Puto Bumbong

Puto Bumbong - Topped with Margarine, Coconut and Sugar
Puto Bumbong is synonym to Christmas and Simbang Gabi in particular to most Pinoy. At the start of Simbang Gabi or Midnight Mass which begin on December 16 till the Christmas eve, streets that lead to the Church are lined with peddlers of kakanin or native delicacies. These are usually rice cakes that are taken for early breakfast by Church goers, puto bumbong is the clear favorite probably because of the uniqueness on how it is prepared and cooked. The traditional puto bumbong is cooked or steamed in a specialy made steamer. The puto bumbong steamer is made out of tin or stainless sheet metal, It usually has three vent or holes on top in which bamboo tubes are attached. These bamboo tubes are filled with the galapong mixture, steam will pass thru the tubes thereby steam cooking the galapong mixture into a finger like and violet colored rice cake.

Puto Bumbong

I have several queries on how to cook puto bumbong at home from overseas Pinoys. Not unless you have managed to own a puto bumbong steamer, making a homemade puto bumbong seems to be impossible. Not anymore, with my easy to make alternative puto bumbong steamer using cardboard and the ordinary sieve you can now enjoy puto bumbong anytime even overseas. Below are easy to follow photos on how to make an alternative steamer.

Puto Bumbong - Steamer 1
Puto Bumbong - Steamer 2
Puto Bumbong - Steamer 3

You can use your favorite puto bumbong recipe or use the recipe of my puto bumbong version. Since the steamer uses a small sieve, the shapes of the rice cake will not be finger like instead it is similar to inverted cup cakes but I assure you there is no difference when it comes to the taste.


1/2 cup pirurutong, violet glutinous rice
1 cup white glutinous rice
1 stalk pandan leaves
muscovado sugar
grated fresh coconut
banana leaves

Cooking procedure:

Puto Bumbong - Method 1
Puto Bumbong - Method 2

Mix the 2 types of rice together, wash and rinse. In a big bowl place rice and cover with water up to 1” above the rice level and soak for overnight. Pour the soaked rice together with the soaking water in a big blender, blend/ground until smooth, or until the ground rice texture is similar to a fine sand. Pour the mixture on a large piece of muslin, katcha or cheese cloth twist the cloth and securely tie ends. Place on a colander and place onother colander over the ground mixture pouch. Put something heavy over the top colander to weight down and drain the unwanted liquid for at least 4 hours or when all the liquid has drain down. Remove the damp galapong mixture from the cloth and transfer into a big bowl, crumble the semi dried galapong to a uniform consistency. Pour water to the steaming pan, add in the pandan leaves and bring to a boil. Now place the steaming board over pan. Brush sieve with margarine and loosely fill with the galapong mixture up to the sieve neck. Place the filled sieve in the steamer vent/hole. Cover with the pan lid and steam for 1-2 minutes. Using a spoon carefully scoop out the rice cake and serve on banana leaves, topped with margarine, grated coconut and muscovado sugar.

See other Kakanin Merienda recipes: 

Turon na Saging
Turon, Fried Banana Roll 
Turon Tikoy and Fried Tikoy 
Cheesy Maruya, Fried Banana with Cheese 
Special Vigan Royal Bibingka 
Vigan Royal Bibingka Recipe 
Baked Biko Sapin Sapin Style 
Biko na Pirurutong 
Pirurutong na Biko with Coco Jam, Suman na Pirurutong 
Champorado with Pinipig and Pandan Milk 
Siopao Asado 
Pichi Pichi 
Palitaw, Dila-Dila 
Puto Special 
Baked Leche Flan 


  1. Wow, what an awesome idea...you are so inventive!!!

  2. you're so right! whenever i see puto bumbong i know Christmas is just around the corner =)

  3. Hi Im in La...
    Where can I buy Pirurutong here?
    Any suggestions?

    Please email me back at asian.inspired@yahoo.com

  4. I have seen colored organic rice in small carboard boxes in the rice section of supermarkets on places I worked. There may be a subtitue/similar available in your place. Otherwise try some asian food store.

  5. Hi
    Is there any other name for pirurutong?


  6. Hi Annie,

    They can be found in supermarkets with names like:

    Lavander or violet sticky rice
    Purple or violet glutinuos rice
    Tinta rice
    Black sticky rice?(There is also a real black colored rice)

    I hope this would help.

  7. Thanks so much for that awesome idea! Eventhough we're not in the Philippines we can enjoy the puto bumbong and feel the christmas right in our own home! we don't have violet glutinous rice here but we have the black one. I'll try that this weekend! Your site is so helpful I've tried some of your recipes already and I made my family enjoy the food I made. Thanks to you! God bless you for sharing! =)

  8. wowww! it looks very delish. I really want to try this weekend but may I know what is muscovado sugar? pleasee....

  9. Muscovado is a type of sugar that is minimally refined and still retain the natural sweetness of the sugarcane, its made up of brown colored rough grains or crystals and are uneven in sizes.

  10. can I use rice flour instead?

  11. I'am not sure if it works.

  12. what is the recipe when using glutinous rice flour? im in the US and i believe it is already available here. thanks

  13. Glutinous rice flour is available everywhere po, but I am not sure if it can be used for making puto bumbong.

  14. Is there any alternative for pirurutong glutinous rice?


  15. thank you for this very creative PB steamer idea. i have one question though, we only have glutenous rice & glutenous rice powder here, can i make PB just w/ a glutenous rice then?
    eager to hear back from you cause i am so wanting to make this for our noche buena.
    thanks a lot!

  16. Thank you for this very creative PB steamer idea, but I have to ask you as we only got glutenous rice & glutenous rice powder here, can i make PB just with the glutenous rice?
    i am eager to hear back from you as i am so wanting to make this for our noche buena.

  17. You can use regular glutinous rice but not powder/flour. Street vendors just use food coloring for the purple tint.

  18. @ Ariel, I hope the above answered your question to.

  19. wow!! maraming salamat po at nagpost kayo nito..ang mga anak ko ay nagrerequest nito..matagal na silang di nakakatikim at di available dito sa Auckland ang puto bumbong.

  20. good day po..ask ko lang po kung isasaing na po ang bigas bago ibabad or hilaw lng siya..maraming salamat po..

  21. Hi Jennifer, ibabad po syang hilaw saka sya gilingin using a large blender.

  22. You really amaze me with your creativity in making filipino dishes! =D I have tried your recipes and they are all great! keep it up!
    greetings from Netherlands - maria

  23. Hi Maria at Netherlands,
    Thanks for supporting OPC,
    and posting your valued feedback.

  24. hi Ut-man,
    It was a big hit! the kids love it! thanks so much and more power :)


  25. Hi Jennifer,
    I am happy to know that the steamer and recipe works to others.

  26. wow! im so glad to find your recipe for this. ive always wanted to have puto bumbong but i dont know how and i dont have the bumbong. i will try to follow your steps and see what happens, hope you can post videos of how you do it para mas madali and kita talaga how you do it.


  27. Hi Jennifer,
    I would love to try to cook that puto bumbong but my problem is, i can't find violet glutinous rice. Can i use all white glutinous rice instead? Thanks!!

  28. Thanks for this recipe. I've been looking for alternative to puto bumbong steamer and this is what I found. I'm sure my family will love the outcome since we all haven't eaten puto bumbong for years. Thanks once agin and have a merry christmas :-)

  29. Hi Lorie,
    Goodluck, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...

  30. Those store-bought fine-ground rice and glutinous rice bags in asian store does not work. They are way too powdery and tend to settle on the bottom, leaving the top uncooked. I think using the real rice is better.

    MD, US

  31. I agree with you Mary, thanks for the tip.

  32. Good day to you! Any idea on how to grate coconut without kudkuran? Appreciate your creativeness. Greetings from Holland. =)

  33. Good day to you! Any idea on how to grate coconut without kudkuran? Appreciate your creativity! Greetings from Holland. =)


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