Filipino steamed cake! Soft, light, and fluffy white cake made of flour, milk, and egg whites. If you’re looking for a recipe to use leftover egg whites from making leche flan, then this one is for you!
What you need
Here’s what you need to make the steamed cake:
- Egg whites – you will need 8 egg whites to make this. So if you’re making my eggyolk leche flan which calls for 12 eggs then you will only have 4 leftover eggwhites to think about. You’re welcome!
- Cake flour – can be substituted with a combination of flour and cornstarch. Please see the recipe card for more details.
- Fresh Milk – gives the cake a subtle light milk flavor.
- Sugar – the main sweetener of the cake.
- Baking Powder – to help rise the cake while cooking.
- Lemon Juice – to help improve the structure of the meringue. Substitute with cream of tartar, calamansi juice or vinegar.
How to Make Steamed Cake (Puto Cake)
Here are my tips when making this steamed cake:
Separting the egg whites from the egg yolks
- Use cold eggs – as they’re easier to separate. I recommend using the 3 bowl method–the first bowl to crack the eggs, the second bowl for the egg yolks, and the third bowl for the egg white. This will prevent the egg whites from being tainted with broken egg yolks. For more tips on how to separate eggs, follow this link.
- Use room temperature egg whites – as they are easier to whip up to a volume. Tip: After separating the eggs, let the egg whites sit at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the tools (e.g. steamer, baking pan) and other ingredients.
- Sift the cake flour and baking powder – to remove any lumps. Use a fine-mesh strainer or flour sifter.
- Do not overmix the cake batter – just mix it until you no longer see any traces of flour.
Making the Meringue
- Use a clean dry bowl – preferably a stainless or glass bowl. There should be no traces of oil as it will prevent the egg whites from
- Gradually add the sugar – only after the egg whites have started to froth.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry – it’s ready when the meringue stands tall and does not fall back into itself.
What pan to use for Steamed Cake
This cake recipe will need two 7 to 8-inch round baking pans or one 9-inch baking pan. Lined it with parchment paper at the bottom and at the sides. Do not grease or it will deflate the cake.
Alternatively, you can also use individual muffin cups or ramekins.
Top with Cheese and Salted Eggs
Just like bibingka, this steamed cake is top with cheese and salted duck eggs to balance the sweetness and give it that distinct Filipino flavor.
To Steam the Cake
The steamer should be deep enough to hold the baking pan. Feel free to use 2 or 3 layers if you’re using more than one baking pan.
Wrap the lid with a damp kitchen towel to prevent water from dripping into the cake. Lastly make sure that there’s space between the batter and the lid because as the cake cooks, it will double in size and can rise a little above the pan.
When and how to serve Steamed Cake
This steamed cake can be served any time of the day. Enjoy it for breakfast, afternoon snack, or as a dessert after dinner.
And because you’re most likely to be making this alongside leche flan, I highly recommend including it in your yearly special menu for Christmas and New Year’s celebration; enjoy it with family and friends.
Storage and Shelf-life
Store left-over cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. To reheat, steam for 3 to 5 minutes.
Watch how to Make it
More Filipino snacks you might like:
Steamed Cake (Puto Cake)
- 8 large egg whites
- 1 tsp lemon juice (see note 3)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (add more if preferred)
- 2 salted eggs (sliced, optional)
Prepare the tools
- Line the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Do not grease. If using muffin cups, line with cupcake liners.
- TIGHTLY wrap the steamer lid with a damp kitchen towel. Next, prepare the steamer by adding water to the base.
- Sift cake flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add sugar and salt. Whisk until combined.
- Pour water and milk. Stir until just combined. Set aside.
Meringue (watch the video, it's helpful)
- Separate the eggs and place the egg whites in a bowl. Reserve the yolks for another use.
- Pour egg whites and lemon juice into a clean dry bowl. Beat until frothy. Slowly add sugar while continuously beating. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
- Pour half of the egg white mixture into the cake batter and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the remaining mixture and GENTLY FOLD this time using a spatula (don't stir, watch the video). Do not over mix the batter or it will deflate.
- Pour into the baking pan. Gently shake to smooth down the surface. Sprinkle half of the cheese on top then top with slices of salted egg.
- Bring steamer to a boil then set heat to medium. Place the cake and cover it with the lid. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the CENTER comes out clean. Start checking at 25 minutes. See note 5 for more cooking times.
- Remove from the steamer and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or completely cooled.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Cake flour – measure 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Remove 6 tbsp of all-purpose flour and then replace it with 6 tbsp cornstarch. Sift 5 times to completely blend.
- Sugar – add 2 to 3 tbsp more if you like the cake sweeter.
- Fresh milk – can be substituted with evaporated milk. This will slightly change the color of the cake to cream.
- Lemon juice – substitute with cream of tartar, vinegar, or calamansi juice. Use the same a
- Cooking time – 30 to 40 minutes for a 9 to 10-inch cake. For muffin size cake, cooking time should be 6 to 7 minutes.
- Storage and Shelf-life – store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Reheating – steam for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Nutrition – salted eggs are not included in the calculation.