Puto (Steamed Rice Cake) :Filipino style

Puto is a kind of steamed rice cake in Philippine cuisine derived from the Indian dish Puttu. It is eaten as is or with butter and/or grated fresh coconut, or as an accompaniment to a number of savoury viands.

The traditional way of making Puto takes time, although most of it involves inactive waiting periods. The process spans three to four days from the initial rice soaking to taking the finished product out of the steamer. :Excerpt from Wikipedia

What I am sharing with you here is the quick way of preparing Puto. While some traditional puto uses aged coconut wine as a leavening agent, I used baking powder… And obviously using plastic mold instead of banana leaves. Some Puto recipes include butter, food coloring, or tapioca flour (I used soy milk powder to replace tapioca and butter). Making Puto is very easy, maybe you want to give it a try 🙂

Classification: Vegan
Good source of carbohydrates, protein

What you need:
a steamer
cup cake (silicon or regular plastic) or small ramekin molds

Note: I bought my Puto mold in the Philippines. I couldn’t find this (smooth) type here in the US. There are some similar style you can use that is made of silicon but usually they are ridged.


rice flour – 3 cups
sugar – 3 cups
coconut milk – 1 and 1/2 can (of 13.5 oz/400 ml can coconut milk) or about 2 cups
soy (supreme) milk powder – 1/2 cup (optional) or other regular powder milk of your choice
water – 2 cups
baking powder – 4-5 TBspoons baking powder

Note: I used Ramford baking powder. When I use only 3 TBspoons of baking powder it did not raise the cooked Puto well enough so I added about 1 to more TBspoon. The stronger and the fresher your baking powder the lesser amount you put into the mixture.

a pinch of salt (1/8 of a teaspoon)
soy cheese, shredded (optional if you want it to be Puto Cheese)


1. In a steamer put about 7 to 8 cups of water. Bring it to boil while preparing the Puto batter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients well using a beater, except for cheese.

3. Pour puto mixture in every single mold leaving about a half an inch space below the mold rim. Sprinkle cheese topping before steaming (or baking). If you’re not using cupcake paper, you can grease the molds with coconut oil or butter to prevent sticking. The more oily it is or the more coconut milk you put in your batter the less likely it is to stick.

4. Carefully place the steamer rack (with molds filled with batter) into the steamer with hot water.

5. Cook for 20 minutes or until it’s done. Using a toothpick or a skewer, poke a Puto to check its doneness. If it’s still watery as you pull the skewer out, it needs more cooking time. Puto should look puffy and some ridged up. (The bigger the cracks on top the “happier” the Puto is 🙂 Ask a Filipino.)

Let it cool off for a couple of minutes before taking the Puto out of the mold. It makes about 60 small-sized Puto or about 35-40 pieces cup cake size.

It’s best to eat Puto when it’s freshly made and warm with some hot chocolate drink, or some tea of your choice. 🙂 It keeps good in the fridge for several days but cold temperature naturally changes the (rice) puto from being smooth to firmer texture. Enjoy!









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