Puto (Filipino Steamed Cake)

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I love holidays. It is the time when my boys come home and spend time with me and my husband. In the past, we used to play cards and board games. But this year, we are spending time talking or watching movies. Meals are usually long and a fun time. I try to cook dishes that we all love and enjoy. Today, I made this snack that I used to make for my kids when they were young.

Puto is a Filipino dish that is always served during the holidays. It is a steamed sweet cake that is traditionally made from ground rice. It is eaten by itself, with butter or grated coconut.  However, this recipe is an adapted way of making puto, using cake flour instead of ground rice. There are many variations of puto that include different flavoring such as ube (purple yam) and pandan. It can also be topped with cheese or salted egg.

Puto (Filipino Steamed Cake)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 48 mini puto

Puto (Filipino Steamed Cake)


  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup fresh milk


  1. Fill a 12-inch pan halfway with water and set over high heat.
  2. In a bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine water, egg whites and fresh milk. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture at low speed for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients and blend until smooth.
  5. Strain the batter into another bowl to ensure that there are no lumps.
  6. Lightly brush a mini muffin tin with vegetable oil.
  7. Fill muffin tin ¾ full with the batter.
  8. Once the water in the pan is boiling, place the muffin tin in the pan and cover the pan with a lid.
  9. Steam the puto for 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the puto comes out clean.
  10. Once the puto is cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool at least 30 seconds before removing from the muffin tins.
  11. Repeat steps 6 to 10 three more times, making sure there is enough water in the pan each time.


This recipe was adapted from the cookbook “Goldilocks Bakebook”.


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  1. MrsNumbles says

    Oh my, thank you for this! I moved away from the States a year ago and one of the treats I missed the most is the puto that the Filipino market near my old job used to make. I will definitely be doing these! :o)

  2. Sarah says

    Hi there! Recipe looks great. I’ve never made these before and I was wondering what can I change the cake flour ingredient with? Like can I use cake mix or pancake mix? Hope to hear from you.

    • Liza ALiza says

      Hi Sarah,
      I have not used cake mix nor pancake mix in making puto before. But I think you can substitute the cake flour with the cake mix. But remember, some cake mixes have already some of the ingredients (sugar, baking powder etc)premixed and you only need to add a few ingredients like eggs, milk and sometimes oil/butter. So adjust the ingredients accordingly if are going to use cake mix. Hope it helps :)

  3. Anonymous says

    I tried tonight and was delicious just exactly when i was in my hometown.love it love.thank u so much for sharing this recupe

  4. Jess M.M. says

    Hi Liza,
    Thank you for unselfishly sharing good realistic recipes. For this puto can we use all purpose flour or rice flour instead?

    • Liza ALiza A says

      You’re welcome Jess! Thanks for stopping by. To answer your question, I have used all-purpose flour in making puto but not rice flour. But I am pretty sure you can use it too :)

  5. Jess says

    Hello liza,
    Could you also share the white puto steamed in a “bilao” in the old times it can be bought in the market lalo sa umaga. Hope you know it too. I am craving for it. Thanks!

    • Liza ALiza A says

      Hi Jess,
      I think I know what you mean. It is a denser type of puto, isn’t it. I will find the recipe and post it for you :)

  6. says

    Hi (: I was wondering if I can just fill the pan with water and put a steamer piece on top and put the puto on top of the steamer piece and cover it up,will that work?thanks for taking the time to read this (:

  7. AK says

    Hi Liza,

    im just curious, what is the difference between using cake flour and using all-purpose flour? or which ones taste better.

    thank you very much

  8. weng says

    could we use coconut ream instead of freshmilk, why others making puto used cream of tartar, what is the used of it anyway?

    • Liza ALiza A says

      Hi Weng,
      I have not use coconut cream in making puto but I have heard that some use coconut milk. Cream of tartar is used as the leavening agent in baking powders. If you run out of baking powder, you may use cream of tartar and baking soda instead.

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