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Top 10 Sansrival in Manila
Which sansrival is truly sans rival?
By: Jenny B. Orillos  |   Published on: Nov 4, 2011 - 6:05am


( From its name, much is expected of the Gateau le Sans Rival (also, sans rival/sansrival/sanzrival), which in French means “without rival.” It’s a favorite Filipino meringue-based layer cake served on special occasions or as a dessert. Although we trace our rich desserts by way of Spain, the sansrival is much like a French dacquoise (nut meringue).   

The texture of the meringue wafers vary—some sansrivals produce thick and crunchy layers while others are thin and compact or thick but airy. While perfectly baked meringue forms the base, it is the French buttercream which gives it that unrivaled character compared with sponge-based cakes. To make it, hot sugar syrup is beaten into egg yolks until thick and when cooled, butter is then whipped into the mixture for a very rich and smooth buttercream.  

Chopped nuts lend flavor and texture to the whole cake, sprinkled on top and mixed into the meringue itself. In the Governor General’s Kitchen, food historian Felice Sta. Maria observes that sansrival was being made as early as the 1930s and bakers used almonds whenever available. Native pili nuts were also used, and cashews were considered an alternative. Now, we have modern variations that use the indigenous pandan and ube as well as the exotic macadamia and pistachio.

Our picks:


Sansrival face-off: which meringue-based dessert gets your vote? Click for more.



Photos by Jenny B. Orillos

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    Try Betty's at the back of Sto. Domingo Church. It's still the best for me!
    8 months ago     Reply  
  • tessareyes412
    Through the years, so many versions came but still Betty's is still the best!
    10 months ago     Reply  
  • bjerry
    Try Si Christina's Sansrival Cake in San Pablo :)
    10 months ago     Reply  
  • vpascual
    BETTY'S Sansrival
    10 months ago     Reply  
  • lily
    the one in bread & bean in little baguio has probably got to be the best
    10 months ago     Reply  
  • Marica
    10 months ago     Reply  
  • monk88
    Becky's Kitchen and Betty's...
    Mar 28 2014 @ 02:58pm     Reply  
  • nerak
    Betty's definitely!!!
    Mar 28 2014 @ 01:38pm     Reply  
  • Nikkimiguel
    Sansrival from pampanga
    Mar 28 2014 @ 05:55am     Reply  
  • Dynamikelx
    Come on guys! if you don't know Betty's sansrival then you've never known/tasted sansrival! Betty's house special of sansrival has been around for ages! It's old skool! So to those who hasn't heard of or tasted Betty's sansrival..your missing out big time. It takes real to recognise real and by that I mean you've got authentic, traditional, classy taste that trumps all the others!
    Mar 27 2014 @ 11:11pm     Reply  
  • Judyrama
    My best is still the Almond Sansrival of Sugar House!
    Mar 27 2014 @ 02:03pm     Reply  
  • pcampiglio
    Cashew sans rival of Victorinos along 11th Jamboree, QC
    Sep 13 2013 @ 09:42am     Reply  
  • Karen
    Try out also the sans rival and silvanas of Marisa's Silvanas and Sans Rival. They used to be the original and only supplier of Red Ribbon before.
    Sep 07 2013 @ 08:01pm     Reply  
  • anna
    sansrival from sans rival bistro in dumaguete is very buttery :)
    Feb 11 2013 @ 05:26pm     Reply  
  • mavic
    The best sans rival I tasted was that of Red Ribbon. I've been craving for it after Holy week two years ago pa. It's my special treat after Holy week but sadly, Red Ribbon seems to have phased it out. Still I keep on asking for it in the hopes they will bring it back. It had a thin crust and the right amount of real butter (i think they use Anchor) that makes you crave for more.
    Nov 01 2012 @ 03:53pm     Reply  
  • klots
    sarap naman. if you happen to pass by singapore, try sans rival from cakes n cravings in joo chiat rd. the best sans rival in singapore!
    Aug 13 2012 @ 12:13pm     Reply  
  • benjch
    Goldilocks' Sansrival is the best!!!it has no after taste unlike the rest..
    May 13 2012 @ 10:26am     Reply  
  • thegypsywrites
    NOOOOOO! Why isn't Mary Grace not included here?
    Mar 07 2012 @ 07:33pm     Reply   Hide replies
    • don_vinas
      sansrival in marygrace is so so when it comes to taste... they need to improve to make it special.
      8 months ago     Reply  
  • jan
    sansrival at betty's behind angelicuma and sto domingo church in qc is the best!
    Feb 16 2012 @ 10:49am     Reply  
  • mpc08
    As a surprise for my hubby's 32nd birthday, we bought 32 sans rival, ensaymada and sylvannas from 32 different stores. With all the taste tests done, sans rival from Mamou in Serendra won unanimously! It really is delicious! Runner up, though, is the sans rival from Aristocrat. :)
    Dec 07 2011 @ 04:13pm     Reply  
  • Jez
    try Aristocrat bakeshop's Torta De Los Reyes cake.. its a chocolate sanzrival cake.. suuuper yummy!!!
    Dec 02 2011 @ 12:04pm     Reply  
  • janlo
    You should try Betty's - It's really good!
    Nov 30 2011 @ 01:54am     Reply  
  • lewis
    betty's near Sto. Domingo Churchrn
    Nov 24 2011 @ 03:56pm     Reply  
  • pam
    I guess the ones who were part of this article are very young or they would've included Betty's sans rival, which is one of the pioneers and one of the best sans rival in town. Sure wish Betty's would do something to introduce itself to the younger generation because it indeed beats 9 of those in the list (I must say that Jill Sandique's sans rival is a major contender for Betty's.).
    Nov 23 2011 @ 02:52am     Reply  
  • eric
    burger machine did not pave anything for sansrival, many bakeries were already producing it during the 70's. it did make sansrival available for the masses.rnrndo they really make their own sansrival? many of these joints, specially coffeeshops, outsource their pastries.rnrnbiggest proof this survey is not representative of the dining population: non-inclusion of betty's sanrival is not even in the list.rn
    Nov 19 2011 @ 01:45am     Reply  
  • voracious
    Chocolate Sans Rival from Aristocrat! Promise!
    Nov 18 2011 @ 06:02pm     Reply  
  • dugibeyr
    BETTY's sans rival beats anyone in this list.
    Nov 15 2011 @ 01:21pm     Reply  
  • alex
    Nov 14 2011 @ 07:05pm     Reply  
  • soci estuita
    Me and my boyfriend are pretty much a big sans rival lover... I was just disappointed that Aristocrats sans rival (torta delosreyes) wasn't part of this list... majority of the cakes mentioned on the list we have tried and i can say that the Aristocrat one is way better than Figaro's, M Cafe, Silvanna House, Burger Machine and Amici's... Another must try is the classic sans rival of Persiana in Pioneer. :)
    Nov 13 2011 @ 07:42am     Reply  
  • psalm
    Have to include pistachio sans rival of Low Cal Cafe. Sugar-free!
    Nov 10 2011 @ 10:46pm     Reply  
  • ella
    Betty's SHOULD be there.
    Nov 09 2011 @ 11:18am     Reply  
  • jv
    my little oscar of figaro is the best!
    Nov 09 2011 @ 12:20am     Reply  
  • ggg
    Try ANNETTE's sansrival!!!! It should make the list :)
    Nov 07 2011 @ 10:24pm     Reply  
  • sapphire
    Primablend!! love!!
    Nov 07 2011 @ 03:54pm     Reply  
  • murej
    Primablend's sansrival is the best there is! Burger Machine's sansrival paved way for the cake's popularity, it was good back thenrn
    Nov 06 2011 @ 04:22pm     Reply  
  • pagkoryan
    masarap ang figaro pero kailangan ubusin mo agad kapag nasimulan mo na. pansinin ninyo, kapag nasimulan na ninyo, patigas na ng patigas ang sansrival. 2nd, hindi ba figaro iyong nag-corrupt sa pagcor, umabot sa bilyon ang kape. kung fagaro talaga ito, dapat boycott natin para mabawasan ang mga corrupt sa pilipinas.
    Nov 06 2011 @ 10:39am     Reply  
  • jeleena
    Come on Ms Orillos! Burger Machine might have sentimental value but if you evaluate it per se, the ingredients are cheap and you cant compare it to the rest that used mor epremium ingredients!
    Nov 06 2011 @ 09:18am     Reply  
  • cakelover
    I can't believe they chose burger machine over Betty's?? Betty's sansrivals are the best!!
    Nov 06 2011 @ 08:48am     Reply  
  • red indian
    Betty's San Rival is still the best in town, bar none.
    Nov 05 2011 @ 02:34pm     Reply  
  • sweet tooth
    @sansrival: so true!!! chocolate kiss' sans rival is simply divine!
    Nov 04 2011 @ 06:31pm     Reply  
  • sansrival
    the chocolate kiss cafe in u.p. diliman, quezon city. their sans rival is true to it's name - without rival!
    Nov 04 2011 @ 05:45pm     Reply  
  • kapampangan ku
    guys better try STA RITA sansrival from sta rita pampanga,its one the best sansrival in the phil
    Nov 04 2011 @ 04:11pm     Reply  
  • bleu
    Aristocrat's Torta de Los Reyes!
    Nov 04 2011 @ 03:54pm     Reply  
  • genuine
    Sorry, partial to blueberry cheesecake here. am happy when i eat one, which is, seldom
    Nov 04 2011 @ 03:13pm     Reply  
  • polly's lover
    There's no way Polly's sansrival in Merville didn't make the cut. It's the best!!!!!rn
    Nov 04 2011 @ 02:58pm     Reply  
  • velpepper
    yeah!! betty's also have a good taste of sans rival it's thier house special!!
    Nov 04 2011 @ 01:16pm     Reply  
  • burberry
    yeah, why didn't betty's get the cut????
    Nov 04 2011 @ 12:09pm     Reply  
  • huh?
    Burger Machine? No way! Parang styro!
    Nov 04 2011 @ 09:10am     Reply  
  • panda
    Betty's Sans Rival is still among the best.
    Nov 04 2011 @ 08:59am     Reply  
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