Home > Kue Putu (Steamed Rice Flour Cake with Palm Sugar Filling)

Kue Putu (Steamed Rice Flour Cake with Palm Sugar Filling)

Posting Date: 01/07/20

Kue Putu (Steamed Rice Flour Cake with Palm Sugar Filling)

Kue Putu (Steamed Rice Flour Cake with Palm Sugar Filling) is also called Kue Putu Bambu because the cake is steamed inside a bamboo tube which is used as a mold. Bambu in Indonesia means bamboo. The bamboo tube is open on both ends. Thus,banana leave is placed underneath the bottom end of the tube so that rice flour doesn't fall out. Rice flour is then placed inside the tube. Palm sugar is placed in the center of rice flour as a filing and the tube is then filled up to the top with the remaining rice flour. The tube is then steamed in the steamer to cook the cake. It is served warm with grated coconut.

Kue Putu is sold by street vendors in Indonesia and consumed as a snack. You can also serve it as a dessert.

Since I don't have bamboo molds, I use cupcake molds. The ones I have are made of silicone, so they are non-stick and thus, I don't have to brush the inside with oil prior to filling the mold. If you use metal mold, make sure you brush the inside with oil so that the cake won't stick. In addition, I punched out some holes on the bottom of the molds so that the steam can go inside the cake from the bottom holes. However, you don't need to do that because I tested on regular molds without holes and they work, too.

The recipe makes about 10-15 cakes.


  • 200 ml water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 drops pandan essence or paste. If you can find pandan leaves in Asian stores, you may use 2 pandan leaves instead. It is actually easier to find pandan essence than pandan leaves in Asian stores. If you cannot find pandan essence or leaves, you can use green coloring or skip it altogether. Pandan essence or leaves make the cake green. However, you can leave it uncolored (white) instead of green.
  • 250 grams rice flour. Make sure you don't use glutinous rice flour because it is different than rice flour.
  • 125 grams palm sugar, shaved using box grater so that it becomes small chunks. You can find palm sugar in Asian stores. Regular grocery stores may sell palm sugar in powder form, too. You can use it, instead. The best part of using palm sugar powder is that you don't need to grate it.
  • 120 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
  • parchment paper or banana leaves if your cupcake molds have holes on the bottom
  • vegetable oil to prevent sticking if metal cupcake mold is used
  • Optional: chocolate syrup
  • Tools: cupcake molds. I use silicone cupcake molds that I punched at the bottom to make several small holes. The holes help the steam to cook the cakes. However, you can use regular silicone or metal cupcake molds without the holes because they work, too. Any molds you use must be high temperature resistant because it gets very hot in the steamer.
  • Tools: steamer


  1. Pour 200 ml water into a small pot. Add salt and pandan essence or leaves into the pot. Heat the pot over high heat. Bring water to a boil. Stir to mix to make sure the water becomes uniformly green. Remove from the heat. If you use pandan leaves, discard the leaves. Set it aside to cool down for 10 min or until it is cool enough to handle with your hands since we will mix the flour with water mixture using your hands.
  2. Place rice flour into a bowl. Add the water mixture into the bowl little by little and mix it using your hands after you add the water. You may not need all the water, so add the water little by little until the flour becomes uniformly green without any lumps and still doesn't look wet. Wet flour causes the cake to be gummy after cooking, so that's the reason why we have to add the water little by little. Once the flour has become uniformly green without any lumps, sieve the flour using a strainer and spoon to press the flour through the strainer. Make sure the flour that comes out from the strainer is smooth without any lumps. Sieving the flour makes the cake texture soft and smooth.
  3. Fill up bottom steamer with water. Place the lid on top of the bottom steamer and heat the steamer over high heat. Bring water to a boil.
  4. While waiting for the water in the steamer to come to a boil, proceed to this step. If you use silicone cupcake mold that have holes on the bottom, cut parchment paper or banana leave to the size of the bottom mold so that the flour will not fall through. If you use metal cupcake mold, brush the inside generously with vegetable oil so that the cake will not stick once done steaming. Silicone cupcake mold doesn't need to be brushed with vegetable oil because the cake will not stick. Fill 1/3rd of the mold with flour mixture. Top with about a teaspoon of palm sugar and make sure the palm sugar is placed on the center but clear about 1/5" around the inside wall of the mold so that the flour can go around palm sugar and the sugar will not leak outside. Fill up the mold with the flour mixture until the mold is full to the top. Do not pack the mold by pressing the flour in the mold because we don't want the cake to be dense. Repeat this step with the other molds.
  5. Once the water in the steamer is boiling, place the molds inside the top steamer. Place the top steamer on top of the bottom steamer. Wrap the edges of the lid with kitchen towel to prevent condensation liquid from dripping onto the cakes. Place the lid on the top steamer. Steam for about 25 min. Once done, remove the top steamer and the molds and flip the molds upside down on a plate to get the cake out from the mold. If you still have to steam more cakes, fill up the bottom steamer again and bring the water to a boil. Repeat step 4 and 5 until all flour has been used.
  6. To serve the cakes, place shredded coconut on the plate. Place the cake on top of the coconut. If preferred, drizzle a little bit of chocolate syrup on top. Serve while the cake is still warm.

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