Torta Cebuana

Before Mommy and Daddy opened up the bakeshop sometime in 1965, one of Mommy’s early baking teachers was Mrs. Noval, who lived in Banawa. As a kid, I do recall going with Mommy to this home. Memories of Refrigerator Cake that Mommy made might have been influenced by Mrs. Noval. One of my favorite recipes that mom used to bake was Torta. Let me share one version here.

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 egg yolks
1-1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup pork lard (use Crisco shortening)
1/4 cup melted better
1/2 tsp. anise seeds
1 egg, slightly beaten
cottage cheese, cut in strips

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a big bowl, combine egg yolks and the 1-1/4 cups sugar. Stir until blended. Set bowl over a saucepan (or double boiler, Lorna’s note) containing about 2 inches hot water (bowl should not touch water). Set saucepan over low heat and stir the mixture gently until lukewarm. (Do not allow water to boil).

3. Remove bowl from saucepan and beat the egg mixture, preferably with a mixer, for 8 minutes at medium speed, or by hand with a rotary beater, until the mixture is light, fluffy, and cool.

4. Blend in 2/3 of the flour mixture alternately with milk (starting with the flour mixture and ending with the flour mixture, Lorna’s note).

5. Fold in gently the remaining flour mixture together with the lard, butter and anise seeds.

6. Pour into paper-lined torta tins (use waxed paper or kitchen paper), 2/3’s full, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven.

torta tins

7. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg, arrange strips of cottage cheese, and sprinkle with sugar. Return to the oven and continue baking until topping is dry (about 5 minutes).

8. Remove from tins and cool on rack.

Note: I remember that for our tortas at the bakeshop, we would add the cheese only before we finished baking. Then, we would tip over the baked products on a wire rack or let it rest on the racks. Then, we would brush the tops with melted butter, and dredge the buttered tops over a plate filled with sugar.

10 thoughts on “Torta Cebuana

  1. Grace

    Thanks a lot for sharing us authentic recipes of our Pinoy food. God bless!

  2. [...] shared recipes on Torta Banawa and Torta Cebuana. My sister who is now based in Chicago shared me these ...
  3. liz

    Anyone tried this recipe already? Did it give a dense cake?

  4. Meikah Delid

    I remember this recipe to be my Lola’s too. 🙂 They would also use pork lard (taken from a newly butchered pig) and cook it in a big “horno” (clay oven) using “bunot” (coconut husk). It’s yummy!=)

    Meikah Delids last blog post..Gabo Loves EK’s Log Jam

  5. mariter

    i think that’s cheddar cheese rather than cottage cheese….now that makes sense….and i think 1 cup of sugar in enough for this recipe…i will try this soon!

  6. adela siman

    hi helo i wish i can see the video of this recipe because im so desperate on how to make this yummy torta i really love this Ive tried to make this twice but its not good

  7. Ligaya Russell

    Hello, fellow pilipinos, I do not think you can sub this kind of recipe. Torta is very tricky to make, is not like a cake you can sub some ingredient. you have to follow exactly the recipe does. if you take some important ingredient you would not get the exact ressult that you are looking for. This recipe has tuba wine to for permentation. I guest the only way you can get a good ressult keep experementing until you will get the ressult. or you have to go home to the philippines and eat there allot. I mean you have to enduled until you pop out. Good luck all philipinos who wish to have a good result of this kind of recipe.
    .-= Ligaya Russell´s last blog ..shutterfly =-.

  8. ryannovsk

    the secret ingredient to a delicious torta is the “tuba” or native coconut wine and the pork lard or the cebuanos call it “mantika sa empelya”

  9. Hermie Harper

    Are you sure you’re using cottage cheese? I don’t think you can cut cottage cheese into strip.

  10. joyce

    I think you use cream cheese to be able to slice it otherwise there is no way to slice cottage cheese.

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