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Putong Pandan: Filipino Rice Cakes With Pandan

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Delicious pandan flavored rice cakes

Delicious pandan flavored rice cakes

What Is Putong Pandan?

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

This particular recipe uses pandan leaves to flavor the rice cake. Pandan is a tropical plant in the Pandanus genus, which is commonly known as pandan. It has fragrant leaves that are used widely for flavoring in the cuisines of Southeast Asia and South Asia.

When I was growing up, whenever our large, extended family gathered at the breakfast table, my mom 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!

This is what pandan leaves look like.

This is what pandan leaves look like.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

45 min

1 hour 5 min

25 servings


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dried pandan leaves (available at Asian stores)
  • 3 drops green food coloring


  1. Boil the pandan leaves in the coconut milk for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Then remove the leaves and discard them.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the pandan flavored coconut milk and green food coloring to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Grease two muffin pans and fill each cup with batter about 2/3 full.
  5. Place 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.


  • Add anise seeds to the dry ingredients.
  • Top the rice cake with grated cheese or grated coconut before serving.
  • Brush the rice cake with melted butter after steaming.

Dried Pandan Leaves