Puto made of rice flour and coconut milk are soft, fluffy, and tasty! This Filipino steamed rice cake makes a filling midday snack or a delicious side for savory dishes.

I have recipes for morcon and kilawing labanos at atay ready to be published in my draft box but since I posted my dinuguan a couple of days ago, I thought the best follow up would be its perennial pair, puto. Because what’s better to serve with hearty and savory pork blood stew than soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes?

What is Puto

Puto is a popular Filipino delicacy usually enjoyed as a filling midday snack or as an accompaniment to savory dishes such as dinuguan, pancit or sopas.

Although all-purpose flour, cake flour or even hotcake mixes are also used in making this kakanin, traditional putong puti is made from rice grains soaked in water overnight and processed into a smooth batter called galapong. The fermented rice batter is then steamed in banana-lined bamboo platters (bilao) or individual molds.


Over the years, home cooks have spun these native cakes into many delicious varieties by adding extracts such as pandan and ube flavorings or by topping them with slices of cheese or salted duck eggs. The recipe here is a for basic putong bigaswhich you can, of course, fancy up as you like.

Tips on How to Make Puto with Rice Flour

  • While you can steam the rice batter as soon as you make it, I highly recommend refrigerating it first overnight before steaming. This extra step was a tip a KP reader shared in the comments below, and it does make for a softer and less crumbly texture in my opinion.
  • I use silicone molds which do need to be greased but if you’re using tin or glass molds, make sure to liberally brush with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray the insides of the molds.
  • The molds I use for this recipe have 2-ounce (1/4 cup) capacity, and at this size, the batter takes about 15 minutes to cook. If using smaller or larger molds or ramekins, adjust steam time accordingly. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake; if it comes out clean, the steamed cake is done.
  • Cover the steamer lid with cheesecloth or any cotton material to keep the condensation from dripping on the steamed muffins.


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