I so love this Puto Cheese recipe. So soft and fluffy and definitely better tasting than the Puto mix you buy in a box but equally easy to make. You will never think of buying ready mix Puto after trying this!
What is Puto?
Puto is a Filipino steamed rice cake delicacy normally eaten as snack. Puto is also, oftentimes, served to accompany savory dishes like dinuguan (pork blood stew) or pancit (rice noodle).
The traditional one is made from rice, water, and sugar that is stone-grinded to make the batter or what we call 'galapong'. It is normally fermented overnight before steaming them. Of course, everything became easy when rice flour became available.
But this recipe of Cheese Puto actually does not use rice at all, it uses all-purpose flour instead. Yeah I know, I was skeptical about it as well at first but it turned out to be really good, and I would say I prefer it better than using rice flour because it makes smoother and softer Puto.
What Cheese to Use?
I get this question a lot and I know why. In the Philippines, the common cheese you can get is packed in foil and boxed and you usually get them from the shelves and not in the fridge section of a grocery store. The most popular brand is Kraft Eden cheese and I read that it is the equivalent or similar to Kraft Velveeta in the US.
I used to buy loads of this cheese and bring them back to Germany. Once there, I remove them from the boxes and freeze them. They would last for months to a year that way.
For those who do not have access to this kind of processed cheese, I would recommend other cheeses like Gouda or Cheddar.
- Avoid using high speed when mixing the batter as this creates more air bubbles that can be trapped in the batter and will form holes when steamed.
- Place a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel in between steamer racks and the top cover to avoid water from dripping to the batter. This will result in uneven cooking and disinformed top.
- It is very important to use low heat. Bring the water to a simmer then turn the heat to the lowest as possible. Just enough to keep the steam forming but do not let the water boil. High temperatures will result in an uneven rise of the batter instead of forming a perfect dome.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk (evaporated or fresh)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter -melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup grated cheese
- strips cheese - for topping
- butter or oil for brushing the molds
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Add the milk and egg and mix using a whisk or electric mixer at medium speed only until batter becomes smooth.
- Add the water, butter and vanilla extract and mix well for a minute or two. Lastly, add the grated cheese and fold in slowly using a spatula or spoon.
- Grease each mold with butter and fill the molds with batter up to ¾ full.
- Fill the bottom of the steamer with water and bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat. Place the molds in the steamer basket and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove the lid and add a strip of cheese on top of each put. Steam for another minute or two until cheese melts. Turn off heat and let it rest until slightly cooled down.
- Remove the cooked Puto Cheese from the molds and transfer to a serving plate.
For those who are asking about the plastic molds I used to steam these Puto in, I got them from the Philippines. But you may also use the Silicone muffin molds like the one below I found on Amazon. I also use them for making Puto sometimes just like I would use the plastic molds.
Here are also examples of steamers used to make Puto. The middle one is a stove-top variation while the one on the right is electric. You may click on the photos to see where you can buy them as well.
This recipe for Puto Cheese was originally published in June 2016. Updated in March 2020 to include new photos and recipe video. Additional tips were also provided.
I would like to say thank you for sharing this recipe. It's my first time to try it and the result is so good. Yummy and soft. Thank you and God bless.
Love the simplicity of the recipe. Family and friends loves it for the weekend’s breakfast or afternoon coffee. Big fan here😊
Thanks for the 5 stars, Irish and I am happy you all enjoyed it.
I made it and it was delicious. Thank you
shara kate says
Good to know more recipe.
Hello, exactly what kind or brand of cheese did you use for your recipe? I followed your recipe and they were really delicious, but they didn’t turn out as beautiful as yours. It looked more pale/yellowish. I think it’s because of the Canadian grated cheddar cheese that I used. Please let me know. Thank you!
Hi Shay, "real" cheese is expensive in the Philippines so we normally use processed cheese (like the American cheese, like Velveeta). They are normally much softer and melt like this.
Sol Rodriguez says
This puto recipe is so amazing. My family enjoyed it immensely. 😍😍😍 Thank you for sharing it. God bless
I used silicon mold and didn't grease before steaming. Boiled the water on high heat before steaming. It was perfect!
Thanks for sharing that, Kimmy! 😘
i love this recipe<3
Thank you for this easy but so tasty recipe. It’s my go to—— whenever I wanted to make some, when craving strikes! 😊
Just wondering if you can make the batter ahead of time? Like mix the batter and leave it overnight in the fridge and make it in the morning?
Your response is very much appreciated.🥰❤️
Hi Ness, glad you like our recipe. You can make the batter ahead of time but it might not be as fluffy because the baking powder will lose some of its leavening effects. Maybe, what you can do is add it some minutes just before you will cook it, then. Hope that works. Let me know.
This recipe is super easy to make! Thank you! A flexible recipe that tastes good every time I try it. I am thinking of making ube puto, but only have ube halaya and not ube flavor. May I please ask for advice in incorporating ube halaya into this recipe?
This is my go to recipe
Easy to make and super yummy
Wondering, have you tried adapting this to make ube puto?
Hi Sarah, you can simply add ube flavoring.
I love the recipe. I steamed it in the oven coz am lazy 😂 it is not as soft as the "regular steamed puto" but it is so yummy! Am trying to control myself not to eat half of it coz am gonna bring it as potluck today.
Thank you for sharing your recipe.
LOL, I hope there were some left for the potluck, Naomi. Thanks for the 5 stars.
Eyette Pasamba says
Perfect recipe and tasted so good! I added just a pinch of salt! My 2 yr old grandson loves the color purple si I switched the vanilla with ube flavor. Still so yummy!
Yes, that sounds just perfect, Eyette.
Dong Laguerder says
I perfectly made a dome puto w/ cheese!!! thanks Bebs for your recipe! Perfect fo breakfast and also pansit bihon and dinuguaan!
I tried this recipe and my whole family loves it, they can't stop digging.
I will be using this for my small business, if you don't mind.
What will be the measurement if I use 1kg APF?
Thank you so much
Pamela Castro says
It was my first try and I am very happy with it.
The best recipe and so easy. Very moist and tasty. I added mine with salted egg.
haven't tried it yet but i'm excited to make this! my mamoy made some recently and i realized how much i missed our food.
being in the philippines where our desserts and kakanin are very easily accessible, i have never ventured into even trying to make it myself. But out here on the other side of the world, i have no choice but to make it (not that i'm complaining) unless i want to get the frozen ones on international stores.
so thank you for being amazing and sharing the recipe!
do you also know how to make it using the rice flour? 🙂
Hi Kur, you can replace some parts of the flour with rice flour.
I have made this twice already and they came out so delicious both times. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have plenty of rice flour and I am wondering if I can make the puto cheese using rice flour?
I made this puto but i have a yellowish color puto. How do you make them white in color?
Add some vinegar to the water used for steaming. But actually, it depends on the flour used.
Awesome recipe! Delicious, fast and the ingredients are easy to come by, esp when living in Germany. I am giving this recipe only 4 Stars coz I think it could be a tat sweeter. But one can always modify the recipe to ones liking. I skipped the whole cheese thing, I just don't like the mix of something hearty and sweet. For me it's either the one or the other. However I used some coloring and I even had Pandan flavored food color green. Turned out to be very delicious. Have you tried to make puto-flan based on this recipe? If you did, would you like to share your experience? That would be my next target. Thanks again for this great recipe und Grüße aus Köln!!!
Hi, can I substitute sugar to maple syrup or honey? If yes, whats the measurement? Thanks! Looks yummy, can't wait to try it. Thanks
Sadly, I have not tried using syrup or honey for this. But I think it should be ok to do so, it is just to sweeten the buns. But if you end up adding too much then add a bit more flour just to keep the ratio of flour to liquid close to original.
Great recipe! Thank you for sharing.
You are welcome, Ella.
Mary Jane Sally Argueza says
I'd never thought how that easy to make Puto.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
our pleasure, Mary Jane.
Thanks for sharing this flavorful puto recipe! Always a treat to my family every time I make this.
I’m just wondering if I can use 8” or 9”cake pan for this recipe instead of puto molds?
Sure you can Vickee, just cook it a bit longer.Check out our puto cake too.
May I know what specific flour is better to use? Thanks so much
Hi Lori, use cake flour if you like finer crumbs.
Hi! Thanks for posting this yummy recipe. It's genuinely good and easy to follow. Good on yah!
Glad you like it, Louise.
Apol Garcia says
This is so good! I tried it twice already and my husband and kids love it so much! Can I just double the ingredients for larger serving? Will it not affect the texture and taste of the puto?
Go ahead and double the ingredients, Apol.
I made Ube puto cheese using your recipe but substituted vanilla with ube flavor… made 42 puto with x4 of your recipe. delicious!!!