Sans Rival recipe


Sans Rival in French, it literally means ‘without rival’. This Sans Rival recipe is made of thin nutty meringue layers, covered and filled with buttercream.

Definitely, a Filipino favourite.

I’m not exactly sure when and how sans rival started to be popular, but it has grown to be one of the Filipino favourites. One of mine, that’s for sure.


For the Meringue Layers:

6 egg whites (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups almond, toasted, finely chopped (you may use cashew, pistachio too)
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of cream of tartar

For the Buttercream:

6 egg yolks (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 cups of unsalted butter (while the butter is cold, cut it into smaller cubes/squares and let it sit at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla

To Garnish:

1 cup chopped toasted almonds


Prepare 4 6-inch square cake pans / 4 round cake pans or
You can pipe the meringue on a baking sheet:

Prepare baking sheets using parchment paper. Draw 6inch circles/square.

Turn the sheet over, so the guide is still on the bottom but visible to use as a guide.

Almond Meringue:

Make the meringue in a grease free bowl, beat egg whites and add a pinch of cream of tartar.

Once it forms into soft peaks, gradually add the sugar, then add vanilla.

Continue to beat until stiff peaks are formed, but not dry.
Fold the chopped almonds carefully without deflating the meringue.

Divide the meringue into pans.


Transfer meringue to a piping bag with a plain round tip (alternatively, if you don’t have this, you can hack this by using a Ziplock bag just cut one corner). Pipe the meringue on the baking sheet and follow the prepared guide.

Bake for 325F for about 45 minutes or until firm and dry.

Once done, let it cool before applying the buttercream or assembling.

For the Buttercream

Tools needed:
Prepare a small pot,
Candy thermometer
a stand mixer (easier to use) with a wire whisk attachment

If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the syrup needs to ‘cook’ until it reaches the soft-ball stage. ( so ya, best get yourself a candy thermometer it will make your life easier lol)

In a small pot, combine sugar and water, stir to dissolve. Turn the stove to medium heat to bring the syrup to a boil.

While waiting for the syrup to reach a temperature of 240F, place the egg yolks in the bowl of your stand mixer. Use the wire whisk attachment to beat the eggs at medium speed. Continue to beat until it thickens and becomes light in colour.

Once the sugar syrup has reached the temperature of 240F, take it off the stove.

Incorporate the syrup to the beaten egg yolks. Add the syrup in a slow and steady stream while continuously whipping the egg yolks.

Once all the sugar has been incorporated, continue to whip on medium high until the mixture has cooled. Check the bottom of the bowl, if it still feels warm, then continue to whip it. (Tip: I usually use a cool wet towel, wrap it around the mixer to cool it down quicker)

After it has sufficiently cooled down, then proceed to add butter.

With the mixer still at medium high, start adding butter, about 1 – 2 squares/cubes at a time, incorporating well after every addition. Continue to do so until all butter has been incorporated.

Remove the wire whisk attachment from your stand mixer and replace with the paddle attachment, then add vanilla. (Tip: switching from wire whisk to paddle, lessens the air bubbles in your buttercream)

Continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth and velvety.

Putting it all together

Place meringue sheet/disc on your serving plate or cake stand.
Spread buttercream and sprinkle toasted chopped almonds on the meringue sheet/disc. Repeat this for the second and third meringue disc/sheet.

For the last meringue sheet/disc, use flat side out (this creates a smoother finish)

Mask the top and side of cake with buttercream and garnish with toasted, chopped almonds.

Note: As you will notice the meringue layers are crunchy. Keep in mind that the moisture from buttercream is absorbed by the meringue giving it that slight chewiness.

This cake freezes well, so you can bake this in advance, but best served at room temperature.

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