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Puto - Filipino Rice Cake

Updated on August 17, 2013

Puto is the Filipino term for “Rice Cake” and is cook by steaming. Puto are usually white and round and can vary greatly in size. It is usually served with fresh grated coconut.

Puto is usually eaten as a merienda - a light meal or snack especially in the afternoon, but can also be eaten for breakfast with coffee or hot chocolate but it is best served with "Dinuguan" (Pork blood stew) as a hefty afternoon merienda.

By adding local ingredients like ube (purple yam) or pandan slightly change the flavor and color of the humble puto, but this will required more work and a revision of the recipe. The best way to have flavored puto is to use essence which are also tinted to the color relative to the flavor like pandan essence flavor gives you a light green puto and an ube essence gives you a light purple puto. And of course, adding food colouring can be added but still keep the original flavor.

The original puto that I know of, is made of galapong (soaked ground rice), But there are now many variations of this recipe ranging from the type of rice used to the method of how it is prepared. You will also find that different regions in the Philippines cook puto in varied ways, some of the recipes have been passed from one generation to another, but still there are some secrets that were never revealed when ask for the recipe of their soft and yummy puto.

To be successful in cooking puto, whether you are using the galapong - (soak ground rice), rice flour, all-purpose flour or self-raising flour you have to practice - make it several times before you will successfully mastered the art of puto steaming.

Making and selling puto is a hit business opportunity in the Philippines, it is a favorite snack to both young and old, they can be seen in almost every occasion such as birthdays, baptismal, fiestas, Christmas and even end up in corporate meetings table or in simple gathering of friends and families.

Packs of colored putos are sold in the market, in school canteen, restaurants and you can even find them beautifully displayed in the food court of large shopping mall.

For those people who would like to have an extra income, making and selling puto is a good business opportunity. Once you have mastered the recipe, they are easy to make, they require very little capital and are affordable, but like any other business, patience and hard work are needed.

I don’t know how to make puto using rice but I have cooked puto using all-purpose flour or self raising flour which turn out good and yummy.

I have tried a few recipes from cookbooks, some given by family and friends, made few adjustments, add color and flavor, some experiments turn out good but some are real disaster. if you are looking for a recipe try this one.  

Puto Recipe


  • 2 cups self Raising Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


  • Shift the self raising flour in a bowl.
  • Add and mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl using an electric mixer but if an electric beater is not available use a wooden spoon.
  • Brush a bit of butter on the molds to prevent the puto from sticking.
  • Pour the mixture into puto molds about 3/4 full.
  • Top with cheese slices or slices of salted eggs (Itlog na maalat)
  • Arrange the molds in the steamer.
  • Steam cook for 15-20 minutes only.
  • Cool before removing from the molds.

Instant Puto Mix

You will also find instant puto in a box in the supermarket shelves and exported and sold in many Asian Filipino stores overseas.
You will also find instant puto in a box in the supermarket shelves and exported and sold in many Asian Filipino stores overseas.


  • The texture of the puto will depend on how you mix the batter, the mixture should be mix moderately to have a finer texture.
  • To prevent condensation, place a Calico fabric (katsa) or even an old teatowel 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.


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    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      It's so mouth-watering, kabayan. You should also see of the hubs by travel man featuring traditional rice cake o the galapong puto.

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      Shaine 5 years ago

      I tried so many recipes but I failed. Your recipe is simple and it turns out as expected. Will keep your recipe for sure ...thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Vero 5 years ago

      I like puto,,especially w/cheeze ...YUMMY

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      edgarjimenez 5 years ago

      I try this recepe before of course its quite defferent with steam rice muffins (puto) but this is also try to put some adobo in it

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      julius quintia 5 years ago

      wow meh

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      cherie ann 5 years ago

      i like puto so much....

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      Fema aurelio 5 years ago

      Even though it's time consuming, I rather make rice puto,It taste way better than using flour. eating it with dinuguan or pancit is so yummy!

    • profile image

      SALMA 6 years ago


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      Iorr 6 years ago

      I've been wanting to make puto. I was glad to see you have puto recipe online but why self raising flour instead of rice? I will try that anyway..... Thank you!

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      novy liza 6 years ago

      wow nmn ang srap ng puto? kso ass. nmin nyan yng puto tps smaan ng ktsinta tyaka yng nyog uhmmmmm? srap non deliciuos shabasta hhahahahahhahh thaks n lng ? we love you/

    • profile image

      MARCEL GONZALEZ 6 years ago


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      Neth muena 6 years ago

      Thank u...good luck and more power to the Group...God Neth

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      matilda 6 years ago

      meron po ba kayong recipe ng puto calasiao?

    • jamiesweeney profile image

      jamiesweeney 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Puto... I Like it.

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      jp 6 years ago

      i like the taste of puto on your left upper hand portion of the image above. i dont know what it is called.

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      loysi724 6 years ago

      I love puto especially with our native pansit, but you are right MMdelrosario, grinding rice is labor intensive and no way i will do it here in toronto. Instead of rising flour, my son tried the hotcake mix and turned out nice and really good. He gave his recipe to me and I did it well, luv it.

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      Liz agus 6 years ago

      like this recipe but do you have the rice version? Used to ea the rice one when my mom bought it from her friend. Like to try making it.

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      looks delicious. Gonna try this recipe

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Those who have not tasted puto is missing a great food! A homemade puto that my daughter and I make is made from hot cake mix that i add with slices of cheese and salted egg then cooked in a steamer.

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 years ago

      Yummy hub!I suppose the ingredients for home made puto depends on the taste and texture of the rice cakes that you want. Though galapong is really labor intensive, as you may describe it, I think that rice cakes made with galapong are the best. If you want instant but still very tasty rice cakes, you can use those hotcake mixes, pour the batter into puto molds then to with salted eggs and cheese before cooking in a steamer. Believe me, they are also great tasting puto!

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      cat 7 years ago

      If the issue is that it is labor intensive to grind the rice why not use rice flour instead of the flour? Won't that work out just as well?

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

      I'm with Micky Dee, they look great and since they are flour I have the ingredients to make them and I'm going to give them a try. Now as for the name "Puto" don't use that term for something to eat in Mexico, I laughed out loud, and if your interested just Google "Puto" and "Mexico" and you'll find in that language why I was laughing.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      These look wonderful! I am so hungry now! Thanks!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      wow, I missed this delicacy, am here in the US now and I can buy here at Asian stores but then they are not the same as ours in the Philippines, Thank you, Maita

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Bing, i think you that puto is the Calasiao Puto - well known for its melt-in-the-mouth feeling. Masarap talaga....

      Thanks for the visit.


    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 7 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      i am not a fan of colored putos. there is a type in pangasinan that i love the most. i forgot what it's called.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Cool recipe...they look good!

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      OMG! The second I read your title, I was instantly craving some, I LOVE puto! I've eaten these since I was a kid. Now you've got me thinking of other great filipino treats like Halo-Halo! Thanks for the recipe, I'll have to try it. =)

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Rosariomontenegro,

      The original puto recipe use rice it is called "galapong" - soaked grouand rice, but because the process of grinding the rice is labor intensive and time consuming, we resort to other alternatives which is flour, a lot of people still used rice but on this recipe I use flour.

      Thank you for visiting and I hope this answer your question.

    • rosariomontenegro profile image

      rosariomontenegro 7 years ago from NEW YORK

      Querida tocaya,

      I just don't understand. If putos are rice cakes how come your recipe only has Self Raising Flour, which is wheat? I don't see the rice there.

      The idea of making rice cakes is very tempting that's why I'm asking for more explanations. Thank you.

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      Lilia 7 years ago

      Thank you. I did a lot of tricks and recipe on the web it turns to garbage. I did exactly your recipe and it turns so good. when i was studying my mom selling puto but I did not tired to learn because I was so busy studying which is where I am now. Again thank you.