Kutsinta or Puto Cuchinta is a native Filipino delicacy snack that are small steamed sticky rice cakes. A simple and healthier snack alternative.
What is Kutsinta?
Kutsinta is a native sweet Filipino snack that are made by steaming sticky rice. It is brown or reddish in color because it is sweetened with brown sugar that is further enhanced using annatto or achuete. It is usually eaten with grated coconut.
I remember when I was a kid, I would wake up to the sound of a peddler howling in the streets, early in the morning to sell his Puto and kutsinta for breakfast. I think the two are really inseparable tandem, you will always see them sold or served next to each other.
But between the two, I especially like the kutsinta more. I really enjoyed eating it with grated coconut before going to school and they are quite filling.
Now that I think of it, it is kind of funny and amazing how both puto and kutsinta are traditionally made from rice, but came out to be so different.
They are also both steamed, but puto is made from regular sweet rice while kutsinta from glutinous or sticky rice. One thing they share in common is that they are both delicious and make great snacks or breakfast.
What is it made of?
While I was searching the net, I found that there are 2 different kinds of kutsinta recipe. One uses a mix of glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour. The other uses a mix of all-purpose-flour and tapioca flour. I liked the texture of the latter much better, holds its shape better but still soft and chewy.
I've been meaning to make kutsinta for quite a while now. Well actually, I did try it once. I did not have lye water at the time and used the alternative. However, they turned out to be too sticky and soft. It was so bad, I had to throw them all away.
But since a special Filipina from Norway asked for Kutsinta recipe, I got myself lye water. Just so that I could finally make and post them here. Thanks, Chona for being an avid follower of Foxy Folksy and I hope you will like this kutsinta recipe!
If you've read my post about Pichi-pichi and Palitaw, then you are already aware that I use desiccated coconut. Since freshly grated coconuts are hard to get by and I personally had a not so good experience with the frozen one.
By the way, if you bought a whole bottle of lye water and do not know what to do with the rest, try making pichi pichi. Another great Filipino treat!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon tapioca flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon lye water - see NOTE
- 1 teaspoon annatto/achuete powder - for coloring
- Slightly grease your kutsinta molds with oil and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour and sugar.
- Add in the water and stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the annatto/achuate powder and mix well. Then stir in the lye water.
- Fill the molds about three quarters (¾) full and steam for 30-40 minutes or until top is set when touched.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before removing from molds.
- Serve with grated coconut.
This Kutsinta recipe was originally posted in November 2016. Updated in April 2020 to include new photos and recipe video. Recipe remains the same.
Thank you so very much for this clear and detailed recipe, including the background story. I don't have the individual cups so steamed the whole thing in a heat-resistant glass container, making sure that it was a thin as the usual kutsinta. It turned out perfectly and now I'm enjoying it with grated coconut for breakfast. Plan to double the recipe next time.
My first time trying your recipe. The kutchinta turned out amazing!!
I had to leave it out overnight coz we had to buy a bigger steamer and cheese cloth!! But it still turned out fine! Cant wait to try the other recipe since I have a whole bottle of lye water to use!
Can this be frozen?
I would not really recommend it.
Just inquiring if I can steam two trays of kuchinta at a time. And if yes, do I still use the same time frame?
You may but the time will be different. I would suggest also switching the top and bottom trays in between steaming.
Pat Ancheta says
Thank you….Thank you…Thank you for this simply and delicious recipe !!!
My first batch we cooked Kutsinta for 30 minutes and turned out ok.
Second batch we cooked Kutsinta for 40 minutes and turned out perfect!!!
For coconut I followed your instructions and turned out perfect in my book!
Growing up Kutsinta was always my favorite Filipino dessert and I am so happy I found a great recipe…..
Hi! I'm glad I found your website. I made your spanish style sardines recipe and it came out great! For this recipe, is tapioca flour the same as cassava flour? Thanks for your reply.
Hi May, in some cases I would say yes as some brands sell them under the same branding, but technically, tapioca flour/starch is the same as cassava starch but not the same as cassava flour.
Finaly, I found the perfect Kutsinta recipe!
I’ve tried different recipes of Kutsinta and always never got the perfect texture.
Thanks for sharing!
Nice, I'll try
Hi Bebs, thank you for sharing Kutsinta Recipe, it’s perfect. I been bringing this to our friends parties and they loved it. Been trying this for a long time and not successful, I read all your blog about this recipe and found the mystery of my failure. It’s the lye water. Now I will always make kutsinta. Also for everyone if you used stainless steel steamer you always put a cloth on the lid vs the bamboo steamer you don’t need to put a cloth on the lid. I’ve been using the bamboo steamer for awhile and there’s no droplet of water.
Hey Shiela, thanks for sharing that tip about bamboo steamers.