Puto (Rice Cake or Steamed Muffin)

I have a dear friend, Beth, who loves to cook, too. We worked in the same school for many years and lived together with our siblings in a house when we were young and unmarried. I remembered how she would cook on weekends. We would look forward to weekends because she’d be cooking for all of us.We specially liked her lumpia shanghai and gulaman flan. Now she’s residing in Ohio with her husband John and daughter, Lizzy. I missed her because we have shared many important events in our lives like my wedding, my first born’s baptism, her wedding, our common friend’s wedding, and many memories of our younger days as teachers back at Saint Joseph School. Though we were continents apart, I discovered that we still share the same passions, not only in teaching but also in cooking!

I am posting this recipe of steamed cake ( puto ) for her. Beth, you may try Method #3. You won’t just be cooking steamed cake but also leche flan because you’ve got to use the egg yolks for the leche flan recipe.

METHOD #1
Ingredients
2 cups white rice
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Procedure
1. Soak the rice for at least 8 hours or overnight, then grind and mash it until it resembles batter. Mix with sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. Pour into large muffin molds until the are 3/4 full, place them in a steamer for 1/2 hour.
3. Turn the molds over, and garnish with coconut.

METHOD #2
Ingredients
2 cups rice, soaked in 1 1/2 cups water, overnight
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1 1/2 cup white sugar
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar, for egg whites
coconut

Procedure

  1. You may use long grain.
  2. In a heavy duty blender, puree soaked rice in water until very fine.
  3. Pour in a bowl; add sugar and 2 teaspoons baking powder.
  4. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  6.  Add 2 tablespoons sugar to keep the air in the beaten egg whites.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the beaten rice batter and pour into muffin pans.
  8. Steam for about 20 minutes or until done. (Optional: Sprinkle a few anise seeds on top of the puto)
  9.  Serve with grated coconut.

( Note: You may use basket steamer in a wok half filled with water.)

METHOD #3
Ingredients
4 1/2 cups flour
3 cups milk
3 1/2 tbsps. baking powder
4 egg whites
2 1/4 cups sugar (get 2 tbsp to be added to the eggwhite while beating it)
3 tsps. vanilla

Procedure

  1. Sift and mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff. Remember to beat in one direction only so you won’t lose the consistency of the eggwhite. ( Note: You’d know when the beaten egg whites is okay it is stiff that when you lift the beaters (or wire whisk), stiff peaks are formed on the surface of the egg whites. That’s when the tips do not bow down. ) Put the remaining two tablespoonfuls of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. Then add the milk and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients gradually to the mixture until it becomes nice and smooth.
  5. Pour into small non-stick muffin tins about 3/4 full.
  6. Steam for about 10 minutes until the toothpick inserted comes out clear.
  7. Add some grated or strip of cheese on top.
  8. Cover it again for about 1 minute until the cheese becomes melted. Serve it while it is nice and hot!

METHOD #4
Ingredients
1 c. rice flour
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. Bisquick
1 (19 oz.) can coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a batter and pour in a deep baking pan (round) 2/3 full and cook in a steamer for 45 minutes.

METHOD #5
Ingredients
2 c. Bisquick mix
2 eggs
1 c. white sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. melted butter
Grated coconut

Procedure

  1.  Blend all ingredients; stir until smooth. Fill muffins pans 2/3 full with mixture.
  2. Steam for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the puto comes out clean. Serve with grated coconut.

Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes 18 medium-sized puto.

SPECIAL BONUS RECIPE: Puto (Rice Cakes) with Itlog na Maalat (Salted Duck Egg)

Ingredients
1/4 c. of butter or margarine, softened (not melted)
1 c. all purpose flour
1 teaspoonful of baking powder
5 rounded tablespoonfuls of sugar
3/4 c. of milk
4 egg whites
slices of any quickmelting cheese (you can also use slices of salted eggs or kesong puti)

Procedure

  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
  2. In another bowl, cream the butter (or margarine) with three tablespoonfuls of sugar. To cream is to beat until light in texture.
  3. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately into the butter-sugar mixture mixing as you add.
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
  5. Fold the egg whites into the flour-milk mixture. When you beat the egg whites, the volume triples because of air bubbles which will make the steamed cake light and soft so you do not want to break them.
  6. Fill the puto molds (you can use muffin pans) until about 3/4 full. Top with cheese slices.
  7.  Steam the puto for about 20 minutes. If you’re using a metal steamer, you may have to place a towel or muslin (katsa) between the pan and the cover. The cloth will catch the steam and prevent the condensation from falling into the puto which will prevent them from rising properly.
  8. Cook the puto after 20 minutes in the steamer. Cool before removing from the molds.

(Note: Never attempt to remove the puto from the molds while they’re still hot. It will disfigure them. )

You may try experimenting with the recipe using cake flour, too. When I did, I discovered the puto to be finer and smoother, but not heavy on the tummy. Also don’t be mistaken in using baking soda instead of baking powder. Use baking powder as the recipe requires.

  • carmenia alfonso

    Thanks for sharing the puto recipe.

  • lolita douglas

    none of those are good, not real puto like the one we buy in the Philippines

    • strange!

      hey do you know how puto in the phils are made….?
      dont be so damn…… its the same process that she shared….. just gave you some variations……

  • R. C.

    As someone who has never made puto, I am glad to see this page with the recipe variations, and am looking forward to making this! Thank you so much for sharing; God bless.

  • wildcakes

    I'm a baker. I'm from puerto rico. I went to a Philippines festival and taste the puto. wow great flavor. I will try to make this recipies for me. Thank you. As pastry and baking chef I loe trying to do new stuff.

  • neil

    this is the one i am looking for…tnx for the post…btw, for Lolita Douglas, maybe the puto you were buying in the Philippines were the puto from Manapla, Negros Occidental..yes it tastes and looks different from the puto variations posted here..because it uses a coconut wine as a leavening agent… very good tastes though…
    since i dont have a recipe of puto-manapla, i will try the method #1 posted here…thanks once again…

  • lisah

    please give me info. where to buy the stemer of puto bongbong and howmuch??thanks