LP 22 – Puto

When I first started brainstorming about what to make for LP 22, I thought of trying my hand at making Tapey, a rice wine common during the holiday season in my mom’s hometown. It requires a yeast called bubud, to encourage fermentation, that I was determined to search for. But, holiday preparations got in the way and I resigned to try my hand at something simpler instead; this puto and kutsinta combination. Little did I know the process was not as simple as I thought to get the results I wanted!

At least for the kutsinta I was partially successful and can foresee future tweaks to improve on it. My attempts at puto, however, leaves a lot to be desired. I wish I could have read Stef’s puto experiment, her entry for LP 22, at the onset. It had all the information I was looking for. She even found a source for the elusive bubud for the rice wine which I will be sure to look into for future experiments.

My attempt at puto making is quite elementary compared to Stef’s thesis level experimentation but here they are nonetheless. These are the versions I’ve seen here at Filipino parties. The versions close to the authentic puto I remember from my childhood, we have only been able to sample a close facsimile at Chinese bakeries. I think with Stef’s experimentation, I will come closer to the real thing.

PhotobucketI started out my experimentation with a recipe I found online from Asiarecipe.com/phildesserts.html, same place where I found the Kutsinta recipe.

PUTO – version 1

2 cups Rice Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 cups Coconut Milk
1 cup white (granulated) Sugar
1 teaspoon Anise Seeds (optional)
1 cup grated Coconut

Sift rice flour, salt and sugar together. With a whisk, slowly blend in the coconut milk until you have a smooth batter. This should be the consistency of pancake batter. Pour batter into greased small muffin tins and steam for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Instead of mixing in the anise seeds as suggested in the recipe, I chose to just sprinkle them on top. Serve with grated coconuts.

NOTE:A good rice cake, it was dense and flavorful. But, as my resident taste testers said, “it’s like a white version of the kutsinta”. It’s true. It was dense, chewy and sweet with a slight salty undertone. I think the salt can be cut down by half next time. The thing that this version was missing are the holes. The puto that we like has that chewiness from rice cakes but it is also pockmarked with holes, much like a sponge cake. This version, alas, had no holes.

PhotobucketIn search of the ‘holes’ we decided to experiment with another puto recipe that I had printed out sometime ago and saved in my collection of ‘to-try’ recipes. Unfortunately, the website that I had printed this second recipe from, a compuserve homepage, is no longer online. I think this is the ‘puto muffin’ that I see at most Filipino potlucks.

PUTO – version 2

½ cup All-Purpose Flour
½ cup Rice Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg White, beaten
¾ Coconut Milk
¼ cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the batter is smooth. Pour into greased muffin tins ⅔ full and steam for about 15 minutes until cakes spring back or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with grated coconuts.

NOTE: According to my resident taste testers again, ‘this tastes like steamed corn muffins’. It was a bit cakey. I probably could have frosted it and no one would be able to tell the difference from a regular cake muffin. It had holes though.

So I guess my quest for the perfect puto recipe is still ongoing. I will try to replicate Stef’s experiment next and see if that is the holy holey version we are looking for.

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16 comments on “LP 22 – Puto
  1. Jenelyn says:

    i better choose the First version appearance looks so white shiny and so soft to eat,!will try it later when in reach home..

  2. Den says:

    anyone who have calasiao pangasinan puto recipe
    that make use of the rice flour itself?


  3. Marie says:

    I love puto, thanks for the recipe

  4. Ojou_Belle says:

    Hi! My family cooks puto in the Philippines the traditional way and we use tuba (from the coconut)to make it rise. It’s actually a tedious process and your’s is faster and less time consuming. I will have to try them soon.

  5. Jigi says:

    thanks to your easy to follow recipes… did your version of the puto and it did turned out ok though I just added shredded cheese in it (thats why it turned yellow)

    here is the link

    thanks again for sharing all these wonderful recipes

    syd, aus

  6. JMom says:

    hi mama, yes, I used mochiko for version 1 as that is what I had on hand. I’m sure other brand of rice flour would work.

  7. mama says:

    Is puto version 1 made with mochiko?

  8. Meg says:

    How do you steam the puto? I have never steamed a bread like product before.

  9. JMom says:


    sorry for the late reply, I don’t know how I missed your comment! I just saw it now.

    I’m not sure what could be the difference. Did you use RICE flour instead of the all purpose wheat flour?

    That would be the only discrepancy I could think of, unless, as you said the quality of the coconut milk may have been more watery in mine, thus the denser texture?

  10. JMom says:

    Hi auspinoy,

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I will certainly give it a try and will post
    results on the blog 🙂

  11. ~ says:

    i tried version 1 of the puto and used the usual muffin cups as i dont have the mini cups..

    they came out pretty puffed up.. which i think is what most people are looking for..



    i was hoping it would be a bit close to the kutsinta texture that was mentioned.. could it be the coconut milk? the batter was thicker than the usual pancake batter.. =/


    i took pictures just for reference.. =)

  12. stef says:

    Ay naku, I also tried that recipe with the 2 cups of coconut milk. Exactly my family’s reaction — this isn’t puto! It’s kutsinta! And some said “sapin-sapin”!

    I hope we can brainstorm on perfecting that puto recipe together!

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