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Puto With Cheese (Filipino Rice Cake With Cheese)

Here is my recipe for Filipino cheese puto!

Here is my recipe for Filipino cheese puto!

Cheesy Variation on the Traditional Recipe

This recipe is a variation of the puto recipe that I usually make—this one is topped with cheese. I got this recipe from my wife. Besides being topped with cheese, what makes my wife's recipe different is that instead of using rice flour, we use real rice grains soaked in coconut milk.

In Tagalog, these rice cakes are called puto. When I'm with my Hispanic friends, however, I call them rice cakes or rice muffins because puto has a negative connotation in Spanish.

When we have family gatherings, my wife would make these rice cakes. Whenever relatives, friends, or neighbors came to visit, or if we held parties or reunions, she made these to serve as snacks.

This dish is traditionally served with dinuguan, or pork blood stew. But you can also eat it by itself.

If you'd like to try something new and different, give this recipe a try. Bon appetit!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

30 min

50 min

26 to 30 servings


  • 2 cups short-grain sweet glutinous rice, available at Asian stores
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 box Velveeta cheese slices, cut into 1-inch squares


  1. Soak the rice in coconut milk for at least 1 hour. You can soak it overnight if you wish.
  2. Puree the rice and coconut milk in a blender.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the cheese.
  4. Grease two muffin pans and fill each cup with batter about two-thirds full.
  5. Top each rice cake with a slice of Velveeta cheese.
  6. Place the muffin pan in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle of the rice cake comes out clean.


  • Top the rice cake with grated coconut before serving.
  • Brush the rice cake with melted butter after steaming.
  • Use other kinds of cheese if desired. I use Velveeta because it melts better.
  • You can use condensed milk as a sweetener instead of sugar, but reduce the coconut milk by 1/2 cup.