Pistachio and Mango Sans Rival Cake

Pistachio and Mango Sans Rival Cake

This Filipino birthday cake is a bit of a project—homemade meringue stacked with silky French buttercream—but the crispy-chewy-luscious texture is worth it. While the meringue is traditionally made with cashews, this recipe swaps them out for pistachios. It also adds fresh mango purée to the buttercream, normally kept plain, so that it’s fruity and tart. To make it easier when I attempted this recipe I left off the mango swirls and replaced them with little chunks.

A few other tips: The recipe calls for egg white or meringue powder, which helps to stabilize the whipped egg whites so that they don’t weep or deflate. If you can’t find it, skip it. You’ll also want to make sure your mangoes are ripe but not too ripe—if they’re too ripe, they’ll have lost their slight sourness and will be hard to shave into thin slivers for swirling on the top. Of course, as I said above, you can always skip the elaborate decoration: Shingle slices of mango or simply pile up cubes instead.

Once the sans rival cake is completely frozen (at least 2 hours), you can transfer it to the fridge for up to 5 hours for a softer, chewier texture (any longer and it will start to lose its structure). But if you prefer a crispier meringue, serve it straight from the freezer, where it will last, well-wrapped, for up to 1 week.





cups (280 g) raw pistachios, divided


cups (packed; 280 g) powdered sugar


large eggs, separated


cup (100 g) granulated sugar


tsp. meringue powder (optional)

tsp. kosher salt



large ripe but firm mangoes (such as Kent or Tommy Atkins), divided


Tbsp. (or more) fresh lemon juice


cup plus 2 Tbsp. (175 g) granulated sugar

cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature


A candy thermometer

Pistachio and Mango Sans Rival Process.mp4



Step 1

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Toast 1 cup (140 grams) pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown, 10–13 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop; set aside for decorating.

Step 2

Reduce oven temperature to 300°. Cut 2 large sheets of parchment paper and trace three 7x3½" rectangles with a pencil on each sheet. Turn parchment over and place each on an 18x13" baking sheet (you should be able to see the traced rectangles through the parchment; they will be your guides later). Pulse powdered sugar and remaining 1 cup (140 g) pistachios in a food processor until the consistency of very coarse sand. Transfer to a large bowl.

Step 3

Place raw egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. With the motor running, gradually add granulated sugar, meringue powder (if using), and salt. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy, about 7 minutes. Fold into pistachio mixture in thirds, folding until just combined before adding more. (It should still look fluffy.)

Step 4

Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a ½"-wide tip (or fill a resealable plastic bag and snip off a corner) and pipe to fill each traced rectangle on prepared baking sheets. (Or, you can divide batter into 6 portions and spread to fill each rectangle all the way to the edges with an offset spatula.)

Step 5

Bake, rotating halfway through, until meringues are light golden brown, dry to the touch, and firm (they shouldn’t crack as soon as you touch them), 40–50 minutes. Turn off oven, prop door open (a wooden spoon works well), and let sit in oven 20 minutes.

Step 6

Remove meringues from oven and carefully peel away parchment while meringues are still warm. Let meringues cool completely.


Step 7

While the meringues cool, peel 2 mangoes and cut flesh from pits. Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan; add lemon juice. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. (You should have about 1½ cups.) Let cool slightly.

Step 8

With motor on medium-high speed, beat egg yolks in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment until pale and doubled in volume, about 8 minutes.

Step 9

Meanwhile, place granulated sugar and 6 Tbsp. water in another small saucepan (do not stir) and clip thermometer to side of pan. Cook over low heat until thermometer registers 240°, about 8 minutes.

Step 10

With motor on high speed, carefully stream hot sugar into whipped egg yolks, avoiding whisk and sides of bowl, and beat until bottom of bowl is slightly cooler to the touch, about 4 minutes. Mixture should be very pale, smooth, and glossy with soft peaks that fall back onto themselves.

Step 11

Turn off mixer and add warm mango purée. Beat on medium-high just to combine. Reduce speed to medium and, with motor running, add butter 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until incorporated and smooth after each addition. Add a little more lemon juice to make a more tart buttercream if desired.

Step 12

Take 1 meringue and dot a little buttercream in several spots on the bottom. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press gently to adhere. Using an offset spatula, spread ¾ cup buttercream over. Place another meringue on top and spread another layer of buttercream over. Repeat process until all meringues are stacked, pressing down a bit firmly when placing each meringue to maintain even layers.

Step 13

Using spatula, spread buttercream around sides and top of stacked meringues. Press reserved pistachios onto sides as desired, saving some for decorating the top. (If your buttercream is very soft, chill cake 10 minutes before pressing on nuts.)

Step 14

Slice remaining mango and arrange decoratively on top of cake. Fill in gaps with remaining pistachios. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

Do ahead: Cake can be made 1 week ahead. Wrap tightly once firm; keep frozen.

This Elaine Townsend (Mochiko Cincinnati) recipe appeared in the May 2021 issue of bon appétit magazine, photographed by Emma Fishman.

Another version of the Mango Sans Rival is described in the video below.