Pandan Puto – Gluten Free Filipino Steamed Muffins are a lightly sweetened treat, perfect for an afternoon pick me up or have it for breakfast, like they do in the Philippines!
Puto are an instant hit. Every time I make them for an event I am hosting, I get such positive feedback with questions like:
- What are these?
- Where did you discover them?
- You have to give me the recipe!
Filipino’s like starting the day with sweet things and puto is a very common way to start the day with a cup of coffee. Different than most other Asian countries due to their Spanish colonization, coffee is more common than tea to have with their puto. For me, it’s a dessert that makes a nice afternoon pick me up with a cup of coffee or tea. This isn’t the first time I’ve presented puto to you. There are many different varieties and I’ve already presented Coconut Puto and Ube (Purple Yam) Puto. However, when I embraced this week’s theme of Gluten Free Desserts and ended up getting short on time, immediately I thought of making Pandan Puto. I have a jar of leftover puto extract in my fridge after presenting Kuih Dadar (Coconut Stuffed Malaysian Pandan Crepes) last week so I need to use it up.
If you’ve heard me talk of pandan before, you can just scroll down to the recipe but if you’re hearing about pandan for the first time and wondering what the heck it is? Pandan is the most common flavoring for sweet things in Southeast Asia – pretty much like we use vanilla extract. It comes from the leaves of the Screwpine tree and is sold in various forms. In Sri Lanka, it is also used in savory dishes. You can purchase the extract, essence, paste or the frozen leaves, also known as Bai Toey (Vietnamese). Any good Asian supermarket with a wide variety of products from Southeast Asia should sell it
One little note. My hand slipped a little when I was adding the droplets of pandan paste so you don’t have to make yours as flourescent green as mine are.
IN THE MAKING
Although modern versions will often add a little all purpose flour, traditionally the main ingredients are rice flour and coconut milk, making this the perfect #vegan and #glutenfree treat!
They are so soft and fluffy!
What’s great is that since puto can be made with so many different flavor profiles, you can make puto every week!
In the Philippines, puto molds are available. In the past when I made puto, I used silicone muffin molds but after visiting Penang (Malaysia), this time I used Puteri Ayu molds I picked up. Any kind of mold that can fit into a bamboo steamer can be used. I love the concave cavity that this produced, perfect for berries!
So are you excited to try the flavor of pandan? Here are all my Pandan focused Recipes…
- Malaysian Puteri Ayu – very similar to these but not #glutenfree
- Kuih Dadar – Coconut Stuffed Pandan Crepes (Malaysian/Indonesian)
- Kue Pukis (Indonesian Cakes)
- Boonchi Curry – Sri Lankan Green Bean Curry
- Lemongrass Pandan Ice Cream
Pandan Puto – Gluten Free Filipino Steamed Muffins
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 13.5 can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons pandan extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- a few drops of pandan paste depending how green you want the color
- 3-4 pandan leaves
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk a little to combine.
- Add coconut milk, pandan extract and water. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add pandan paste and mix until well blended.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a steamer rack inside. Place the pandan leaves in the water.
- Spray the inside of muffin molds with non stick spray.
- Fill the molds about 3/4 full with the batter and place inside a bamboo steamer.
- Place the steamer inside the pot on the steamer rack.
- Cook for 30 minutes until the puto are puffy and a tester inserted comes out clean.