Torta a la Argao, Cebu


I’ve shared recipes on Torta Banawa and Torta Cebuana. My sister who is now based in Chicago shared me these torta recipes. Torta is quite a popular baked product in Cebu and all of Visayas. Here is a contribution from my sister:

My managing editor at Filipinas Magazine, Gemma Nemenzo, is rarin’ to try the Torta a la Argao. Since the Torta’s secret is the use of tuba, I’ve been putting off making this particular treat especially since it is so cholesterolific. She has the “hulmahan” or the molds — which are actually brioche molds, if you want to order them at Sur La Table. The challenge will be to find a close cousin of tuba in the US. I’m thinking about a light beer, which is slightly fermented. I’ll update you all with my experiments.

A reader shared this I would suggest instead of tuba for the torta visaya, some sparkling wine, such as ricadonna or asti spumanti, or even a sparkling rose if you dont want it so sweet. – Thanks Tony!

However, for those of you in the Philippines, you have no excuse. Go ahead and try this one!

This recipe was contributed by Annie Osmena Aboitiz. It is found in Nora Daza’s cookbook, “A Culinary Life: Personal Recipe Collection.”

5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup tuba
3 cups sugar
20 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups cooking oil
1/4 tsp. salt
a pinch of anise

sister’s note: use an electric mixer.

1. Pour the tuba into the flour. Add the salt. Mix well.

2. Add the sugar gradually into the egg yolks while beating well.

3. Add the oil. Blend well.

4. Put the mixture into a pan lined with paper and greased with butter or oil. Add anise.

5. Wait for 7 hours before baking (to allow the batter to rise). However, if the weather is cold, wait for 8 hours before baking.

6. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until cake tests done.


20 thoughts on “Torta a la Argao, Cebu”

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing this recipe. I don’t know where to get tuba in Australia, so I can just use the sparkling wine instead, is that right? Also what kind of cooking oil you use? canola or olive oil? Pls advise. Thanks Gina

  2. [email protected] says:

    ahmm pki dagdagan poh ang rcpe nio ahmm gusto koh poh snah marami eh malapit na kaseh compition nmin im college students poh ……….tnx my rcpe akoh nkuha……..mlaking tulong poh saken…….

  3. Thanks for sharing. Sus gimingaw gyud ko sa luto ni Ma Tora uf kay Tia Lucing nga taga Binlod Argao.

    I remember the smell of tuba and anise. Hmmm sweet memories.

  4. Hey Fe,

    Thanks to Naomi Lardizabal Dado, we have relived Mama Tora and Tia Lucing of Binlod, Argao’s authentic recipe.

  5. Don’t add anise, it’s not part of the original recipe. Believe me, my family made torta even before I was born.My mom and aunt never put anise in the mixture. The ingredients are flour, white sugar, margarine, pork lard, white sweet tuba, and egg yolks. When in molder, top with raisins or raisins and cheese. The anise will spoil the taste of the tuba which is the typical taste of an original torta and will make it taste like bico/biko (sticky sweetened rice) instead.

  6. Mam Cecile you’ve got the right formula in making the Torta because you are really a Argawanon….

  7. i really miss my homeland, specially chitangs torta of ARGAO… naglibog ko sa procedure sa pagbuhat sa torta kay lahi man to ako na observed gud. anyway i will just to follow ur recipe basin same ra ug result… salamat ani na recipe.

  8. I really like to try your recipe but is there anywhere way i can use anything aside from tuba? We didn’t have tube here in alabama…

  9. My mom in argao makes torta until now but only for her suki and i know she don’t put anise on it too. Maybe some people likes anise in their torta, raisins and cheese on it but others don’t. So it really depends on how you want your torta. Most of the people in argao make their own torta esp. during fiesta and they cook it differently.

  10. In my opinion, I think that chitang’s torta taste like CRAP because they put cheese in it. An original torta must have rasins and sugar, NOT cheese!!!!

  11. i think aside from chitang’s, all other torta makers adds cheese on top (i asked my aunt to do the homework, for i was very intrigued).not unless you specify in your order not to place cheese.that’s what i do wen i bring those yummy tortas back to the florida.but anyway with or without cheese i’m a diehard chitang’s torta fan.

  12. Hello maam cecile, what is your measurements of margarine and lard? Can i use shortening to substitute the lard?

  13. Had you tried using a red wine “Cabernet Sauvignon” if the “tuba” is not sweet this one taste like a non sweet “tuba” just a thought.

  14. The anise is just for aroma it doesn’t add taste or ruin the taste of the Torta. So it’s up to you people if you want to add or not. But for me it’s fine. My roots are from Dalaguete..

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