Cebuana Torta Cake

Cebuana Torta is a Visayan sponge cake popularly served for dessert or as a midday snack. It’s delicious and simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients. Bake it at home using this easy recipe with step-by-step photos and tips!

sliced Cebuana Torta Mamon Cake on a black serving platter

In the Northern or Tagalog-speaking provinces of the Philippines, the word torta refers to a type of omelet made of eggs and ground meat, seafood, potatoes, or vegetables. However, the torta is a sponge cake commonly served as a snack or dessert in the Visayan region.

Visayan cebuana torta on a white serving platter

What is Torta de Cebu

Torta Mamon is a sweet and spongy pastry that originated in Cebu. It’s most popular in Argao, a municipality in southern Cebu, and is also called Argao Torta or Torta a la Argao.

It traditionally uses a coconut liquor, tuba, as the leavening agent and lard as the fat in the batter.  It’s baked in clay ovens until toasted and finished with a blanket of margarine and sugar. It’s also common to top it with raisins and infuse it with anise for added flavor.

This Cebuana delicacy has a soft and spongy texture. It’s denser and moister than the classic fluffy mamon, with the egg yolks in the batter giving it a richer, more decadent taste.

flour, egg yolks, melted butter, sugar, baking powder, muffin tin, milk, oil

Ingredients and supplies

Since most of us don’t have ready access to tuba wine and a clay oven, this recipe was adapted to work using simple ingredients and a conventional oven.

  • Baking powder instead of tuba acts as the leavening, and a combination of oil and melted butter takes the place of lard in adding richness to the torta. The result is a torta Bisaya that’s as special and delicious as the original!
  • The cake is baked in brioche or Mamon molds. If you don’t have any, you can also use large muffin tins.
making torta mamon cake batter

How to make Torta Cebuana

Here is an overview of the process. The full ingredients and detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

  1. Prepare equipment. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease the insides of 12 mamon or brioche molds.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the oil, butter, and sugar in another bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk until well-incorporated. Stir in the milk.
  4. Combine the flour mixture and the liquid mixture. Add the vanilla. Battery will be smooth with flowy consistency but not too runny.
  5. Divide the batter into prepared molds.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven.
  7. Top with butter and sugar. Allow the torta to slightly cool first.
baking the torta cake in mamon molds

Quick Tips

  • Do not overwork the batter. Beat the mixture just until smooth and free of any streak of flour.
  • The molds used in the recipe are 3.5 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep. If using a larger size, bake the torta for another 5 to 8 minutes.
Cebuana torta cake half on parchment paper

Serving suggestions

Cebuana torta is traditionally served as a midday snack and enjoyed with a piping hot cup of sikwate or hot chocolate.


  • Transfer to a tightly covered container and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Storing in the refrigerator will prolong life but will dry out out cake.

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