Pianono or pionono is a type of sponge cake rolled into a cylinder similar to jelly roll cake, what sets it apart from other roll cakes is that pianono are smaller in size and typically eaten in one or two bites. It is popular in countries that were invaded by Spain such as Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other parts of South America. The name came from the Italian name of Pope Pius IX which is “Pio Nono” meaning “Pious Nine”.

Pionono can be filled with either savoury or sweet ingredients, popular ones are cheese, ham, eggs and for the sweet one’s creams, fruits, and jams are the preferred ones. In the Philippines its quite different, while modern version uses jams the traditional ones uses only margarine and sugar and that’s what we are doing today, the Filipino version of the Spanish classic.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 roll
  • 7 eggs
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 7 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • extra white sugar for coating/dusting
  • margarine
  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolk and place in two different mixing bowls.
  2. Using an electric mixer beat egg whites until really fluffy.
  3. Continue to beat while adding sugar by the spoonful. Set is aside.
  4. Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Beat egg yolks together with the vanilla extract, gently add the sifted flour and beat in low speed.
  6. Fold in the egg/flour mixture to the egg whites until well incorporated.
  7. Prepare a jelly roll pan, line it with wax paper then pour mixture on top and flatten it evenly with a spatula.
  8. Place in a 180C preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Prepare another sheet of wax paper over a work surface, scatter some white sugar (this will be the coating of the roll cake so just add one thin layer) on top of the wax paper.
  10. Once the cake is ready, turn it over on the top of the prepared wax paper on your work surface. Do this while its hot so you can easily remove the wax paper on the bottom.
  11. Spread a good amount of margarine on top, then with the longest side on the other side, roll up the cake towards you.
  12. Slice into sections then let it cool before serving.



8 Responses

  1. Yum! This is my kind of treat, Raymund! Can’t wait to give it a try! 😉

  2. Jeff says:

    I’m glad you explained where the name pianono came from, because I was convinced that this dessert was created by someone who didn’t like Chopin!

  3. Peter says:

    Your recipe doesn’t say how much white sugar is required for Pianono.

  4. mjskitchen says:

    These types of treats really remind me of my childhood. My mother made the jellyrolls which I loved. I’m not a fan of margarine, but I could sure see using a thin layer of cream cheese.

  5. GiGi Eats says:

    I love vanilla – that’s my flavor of choice, YUM! 🙂

  6. Interesting to spread margarine on the cake, definitely a version I haven’t had before, looks really good!

  7. I am a lover of baked goodies. I know I gotta try this buttery sponge cake.

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