Easy Kutsinta Recipe – Soft & Chewy Filipino Steamed Cake

Steamed Orange Cakes
easy kutsinta recipe

This easy Kutsinta recipe has this sticky soft and chewy texture and just the right sweetness to make everyone reach for them over and over again. Then the grated coconut topping is a bonus with its creamy milky flavour over the gelatinous steamed rice cake.

This used to be my favourite “kakanin”. (Filipino for treats – snacks and/or desserts usually made from glutinous rice or glutinous flour). I think it is still is – or at least one of my faves. When I was doing my kitchen testing on this, I was eating everything right away. When my hubby asked what happened to the new recipe I am testing – I replied sheepishly, “they were all gone”. I ate them all! Although one recipe has only 8-9 round cakes…but still. I felt embarrassed for eating all of it.

kutchinta recipe serving

My Childhood and Puto Kutsinta

I think I love Kutsinta because I have a very fond memory of it. We were in elementary – I and my 2 sibs. We had a favorite ambulant vendor early in the morning. Ambulant vendors are common in the Philippines. They go around the residential areas shouting what they are selling. Others use a bell or airhorn to announce themselves. They sell mostly food – breakfast items in the morning including kutsinta, kalamay (another kakanin) and taho (soy yogurt). Fresh fish and seafood around mid-morning. Snacks and ice cream after lunch. Then smoked or dried fish and “balut” at twilight (I will not talk about what balut is here as it is not for the faint of heart.

If my memory serves me right, we called her Tyang Loring. (Auntie Loring – we add Auntie or Uncle as a sign of respect for older people). She was a very nice lady and we were always happy to see her. Sadly, one day she just stopped coming. There was a different lady going around selling the same stuff. We found out from her that Tyang Loring passed away – it was sudden and the cause of death was even undetermined :(.

easy kutsinta recipe in platter

Easy Kutsinta Recipe

Kutsinta from my childhood was in this big bilao (flat round-shaped platter usually made of slatted wood) lined with (smoked) banana leaves. The diameter is about 25-30 inches and I learned that they were steamed in those big platters as well. Then one serving is a 2×3 inches rectangle (or more like a parallelogram but I know that word could scare you away so I will stick with rectangle).

The bottom of the steamed cake is harder than the top and holds it together. The top is what we would go crazy about. It was this very soft gelatinous gooey orange goodness. I believe most of the time, we would eat it by scraping the soft top with our teeth first. That was how irresistible it was. Then regret it because we were left with the harder and less exciting bottom half.

kutsinta in pan

How to make Puto Kutsinta

Kutsinta Ingredients

All-purpose Flour and Tapioca Flour – Of course All-purpose Flour is not an issue so let us check out Tapioca Flour. If you can’t find it in your local grocery, try an Asian store. Just make sure it is Tapioca as it is different from Cassava Flour. Cassava flour uses the whole root while Tapioca flour only uses the starchy pulp.

easy kutsinta recipe ingredients

Brown Sugar – I tried this with Granulated Sugar and I was a bit disappointed with the flavour. So I decided that I will not even consider it next time. I didn’t try though with light brown sugar. The molasses in brown sugar contributes to more than half of the flavour of this chewy steamed cake.

Water – If you bake a lot, you will notice that the water to flour ratio is higher than usual. So yes, the mixture is really a thinner fluid because it needs that much water to become soft gelatinous. Putting less water will make it harder and less chewy.

Annatto Powder – This is basically for food colouring so you can substitute with a yellow food color or black. Yes, black kutsinta is a thing! But it is just the colour. Annato powder with brown sugar will produce a deep brown colour so I even reduced the Annato powder to just 1/2 teaspoon (actually even less) as I want a more orange than brown colour. If you use white sugar though, you will get yellow orange kutsinta.

Lye Water – Now we come to the dreaded part. This is a food grade Lye (or Lime) water for baking and cooking use. But I am still careful and I will advise you to be the same. It is what makes this kutsinta springy or chewy.

One very important thing – keep it out of reach especially from children. Make sure that the lid is a tight fit and put it away as soon as you are done. Don’t transfer it also to a different container. If you spill some or it trickles down the side of the bottle, wash and dry the bottle before putting away. Just to be on the side of caution, I found this article useful for information about Lye Water.

I promise myself to test another Kutsinta recipe but without lye water and I will post it as well as an alternative as soon as it passes my kitchen testing.

Kutsinta Molder

kutsinta molder

I am aware that there are questions about kutsinta or puto molds or molders so I will address them here. I first tried steaming it on my tart mold. It came out good but it is too shallow so you will get a thinner kutsinta. It wasn’t bad though. If it is what you have, you can use it and it will be fine.

I bought a plastic mold from the Asian store. I really don’t subscribe to this plastic one as they are cheap and probably not BPA free, etc. When I steamed the White Cheese Puto in the red molds, they ended up with red speckles…ah not good. However, because they are deeper, I was able to achieve my soft gooey top goal for my Kutsinta recipe using this mold.

Before I got the plastic ones, I tried using my 6-inch round pan. It worked perfect. True you don’t have the cute little round steamed cakes but as I mentioned earlier, the kutsinta from my childhood is from this big round steamed cake. Plus with the deeper pan, I was able to nail the soft gooey top easily.

I also added in the picture my 2 oz ramekin to give you an idea on the sizes of the kutsinta molders/molds that I am discussing as options.

Easy Put-Together

This Kutsinta recipe is so easy as you basically just mix everything together, steam it and enjoy. However, I have some expert tips as usual.

how to cook puto kutsinta

Grease your molds and set aside. Start boiling your water (for steaming) as this will take longer than preparing the mixture. When the water starts to boil, reduce to a simmer.

Then start with mixing the All-purpose Flour, Tapioca Flour and Brown Sugar. Mix them completely or until you can see that the flour coats the brown sugar granules. Add the Annatto Powder and mix thoroughly again.

Pour in the water slowly and make sure that all the dry ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. If you are using liquid food colouring, add it after you added the water. Then add the Lye Water and stir.

Pass everything though a sieve to catch lumps of flour or annato powder that didn’t dissolve plus the bubbles that formed. Stir the mixture before pouring into molds as the flour settles at the bottom.

Steamed Kutsinta Cake

kutsinta in molder

If you are using small molders or ramekins, steam for 25-30 minutes depending on the size and the depth of your mold. If you are unsure, I suggest to steam for 20 minutes then check. With the 6 inch round pan, you must steam for longer because of the bigger surface area that needs to be cooked. Steam for 45-50 minutes. Start checking at 40 minutes.

Let the steamed cakes cool completely. Then carefully takeout from the molds using a toothpick or the tip of a fork. Serve with grated coconut on top.

kutsinta serving

Because we want our kutsinta with gooey softer top like the ones we used to have when we were kids, I take it out of the steamer while there is still a thin film of liquid on top. As it cools down, this liquid solidifies and forms this soft gooey top that I have been talking about. Don’t worry, it is totally safe. I live to tell you about it, didn’t I? And I have eaten a lot the last few weeks!!!

If you like it fully cooked though like the picture on the right, take it out of the steamer when the top has set completely.

kutsinta with soft gooey top
Taken out when there is a thin film of liquid that settled as a soft gooey top when it cooled down
kutsinta molder
Taken out when the top has completely set – the top is firmer.

If you are not serving it right away, don’t put the grated coconut until you are serving and/or eating. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Although this recipe only yields about 8-9 small cakes so I don’t see how it will stay in the fridge for that long (LOL). If you need a bigger batch, the recipe card below can adjust that for you. Just change the number of servings (on the top right corner). But because this is a very easy kutsinta recipe, you can do one batch anytime you like and it won’t take too much effort at all!

Expert Tips for this Kutsinta Recipe

Tapioca Flour is very fine and doesn’t dissolve in the water easily. Annato Powder is the same. However, mixing it with sugar will help both dissolve better. That is why it is imperative to mix the dry ingredients well before pouring in the water. Pour the water slowly too to prevent lumps from forming. You can mix while pouring to help the dry ingredients dissolve.

If you are using smaller round molds, make sure to stir the mixture before pouring them into the molds. The flour tends to settle at the bottom so you want to make sure that each mold has the same formula. If you are only using one big pan, it doesn’t matter although doesn’t hurt to stir before you pour out.

If you made this and liked it, take a pic and tag us in Instagram @globalsweetandsavoury.

soft chewy puto kutsinta

If you love this recipe, please leave a 5 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below ⬇️ and/or a review in the comment section.

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easy kutsinta recipe
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Easy Kutsinta Recipe – Soft & Chewy Filipino Steamed Cake

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 45 min Rest Time 30 min Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4 Calories: 207
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Description

This easy Puto Kutsinta Recipe has this sticky soft and chewy texture and just the right sweetness; then the grated coconut topping provides a creamy milky flavour over the gelatinous steamed cake.

Ingredients

Instructions

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  1. Grease your molds and set aside. Start boiling your water (for steaming) as this will take longer than preparing the mixture. When the water starts to boil, reduce to a simmer.

  2. Start with mixing the All-purpose Flour, Tapioca Flour and Brown Sugar. Mix them completely or until the flour coats the brown sugar granules. Add the Annato Powder and mix thoroughly again.

  3. Pour in the water slowly and make sure that all the dry ingredients are dissolved in the liquid. If you are using liquid food colouring, add it after you added the water. Then add the Lye Water and stir.

  4. Pass everything though a sieve to catch lumps of flour or annato powder that didn't dissolve plus the bubbles that formed. Stir the mixture before pouring into molds as the flour settles at the bottom.

  5. For small molds steam for 25-30 minutes depending on the size and the depth. With the 6 inch round pan, steam for 45-50 minutes.

  6. Let the steamed cakes cool completely. Then carefully takeout from the molds using a toothpick or the tip of a fork. Serve with grated coconut on top.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 pcs or 1/4

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 207kcal
Calories from Fat 2kcal
% Daily Value *
Sodium 20mg1%
Potassium 26mg1%
Total Carbohydrate 49g17%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Sugars 25g
Protein 2g4%

Iron 11 mg
Thiamin 12 mg
Riboflavin 7 mg
Niacin 7 mg
Vitamin B6 1 mg
Folate 11 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 1 mg
Phosphorus 2 mg
Magnesium 1 mmol
Zinc 1 mcg
Selenium 12 mg
Copper 2 mg
Manganese 8 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption. source: https://nutritiondata.self.com

Keywords: kutsinta recipe, kutsinta molder, best kutsinta recipe, filipino food recipes,filipino party food

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