I love holidays. It is the time when my sons 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 Puto recipe, a snack that I used to make for my kids when they were young. It is one of those nostalgic snacks that I make once in a while for my family and we always enjoy eating. Some other sweets that I made for my kids when they were growing up include leche flan
What is Puto?
Puto is a Filipino steamed cake snack that is served any time of the year. It is the perfect dish to bring to a gathering or potluck because it’s easy to eat and to transport. It is traditionally made from ground rice and can be eaten by itself, with butter or grated coconut. However, this puto recipe is an adapted version, using cake flour instead of ground rice. There are many variations that include different flavorings such as ube (purple yam) and pandan. It can also be topped with cheese or salted egg.
Improvised steaming method
This steaming method may be used if you don’t have a steamer and works well without any special equipment. The main idea is to rest a muffin tin on top of a pan without letting the muffin tin touch the bottom of the pan (see photo below). With a lid on the pan, the steam from the boiling water in the pan will cook the puto. Another common way to steam puto is to use individual moulds and a bamboo or other type of steamer. Which ever method of steaming is used, these little cakes are always delicious!
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
- Fill a 12-inch pan halfway with water and set over high heat.
- In a bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, combine water, egg whites and fresh milk. Using a hand mixer, beat the mixture at low speed for 5 minutes.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Strain the batter into another bowl to ensure that there are no lumps.
- Lightly brush a mini muffin tin with vegetable oil.
- Fill muffin tin ¾ full with the batter.
- Once the water in the pan is boiling, place the muffin tin in the pan and cover the pan with a lid.
- Steam the puto for 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the puto comes out clean.
- Once the puto is cooked, remove from the pan and allow to cool at least 30 seconds before removing from the muffin tins.
- Repeat steps 6 to 10 three more times, making sure there is enough water in the pan each time.
Green Tea Matcha version:
Hi Liza, I made puto using rice flour that I ground down myself. I even sifted the flour to make sure the flour was a fine consistency. My puto tasted gritty and they didn’t rise up. My baking powder isn’t old.
I have not used rice flour to make puto so I cannot tell what happened.
Maybe you haven’t used enough of baking powder.
What is a cake flour? Can I use All Purpose Flour to make the puto?
Yes you can use all purpose flour for this recipe.
Can i use this for puto pao?
I have not use this puto recipe to make puto pao but I am pretty sure it will work with a few adjustments.
Thank you for all your tips in the comments section. You did a great job for your family. May God bless you more! 🥰
Thanks so much Cheenee! Take care and stay safe!
Inused all purpose flour and tried to create puto art, however the top came out too fluffy, not smooth like the one you made. Is that because I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour?
Yes, using all-purpose flour instead of cake flour might be the reason why it came out too fluffy. Using a different kind of flour alters the outcome of the finished product.
Hi Liza! It was the first time I made puto and it came out perfect. Fool proof recipe. I’m going to try your matcha puto recipe next. Have you tried adding different flavored extracts (like ube or pandan) to your traditional puto? If so, how much did you use. Also, can you pre-make the batter to use the next day?
No, I have not added any flavoring to my puto. I think 1 tablespoon of the extract is enough. I don’t recommend pre-making the batter. It’s better to make it fresh.
I first had this about 15 years ago. I’ve been looking for that recipe for a few years now, and this is how I remember it. Using rice flour did not give me the flavor I was looking for in other recipes. Also, I didn’t have cake flour, so I added 2tbsp of cornstarch per cup of all purpose flour and sifted it together 4 times before adding the rest of the ingredients. Mine came out perfectly, but I think I will reduce the sugar next time. It was quick, easy, and delicious!
What is the best flour that you recommended maliban sa cake flour at APF? Thanks for feedback
Some recipes have used rice flour to make puto. I have not used it before so I cannot tell whether it is the best flour to use. For me, cake flour is still best flour to make puto.
I been using rice flour and I guess it taste better than just APF
I’m steaming the puto as I write this comment and it’s taking longer than 5 minutes to steam 🙁 20 minutes and counting… i wonder how much longer this will take haha. I tasted part of the top though and it tastes really good! A little sweet for me but delicious nonetheless:)
May I ask what kind of mold did you use? I used mini muffin tin in this recipe so it took around 5 minutes to steam the puto.
Hi po!!! What kind of preservatives can i use to prolonged the life of my puto? Mine only last for a day… 😥
To prolong the shelf life of puto, I store them in the fridge. I warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds whenever I want eat some.
Hello my puto came out flat on top. I dont know whats wrong with it 😔
Baking powder is the leavening agent that gives volume to the puto. Yours came out flat on top maybe because the baking powder you used might have lost its effectiveness. Try opening a new tin next time you make puto. Hopefully batter will rise to the top!
Hiii what does openning new tin meant?
Opening a new tin means opening a new container of baking powder.
I just tried your recipe today. It was good but the batter seemed watery and it came out a little sticky on top. Should the batter be watery or should I add more flour next time?
May I ask what kind of flour did you use? If you used all-purpose flour then yes, you can add more flour if the batter is too watery.
I would like to ask if i can use white sugar or brown sugar? Which one is better?
I always use white sugar to make puto. Using brown sugar changes the color of the puto and also adds a different taste and flavor to it.
Thank you. But is it okay if i use evap milk? Alternative for fresh mlils since i’ve run out of it
Yes, you can use evaporated milk.
Can I use rice flour like Mochiko?
Using Mochiko (sweet rice flour) to make puto will give a different taste and texture to the finished product. You can try using it, make sure to reduce the amount of sugar. Hope these help!
Made them today and they turned out great! I wish I can post a picture here. Thank you for this recipe!
You are welcome Chloe! Glad you liked it. You can upload the picture on instagram if you like.
Hi good morning. What can i add on my puto to make it shelf life longer?
The only thing that I can think of to extend the shelf life of the puto is to store them in the fridge.
I made this today and taste really good!
The only this is some of them came up lopsided!Umalsa as isang side! I mixed the batter using hand mixer and I made sure there are no lumps.
Bakit po kaya lopsided?
I don’t know what happened to your puto. It seemed that the baking powder ( which makes the puto rise) was not evenly distributed. Make sure to sift the dry ingredients together and just to make sure, whisk them again. Hope these help!
Pwede po ba e double yung recipe para mas madami ang magawa?thanks po😊
I don’t recommend doubling the recipe but instead make two batches.
Help, my puto has brown spots even though I’ve mixed the batter well. How can this be avoided?
I have no idea why your puto has brown spots. It might be a one time occurrence.
I also have these brown spots. I cant understand the reason behind this
Maybe the flour you used is old already
Can I use APF instead of Cake Flour?
Yes, you can use all-purpose flour for this recipe.
Maybe you steamed it a little too long for the temperature.
Thank you Liza,
I wanted to ask you about a more rice puto than cake based puto. I think you answered it already by using rice flour but is there any other changes that I could make to recipe?? It has been over 30 years that I have the kind of puto that love from old co-workers, light, airy small 2 by 2 inch muffins.
Thank you for this recipe, i made it last night and i love it.
REGINALD D COOPER
Why is there such a variance in calories with different websites? From 38 calories to 240 calories for a single Puto (muffin)
It depends on the ingredients used.
Hi mam! What preservatives pwede natin ilagay para mag prolonge ang puto like tumagal ng 3 days?
One way of prolonging the shelf life of puto is to store them in the fridge.
Nannette de Guzman
It’s because of the ingredients. Some just have water and sugar added to the flour, while Some recipes have milk, cream, eggs, cheese, butter and salted eggs.
What flour will buy in making puto
I used cake flour to make this puto recipe. You can use all-purpose flour if you like.
You’re welcome Jayna!
I tried to make puto,and yes it taste so good,tnx for sharing the recipe
Hi! I’ve noticed this is the same as the recipe from Goldilocks bakebook. Just wondering how to convert to butter puto. Thanks
Sorry I don’t have the recipe for butter puto.
Connie A B
Can I add butter to the recipe? What proportion, do you know how much? Thanks
I have not added any butter in my puto recipe but you can try adding 1 tablespoon of melted butter, maybe?
I tried this recipe thrice using cake flour, sad to say,no good, why u think my puto shrink? It looks like kutsinta on top….thanks for reply,I want to try it again. godbless
Try opening a new can of baking powder and hopefully the puto will rise.
can you use AP four??
Yes, you can use all-purpose to make puto.
Tried it and it’s good! Salamat po.
1st batch was perfect, 2nd & 3rd batch were yellowish na.
I suggest you use ground rice (R18 type of rice)
Cheers for the recipe.
I tried this recipe twice, first time using 2 tablespoons of baking soda and all I could taste was baking soda.
Second time around I only used 2 teaspoons of baking soda and added 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to wet ingredients. It turned out fairly decently 🙂
The original recipe says baking powder not baking soda dear🙂
Hi po ask ko lang po if okay lang na ipaghalo yung cake flour and yung all purpose flour?
I have not tried using a mixture of cake flour and all-purpose flour to make puto.
I tried All purpose flour and the outcome was great!
Ok Lang, Peru may contain effect a product.putong harina, hahaha hanap ka ng ibang ingredient, bigas para tunay na puto follow the procedure carefully because this is a exact ‘science’ of authentic puto. Goodluck.
Thanks for the recipe. I’ve made it for the first time a few days ago and they came out really good although I should have bought a new can of baking powder to give it more rise. I like that you use cake flour because I just made a batch with all purpose flour (from someone else’s recipe) and the texture was very different and not to my liking and on top of that had way too much baking powder I could taste it.
Just a quick question: is the batter suppose to be a little runny or thick? I thought mine was a little runny so I added a little more cake flour but it still came out delicious.
A number of comments mentioned about taste of baking powder in their finished product. I guess it’s not due to the amount of baking powder used but in the type. Bouble acting baking powder (most brands) use Sodium Aluminum Sulfate for the acid and it gives some kind of aftertaste. Give a non-SAS baking powder (like Rumford) a try. I haven’t tried it nor tried your recipe but it’s worth a try.
Hello, I love how fluffy and soft the texture is. It was perfect! But It had a bitter aftertaste and I didn’t like it,, could it be the amount of baking powder used?
Hi madam if I use cake flour for this recipe is it same?
Hi Liz, thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try it out. I’ve attended a baby shower where they had this & I couldn’t stop wondering how they made it especially using the muffin pan since I’m used to shapeless steamed bread/ dumblings. Now I know. Thanks a lot
You’re welcome Thuli!
If I use rice flour, is it the same measurement?
I have not used rice flour to make puto so I don’t know what the measurement would be.
Can you subsitute rice flour for cake flour?
I have not used rice flour to make puto but I have seen others who used it.
Hi Liza if I use rice flour will all the ingredients be the same
I have not use rice flour to make puto but I have seen a few who have used it. You can try and let me know it goes.
Hi Ms. Liza, thank you for sharing your recipe, I tried it and its so soft, fluffy and taste really good, I added grated cheese and evaporated milk to make it yummier. Just this week a good friend ordered 150pcs cheese puto and they loved it:)
I’ll be trying out your pandesal recipe very soon 🙂
Many thanks, you’re such a big help 🙂
You’re welcome Kaye! I am glad you were able to try this recipe and had success with it. Take care and thanks for writing 🙂
can i use fresh milk instead of water or this recipe really needs water?
I really don’t know why others uses milk, what does it do?
Hi, I tried making these and they came out really flat and seemed sticky. I ended up steaming them for a couple extra minutes becauae the toothpick didn’t come out clean. Any idea what I might have done wrong? Thanks!
Baking powder is a leavening agent that gives volume to the puto. The baking powder you used might have lost its effectiveness. Try opening a new tin next time you make puto. Take care!
Hi mam….i did tried ur recipe and its yummy…im just wondering why i have this little after taste of baking powder….do i need to rest the batter before steaming?
Make sure to sift the dry ingredients and also beat the batter until smooth and lump free. Hope these help!
Jenny V Sellman
OK different question….. I colored mine and added hazelnut extract. mmmmgood !!!
My new question is: how do you store them. In refridgerator or in a container with lid? I don’t want to ruin them after I got them made.
Thank you for the recipe
I prefer to put the puto in a container with a lid and store in the fridge. I warm it up in the microwave if I want to have some.
Jenny V Sellman
Can you put a little food coloring in the water? Also some flavor extract?
Just tried this today and it was super easy to follow and make. I’ve always been intimidated by trying to make my own puto but this recipe is super easy. Thank you for sharing.
That’s great to hear Johanna!
OMG! I remember when mom would bring these home from work! She and the other nurses would have regular potlucks on their unit and the nurses would also make pancit. My first introduction to Filipino food. I’m so glad I found this recipe. Thank you for posting.
I can’t wait to make this for my American husband..i love to cook Filipino dish for him..he likes the pancit a lot and spring roll as well..thanks for this recipe ms.Liza😊
You’re welcome Jessica!
Hello Ms. Lisa, can I also use a rice flour instead of cake flour?
I have used all-purpose flour but not rice flour. Using rice flour might change the texture of the puto.
liza is the batter suppose go be watery?
No, it should be thick and smooth.
Can’t wait to make these. I’m a Baker and I have to say I love love love Puto. My extended family is philipino so they will be impressed that I did this. Thank you for sharing
What’s the difference between using a cake flour and using all purpose flour in making this puto? I’m thinking of making this as a business. Thanks a lot
Based on my experience, all purpose flour produces denser puto.
Um how many degrees is the oven suppose to be when you say high level for the
We are using the stove top not the oven. Set the stove’s temperature to high means the highest number in the dial.
hi just want to ask. will the high heat temperature remains the moment i place the muffin in the boiling water or should i adjust the heat to lower temperature?
Reduce the temperature of the water to medium high once the water starts boiling. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the puto recipe. I will try it when I have all the ingredients. Is this the recipe of puto Biñan? If not , can you please share it for us . Thanks in advance and good luck.
I am not sure if this puto recipe is from Binan. I will research and let you know. Take care!
Best puto recipe! Thanks for sharing…
So glad you liked it!
I want to know the calories for this is it 32 calories per puto? Also if anyone knows the calories for puto flan? I just ate a whole bunch (and I was on my way to the gym) but I’m having regrets. Is it fattening? High in carbs and sugar?
Yes, 32 calories per puto. I don’t know the calories for puto flan.
I tried this recipe & it turn out good. I used evaporated milk instead of freshmilk. My boyfriend he loves it. Thank you.
I am going to use your recipe for my son’s wedding reception
Sam Milby Moleño
That’s good i loved PUTO “Steam Cake”
You can use condensed milk in place of the one cup of sugar and one cup of water. I tried an all purpose flour recipe that also used a whole egg. The end product was more dense and had a strong egg smell, but it turned out okay. I used the condensed milk, because I didn’t have enough sugar and decided to tweak the recipe to fit what I had on hand.
I’m allergic at fresh milk . can i use
I am pretty sure you can!
Thank you for your recipe…many times i try other recipe only now i got the right one😍😍😍…
Hi Liza!! Eto ang klaseng puto na matagal ko ng hinahanap s Wakas natagpuan ko din ang website mo te. Thank u for sharing this recipe ate. God bless you and your family. I’m planning to make this for my daughters bday. 😋
You’re welcome! God bless you and your family too 🙂
Yes ang sarap…kuhang kuhang ang recipe nya…thank you fir this recipe…love it…
wife fallow the recipe a few times but they they dont come out good meaning they dont raise at all although they taste ok … what should she do to make them raise a bit or what did she do wrong … will appreciate any help /comment …
Try using a new container of baking powder and see what happens. Take care!
I made several puto just a week ago but when i made again this evening my puto didnt rise up just like before.what do you think is the problem.thanks
Hi, That happened to me once too and for me the problem was the baking powder. I hope that helps!
The Best puto i have tried. Thank You for sharing Lisa.
You’re welcome Jenny!
best and simpliest puto recipe i have tried. Thanks
I just followed you instructions, i was so sad it didnt rise. But it taste great though. What could be the problem? Iwant to make again next time hoping to get better result.
The first thing that came to my mind when you said the puto did not rise was the baking powder. Baking powder is a leavening agent. It causes the batter to rise during cooking time. Try opening a new container of baking powder and make sure it’s not expired yet. Hope this helps!
Hi,thank u so much for this recipe. I just want to ask how to make it have “cracks” at the top after steaming?what would happen if i will use wwhole eggs,instead of wwhite only?
I don’t know how to make puto with cracks on top but I read somewhere that it has something to do with steaming it on high heat.
What brand of cake flour did you use?
I used Robin Hood’s Cake and Pastry Flour.
Hi what can I substitute the fresh milk if ever na wala kasi mahirap hanapin sa pinas thank you po.
You can use evaporated milk in place of fresh milk. Hope this helps!
Hi! Can I make a lot of these for a wedding and freeze them and then let them thaw out?
I have not tried freezing puto. You can try making a batch, freeze and reheat by steaming them. Then try if it taste the same as when it’s freshly made. Hope this helps!
Just tried now. Sarappp. This recipe.is for keeps. Thank you, Ms. Liza. ☺👍 Can’t wait to try.more of your recipes…
You’re welcome Grace! Glad you liked it. Take care:)
hi can i use evaporated milk instead of fresh milk
I have not used evaporated milk in making puto but I am pretty sure it’s okay to use it.
GORGONIA O. CASLIB
Hi Liza THANK YOU so much for the recipe….now i already know how to make puto…
hi Liza thank you for the recipe ,, but im just wondering ,is that really normal to be taste salty, i followed all the ingredients and procedure… it taste good by the way , and easy to make.
The recipe asks for 1/4 teaspoon of salt so the puto should not taste salty.
Hi same question above does the eggq whites needs to be frothy before you mixed with other ingredients?
Yes, the egg white/milk mixture will be frothy after 5 minutes of beating and then the sifted dry ingredients is added.
What should the egg White mixture look like after the five minutes of blending? Should it be frothy? I’m trying to make it right now and it is taking a long time to steam. Thanks!
Depending on several factors, it may take longer than 5 minutes of steaming for the batter to solidify.
Hi thank u for this post. I didn’t have baking powder so i just used self rising flour… And it worked great! Thank you!
You’re welcome Monica!
Thank you for sharing this recipe . I just encounter some difficulty in removing the mini muffin tin from the pan. I had to lift it up carefully with tongs on both side . How about in using the traditional molds though I like the way they come out as bite size ones
Hi can i use round cake pan instead of muffin tin?
Yes, you can use round cake pan to make puto, adjust the steaming time accordingly.
Hi, is it possible to bake this in the oven?
Yes, you can steam bake puto in the oven. After filling the muffin tin with batter, place it in a roasting pan filled halfway with hot water and then bake in the preheated 325 degree F oven until set.
Hello…..How will i make my cheesy puto puff.?.like…it’s gettin denser everytime i steam. …hehe…maybe one of my ingredients gone wrong… I am using a.p.f. instead of cake flour…..thank you
It’s the all-purpose flour that makes the puto dense. Try using cake flour if you want it light and airy.
Hi good day. I just want to ask if I can use the all purpose flour (patent) instead of cake flour? Thank you! Godbless
Hi, Yes you can use all purpose flour!
I like white puto.does it turns yellow when cooked?what to do to maintain as white as what I am expected.with a milky taste.thnx
The puto in this recipe does not turn yellow when cooked. Take care and thanks for stopping by 🙂
What is the best to usE evap or fresh milk I hope it will not change its color and taste if evap was use.
I always use fresh milk when I make puto so I don’t know what the taste and color will be if evaporated milk is used.
I’m going to try your recipe and may combine cake flour + rice flour. And I like them in different colours (not white) to jazz it up! Thanks for the skillet/wok with lid idea, instead of a steamer as the muffin pan usually doesn’t fit in my rice cooker and steamer.
This sweet delicacy made from ground rice has been a common snack for pinoys. I like the one with cheese. Two weeks ago my sister bought a box of puto with flan/custard on top. It was delicious!
Wow! Puto with flan sounds yummy :0
Hi! Could you provide a sample photo (even if it’s from Google) of the pan you used to boil water & its lid. I can’t imagine what the pan & its lid looks like. I don’t know what it looks like since it must be big enough to fit your muffin tin. I’ve tried your recipe. Its fail-proof & delicious!!! Thank you for sharing this. I understand that this must be a family recipe. Food and family always go together when it comes to strong family ties in Filipino culture.
Thanks for stopping by! I added a example of the setup I used to steam the puto in this post. I used 12 mini muffin tins, so it fits in my skillet. I hope this helps!
I love it
Ericka Grace Murcia
I really love puto cheese. I really love Philippine cuisine. Thank you for sharing and keep on posting.
Can I just substitute rice flour for the cake flour? It would be a great gluten free recipe if you can.
Yes, you can use rice flour in place of cake flour.
could we use coconut ream instead of freshmilk, why others making puto used cream of tartar, what is the used of it anyway?
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.
Hey i have it s so good you need to try it
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
Puto made from cake flour is more light and airy while puto made from all-purpose flour are denser.
Hi can i change fresh milk to evaporated milk? Thank u
Yes, you can use evaporated milk instead of fresh milk.
Hi.. can i use condensed in puto?
You may use evaporated milk instead of fresh milk. I don’t think using condensed milk is a good idea.
Can I make it ahead and reheat it the following day?
You can definitely make it ahead and heat it up in the microwave the next day. Enjoy!
ther is no butter?
That’s right, no butter 🙂 🙂
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 (:
Yes, that will work 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!
I like your recipe.
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!
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 🙂
Thank you for unselfishly sharing good realistic recipes. For this puto can we use all purpose flour or rice flour instead?
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 🙂
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
Is there a way to cook it in a 24 mini muffin pan? There’s no way that would fit in a 12 inch pan.
Maybe a 24-inch wok will work with that size of tin. I hope it helps 🙂
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.
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 🙂
Please make more filipino deserts! They look so interesting 🙂
I will definitely make more 🙂
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)
Hope you enjoy it 🙂
thank you so much, for those recipe..
My pleasure 🙂
Are you sure 2 tbsp?
Yes, 2 tablespoons baking powder.