It’s tough to meet a dessert that’s as easy and satisfying as this Filipino steamed rice cake, Puto. It’s so light, fluffy, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! Whip up this Filipino puto recipe in about 20 minutes.
What is Puto?
Puto is a traditional Filipino dessert primarily made of glutinous rice flour. This rice cake is steamed to create the fluffiest lightest texture. Sometimes it’s also topped with cheese to give it a rich creaminess as well. (HIGHLY recommend btw!)
It’s so good, you can eat it as a snack or alongside your favorite savory meal!
What You'll Need
Before jumping into the ingredients, you’ll need to have molds to pour the batter in! You can either use a muffin tin (as long is it fits in your steamer or large pan/wok) or silicone molds.
These are similar to the silicone molds that I use and absolutely love them because they’re reusable and don’t take up a bunch of space! Now, to make the batter, you’ll need:
- Condensed milk
- Coconut cream
- Baking powder
- Velveeta cheese (optional but HIGHLY recommended
- Rice flour - not glutinous or sweet
The Rice Flour
For this Filipino puto recipe, rice flour is a MUST - not sweet or glutinous. Plain rice flour creates a light airy texture compared to the other rice flour varieties, which can be much denser.
How to Make This Filipino Puto Recipe
- Make the puto batter by combining the dry and wet ingredients, except the cheese.
- Pour in the puto batter into molds that have been lightly oiled until it’s ¾ full.
- Steam puto on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Add sliced cheese on top, if desired, and steam for another minute.
- Cool for about 30 seconds before removing them from the molds and enjoying!
If You Don't Have a Steamer
I rarely steam and don’t think I could fit any more gadgets or appliances in my kitchen! If you’re like me and don’t have a steamer, don’t worry - I got you covered for this easy puto recipe!
A quick steamer hack requires only 3 things you probably already have in your kitchen:
- A large wok or pan with a lid
- Wire rack or aluminum foil
- Heat-proof plate
In a large wok or pan, place a wire rack or aluminum foil shaped into a ring in the center. Place a heat-proof plate with the silicone molds with the puto batter on top of the wire rack or aluminum foil. Carefully, pour enough water into the pan so it’s just below the plate, avoiding getting water onto the plate.
Puto Cooking Tips
- Creating a Perfect Dome: Sometimes water can drip from the lid onto the puto, which can result in a slightly uneven texture. Your puto will still be delicious, however, if you want a little puffiness, you can place a cheesecloth or kitchen towel underneath the lid. This creates a barrier so the water doesn’t drip into the puto batter.
- How to Avoid Dry Puto: Patience is key - keep things low and slow for moist rice cakes! Steam them on medium heat so they don’t dry out. Keep a close eye on them and take them out once a toothpick comes out clean.
- 2 Ingredients for EXTRA flavor: For an extra boost of flavor, I love using coconut milk and condensed milk. The coconut milk pairs so well with the rice in this dessert. The condensed milk adds a rich sweetness and creaminess all at once!
How to Store & Reheat Them
These Filipino steamed rice cakes are so addictive, they quickly vanish! If, however, you happen to have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to reheat and enjoy!
Why is Puto called Puto?
The word puto derives from the "puttu", the Malay word meaning "portioned". Puto is served in individual portions, but I dare you to have just one!
Is Puto Considered a Dessert?
Yes! It's a slightly sweet rice cake, however, it's not unheard of to eat alongside savory Filipino dishes or as a snack as well.
More Easy Dessert Favorites You’ll Love!
- Filipino Taho Recipe (Perfect for Brown Sugar Lovers!)
- Strawberry Matcha Latte Recipe (10 Minutes or Less!)
- 2-Ingredient Easy Ice Cream Mochi (Super Simple!)
- Mango Sago Recipe (Simple & Easy!)
- Vietnamese Avocado Smoothie Recipe (Rich & Creamy!)
Did You Make This Recipe & Hungry for More?
Follow along @MikhaEats on Instagram and Tiktok for drool-worthy step-by-step videos. Tag @MikhaEats on Instagram stories for a chance to be featured!
And don't forget to rate this recipe with 5 stars below so others can enjoy it as well!
Puto (Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes)
- 1 cup rice flour not glutinous or sweet
- 1 egg beaten
- ¼ cup condensed milk
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Velveeta cheese cut in 1-inch slices, optional
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the Velveeta cheese, until smooth.
- Lightly oil silicone muffin molds to prevent sticking. Scoop in batter until it’s about ¾ full. This will make sure the batter doesn’t overflow while cooking.
- Add them to a steamer. If you don’t have a steamer:
- Use a large pan then place a wire rack or aluminum foil shaped into a ring in the center. Place a heat-proof plate with the silicone molds with the puto batter on top of the wire rack or aluminum foil. Carefully, pour enough water into the pan so it’s just below the plate, avoiding getting water onto the plate.
- Steam on medium heat for about 10 - 15 minutes, or until you stick a toothpick in the puto and it comes out clean. Place slices of cheese on top, if desired, and steam for another minute or two, or until the cheese melts.
- Turn off the heat and remove the puto from the steamer. Allow them to cool for about 30 seconds before removing them from their molds. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.