This adaptation of a traditional puto recipe is soft, pillowy and subtly sweet. You can have special puto that is easily prepared and made with basic ingredients. Enjoy!
Puto is one of the well-known Filipino delicacies known for its distinct white color and pillowy cake-like texture.
Traditionally, it is made with a much more complicated process such as milling rice to produce rice flour. Thankfully, we are not doing it today 😉 This special puto recipe is simple and uses a few ingredients. It yields a delightfully soft steamed cake that is perfect as a side to a savory dish or as a lightly sweet snack on its own.
Because the batter is such a neutral base, puto can be prepared with many variations.
- Topping them with salted egg, shredded coconut and butter.
- Infusing them with different flavors such as ube and pandan.
- Turning them into different colors by infusing them with food coloring. It is such a beautiful sight to see a big puto platter in many different colors. A real show stopper.
- Stuffing puto with meat inside (often called puto-pao).
Steamer and Steaming Pan
- Puto are commonly baked in molds to yield individual mini cakes. Here, we do it in one big round cake style using a 10-inch springform pan that is lined with foil. I love it. It reminds me of the Filipino wet markets where puto were commonly prepared in big bilaos (a big, circular wood-knit pan) and sold in slices.
- If you don’t have a 1o inch springform pan, just line your steamer pan with overlapped pieces of foil, forming a wide foil basket to put your batter in.
- You need a big round steamer that is at least 12 inches in diameter. If your steamer is oval, just line your steamer pan with overlapped pieces of foil instead of using a spring-form pan. Your puto will take on the shape of your steamer.
- You can use processed cheese (the quick melt type). You can also use cheddar cheese or the Filipino type processed cheese like Eden or Cheezy. I used a combination of cheddar and processed Filipino cheese for a variety of colors on my puto.
- Depending on the cheese you use, they may melt and meld completely in the puto or they may remain in their shape on top. That is why I added the cheeses in two steps here ( one during mid cooking and one towards the end). The last addition is both for flavor and decoration.
How to Make Special Puto?
In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the milk and water and stir the mixture using a hand whisk until it is smooth and lump-free.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the flour-milk mixture using a rubber spatula until the batter is streak-free.
Pour the batter into a ten-inch spring-form pan that is lined with overlapped pieces of foil. Place it in your steamer basket and steam the cheese puto for 15 minutes. Top the puto with strips of cheddar/ processed cheese and steam for another 8 minutes.
Place strips of salted egg slices (optional) and more strips of cheese for decoration. Steam for 2 minutes more. Turn off heat and keep the steamer covered for three more minutes. Remove the steamer basket and let the cheese puto cool slightly.
Add a splash or two of vinegar in your steamer water for a whiter puto!
More Recipes For You:
- Ube Ensaymada
- Ube Chiffon Cake
- Ube Cheesecake
- Ube Flan Cake
- Ube Pianono
- Ube Ensaymada
- Easy Bibingka
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 egg whites ( from large eggs)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 10-15 strips of cheese
- one sated egg, sliced into strips (optional)
Prepare your 12 inch round steamer by bringing the water to a simmer. Add a splash or two of vinegar to your steamer water ( to maintain the whiteness of puto).
In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the water and milk and stir the mixture with a wire whisk until it is lump-free and smooth.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a bowl of a stand mixer until it is frothy. Beat in the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold the beaten egg whites into the milk mixture using a rubber spatula. The resulting batter should be uniform in color. Pour the batter into a 10-inch springform pan that is lined with overlapped pieces of aluminum foil. Place the pan in your steamer basket.
Steam for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and top the puto with strips of cheese. Return the cover and steam for 8 more minutes. Top with more strips of cheese and salted egg slices, if desired. Steam for 2 minutes more. Turn off heat and allow the puto to stay in the steamer, covered for 3 more minutes.
Remove puto from the steamer. Serve.
- You can use cheddar cheese, processed, or quickmelt cheese.
- Depending on the cheese you use, they may melt completely or retain their shapes on top of the puto.
No 10-inch spring form pan?
Just line your steamer basket with overlapped pieces of foil.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 412mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 15g
Originally published on April 13, 2015 and updated with a new recipe and photos.