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.
Print This Pin This
4.25 from 16 votes
Course Snack
Cuisine Filipino
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 36 mini cakes
Calories 31kcal

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

  • Prepare a small mini muffin pan or individual silicone muffin molds by lightly brushing with coconut oil or cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the rice or cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg white until it is light and frothy.
  • Add the coconut milk and water to the egg white and whisk until blended.
  • Fold in the flour mixture to the liquids and whisk the batter until just smooth.
  • Bring a steamer with water to running boil.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the puto to a wire rack to cool. Gently remove from the molds and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 8mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




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  1. Jun!

    4 stars
    I had to steam mine for 10 min. came out good, but it felt heavier.. I was expecting it to be more fluffy

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      I wonder if steaming for that long resulted in overcooking, which could explain the texture! Hope the flavor was good, though, Jun!

      Reply
  2. Richel

    3 stars
    My batter turned out to be really sticky not smooth like yours. Wondering what went wrong.. I followed the instructions and got the same ingredients. I used rice flour.

    Reply
  3. Mali

    4 stars
    Don’t have a steamer so I tried baking it with a pan of water underneath to steam it but it didn’t work :( Will have to try again.

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Sorry to hear that – it’s hard to generate the same amount of steam in an oven. If you don’t have a steamer, you can also just put a tray at the bottom of a large pot that can rest the puto tray and cover with a lid. I hope that helps.

      Reply
    • Makeshift Steamer

      You could make a makeshift steamer with a wok or brazier pan that’s big enough for your muffin pan. Put two bamboo rice paddles facing opposite directions to hold the pan up out of the water, or a metal cooling rack or steaming rack. As long as you don’t run out of water, the bamboo rice paddles should be fine.

      Reply
  4. Myra

    Hi. I’m planning to make puto tomorrow. It will be my first time cooking it. Do I need to soak the rice flour overnight? And can I replace the coconut milk with fresh milk? Thank you

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      No need to soak the flour overnight, Myra! And yes, you can use regular milk if you wish – I haven’t tested it with cows milk, but it should be fine. Let me know how it goes.

      Reply
  5. STEPHANIE CLEMENTE

    How does the recipe end up without egg? Based on this recipe, egg isn’t necessary?

    Reply
  6. Kandi

    I cant wait to try it!! I make my Sapin Sapin with the Ube, langka, coconut, and dragonfruit so now I may add a Pandan layer too. I told my husband I am going to try these next and he loves it!! His childhood memories! I make lumpia, pancit, sinigang, tinnola, lugaw, chicken and pork adobo, afritada, and alot of other traditional foods. What better way to spend my quarantine time! :) Cant wait for more recipes!!

    Reply
  7. Kandi

    5 stars
    I have a question. My hubby is filipino so I am broadening my horizons past Sapin Sapin, Kutsinta and babinka. Can you add flavorings to these like the jackfruit, dragonfruit, ube etc? I am also going to be experimenting with pandan. So just curious if flavorings would make them NOT traditional?

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Kandi, I love that you’re experimenting with the classics! You’ll find that this puto (also known as putong puti, or white puto) is super simple and a good jumping board for playing with flavors. Traditionally, you’re most like to find this style of puto either plain, or with cheese, pandan, or ube, but you can definitely try the jackfruit (langka). Dragonfruit is not traditional (and would probably not add too much flavor since it’s rather bland).

      This link has some helpful ideas for more traditional varieties beyond putong puti! Hope this helps, and enjoy!

      Reply
      • Kandi

        I cant wait to try it!! I make my Sapin Sapin with the Ube, langka, coconut, and dragonfruit so now I may add a Pandan layer too. I told my husband I am going to try these next and he loves it!! His childhood memories! I make lumpia, pancit, sinigang, tinnola, lugaw, chicken and pork adobo, afritada, and alot of other traditional foods. What better way to spend my quarantine time! :) Cant wait for more recipes!!

  8. Celeste

    1 star
    Hi,
    I tried this recipe today but it didn’t turn out well. The batter in your video shows a thick consistency whereas if I follow your recipe, I get a semi-liquidy texture so I thought I would add more rice flour to make it thicker. The puto turns out to be dry and hard. Where did I go wrong?

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Celeste, I’m sorry to hear you ran into trouble — what kind of rice flour did you use? I note in the recipe above the specific rice flour that I use. That could possibly play a role, but more likely, it was the addition of extra rice flour that made the puto dry. When you mix the batter, it will thicken up, especially as it cooks. I hope this helps – this recipe has always worked for me.

      Reply
    • Janey

      It’s a great recipe to follow . Mixture of Puto will be runny and you may think it’s too runny but as it’s being steamed, the rice flour soaked in the liquid- So don’t attempt to add more of the flour or you will get a hard and dry cafe. Don’t tamper with the recipe and you won’t go wrong. Lol!

      Reply
  9. Rika

    5 stars
    I have a question for this recipe. Would it be possible to refrigerate the batter for a short period of time such as overnight, and then steam it? I just would like to know as I’m making this amazing recipe for a party and I want it to taste as fresh as possible!

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Rika, great question! I haven’t actually refrigerated the batter, but I do know others who do refrigerate overnight before steaming. Please let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  10. Annebakerim

    5 stars
    You have many recipes that I take for myself, especially often I make desserts according to your recipes, thanks)

    Reply
  11. Julia

    5 stars
    Liren, WOW! so simple, yet SO tasty! This is fantastic, yum. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  12. Polly

    5 stars
    Liren, thank you for sharing this! I have made this so many times. Everyone that tries it, loves it!

    Reply
  13. dar

    5 stars
    so simple, easy to follow and oh so delicious! my kids and i are from Palau and we love Filipino sweets and snacks . thank you!!

    Reply
      • Lei Tanedo

        5 stars
        Soooo good!! I just tried it out now and my daughter loved it! We also tried with salted egg and it was perfect! Thank you so much for your recipe!

  14. Alyssa

    5 stars
    It’s awesome! I cannot wait to try this. I bet it makes the house smell divine and tastes incredible!

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Liren, it’s really awesome! This will quickly become a favorite in our house!

    Reply
  16. Pearl

    Such a great, easy recipe, and the taste was spot-on to my favorite version of the puto. Thank you!
    I made some substitutes, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup rice milk (instead of 3/4 coconut milk) and, cake flour (instead of rice flour) – my husband finished everything in one sitting- he can’t stop!
    Do you think I could do water bath in the oven instead?

    Reply
    • Liren Baker

      Hi Pearl, I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed the Puto — nice to know the rice milk worked in combination with the coconut milk. I believe you probably could do this in a water bath in the oven – let me know if you ever try it!

      Reply
  17. 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!

      Reply
  18. 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
  19. 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!

      Reply
  20. 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

      Reply
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