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5 from 1 vote

Puto Bumbong (no bamboo steamer needed)

A purple-hued rice cake that’s a big part of the Filipino Christmas tradition.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: puto bumbong, salabat, simbang gabi
Author: Pam from Pinoybites.com


  • cheese grater
  • steamer
  • Aluminium foil (4x6 inches), several pieces for steaming
  • Banana leaves (for serving)


  • 2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ube flavoring or 1 teaspoon violet food color * see notes
  • Butter softened (for brushing)
  • Muscovado coconut or dark brown sugar (topping)
  • Grated coconut topping
  • Grated cheese with Condensed milk alternative topping, optional***
  • Canola oil or oil cooking spray for brushing foil

Here's How:

  • Combine water and ube flavoring (or 1 teaspoon violet food coloring). Slowly add to the flour and mix well (using clean hands) until it forms a dough. Pass through the holes of a fine grater. If your dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.
  • Prepare foil pieces and brush with oil. Gently place about 3 heaping tablespoons of grated dough on the prepared foil. Form into a long log. Do not pack for faster and even cooking.
  • Pick it up as you would a taco. Fold and pinch the edges (log ends) to seal but leave the top open. When done, arrange in a steamer, leaving a bit of space between pieces to give room for the steam to evenly cook the puto bumbong.
  • Steam for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a clean banana leaf and brush generously with softened butter. Top with grated coconut and sugar. Alternatively, you can use grated cheese and condensed milk. Serve hot.


*I steamed mine in 3 batches because I don’t have a big steamer.
**Refrigerate leftovers. To warm, transfer to a microwavable dish and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until warmed through.
***Alternatively, you can use banana leaves (brushed with butter) to wrap the dough.