This Putong Bigas is a popular Filipino delicacy that is made of slightly fermented rice batter poured into puto molds with banana leaves liners and then steamed to deliciousness!
These simple, soft and fluffy steamed rice cakes are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or midday snack!
Love Filipino Rice Desserts? Try my Easy Suman Malagkin (Steamed Rice Wrapped in Banana leaves), Biko (Filipino Sweet Sticky Rice), Filipino Champorado (Sweet Rice Porridge), and the classic Maja Blanca!
What is Putong Bigas?
Putong Bigas (Steamed Rice Cake), also known as putong puti or rice puto, is one of the popular Filipino delicacies and a famous snack food of Bicolanos that is made mainly of rice flour or ground rice.
Traditionally, it is made from rice grains soaked in water overnight then ground with stone mills into a smooth rice batter called galapong. The fermented rice batter is then steamed in a banana-lined bamboo platters or banana leaf liners.
These steamed rice cakes are usually enjoyed as a filling midday snack or eaten alongside savory viands, most notably the dinuguan.
The term puto is derived from the Malay word puttu, which literally means “portioned.” It is traditionally white in color but nowadays, it has many variants like ube (purple yam), salted egg, muscovado, queso (cheese), and pandan.
These fluffy, moist and delicious steamed rice cakes are great for snacks, potlucks or dessert!
Tips and Procedures:
- The consistency of the batter should not be too thick so that it will not become hard. If it is too thick, add more water. Also, make sure that it is not too thin which will make the puto soggy.
- Feel free to adjust the steam time according to the size of the molds. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to check the doneness; if it comes out clean, the steamed cake is done.
- A few minutes before it’s done steaming, garnish it with grated cheese or butter.
- Feel free to substitute whole milk with plant-based milk, coconut milk, or evaporated milk.
- If rice flour is unavailable, you may use all-purpose flour or the ordinary rice soaked in water overnight then liquefy the softened rice and the water in the blender to make a thick batter.
- You may use silicone molds for this dish. If you’re using tin or glass molds, make sure to brush with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray the insides of the molds. Or you can use aluminum molds for an easy gift idea.
- Storage: After it’s steamed, it can be frozen for up to 3 months, and defrosted and heated up in the microwave. Make sure to use an airtight container.
How to Make Putong Bigas:
Listed below are all the ingredients you will need:
In a large mixing bowl, add rice flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt, and mix until well combined. Next, add in whole milk, water, and vanilla extract and stir until fully blended. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes:
Place a banana leaves liner into the 5-ounces puto molds. Pour the batter into the mold halfway through:
Steam the puto for 15 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the steamer and allow it to cool before serving:
Tadaaaaah! Serve and enjoy this simple yet delicious steamed rice cake with the whole family!
Also, check out my current favorite Filipino recipe, Leche Flan.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The crack split is a result of steaming at a very high heat.
I haven’t tried using it but I’ve learned that cake flour works too.
Yes, but keep in mind that these two leavening agents are different so the result will have a different texture and taste, too. You can replace yeast with baking powder at a one-to-one ratio.
The classic puto is usually made using rice flour.
Yes. But don’t pack the powder in the spoons, scoop it in, and make sure to level it out before adding it the mixture.
- 3 ½ cups rice flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder make sure to level it out before adding it to the mixture
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 ¾ cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, add rice flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and mix until well combined.
- Next add in whole milk, water, and vanilla extract and stir until fully blended.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Place a banana leaves liner into the 5-ounces molds.
- Pour the batter into the mold halfway through.
- Steam the putong bigas for 15 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
- Remove from the steamer and allow it to cool before serving.