Electric Lunchbox #38: Puto (Philippine Steamed Rice Cake)

And another Filipino food! I love Puto – steamed rice cake. I have been trying to get the authentic rice based recipe right to no avail. Rice, sugar, water/coconut milk…a few other ingredients but it’s never right. I got it perfect once but never got to repeat it.

The more modern flour based puto is easier to make and more predictable. So here itbis made for the ELB!

Toppings can be cheese or preserved, salted eggs, but I like to use both when I have them.

Hope you enjoy it!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

Mix the following in a small bowl:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Add in:

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon melted butter

Pinch of salt

Grease the big bottom bowl or medium top bowl of the ELB. pour mixture in.

Top with the following:

salted egg and/or grated cheese

Cover with foil and add 3 ELB cups water in base. Cover and pet steam until done, about 55 minutes. Carefully open the ELB and insert a skewer to test doneness. If it comes out clean, it’s done. *Add more water and steam a little longer if necessary.*

Brush top with more:

Melted butter

Serve hot. Enjoy!

Banana Bread

I almost always have a couple of bananas that turn brown before we get to eat it. I usually just toss them in the Vitamix or Thermomix to make a smoothie. Or peel and toss them in a baggie in the freezer for later. But every so often I save some bananas on the side to allow them to really get ripe and spotty.

Those bananas end up as this banana bread that is so good I often wonder why I don’t make it more often. The extra ripe bananas make it so fragrant and flavorful. The brown sugar gives it a hint of caramel flavor, while the chocolate chips adds a lot of extra flavor. Feel free to use nuts instead, but I urge you to try it with chocolate chips at least once. 😉

I like to make this in pretty bundt pans, like the one pictured above, so it is ready to serve without any decorating as it’s already beautiful. A light dusting of confectioners sugar is enough if you want to dress it up. I have this bad habit of picking up pretty baking pans so often I still have some that haven’t been used. Need to bake more often! Feel free to use a 13”x9” pan or even muffin tins if you want to! I promise that it will still taste good!

If you have a Thermomix, this comes together in about 3 minutes. If not, a little elbow grease and maybe 10-15 minutes, is all you’ll need. It’s an easy recipe that kids can make with adult supervision when baking. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar, mix and set aside 5 minutes

2 – 3 bananas, mashed (1 cup)

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or walnuts

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10 cup bundt pan. (13”x9” pan or muffin cups will work too! Just adjust time.)

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with brown sugar, milk and vinegar mixture, mashed bananas, oil, and vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture and mix until just combined . Fold in chocolate chips (or nuts).

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (13”x9” takes about 30-45 minutes, cupcakes about 18-25 minutes.)

Electric Lunchbox #35: Choco Flan/Flan Cake

You all know how I adore flans – I have to try every single flan I cross paths with – Spanish Flan, Filipino Flan, Japanese Purin, Crema Volteada in Peru, Cuban Flan……and I love all variations of eggs, egg yolk, milk, cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and caramel! I even tried one that had cream cheese mixed in and that was yummy and super rich!

So imagine my surprise when a coworker at UCLA brought a flan topped chocolate cake to one of our potlucks! Heaven! I didn’t even really cared about the main dishes…I made a beeline toward the cake and took the first slice! He said it is called Choco Flan. I, of course, had to get the recipe. 😊

This recipe is for making Choco Flan in the ELB…I will be playing with the recipe more in the future as I want a thicker layer of flan. But this satisfied a chocolate cake/flan craving quickly. I will be updating the photos when I find the time to redo this recipe. If you don’t mind a little flan on a chocolate cake, this will definitely make you glad to have an electric lunchbox.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*


1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon water

Chocolate Cake:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 tablespoons milk


1 large egg

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/3 cup condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon all purpose flour

1. Caramel: Place the ingredients for the caramel in the big bottom bowl if the ELB. Place on the stove over low heat and handling it with heat proof tongs, swirl constantly until you get a golden brown caramel. Set aside on s heat proof surface.

2. Cake: mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and mix well.

3. Cream butter and sugar in another bowl using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and milk. Blend well.

4. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Pour batter into the bowl with caramel and smooth the top.

5. Prepare the flan mixture: in a small bowl, mix all flan ingredients until no more lumps remain. Pour flan mixture over chocolate batter. Cover with foil and add 120 ml water to the ELB base. Cover and steam until done, about 58 minutes.

Cool completely in the pan and chill until cold, around 4 hours to overnight. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #30: Oreo Cheesecake

Another cheesecake recipe! Can you tell it’s one of my favorite desserts? 😊 The fact that it comes together rather quickly with just a few ingredients that I always have, “bakes” in the Electric Lunchbox, and is ready within about an hour, makes it ever present in my dessert rotation.

So today, I am making an Oreo version of my Electric Lunchbox cheesecake. Oreos are a big favorite in my home. I make Oreo ice cream with my Breville Ice cream maker several times a year, specially when the weather gets hot. Even straight out of the package, Oreos go pretty fast here. So cheesecake was a natural progression of one of our favorite flavor. I just know you’ll agree!

I added a layer of sour cream to cut through the sweetness and give this dessert an extra layer of taste. Of course you can omit it, or replace it with whipped cream if you wish! Feel free to adapt this recipe to your liking. It’s a very forgiving dessert that I hope you’ll enjoy with those you love.

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*


7 oreo cookies, crushed

1 tablespoon melted butter


1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Extra Oreo cookies

3 Itaki cups water, for the base


2 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon sugar

1. Line bottom of the big bowl with parchment paper cut to fit. This will make it easier to remove the cheesecake from the bowl when done.

2. For the crust: Crumble the Oreos and whirl in a food processor (or use a ziplock bag and a rolling pin) until it becomes fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix well. Press mixture into the bowl with parchment paper liner.

3. In a small bowl, using a handheld mixer, blend cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Pour half of the mixture over prepared crust and top with extra Oreo cookies to cover the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over and smooth the top. Tap the bowl a couple of times on the counter to remove air bubbles. Cover the bowl with a piece of foil.

4. Pour 3 Itaki cups of water (120 ml) in the electric lunchbox base. Place the bowl in the base, cover, and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

5. Carefully remove the bowl from the base, and let cool to room temperature. Chill for 4 hours to overnight.

6. Run a knife along the edges and invert bowl onto a plate to release cheesecake. Remove the parchment and invert onto a serving dish.

7. In a small bowl, mix sour cream and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour over cold cheesecake and spread to cover the top. Crumble additional Oreos on top if desired. Serve cold.

Electric Lunchbox #28: Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake! Once called Waldorf Astoria cake, this cake had a resurgence a few years ago and for a good reason – it’s flavorful and beautiful at the same time!

I love the contrast of the deep red, chocolate flavored cake and the white cream cheese frosting that usually envelopes it. Perfect match!

So….I figured it’ll be fun to make it in the Electric Lunchbox so that I can have it anytime without heating up the oven. It’s been really hot lately here in Southern California, that I actually bought a turkey roaster to bake my bread outside. But that is for another story! Back to my Red Velvet Cake – since it’s such a small, cute cake, it will be just enough for the three of us, with no left overs calling my name at midnight. Which is one of the many reasons I love making desserts in the electric lunchbox! I hope you’ll like this recipe!

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See Itaki’s offerings here! https://www.itakico.com/theresa

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon red food color

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar


1/2 bar of cream cheese (4 oz)

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

A drop of vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Spray the big electric lunchbox bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, mix together oil, egg, red food color, vanilla, buttermilk, and vinegar. Beat until well mixed.

3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt over the mixture. Add the sugar and mix just until combined.

4. Pour into the prepared bowl, cover with foil and set on the electric lunchbox base.

5. Add 3 Itaki cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

6. Carefully open the lunchbox, test the cake by inserting a skewer in the middle. A few moist crumbs on the skewer is okay.

7. Place the bowl on a wire rack to cool completely. Invert cake into a serving dish.

7. For the frosting: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on the cooled cake. Top with sprinkles and serve.

Electric Lunchbox #25: Vanilla Cake

Another recipe request from Facebook that I was happy to make.

A plain vanilla cake is the perfect canvas for any flavor of sugar frosting you like, a chocolate ganache topping, or simply served with sweet fresh fruits or berries. Since I love chocolate frosting, I used a plain chocolate frosting.

Feel free to use any flavor that you like to customize it to your taste. Of course, we all know that sprinkles makes the cake look extra festive too!

This is perfect for a small celebration, as a sweet reward, or just to serve something sweet to end dinner!

Follow me for more recipes for the Itaki!

See Itaki’s offerings here! https://www.itakico.com/theresa

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*


1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 Itaki cups water for the base

1. Whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla, melted butter, and milk until blended. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined but do not over mix.

2. Spray the big Itaki bowl (or the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl) with nonstick spray.

3. Pour batter in and smooth top. Cover with foil and place in the electric lunchbox base.

4. Pour 3 Itaki cups of water in the base. Cover and let it steam until it shuts iff, about 55 minutes.

5. Carefully open the lunchbox and remove the bowl to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

6. Run a knife along the edge to release the cake. Invert onto a plate. Frost or serve with fruits or berries, as desired.

Electric Lunchbox #22: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The idea to make this recipe came about when the admin of a Facebook group I’m in requested for a Pineapple Cake, after I posted a regular recipe for a Chocolate Cake. I initially made a recipe for a Chocolate cake using mayonnaise but got asked for a recipe with out mayo. Gladly obliged to that request because I mean, Chocolate Cake! And developing recipes means taste testing until I get the recipe right.

So Pineapple Upside down cake….this took me a few tries to get it to a point that I can actually be proud to share the recipe. I am happy with this lightly spiced cake as it complements the sweet pineapple topping perfectly.

Please try it and let me know how it was!

Follow me for more recipes for the Itaki!

See Itaki’s offerings here! https://www.itakico.com/theresa

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 pineapple slices, from a can

2 maraschino cherries, stems removed


1/3 cup flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

Spray the big bottom bowl of the Itaki with a cooking spray. *You can also use the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl for this recipe.*

Place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in the bowl. Swirl the butter around and add the brown sugar. Top with the pineapple slices, squeezing them to fit. Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice. Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together all cake ingredients and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter just until mixed. Pour over the pineapple slices and cover the bowl with foil.

Place in the Itaki base. Add 3 Itaki cups of water to the base. cover and steam until it shuts off, around 50 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl from the Itaki base and let cool on a wire rack. Run a knife along the side of the cake. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or chilled.

Electric Lunchbox #21: Cheesecake!

Advanced Happy Father’s day to all the dads out there! 🎉🎊 I was going to post this tomorrow morning for the actual Father’s day but decided to post it today so you can chill the cheesecake overnight and have it ready to go if you decide to make it.

My father encouraged all my many hobbies so I have him to thank for all that I do. I collected a variety of books, cacti, really expensive orchids, grew veggies, fruit trees, bought cooking and baking equipment, baking pans, sewing and crafting items, soap making materials, jewelry making things, everything coffee related, shoes, bags, and so much more! I was the first to use all his treasured kitchen appliances that were only previously up on the cabinets. And I realize that even now, those things are dear to me, that those hobbies are still things I enjoy doing/making/having. So I try and encourage my son when he shows interest in something. I try to get involved as much as I can in his hobbies since I am learning with him too and I hope he is learning something he will keep doing even when he is older.

Back to this recipe….if you have not prepared any dessert in advance and want to make something special, then I encourage you to try this! I did say to leave it in the fridge overnight (ideally) as I always prepare this a day ahead, but if you are pressed for time, 2-4 hours is likely enough. I didn’t try placing it in the freezer to rush the chilling but I’m guessing that could work too. If you tried it, please let me know how it turned out.

This makes a perfect little dessert for 2 to 6 people, depending on how much dessert they can handle. Trust me when I say it’s really good and that you might get asked for seconds or thirds!

And for today, dad can have it all for himself if he so desires!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup*


For the crust:

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the cheesecake:

8 oz cream cheese room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

3 Itaki cups of water for the base

Line the big bowl of the Itaki with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom. This will make it easy to get your cheesecake out in one piece.

Mix together the crust ingredients in a small bowl and use a spoon to press firmly onto the bottom of the parchment lined bowl. Set aside.

In a another bowl, beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides and beat in the sugar, egg, and vanilla until blended.

Pour over the crust, smooth the top and cover the bowl with a piece of aluminum foil. Place the bowl on the base of the Itaki.
Add 3 Itaki cups of water to the base. Cover and steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake and check for doneness, the edges has to be set but the middle is still a little jiggly. Cover and cool on a wire rack. When cool, leave in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

To remove cheesecake, run a knife along the edge of the cheesecake. Place a plate over the bowl and tip the bowl over. The cheesecake should fall onto the plate. Transfer to a serving dish, top side up. Top with desired topping before serving. I like to top it with fruits, berries or even canned pie filling like in this photo!

Follow me for more recipes for the Itaki!

See and order Itaki’s offerings here! https://www.itakico.com/theresa