Sans Rival

Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert made of sandwiched French Buttercream in multiple layers of meringue infused with chopped cashews.

Sansrival 2

Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert made of sandwiched French Buttercream in multiple layers of meringue infused with chopped cashews. This is one of the most popular desserts in the Philippines but you might be wondering why it has a French name? “Sans rival” or “without rival” in English has its French roots, it was brought over by Filipinos who studied in France during the 1920’s to 1930’s. During those times these Filipinos learned many French cooking techniques which they brought home, one of the techniques was making Dacquoise. Sans Rival originated from Dacquoise in fact it shares a lot of similarity but due to availability of some ingredients local produce was used like cashews.

Anyways I made this special cake today because this is the day when Ang Sarap officially started, 3 years and 740 recipes later were still alive and kicking thanks to you guys who supported this blog, without you Ang Sarap will not be like what it is today.

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Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert made of sandwiched French Buttercream in multiple layers of meringue infused with chopped cashews.




  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted cashews, chopped

French Buttercream

  • 320g butter, softened
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 4 tsp rum
  • 2 cups toasted cashews, chopped



  1. In a mixing bowl add egg whites and beat until foamy. Add cream of tartar and gradually add sugar, continue beating until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Fold in the cashew nuts.
  3. Prepare 3 round pans (9 in) and line them with baking paper. Divide meringue equally into the pan then bake in a 160C preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Once time is up turn heat off then leave meringue in the oven to dry it out, if you want a chewy texture you can leave it in the oven for 30 minutes but if you want it crunchy leave it in the oven for 2 hours, do not open the oven door.

French Buttercream

  1. In a large bowl cream butter using a hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. In another bowl beat egg yolks until light in colour.
  3. In a saucepan add sugar and water, place it in stove top and bring it to a boil, continue to boil until it becomes thick like a syrup. You can also test it by dropping a small amount of the sugar mixture in a cold water it should form into a soft solid drop.
  4. Back to your egg yolks, beat them in high speed while pouring a very thin thread of the sugar mixture.
  5. Add the butter and rum while beating in high speed. This stage your Buttercream might be a bit runny, if that’s the case refrigerate until it hardens but still easily spread.


  1. Remove meringue in the oven then place them into a cake stand. Place one meringue in the bottom then spread a layer of butter cream on top, sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped cashews on top. Place another layer on top and repeat with the remaining meringue until all layers is used.
  2. Cover everything with the buttercream, smooth sides with spatula then sprinkle the remaining cashews.
  3. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. Don’t worry the cake will not harden.


48 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday Angsarap!
    The cake looks & sounds delicious. I like cashew nuts.

  2. I love sans rival and I miss eating it. I’ve been wanting to make it for so long, thank you so much for posting the recipe! And congrats on 3 delicious blogging years!

  3. nors says:

    Lupit mo idol…. Masubukan ng yan. Miss ko na yan eh. Nabibili dati yan sa my quezon ave… Angsarap!!!!!

  4. elizz says:

    happy 3rd blog birthday.. i love sansrival, its always my choice whenever i order coffee at the coffee shop.. anyway, what could be a substitute for rum if i don’t have rum at home? tks

  5. That looks really really good.

  6. Karen says:

    Congratulations on three years of blogging…that is terrific. Love the look of the cake you made to celebrate.

  7. Food Stories says:

    Happy Birthday ~ Great recipe & foodie history lesson 🙂

  8. Happy Anniversary, Raymund! Perfect way to celebrate too. I still don’t know how you keep up with the posting schedule that you have, but I certainly benefit from all your hard work. Here’s to another successful year!

  9. Gracie says:

    My favorite cake! Thanks for the recipe.
    Congrats on celebrating your 3rd year!

  10. I LOVED this dessert as a Filipino kid growing up!

  11. Norilyn Cuerpo says:

    Happy birthday! I’ve tried most of your recipes and truly they are awesome !

  12. Michelle says:

    Lovely cake. Great backstory. And many happy returns!

  13. I’ve not heard of this dish, but it looks wonderful! Who doesn’t like buttercream? And meringue? This is a winner. And Happy Anniversary – your blog is terrific, and I’m so glad you’re writing it.

  14. mjskit says:

    Happy 3 year anniversary! Since I’ve only been following you for a year, it appears that I’ve missed quite a bit. Looks like I have some surfing to do. What I’ve seen this year has been amazing! This cake is a perfect example. All you had to say was buttercream and I was hooked.

  15. That looks awesome. The cashews are the icing on the cake for me. 🙂

  16. jlaceda says:

    Raymund, I love Sans Rival because it was introduction to the wonderful world of cakes!!! Growing up in the Philippines means Sans Rival is sans rival in the dessert world – hehe, corny joke, I know…But I remember this tv show / cook Nora V. Daza popularizing the said cake “on air”, making it more accessible to the Filipino market. This is super yum! When I decide to tackle this cake, I will surely look to your site for this recipe! Happy Anniversary!!!

  17. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Congrats Raymund!!! 3 years and 740 recipes! You are unhuman! 😀 I am always amazed with your dedication and you keep going and becoming stronger! Happy happy blogiversary Raymund! Thanks for your friendship!!

  18. Guia Obsum says:

    Happy Anniversary Raymund!! Why not write a book already? 🙂

  19. foodjaunts says:

    Happy 3 year anniversary!!! That is such an accomplishment. I love this dessert, so indulgent but definitely delicious.

  20. I have never heard of this dessert before, but it is beautiful and sounds great. Love French buttercream.

  21. It certainly does look ‘beyond compare’. Delicious!

  22. cherry says:

    hi po..! i’d like to try your recipe, may i ask if you use unsalted butter? can i use dairy cream buttermilk? thanks po..

  23. A very happy & belated blogiversary to you! May your fantastic blog and brilliant food ideas take you far on you culinary journey! 🙂

  24. John sta cruz says:

    Happy anniversary!!! My first time to visit your wonderful blog! Congrats on your sansrival..really nice!

  25. Lannie Lutz says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing the recipe. Do you add the sugar mixture hot or do you allow it to cool down? Also, the butter cream contains raw egg yolk. Is this safe to eat?

  26. Rose says:

    Hi, can you give a substitute for rum? I am based in the middle east so rum is not available.please help

  27. Ej says:

    Its too watery. What did i do wrong? And what am i supposed to do?

  28. Arlene says:

    Hi Angsarap! Now my baby is out, and im bit adjusted,,, i can now enjoy eating my fave cake! I just made my 3rd tym cake. And it turned out the best, as always! 🙂
    Sweet tooth!

  29. posh02 says:

    my wafers sticks on the parchment paper and its too soft and sticky, despite being baked until light brown…i cant peel it off the parchment paper, when i tried to do it…it teared into pieces…what did i do wrong?

    • Raymund says:

      It was hard as well for us to peel it off and it needed some patience. I had made this a lot of times and what I notice is that I also depends on the brand of the parchment/baking paper. I used a cheap one before and some traces of paper was left on the meringue the good one doesnt

      • posh02 says:

        i used glad baking sheet…and the meringue shrinks after cooling. it is already browned but the inside is still soft but i baked it in 160 for 40 minutes or until browned…what am i doing wrong?

  30. Looking good!

    I love silvanas/sylvanas and thank you for bringing in this great recipe! 🙂 It will be my first time to bake and it’s for my wife to be. 🙂 Thanks!

  31. Dania says:

    Hi i want to try this recipe but I don’t want to use rum and i even don’t have molasses. Can i just omit rum in this recipe?

  32. Maya says:

    Hello Raymund –
    Did you use salted cashews?

  33. Cecil says:

    What brand of rum did you use?

  1. March 18, 2023

    […] Sans Rival: This dessert was inspired by French cooking techniques and the recipe was brought over by Filipinos who studied in France in the 1920s-1930s. This is a chewy and buttery cake made with layers of nutty merigue and french buttercream. It’s typically topped off with cashews. Sans rival means “without rival” and the soft texture paired with the crunch from the cashews prove this statement to be true. […]

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