Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

This is where I used my egg whites.

Puto is a Filipino steamed rice cakes. It usually uses rice flour but mostly, we use all purpose flour. I wonder if we can still call it ‘rice cakes’ even if we replace rice flour with all-purpose flour. I guess we still can as most of the recipes I have found used all-purpose flour.


I was lucky that these steamed rice cakes turned very successful. The first time I tried, the texture was not good as I have put the cheese in the middle of the batter so it was not fully cooked. I tried to let it stay longer inside the steamer but I got the same result. The second time was supposed to be a surprised present for my friend but I was the one surprised as the cakes were soaked in water – I have not used cheese cloth or any good substitute cloth so the water dripped on the cakes and made it soggy. It’s been months since the second try. I was hesitant to try this for the third time but I didn’t have any easy recipe in mind that uses egg whites, so I forced myself to make this.

Puto (Steamed Rice Cake)


  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • cheese for topping


  1. Prepare your moulds and your steamer.
  2. In a bowl, place egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and water. Mix well.
  4. Gently fold egg whites to the flour mixture.
  5. Pour the batter to your puto moulds and fill up to 2/3 full.
  6. Add grated cheese on top.
  7. To avoid water drips, place cheesecloth or fine cloth in between the steamer tray.
  8. Steam for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a puto comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the steamer and transfer to a serving plate to enjoy.

Source recipe: Puto by Pinoy Cooking Recipes

I was dead tired when I made this and it was almost midnight. I was not expecting this to be perfect but I guess that was the prize of having fun in the kitchen and trying to explore other recipes or techniques when you fail the first time. I was so HAPPY that it turned out so well.


If you have noticed, I did not use all the 10 egg whites in this recipe. What happened to the others? Well, that should be a different post but it was not successful. I baked meringue cookies and expecting to have a delicious and beautiful result but unlucky me, the supposed to be beautiful pastel-colored meringue turned into brown (almost black) meringue. YES! You understood that right. I was alarmed when I smelled something burning and when I came to check, the oven was smoking! Anyway, I baked the second batch but it was not still 100% successful but at least edible this time.  I promised myself, I will not stop until I get a perfect meringue or maybe that will be a ‘try and try until you cry’, haha!

Nonetheless, part of the egg whites are successful (more than successful, I must say) because I really loved these steamed cakes. This can be served during breakfast with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. But of course, it can be eaten anytime of the day, just like I did.

You can also use individual aluminum moulders as the beautiful and colorful ones I used above are only available in Asian stores (if I am not mistaken). If using aluminum moulders, make sure to spray it with cooking spray before putting the batter to avoid sticking or you can put paper liners inside the moulders like what I did below.


But, it is advisable to use plain, white paper liners. I did use white but with prints, so the color stayed on the cakes.

6 thoughts on “Puto (Steamed Rice Cakes)

  1. They look delicious, but what did you do with all the yolks? I am always at a loss with recipes that require yolks or whites alone. Thanks for sharing!

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