Puto is a traditional Filipino steamed rice cake made of rice flour. In this recipe, a simple adaptation is made by using self rising flour along with the other traditional ingredients. Soft and pillowy, this special puto recipe is a keeper because of the simple method of preparation and the outstanding and satisfying result.
Puto is one of the well-known Filipino delicacies known for its unique, distinct texture. Unlike a usual baked cake, puto , which is cooked by steaming, is more on the dense and airy side.
Traditionally, puto is made with a much more complicated process such as milling rice to produce rice flour. This recipe is a simple one with a few ingredients, but it yields a delightful, soft steamed cake that is perfect as a side to a savory dish or as a lightly sweet snack on its own.
Puto is versatile. It is perfect even without any thing on top of it but in this recipe, it is made even special with the addition of cheddar cheese. Quick- melting cheese like Velveeta, or Eden Cheese is perfect for this.
Because the batter is a such a neutral base, puto can be prepared with many variations.
Some common variations are:
- 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).
Also puto are commonly baked in molds to yield individual mini cakes. Here, we do it one big cake style. 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.
I got this recipe from a close friend of mine who kindly allowed me to share it in the blog as well. My ninong Ceh, who is also our ninong sa kasal, and also my daughter’s ninong sa binyag, is one of my few but very true friends. We shared lots of stories and we knew practically all the milestones in each others lives. Really, my ninong is one of the persons who knows me really, really well.
The recipe is one of the many things she has shared with me. Since we are together at work for 5 days a week for 8 years, this person has handed down lots of life lessons and stories to me and this recipe is just a teeny tiny bit of everything.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
For more Filipino baked goods, Check these out:
Puto Recipe with Cheese
A simple, tasty puto that is soft, moist and delightfully sweet.
- 3 cups self- rising cake and pastry flour
- 1 and ½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup quick melt cheddar cheese cut into strips
Prepare a steamer pan that is about 12 inches in diameter by letting water simmer in the bottom layer.
Combine all ingredients except the cheese in a large mixing bowl. Mix using a wire whisk until everything is blended and mixture is smooth.
Line the steamer pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil. The foil should cover the entire bottom of the pan then up the entire sides, with about an inch or two over hang.
Pour the puto batter onto the foil-lined steamer pan and position it on top of the pan with the simmering water. Cover the puto , first with a clean kitchen towel that is pulled taut to prevent it from dipping into the batter, then with the lid.
Steam for 40-45 minutes. Once the sides are set and the middle is a little wobbly, arrange the strips of cheese on the top surface of the puto and steam for another 10-15 minutes, or until puto has completely set. Remove cover, and let puto cool before moving to a serving plate.
Originally published on April 13, 2015