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Kutsinta or Puto Cuchinta is a native Filipino delicacy snack that are small steamed sticky rice cakes. A simple and healthier snack alternative.  Brown sticky rice cake served on plate with grated coconut


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.

Sweet brown steamed sticky rice cakes.

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. 

Easy Kutsinta Recipe

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!

Ingredients for Kutsinta


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!

How to make Kutsinta

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Kitsinta Recipe
5 from 10 votes


Kutsinta is a native Filipino snack that are small sweet steamed sticky rice cakes. It is brown or reddish in color from brown sugar and enhanced with achuete.
Print Rate
Course: Dessert,Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: cuchinta,kutsinta,puto cuchinta
Servings: 16 small
Calories: 45kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes



  • 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 (3/4) 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.



If using desiccated coconut: In a bowl, add about a quarter cup of water to half a cup of desiccated coconut and mix really well. Make it ahead of time, like 30 minutes earlier so it can sit for a couple of minutes to absorb the liquid, make sure to mix from time to time. Adjust the measurements as needed.
If you need to make more kutsinta, triple the amount of this recipe. The ratio of all-purpose-flour to tapioca flour is 3:1
About LYE Water. It is known as Lihiya in Filipino. if you like it softer or less firm then reduce the amount to 1/2 teaspoon.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 45 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 3mg0%
Potassium 13mg0%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.

  This Kutsinta recipe was originally posted in November 2016. Updated in April 2020 to include new photos and recipe video. Recipe remains the same.

Kutsinta is a native sweet Filipino snack traditionally made from sticky rice. |


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs! I made this but replaced tapioca flour with 2 Tablespoons rice flour, added 1 teaspoon of organic charcoal powder for a black kutsinta variation. Toasted the dehydrated shredded coconut instead of adding water to rehydrate them like in your Pichi-pichi recipe. These came out really delicious and very pretty black kutsinta

  2. 5 stars
    I am blown away on how easy this was to make and the results.Yum! thank you for the recipe! although, I had to substitute the annatto powder with food coloring cause on my first attempt with using the McCormick achuete, it gave it a somewhat savory,peppery flavor. just a heads up to anyone who would chose to use that brand of achuete.

    That quick switch,made it perfect! thank you!

    1. Hi Debbie, cassava flour is different from tapioca flour but if you can find cassava starch then that would be the same. Although I have not tried using cassava flour for kutsinta. Maybe it could work.

  3. Hello.

    Sorry to ask. What if there is no lye water around the country? Any Possible substitute please? Thank you po.

    1. I tried the baking soda solution that is supposed to be a substitute for lye water but they did not form nicely and was too sticky.

  4. hi.. i want to try this recipe but i don’t have tapioca or cassava flour.. can i use cassava starch instead?? thank you..

  5. Hi i do not have annato powder but i have orange gel food color that i use for baking, can i use that instead? Or does annato powder adds flavor?
    What i have is the whole achuete not the powdered ones.

    1. Hi Olivia, achuete seeds can also be use. Take 2 tablespoons of achute seed and pour 1/2 cup hot water over it and steep it for 20 minutes. Strain and use it to replace some of the water in the recipe. Just add enough until the desired color is achieved.

    1. Hi Jo, thanks for bringing that up. You can use as less as 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 teaspoon. Lesser means softer while more will yield firmer Kutsinta.

  6. 5 stars
    Your recipes never fail. I nailed it. Thank you so much.
    I wish I can share photos of my Kutsinta. So delish!
    Hope you are keeping well. ❤️

    1. Hi MG, thanks for your lovely comment. You can send the photos to our FB or IG page or thru email, I would love to see it. Hope you are safe and well as well…

  7. Hello! I just want to ask, where did you get your kutsinta molds from? Kutsinta is one of my favorite merienda; I’m excited to try this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Just made this kutsinta today for my friends birthday and it was really good. I followed exactly the recipe and it came out perfect. I made double recipe and yields 19 pieces on a normal size puto molder. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    1. You can put it in an airtight food container and place it in the fridge for maybe a day or maybe some days but Kutsinta is best eaten on the same day.

  9. Hi, I’ve seen your pichi-pichi recipe and you used a baking soda solution instead of lye water. Can I use it in this recipe?

  10. Hi Bebs, I wanted to make kutsint a bit since I don’t have lihia (haven’t checked the asia laden here yet), do you think it’s possible to use potash (pottasche) instead of lye water? What would the probable amount be? Many thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    Hello po..I’m planning to make kutsinta. Paano po kung walang tapioca flour, ano pong pede ipang substitute?thanks po

        1. Nope, I the measurement is different and note also that the outcome is also a bit different. Try it first with 1/2 cup of rice flour and 1/4 cup flour.

  12. Hi Bebs, just tried the recipe today and it was good though i have one issue. Aside from it was a bit soft,,,it was a bit sticky? I followed the recipe carefully. Do you think it is a good ide to just put only 1/2 tsp of lye water? Thank you

  13. 5 stars
    Hi Bhebang! Can I use paprika instead of annato/ achuete for the coloring or would that alter the taste?

    Thanks! Always so excited to try all your recipes ????

    1. Hi Rez! I would not suggest it…like you said it would alter the taste. Although achuete has a very mild flavor it also gives out a distinct aroma and taste.

  14. Hi, I am planning to make the kutsinta by using your recipe. How many days can I keep the kutsinta before it gets spoil?

    1. Hi Mary, kutsinta does not store well, at least based on my experience. Because of the texture and consistency, I do not think you can freeze them. Putting them in the fridge may also dry them out.

  15. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,

    I tried your recipe this afternoon, but I substituted the tapioca flour with 1T cornflour because I don’t have it in my pantry. The taste was perfect, they really taste like the kutsinta I know back home, but the texture was quite firm and rubbery. I was thinking that the cornflour caused it. So Im planning to go to the shop to buy the tapioca flour, is it the element that makes the kutsinta wobbly and a bit soft in the middle? Please let me know, thanks.

  16. Hi Bebs

    Thank you for your lovely receipes.

    I tried the ensaymada and it taste delicious, however mine is a little bit doughy and heavy.

    I might have put too much flour.

    What do you think I should do to make it more lighter.

    Kind Regards


    1. Hi Gem, yes, you could be right. The dough should be really sticky and could be a bit difficult to handle but try not to add too much flour. Try giving them more time to rise especially once they are in the molds. I hope it helps.

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