Filipino Food, Recipe
Comments 45

Guest Post: Fluffy Puto Rice Recipe (Filipino Steamed Rice Cakes)

I’m so excited to share my space with a good friend Maria who resides in Italy with her family.

A little background- My Mama is best friends with Maria’s Nanay Lyn but we didn’t get to spend time (Maria and I) together growing up in Davao. They move to Australia. I got to spend time with Nay’ Lyn’s family for a few days when they stop-over at Manila before heading to Davao for their vacation.

Maria and I both love baking and this topic started our friendship. We chatted about daily life and exchange tips and recipes on baking.

We are planning to open our own cafe – which will happen once we are on the same timezone and country.

Finally, after almost 2 years of convincing her to write a blog post here she is with her Puto Rice (Steamed Rice Cake) Recipe. 


Hi, I’m Maria, your guest writer for today. Like my friend Gail, I’m an expat, married and a mother of 2 – An energetic and headstrong girl, Aurora and a velcro baby boy Lorenzo.



Now, living overseas is great! Wonderful especially if you end up in beautiful places like Australia and Italy, like I did.

But, you know, aside from being nostalgic of your family and friends… you can get food nostalgia too… It’s great being able to afford apples, grapes, McDonalds, potato chips, apple juice, meat etc….But there will come a point when you’ll miss all the food you’ve taken for granted. Like the puto and kutchinta that they peddle, the Bibingka, pan de sal and Ensaymada from the bakery next door… the hopia and sio pao when money’s not too tight.

There will be a day in your life overseas that you’ll be forced to pay 7 dollars for 10 crappy pieces of Pan de Sal, or Dry crumby Ensaimada. You’ll complain, of coirse, but only after you ate every crumb of it… swear you’ll never buy it again… then  the next month, you’ll be paying same ridiculous money and eating same ridiculously old bread…

I love food, eating, cooking and I love my hard earned money too. So  began my quest to replicate the snacks and kakanin from my childhood. I may never be able to replicate my grandmother’s Law- uy na Saluyot, but I swore that one day I will be able to make good Kakanin, I won’t say great since everything is a matter of personal taste. But …wouldn’t it be great to have a foolproof recipe? I tried so many recipes from the net, but a lot of them turned out to be a waste of time, energy and a great source of disappointment.


I’ll start with Puto, it’s my latest obsession… I’m not talking about puto made with flour and topped with cheese. I’m talking about puto from rice or rice flour. 🙂 After lots of experiments and adjustments, and spoilt batches, here is the result!

This takes minimal energy, minimal ingredients, but a lot of patience. Takes 3 1/2 days to make:)

On the first day, mix 100g rice flour and 100g water in a glass jar, like in the picture. Mix well, and leave at room temperature (between 24 to 27C) for 24 hours.


Please don’t be tempted to take short cuts!

24 hours passed, take the jar and add 50 g sugar and 20g cooked rice. Better if it’s a day old rice, yes, bahaw. BUT NOT SPOILED. If you have a stick blender, blend till smooth. If not, use normal blender. Make sure it’s nice and smooth. Again set aside covered loosely with a lid or better if you have a piece of cheese cloth.

Puto Rice Step 2

Wait another 48 hours, checking every now and then to keep track of the fermentation process. Mixture should start bubbling and thickening along the way. It should have a slightly acidic smell. Sourish and pleasant, not off.

Puto Rice Step 3

After 48 hours check mixture. It should be bubbly, thick and almost double in volume. You can then use or ferment for another half a day. Taste if it is sweet enough for you

To your mixture, add 1g of double acting baking powder for every 100g.

Puto Rice Final Step

Mix well, it should thicken to a consistency of whipped cream, or almost.

Put in moulds and steam for 10 to 15 mins. Use a tea towel like in the picture to avoid water dripping on the Puto. Nothing worse than a soggy Puto. Let cool before unmolding.

Puto Rice in steamer

You may add flavouring. I’ve tried it with pandan and it was swell. Also with Ube halaya up to 2 Tbsp per recipe, so adjust accordingly. If not available, just use Ube extract.

Fluffy Puto Rice

If you can’t get hold of Rice Flour, use short grain rice. 100g rice, wash it thoroughly, and then weigh it. Add enough water to make 200 g total of rice grains and water. Soak 24 hours and follow the same procedure.

There will be a slight difference of texture, using whole rice results in a still fluffy puto but with a bit of gumminess to it.

Another useful tip is, if you plan to make more puto within the next day or two, just refrigerate the jar without washing. This will be useful to start up the fermentation process and makes it even quicker.

You should have soft, fluffy Rice Puto as a result. I made this 5 times, batch after batch before sharing, so have faith and enjoy!


Filipino PUto Rice/Steamed Rice Cakes


  • 100 g Rice Flour
  • 100 g Water
  • 50 g Sugar
  • 20 g cooked day old rice
  • 1 g double acting baking powder


  1. Mix  rice flour and water in a glass jar. Mix well, and leave at room temperature (between 24 to 27C) for 24 hours.
  2. 24 hours passed, take the jar and add sugar and  cooked rice.
  3. Wait another 48 hours, checking every now and then to keep track of the fermentation process. Mixture should start bubbling and thickening along the way. It should have a slightly acidic smell. Sourish and pleasant, not off.
  4. After 48 hours check mixture. To your mixture, add double acting baking powder.
  5. Mix well, it should thicken to a consistency of whipped cream, or almost.
  6. Put in moulds and steam for 10 to 15 mins. Cover pan with tea towel before putting on lid. Let cool before unmolding.

This entry was posted in: Filipino Food, Recipe


Hi, my name is Abigail a stay at home Mama of two LittleOnes and currently residing in Dubai, UAE since 2009. This is my little space online where I share activities, places we've been, food we enjoy and snippets of our daily expat life. ‘Cuddles and Crumbs’ is a combination of the two main things I share on this blog: cuddles (family) and crumbs (food).


  1. Wow – this is something I definitely haven’t come across before. I love discovering new recipes (and new blogs). Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

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  4. Jennifer says


    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I’ve been searching for a rice puto recipe for so long and have tried so many recipes without success. I think this is the recipe I’ve been looking for. The outcome is very similar to the puto we have back home. I like coconut milk in puto so next time, I will try to incorporate it. I will also try to use rice next time just so I don’t have to rely on rice flour. I sometimes end up purchasing rice flour that is stale “amoy ipis” or “abhong” in Cebuano.


    • I’m so happy that you got to try the recipe. Thank you so much for coming back here to give us feedback.
      Buti nalang yung rice flour here doesn’t have that smell, and we have brand choices from India, Thailand and Philippines.

  5. Is it 1g baking powder per 100g of rice or 1g per 100g of batter (rice + water combined)?

      • Confused on the baking powder here. So the total baking powder used will only be 1g because the rice flour is only 100g? Not the batter( 100g of rice flour + the bahaw rice)? Sorry ha dami ng question, kina career ko na pag gawa ng puto, lol thanks

  6. Sam C says

    The only rice flour available here in GA is the japanese brand called “Mochi”, would that be ok? I just made some puto earlier using flour and i am not satisfied. It is dense and not light, airy and spongy like what I am used to eat back home. Any tips? thanks.

    • Hi Sam! I think Japanese rice flour will work well and will give you more “malagkit” puto texture. I’m working on a puto flour recipe that I will post here soon.

      • thanks. Can’t wait to see how the flour recipe comes out.

  7. Rose says

    I’m in the process of trying this recipe after several failed attempts at others 😕. Please check if I’m on track:
    Thu – mixed rice flour + water
    24 hours later
    Fri – added sugar and day old cooked rice, mixed
    24 hours or 48 hours later???
    Sat or Sun??? Steam

    So is it 48hours or 24hours from adding the sugar, cooked rice?


    • Yes! After 48 hrs of adding sugar and cooked rice you can then add double acting baking sofa and steam that day. Let me know how it goes.

  8. Rose says

    Hi Abigail – much better than other attempts for sure but… maybe you can help iron out a few things:

    1). I used rice flour, not glutinous rice flour (mochi flour) – tama ba?

    2). Batter was not bubbly nor did it double. Temperature here ranges 22-25 degrees Celcius. Should fermenting be longer?

    3). Was too sweet. I understand that sugar is required to ‘feed’ helpful bacteria while fermenting. Pero masyadong matamis!

    4). Texture was soft but traces of rice grains. Perhaps due to rice flour instead of glutinous/malagkit rice flour?

    I was thinking of the sourdough process which I’m familiar with and wheat flour characteristics.

    Would love to share photos.

    Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

    PS This is the closest recipe to authentic puto that I’ve come across so far. 😊

    • Hi Rose-it’s nice to hear that our recipe is the closest authentic puto recipe you have tried.
      Here is what we think:
      1. Yes, we did use rice flour. We have not tried glutinous (malagkit) rice for this recipe.
      2. We think that the batter did not ferment well. You can try leaving it inside the oven with the lights on which will speed up the fermentation and give batter a warmer environment. You could definitely adapt the sourdough process to make this, let us know how it went.
      3. Because it did not ferment well, this we think yielded to a sweeter dough.
      4. Yes we noticed traces of rice grains but this did not bother us. You can use a fine sieve for a smoother batter.

      Hope that helps!

    • Maria’s intention for adding the cooked rice is to start fermentation process and to give puto depth and texture

  9. Joy Briones says

    Kamusta! I’ve encountered so many puto recipes using rice flour but never achieved what we have in mind. Each recipe is a failure! But this one is great! There’s just a bit of that grainy feel to it but it really didn’t bother me at all! This is the closest to what we have in the Philippines. So thanks a lot!

    • Hi Joy! Thank you for your kind words. Maria and I did a lot of testing to achieve the puto texture and taste we had growing up in Davao. We are really happy you are enjoying this recipe

  10. Aimee says

    Hi I want to ask how can I soften puto that was already refrigerated… Thanks

  11. marian says

    hi, thanks for sharing the recipe but quick question pls how many teaspoon should a 1gr of baking powder be?

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  13. miles says

    Hi! Im did exactly what is in the ingredients and procedure. It’s time for me to steam today but how come the cosistency of my batter is watery? Thanks!

    • Hi Miles, I’m so sorry for the late reply. Not sure why your batter is watery, did you whip your mixture long enough? I hope it turned out yummy though.

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  15. Made this for All Saint’s Day and it turned out very well. On the first try, it didn’t ferment and didn’t rise at all. I added baking powder and see if that will work but it didn’t. I still steamed it though, para hindi masayang. It was super malabnaw. On the second try it was perfect! I can tell it was fermenting because of the smell and I was excited na I didn’t wait longer than 48 hours which turned out better since some people who tried it said it was too tangy na. I liked the asim, but it was too much for others.

    • Thank you for your feedback!

      Yes, fermenting the rice is really the key. I too like the tanginess on it which reminds me of the ones I use to enjoy as a kid.

  16. Mine turned out perfectly .thank you for sharing recipe as I was tried so many these one was the best!

    • So happy to hear that you had a perfect puto! Thank you for taking the time to come back here and letting us know.

  17. Albert says

    Thank you for the recipe. Just to clarify 2 things. 1. What temperature is the next step of the fermentation ? Is it the same room temp. (24 -27)? 2. Do you put the cook rice in the blender first before mixing or blend all the mixture together at one time (sugar, cooked rice and Rice flour)? Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Hi Albert,

      1. Yes, temperature should still between 24-27.

      2. Blend after 24hrs with the additional sugar and rice.

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