Putong Puti o Pula (Steamed Rice Cakes)

November 6, 2020
Putong Puti

When I was a young girl, I used to see our laundry woman Trining, make Putong Puti. I just savored her product and didn’t care much to learn how she made it. Now, it took me quite some time before I learned how to make it and came up with the formula. Puto goes so well with Pancit, Dinuguan and just with plain butter and cheese. 

Read by cooking guide (with video tutorial!) on how to make the galapong that you’ll need for this recipe.

Puto Puti o Pula (Steamed Rice Cakes)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: makes 14, 2.5 inch diameter puto
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Puto is a tradtional Filipino rice cake made with galapong and sugar. This is typically served alongside pansit or dinuguan (blood stew).


  • To make the paste:
  • ⅔ cup water - pandan water
  • 25 grams malagkit flour
  • Main ingredients
  • 1 cup (250 grams) galapong
  • 125 grams white or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (11 grams) baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pandan essence
  • Melted butter to brush after steaming


The first thing to do is to make the paste:


Get a small saucepan and place the malagkit flour inside.


Using a wire whisk, slowly pour in the pandan water and make a paste. Make sure that you have no lumps.


Over a low fire, place the saucepan and continually stir the paste until it becomes slightly thick.


Remove from the fire and continue to stir until it cools. Set aside.

Puto proper:


In a medium sized mixing bowl, place the galapong, powdered milk, sugar, pandan essence, and salt, and stir to blend well.


Now stir in the baking powder and gently stir until it has no lumps.


Leave alone for a 5 minutes to develop and bubble.


Using a wire whisk, mix about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the malagkit paste. Blend gently.


Continue to do this until you have a more fluid blend.


Now get a steamer and place about 2-inches of water on the bottom part and bring to a boil.


Remember to wrap the steamer cover with ‘katcha’ (muslin cloth). This will absorb the condensation and prevent water from dripping onto your puto ensuring an even cook.


Get 2 ½ -inch diameter plastic or metal containers, about 14 pieces for this formula, and brush with oil.


Place about 2 ¼ tablespoons per container.


Now steam for 25 to 30 minutes. It is advisable not to open the steamer until 20 minutes have lapsed since there is a tendency to sit when not yet firm.


To test, insert toothpick and see if none of the mixture comes with it; then it’s done.


Brush with melted butter and let cool.


To remove from container, take a small paring knife and dip the tip in oil. Go around rim of the container with knife and lift the puto from container.


One can also place grated cheese on top when it’s cool.


How to make flavored puto:

  • white - top with caraway seeds or slivers of salted red egg; or grated cheddar cheese right after cooking
  • pula - use brown sugar
  • pandan - put ½ teaspoon pandan paste
  • ube - put 1 teaspoon ube paste

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