Putong Bigas Recipe

Discover the irresistible charm of Putong Bigas: a classic Filipino rice cake steeped in tradition and flavor. Dive into our delightful recipe!

Putong Bigas

    Putong Bigas

  • Cuisine: Filipino
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Yield: 15
  • Calories: 150 calories

"Putong Bigas," a traditional Filipino rice cake, holds a special place in Filipino cuisine and culture. The name "Putong Bigas" translates to "rice cake" in English, with "putong" meaning "cake" and "bigas" referring to rice. This delicacy is cherished for its simple yet delightful flavors and its role in various celebrations and everyday moments.

Made from glutinous rice that has been soaked, ground, and fermented, Putong Bigas showcases the ingenious use of rice as a staple ingredient in Filipino cooking.

The process of soaking the rice allows it to soften, while grinding it creates a coarse paste that forms the base of the cake. The fermentation stage lends a distinct tanginess to the cake, thanks to the natural fermentation of the rice and yeast.

The result is a steamed rice cake with a slightly sour taste, a pleasantly chewy texture, and a delicate aroma. Putong Bigas is often enjoyed as a snack or dessert, and it can be served on its own or with a variety of toppings. Freshly grated coconut, a sprinkle of sugar, or a drizzle of coconut caramel are common accompaniments that enhance the cake's flavor profile.

Beyond its culinary appeal, Putong Bigas holds cultural significance. It is a staple at gatherings, festivals, and family celebrations, symbolizing unity and togetherness.

The process of preparing and sharing Putong Bigas has been passed down through generations, fostering a sense of tradition and nostalgia. This rice cake truly embodies the essence of Filipino hospitality and the joy of communal dining.

Whether enjoyed during festive occasions or as a comforting snack, Putong Bigas embodies the heart of Filipino cuisine—simple yet flavorful, rooted in tradition, and treasured for the connections it fosters among people.


Craving the taste of Putong Bigas? Explore our authentic recipe for this Filipino rice cake delight. Create memories with every bite!


  • 2 cups glutinous rice (malagkit)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of yeast (around 7 grams)
  • Banana leaves or cupcake liners for lining

Method Instructions

  1. Rinse the glutinous rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the soaked rice and grind it into a coarse paste using a blender or a food processor. You can add a little water to help with the blending.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground rice, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  5. Add the yeast mixture to the rice mixture and mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let the mixture ferment for about 8 to 12 hours or until it doubles in size. The fermentation time may vary depending on the temperature and humidity.
  7. Once the mixture has fermented, prepare your steamer by boiling water.
  8. Line your molds with banana leaves or cupcake liners to prevent sticking.
  9. Give the rice mixture a good stir before transferring it into the molds, filling each mold about 3/4 full.
  10. Steam the rice cakes over boiling water for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until they are firm and cooked through. You can test by inserting a toothpick into the center – it should come out clean when the rice cakes are done.
  11. Allow the rice cakes to cool before serving.
  12. Enjoy your homemade putong bigas! Feel free to get creative by adding toppings like freshly grated coconut or a sprinkle of sugar on top before serving.

Recipe Video

Putong Bigas

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Video Author: Pinoy Recipes

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Recipe Tags: Putong Bigas, Putong Bigas Recipe, Recipe


Serving Putong Bigas is a delightful experience that allows you to enjoy its unique flavors and textures. Here's how you can serve this traditional Filipino rice cake:

  1. Toppings: While Putong Bigas is delicious on its own, you can enhance its flavor by adding toppings. Some popular options include freshly grated coconut, a light dusting of sugar, or a drizzle of coconut caramel syrup. These toppings add a touch of sweetness and complement the slightly tangy taste of the rice cake.
  2. Presentation: Arrange the Putong Bigas on a serving platter or individual plates. You can opt for an elegant presentation by using banana leaves as a base for each rice cake. The vibrant green of the leaves adds a natural and visually appealing touch to the presentation.
  3. Combination: Putong Bigas pairs well with a variety of beverages. Consider serving it with a cup of Filipino-style hot chocolate (sikwate), coffee, or even a refreshing tropical fruit juice. The contrast between the flavors of the rice cake and the beverage can create a harmonious dining experience.
  4. Sharing: Putong Bigas is often enjoyed in a communal setting. It's a wonderful treat to share with family and friends during gatherings, celebrations, or simply as an afternoon snack. The act of sharing this traditional rice cake adds to the cultural significance and warmth associated with Filipino cuisine.
  5. Variations: While the classic Putong Bigas is a delight in itself, you can also get creative with variations. Experiment with different toppings, such as crushed peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, or even a dollop of your favorite jam for a modern twist.


  • Quality of Rice: Choose good quality glutinous rice (malagkit) for the best results. The texture and taste of the rice cakes greatly depend on the quality of the rice you use.
  • Soaking Time: Ensure you soak the glutinous rice for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step is crucial for softening the rice and making it easier to blend into a paste.
  • Blending: When blending the soaked rice, add just enough water to help with the blending process. You want to achieve a coarse paste, not a completely smooth batter.
  • Fermentation: The fermentation time can vary based on temperature and humidity. If you live in a warmer climate, the fermentation process might happen more quickly. Keep an eye on the rice mixture and look for signs that it has doubled in size.
  • Banana Leaves: If using banana leaves to line your molds, make sure to briefly pass them over an open flame or steam them for a few seconds. This softens the leaves and makes them more pliable for lining.
  • Steaming Time: Steaming time can vary based on the size of your molds and the thickness of the rice cakes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of a rice cake – it should come out clean when they are cooked.
  • Yeast Activation: Make sure to activate the yeast by dissolving it in lukewarm water and waiting for it to become frothy. This step ensures that the rice cakes will rise properly during fermentation.
  • Consistency of Batter: When mixing the yeast mixture with the rice batter, ensure that it is well incorporated. This helps distribute the yeast evenly and promotes even fermentation.
  • Experiment with Toppings: While traditional toppings are popular, feel free to get creative with your choice of toppings. You can explore different options like sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, or even a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
  • Storage: If you have leftovers, store the rice cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat them by steaming for a few minutes before enjoying again.
  • Patience: Making Putong Bigas requires a bit of patience due to the fermentation process. Be prepared to wait for the rice mixture to rise and develop its distinct flavors.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Glutinous Rice: If you can't find glutinous rice (malagkit), you can try using regular short-grain rice. However, keep in mind that the texture of the rice cakes might differ from the traditional version.
  2. Yeast: If you don't have yeast, you can consider using baking powder as a substitute. Use about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the yeast packet. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture might be slightly different.
  3. Sugar: If you prefer a healthier option, you can substitute white sugar with coconut sugar or brown sugar. The flavor might be a bit different, but it will add a pleasant depth of flavor.
  4. Banana Leaves: If you can't find banana leaves for lining the molds, you can use cupcake liners or parchment paper instead. However, using banana leaves is traditional and adds a unique aroma to the rice cakes.
  5. Toppings: While traditional toppings like freshly grated coconut are wonderful, you can experiment with other toppings as well. Try crushed nuts (like cashews or almonds), dried fruit, or a drizzle of honey.
  6. Coconut Milk: If you want to add an extra layer of flavor, you can substitute part of the water used for grinding the rice with coconut milk. This will add a rich coconut aroma to the rice cakes.
  7. Flavorings: To enhance the flavor, you can add a touch of vanilla extract or pandan extract to the rice mixture. These extracts will infuse the cakes with a delightful aroma.
  8. Fermentation Agent: If you want to skip the fermentation process, you can make "puto" (Filipino steamed rice cakes) instead. These are similar to Putong Bigas but don't require fermentation. You can use baking powder or baking soda as the leavening agent.


Embrace the heartwarming taste of tradition with Putong Bigas. Let this Filipino rice cake bring joy to your table and memories to cherish.

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