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Puto (Philippine Rice Muffins)

2 cups rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1 can (14 oz ) coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated coconut for topping (optional)
20 individual aluminum foil cupcake/muffin cups or puto molds

Sift first four dry ingredients together. In a mixing bowl, add coconut milk and vanilla to sifted ingredients and blend well to make a smooth mixture. Mix and blend thoroughly and fill muffin cups or molds 2/3 full. Cook in a steamer for 30 minutes. Test for doneness. Muffins are done when toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve topped with grated coconut if desired.

Notes: I used a three tier electric steamer. I only used the bottom two tiers. I kept the lid on for the full 30 minutes and then removed lid carefully to avoid water on the inside of the lid from dripping on the muffins. It is common to add food coloring for a more festive look. Recipe comes from

Puto Variations:

Traditional Puto - Replace vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon anise seeds. May also need to add a couple tablespoons of water to keep batter from getting too dry.

Traditional Pandan Puto - Replace vanilla extract with Pandan extract. (Can be found in Asian food stores.) Normally turns to a green color.

Traditional Ube Puto - Replace vanilla extract with Ube extract. (Can be found in Asian food stores.) Normally turns to a purple color.

Chocolate Puto - Replace vanilla extract with a couple tablespoons of chocolate syrup to batter. (Hershey’s brand is good.) Will turn batter to a pretty brown.

Strawberry Puto - Replace vanilla extract with a couple tablespoons of strawberry syrup to batter. (Hershey’s brand is good.) Will turn batter to a pretty pink.

Banana Puto - Replace vanilla extract with 1/3 to 1/2 of a fresh banana & tablespoon of water blended in a blender. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring to batter for pretty yellow puto.

Other festive looks - Add  sprinkles to top of baked plain putos; red & green for Christmas, purple & yellow for Easter, multi-colors for parties and/or birthdays, etc.


Turon (Philippine banana eggroll dessert)

2 medium or large bananas
brown sugar
8 individual lumpia wrappers (Philippine eggroll wrappers)
small bowl of water
frying oil
vanilla ice cream - optional
chocolate sauce - optional

Peel bananas. Cut bananas in half and then cut each piece lengthwise. You should now have 8 banana pieces. Coat a banana piece with brown sugar, place on the middle bottom of wrapper. Roll the wrapper with banana up and then fold over the sides and continue to roll up till almost the end. Dip your fingers in the water and coat the end of the wrapper and then finish rolling up. Fry in oil till golden brown. Serve with ice cream and chocolate sauce.


Biko (Philippine Sweet Sticky Rice Cake)

2 pkgs (16oz) Sweet Rice cooked
1 to 2 (14oz) cans coconut milk
1 (8oz) pkg Panocha (Native Confectionery) or brown sugar

Cook sweet rice in rice cooker or on stove top according to package directions. Meanwhile pour coconut milk into saucepan over medium low heat. Add panocha (or brown sugar) and stir till melted thoroughly. When sweet rice is done, add about ½ cup of the melted panocha milk to the rice and mix. Place rice in 9x13 casserole dish. Smooth and flatten evenly. Pour remaining panocha milk over rice and spread with spoon or spatula. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes at 350 – 375 degrees until top is bubbly. Cool and serve.

Notes: This is really not a cake. We just grew up calling it that. Recipe came from my mother.

The little bear graphics come from Cute Colors at