve cornbread with a very savory chili, puto is the side of choice for the very savory dinuguan, which is a delicious (I promise!) stew made with pig’s blood, vinegar and spices.

But puto is very much enjoyed by itself, too, and found at many a Filipino fiesta, and so easy to make.

Traditionally, puto is made with the galapong version I mentioned, but growing up, any time I would ask aunts for their puto recipe, they would often make with the very non-Filipino Bisquick mix. I know, it’s surprising, but I’ve been trying to find other ways to make it, simply, but without the non-traditional pancake mix.

Mini steamed rice cakes, or puto, in a bamboo steamer.

This version is made with plain rice flour, making it the perfect snack for gluten-free friends. In a pinch, cake flour also works beautifully, which may mean saving a trip to a specialty store if you’re craving a tender, freshly steamed puto. And it is so simple, steams in 5 minutes, making it even easier to satisfy those cravings. Made in mini muffin molds, they’re adorable and kid friendly, and perfect for sharing. I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Thank you for 8 years of sharing, of cooking together, and exploring delicious tastes! I can’t wait to see what the next year hold for us!

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PUTO: FILIPINO STEAMED RICE CAKES

Puto are Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes — and the varieties are as plentiful as the many regions of the Philippines. This version, traditionally made with ground rice that had been soaked in water overnight, is easy to make with at home with rice flour. (In a pinch, cake flour works, too.)
Puto (Filipino Steamed Cakes) in a bamboo steamer lined with banana leaves.
5 from 2 votes
Print This
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Filipino, kakanin, Philippines, puto, rice cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 36 mini cakes
Calories 31 kcal

Ingredients

  • melted coconut oil or cooking spray
  • 1 cup rice flour (plain, not glutinous) or substitute cake flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Prepare a small mini muffin pan or individual silicone muffin molds by lightly brushing with coconut oil or cooking spray.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice or cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg white until it is light and frothy.

  4. Add the coconut milk and water to the egg white and whisk until blended.

  5. Fold in the flour mixture to the liquids and whisk the batter until just smooth.

  6. Bring a steamer with water to running boil.

  7. Working in batches, fill the prepared mini muffin pans or molds about 3/4 full with batter and place in the steamer. Steam for 5 minutes, or until the puto have risen and are firm to the touch.

  8. Transfer the puto to a wire rack to cool. Gently remove from the molds and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts
PUTO: FILIPINO STEAMED RICE CAKES
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31
% Daily Value*
Sodium 21mg 1%
Potassium 21mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
Sugars 2g
Calcium 0.8%
Iron 0.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Comments

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  1. Amanda Paa

    What a lovely story about you and your son, starting this blog when he was so small. And how wonderful your children have been such an active part of your blog and passion. Cheers to eight years!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Aw, thank you so much, Amanda. It’s amazing how fast the years go by — I seriously feel like it was just yesterday when I started this and my kids were still babies! I’m also grateful for the friends I have made in the blogging world — like you! xo

  2. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Such a lovely way to celebrate this milestone. And it’s worth celebrating… this is a beautiful space, one that I always enjoy coming back to each week. And I’m thrilled that I got to meet you through it, Liren!

    I’m definitely trying these… usually I’m super intimidated by recipes like this, but this sounds pretty simple and the results are just gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      A very belated but heartfelt thank you, Brian. Meeting you through this world of blogging has been such a joy and I feel quite the same each time I visit your blog each week! Thank you for your friendship!

  3. Ling

    I would love to make this now. And if it turns out very well, i will make more for tomorrow’s going away party for my parents! Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Jean, Lemons & Anchovies

    I remember those early days of blogging and how little C&C were (and not having anything but plain paper and crayons to entertain them when you all came over for dinner). You’ve taken your blog so far and you have earned every badge of accomplishment–I know you’ll do even greater things here in the years to come.

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Gosh, that day is so clear in my memory, Jean. How time has really flown by! I’m so grateful that blogging has led me to you and our friendship — you have been there since the beginning and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us! Biggest hugs to you, dear friend!

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