Kutsinta Recipe

Kutsinta Recipe using cassava starch taste like the authentic steamed rice cakes. Chewy, sticky rice cakes that are great as “merienda” or snacks!

dessert with grated coconut in a plate on top of table

Kutsinta or puto kuchinta are delicacies in the Philippines topped with grated coconut. I had this recipe for some time now and usually make a small batch that I bring to Filipino get-together here in Paris. 

As a kid, I would remember going to the kitchen in the morning and there will be puto and kutsinta waiting for us on the table. It’s such a familiar tradition that I made sure I learned the recipe so my children can also enjoy it. It is so easy to make with simple instructions that you will enjoy making.

dessert with grated coconut on top of banana leaf

Key Ingredients for Kutsinta

Cassava Starch – Cassava starch is what I use when making these steamed cakes because of its high viscosity, low gelatinization temperature which helps the kutsinta form and keep its shape. You can also use tapioca flourtapioca starchcassava flour, rice flour as substitutes.

Lye water – What does lye water do in kutsinta? This ingredient that is also used in making suman sa lihiya gives the kutsina its soft and chewy texture. Careful not to use too much as it will give the kutsinta a bitter taste. You can buy it in botlles at Asian stores.

ingredients for dessert on top of table

All purpose flour – Gives structure to the small steamed cakes.

Brown sugar – Provides the native delicacy its sweetness. It is what really gives the kakanin flavor since the rest of the ingredients are taste-less.

Annatto powder – Or achuete powder makes the cakes reddish-brown in color that Filipinos are familiar with. If you are using annatto seeds, dissolve it in water first.

grated coconut placed on top of dessert using spoon

What does it taste like?

What is the taste of kutsinta? Well, on its own, it’s sweet with bit of molasses flavor due to the brown sugar. What really makes it shine is when it’s topped grated coconut. It has a sticky yet chewy and soft texture when biting into one.

How to make

Making kutsinta needs minimum effort and is pretty straight-forward. Once you combined the ingredients in a bowl, pour the mixture in greased molds. Arrange the molds in a steamer that has pre-boiled water and steam in very low heat until cooked through.

dessert arranged in a plate with dip in the center

Tips for an amiable experience

  • For a smooth and shiny kutsinta. Strain the mixture in a strainer to filter any lumps that formed while mixing. Remove any bubbles that might form on top when transferring the mixture.
  • Place a clean kitchen towel between the lid and the steamer to avoid water drips. 
  • If you do not have fresh grated coconut, you can use dried coconut flakes. Soak dried coconut flakes in water until rehydrated.
  • Pre-boil the water in the steamer before placing the kutsinta then lower when steaming. This will avoid un even cooking of the cakes.
dessert arranged in a plate topped  with coconut shreds

The secret ingredient is always love.

You may also like:

  • Pichi Pichi is a soft and delicious dessert made from cassava and sugar. Laden with grated coconut or cheese, it’s a perfect dessert you can make with just a few ingredients.
  • Palitaw (from litaw, the Tagalog word for “float” or “rise”) is a small, flat, sweet sticky rice cake eaten in the Philippines. 
  • Puto Pao recipe is a fusion between two of our well-loved snacks, Puto and Siopao! Soft and fluffy puto filled with pork asado made more delicious with salted egg and cheese topping. 
dessert in a plate

Kutsinta Recipe

This Kutsinta Recipe using cassava starch taste like the authentic steamed rice cakes. Chewy, sticky rice cakes that are great as "merienda" or snacks!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: kutsinta, kutsinta recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 77kcal
Author: Mia


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cassava starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lye water
  • 1 tsp achuete powder


  • Pre boil water in a steamer and grease molds with cooking oil. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, pour warm water, brown sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add a pinch of of salt and tip in lye water. Stir to incorporate.
    1 1/2 cups warm water, 3/4 cups brown sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tsp lye water
  • Add all purpose flour and cassava starch. Mix until no traces of flour left. Add achuete powder then mix until uniform in color.
    1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup cassava starch, 1 tsp achuete powder
  • Transfer and strain mixture in a pitcher or another bowl to remove any lumps that might have formed. Remove any bubbles on top of mixture using a spoon.
  • Pour mixture in prepared molds depending on your preferred thickness of kutsinta. Arrange in the steamer and steam for 40 – 45 minutes in low heat.
  • Remove from steamer and completely cool down. Carefully remove kutsinta from molds and transfer in a plate.
  • Serve with grated coconut and enjoy. Bon appetit!




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Serving: 12pieces | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0mg
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