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Filipino Anise-Flavored Muffin or Puto Recipe

Updated on October 31, 2019
Edwin Alcantara profile image

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

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Home-Made Muffins



Do you like muffins? Who doesn't. But do you also like to try something new or different? How about a new muffin flavor?

This recipe was handed down by my grandmother in the Philippines to my mom, who then handed it down to me. They're called "puto" or rice cakes. Normally these are made with rice flour but since this version uses regular flour, I don't refer to them as rice cakes. I refer to these as muffins instead since "puto" has a negative connotation in Spanish. This uniquely flavored muffin turned out to be good and has become one of my favorites.

Whenever our large, extended family gather at the breakfast table, she made these muffins for breakfast. Whenever relatives, friends or neighbors come to visit, or if we hold parties or reunions, she made these muffins to serve as snacks for guests and visitors.

If you like to try new, different, exotic flavors, then I hope you'll enjoy this recipe too.

Bon appetit!

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves approximately 26-30 people


  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar, can substitute same amount of Splenda or some other artificial sweetener if desired
  • 1/4 cup anise seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/4 cups canned evaporated milk, can substitute fresh milk for evaporated milk if desired
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, optional. can use margarine as a substitute instead of butter, if desired


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees for at least five minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (self-rising flour and white granulated sugar) by hand or by using electric mixer.
  3. Then add the water to the dry ingredients.
  4. Slowly add the eggs into the mixture. Do not beat the eggs beforehand.
  5. When well mixed, then add the evaporated milk.
  6. Fill muffin pans 3/4 of the way up. (Use non-stick, 12-muffin rectangular pans. You'll need three of these muffin pans).
  7. Bake muffins for twenty minutes. Pierce muffins in the middle with a toothpick to check if muffins are done. If not, bake an additional five minutes.
  8. Let the muffins cool for about five to ten minutes.
  9. Brush the tops of the muffins with melted butter, or margarine, if desired. Alternatively, you can just place a dab of butter on the top of each muffin while the muffins are still hot.


1) Instead of using canned evaporated milk, you can also use fresh milk or canned condensed milk. If you're going to use condensed milk, use 1/2 cup of condensed milk mixed with 1/2 cup of water.

But if using condensed milk, make sure to reduce the white, granulated sugar by 1/2 cup, i.e. use 1-1/2 cups of granulated, white sugar instead of 2 cups of granulated, white sugar.

2) Alternatively, if you don't want to use anise seeds, you can instead mix 1/4-1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese, or any cheese you like, into the mixture. Or you can just sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the hot muffins after taking them out of the oven.

Suggestions or Ideas

If you decide to try out this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Feel free to experiment and modify it too and let me know how your experiment turned out. I'm open to suggestions and new ideas/flavors for muffins.


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    • Edwin Alcantara profile imageAUTHOR

      Edwin Alcantara 

      7 months ago from California

      Thanks Larry. No problem. Glad to share.

    • Larry Slawson profile image

      Larry Slawson 

      7 months ago from North Carolina

      This looks really good! Never heard of this before. Will definitely have to try. Thank you for sharing!


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