Cheese Puto are soft, fluffy, and extra delicious with pockets of cheese! These Filipino steamed cakes are easy to make and fun to eat; delicious on their own or served with dinuguan or pancit.
I hit the jackpot! I mean, the cheese puto jackpot, not the Mega Million Lotto which, by the way, is up to $324 million this coming Tuesday drawing.
Three hundred twenty four million dollars! Can you imagine what you could do with all that money? I’m sure I’ll find 324,000,000 ways to spend 324,000,000 dollars. All it takes is $20 worth of Lotto tickets and a prayer. Somebody’s gotta win, might as well be me right?.
Ok, enough of the daydreaming and back to these puto. Sure, these mini rice muffins are not exactly in the category of $324 million, but they come pretty close 🙂
I’ve always made mine with rice flour but when I found this recipe at My Expat Mom blog, I couldn’ t wait to try it! She said it’s her most popular recipe and one bite of the steamed cakes, I knew why. Soft, moist and fluffy with delicious pockets of cheese, they are pure heaven!
What is Puto Made Of
Puto is traditionally made of rice. The grains are soaked overnight in water to soften and then processed into a soft dough called galapong. The natural fermentation of soaking the rice acts as a leavening agent, but it’s also common to add yeast or baking powder to help the cake rise.
The prepared batter is either steamed as whole leaves or into individual portions and the steaming vessel is usually lined with banana leaves to impart aroma. Flavorings and toppings such as pandan water, cheese, salted eggs, grated coconut meat, and butter are also added for extra taste and texture.
While the term puto is mostly associated with native rice cakes, it also refers to other varieties of kakanin that are cooked by steaming such as lanson, kutsinta, and puto maya.
Tips on How to Make Cheese Puto
- The type of puto we have here is made of all-purpose flour, evaporated milk, and eggs. It’s a great base recipe you can modify to make other flavors; feel free to experiment with pandan or ube extracts!
- I like to add shredded cheddar to the batter to create creamy pockets of cheese. You can skip this if you like and just sprinkle on top. Other than cheddar, you can also use sliced salted eggs, kesong puti, processed cheese (Eden), and even ham or crisp cooked bacon to add a savory note to the rice cakes.
- You might want to cover the lid with muslin (katsa) or any lightweight cotton to absorb the condensing steam.
Equipment Needed to Make Puto
- Steamer with a conical-shaped lid to keep the condensing steam to drip down to the puto.
- Individual molds-you can use tin cans and ramekins but I prefer silicone mini muffin cups to make removing the steamed cake easier.
More Recipes to Cook in The Steamer
- Cassava Suman-delicious delicacy made with grated cassava
- Siopao Asado-it took many attempts before I found the perfect siopao dough. Soft and fluffy, it’s worth the long search!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 6 ounces evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup cheddar cheese. shredded
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix well.
Add eggs on at a time and using an electric mixer, beat after each addition.
Add milk and beat until smooth.
Add water and continue to beat until batter is thin and smooth.
Add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until well blended.
Add 3/4 of the cheese and stir until combined.
Fill molds with batter up to 3/4 full. Arrange molds in a single layer on steamer rack and place over steamer.
Steam for about 8 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Turn off heat and top each puto with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Cover for about 1 minute to allow the residual heat to melt cheese.
Allow to slightly cool before removing from molds.