Cheese Puto Recipe

This fluffy after-school staple is surprisingly easy to whip up at home!

What is Puto?

Puto is a Filipino rice cake that’s usually eaten as a merienda or snack. It is one of the most popular kinds of kakanin, a category of treats made from glutinous rice, rice flour, and coconut.

Puto can be steamed without any toppings, but it can also be flavored with a variety of other
; one of the most popular ways to do so is by simply adding a slice of cheese on top to create a simple yet delicious cheese puto (which many also sometimes refer to as puto cheese).

Table of Contents

• How to Serve Cheese Puto

• How to Cook Cheese Puto

• Tips to Make the Best Cheese Puto

• Cheese Puto Storage Tips

• WATCH: How to Make Cheese Puto

• Cheese Puto Recipe


How to Serve Cheese Puto

Like the classic puto, one of cheese puto’s most famous pairings is with dinuguan (pork blood stew), or with Filipino noodle dishes like pancit canton or pancit palabok.

Cheese puto is also widely considered as a merienda
or snack
, and can be eaten as such on its own. It also pairs well with tea or coffee to make the perfect afternoon treat!

How to Cook Cheese Puto

The traditional way to make puto is by steaming, and this cheese puto recipe is prepared in the same way. However, whereas the classic puto is made with rice flour, this easy cheese puto recipe uses all-purpose flour. This version is topped with cheddar cheese but you can also top it with bacon or salted
. You can make so many puto
with endless flavor and topping combinations!

You also don’t need fancy equipment to cook this
; you can easily make puto at
 with a steamer or you can even use a rice cooker to make these fluffy rice cakes.


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Tips to Make the Best Cheese Puto

1 Make sure you’re using the right kind of flour.

The classic puto is usually made using rice
, evaporated or coconut milk, eggs, and sugar. However, this cheese puto recipe uses all-purpose flour, and while both version will yield soft and fluffy rice cakes, puto made with rice flour tend to be denser and stickier (in a good way) while puto made with all-purpose flour will usually have more of a cake-like texture. It will come down to preference, so once you’ve tried making this cheese puto recipe, you can try this more traditional version that uses rice

2 Don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients!

Sifting serves two purposes: the first one is to make sure you don’t have any lumps in your mixture that will make it difficult to create a smooth batter. The second is that it helps distribute the baking powder more evenly through the flour. Making sure the puto batter is well-mixed (but not overmixed) is key in creating fluffy cheese puto.


3 Don’t overmix the puto batter.

Since this cheese puto recipe uses all-purpose flour, there is a real danger of overmixing the batter. That’s because all-purpose flour is a kind of wheat flour, which forms gluten when mixed with water. Gluten is what will give your puto structure, but if you develop too much my overmixing, your puto can turn from fluffy to tough.

So how do you know when to stop mixing? As soon as there are no more loose clumps of flour, you can stop mixing: at this point, your batter should already be smooth and silky.

4 Get the right kind of puto molds… and grease them!

The cheapest kinds of puto molds you can get are the colorful plastic ones, but not all puto molds are created equal. Make sure you get good quality molds as thinner plastic puto molds can melt in the steamer. If you want a melt-proof version, you can invest in stainless puto molds instead (which can also be used to make cupcakes)! Whichever kind of puto mold you choose, it’s important to lightly
grease them
before pouring in the batter to easily release the cheese puto when they’re done.

5 Make sure the water is already boiling in the steamer before loading up the puto.

Just as it’s important to preheat the oven when baking, when you’re steaming, it’s also vital that the water is already boiling away when you put in the puto. This is because the baking
in the batter reacts to heat; its reaction creates the air bubbles in cheese puto that makes it so fluffy. If you put in your puto while the water has yet to boil, this may cause the cheese puto to rise less, and you’ll end up with dense rice cakes.

How to Store Cheese Puto

1 Leftover cheese puto should be cling wrapped and be stored in the refrigerator.

One of the advantages of making cheese puto with all-purpose flour instead of rice flour is that it has a longer shelf life. However, it’s still best eaten within 1 or 2 days of making it!

If you do need to store it, make sure to wrap it securely with cling wrap, as cheese puto (and a lot of other kakanin) dry out easily when left out without a cover. They can be stored for a up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

2 Reheat refrigerated cheese puto to make it soft again.

Puto is usually eaten at room temperature, but it’s also all right to eat it cold. If it gets a bit tougher in the refrigerator, simply sprinkle a bit of water on it, cover with cling wrap, and pop it in the microwave in 30-second bursts until it warms up (just enough to make it soft again).

WATCH: How to Make Cheese Puto

Cheese Puto Recipe

Cheese Puto Recipe

Trinka Gonzales
This fluffy after-school staple is surprisingly easy to whip up at home!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 2


Cheese Puto Ingredients

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 medium Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 36 pieces Cheddar Cheese


  • Sift together flour, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. 
  • Mix together water, evaporated milk, egg, and butter in another bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  • Spoon batter into 1-ounce muffin tins until 3/4 full. Steam for 10 minutes. 

  • Place a piece of cubed cheese onto the top of each puto and steam an additional 1 minute until the cheese is slightly melted. Remove from steamer and cool. Serve. 
Keyword merienda recipes, classic
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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