How to make Puto (Steamed Rice Cake)

This is the Filipino version of steamed rice cake popularly known as Puto. This is best eaten together with a local recipe called Dinuguan. Some would eat this for breakfast and snacks. There are variations of this recipe among which are:

  • Puto Bumbong - Traditionally made from a special variety of heirloom sticky or glutinous rice called Pirurutong which has a distinctly purple color, soaked in salted water and dried overnight and then poured into bumbong or bamboo tubes and then steamed until done or steam rises out of the bamboo tubes.
  • Puto Lanson - Puto found in Iloilo which is made of grated cassava, and is foamy when cooked.
  • Puto Manlapa - A variant of puto that is cooked specifically with Saba banana leaves underneath for the flavor.
  • Puto Mamon - A puto mixture that does not include rice but combines egg yolk, salt and sugar. One mixture of milk and water and another of flour are alternately mixed into the yolk mixture. Egg whites are beaten and folded in before the mixture is poured into muffin cups and steamed for 15-20 min.
  • Puto Maya - A puto mixture of glutinous violet rice (called tapol) soaked in water, drained and then poured into a steamer to steam for 30 minutes. This rice mixture is then combined with coconut milk, salt, sugar and ginger juice and placed back into the steamer for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Puto-Pao - A combination of siopao (meat-filled dumpling) and puto. It uses the traditional puto recipe but incorporates a meat filling.
What we have here is a guide how to make and cook the common steamed rice cake known as Puto:

Materials and Ingredients Needed:

• Steamer
• Mixing bowl
• Strainer
• Muffin pan
• Measuring cups & spoons
• Wooden spoon or wire whisk
• 2 cups rice flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 2 cups coconut milk
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 tsp anise seed (optional)
• 1 cup grated coconut or coconut flakes


1. Sift the rice flour, baking powder, salt, and white sugar together.
2. In a bowl, add coconut milk to the sifted ingredients and blend until the mixture is smooth.
3. Add anise seeds or whatever flavoring you wish (vanilla, pandan, etc.) Mix and blend thoroughly.
4. Carefully pour the mixture into the muffin pans (greased with butter beforehand), making sure you leave 1/3 space at the top. This is to give the puto space to expand upon cooking.
5. Steam for about 30 minutes.
6. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of puto — the toothpick must come clean.
7. Top with grated coconuts.


• Don’t place the puto in a covered container right after it is steamed, otherwise it will get soggy. Wait for it to cool down first.
• Puto is best serve hot, so try offering it as a breakfast alternative around your neighborhood.

How Much Will You Make

Puto is sold in packs. The going rate for plain homemade puto is P5.00 per piece, or P60 for an even dozen. You may charge a higher price for flavored puto, although people rarely buy too much of one particular flavor. Your best bet is to offer a combination of flavors in one pack.
Here are two video guides of making puto:
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