Taisan is a Filipino Chiffon Cake that gives you delicious sweet and savory flavors in each bite. It's a popular mid-morning or afternoon snack!
Filipino desserts are truly unique. And although some of the flavors may seem foreign to you, once you try them, trust me: you will be hooked for life!
When I first described Taisan to my husband and kids, they were a bit hesitant. You don't often see shredded cheese on top of sweet cakes in the United States.
But it's the delicate balance of sweet and savory that makes these popular snacking cakes so good!
- What is Taisan cake?
- Traditional Filipino Snack
- Kitchen tools and equipment
- 🧈 Ingredient notes
- Ingredients for the topping
- ✅ Step-by-step instructions
- 👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
- 🍽 How to serve Taisan
- 🥂 Best wine pairings
- More authentic Filipino recipes and modern Filipino-inspired recipes
- Taisan: Filipino Chiffon Cake
What is Taisan cake?
Taisan is a Filipino dessert. It's a light and fluffy chiffon cake, although some describe it as a sponge cake.
It's truly more of a chiffon cake than a sponge cake. Sponge cakes are denser than chiffon cakes, which tend to be light and airy. It's made with vegetable oil instead of the usual butter or shortening, which helps create air pockets in the batter.
Also like chiffon cakes, the egg whites are beaten to create a meringue that is used to leaven the cake, instead of relying on traditional leavening agents like baking soda and baking powder only.
These two things help create a softer cake consistency that chiffon cake is known for. And they're what help make Taisan so delicious!
Traditional Filipino Snack
Taisan is usually enjoyed as a mid-morning snack, or for merienda - an afternoon snack.
Think of this cake as a snacking cake. It's shorter than a traditional loaf cake, and doesn't contain layers.
Kitchen tools and equipment
For this recipe, you just need a few basic kitchen tools:
Mixing bowls - You will need two large mixing bowls: one for dry ingredients and one for wet ingredients.
Whisk - You'll need a sturdy whisk to mix together all of the ingredients.
Loaf pan - A typical 9 x 5 inch loaf pan works great for this kind of cake.
🧈 Ingredient notes
Flour - You'll need all-purpose flour for this cake recipe. If you want an even lighter, softer cake, you could use half all-purpose flour and half cake flour.
Baking powder - A little bit of baking powder aids the meringue in helping the cake rise.
Salt - Use kosher salt to balance the sweetness of the cake.
Eggs - Make sure you take the eggs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you start baking, so that they are at room temperature and mix smoothly. You'll be separating the yolks and the egg whites. The yolks you will use for the wet batter portion. Then you'll be whipping the egg whites into a frothy meringue to fold into the batter. This is what makes the chiffon cake light and fluffy!
Cream of Tartar - this helps the egg whites whip up and become frothy.
Sugar - Use granulated sugar.
Vegetable oil - vegetable oil is traditionally what is used in chiffon cakes, and helps make this cake moist. You could use softened unsalted butter instead, but it will change the texture and consistency of the cake, making it denser.
Vanilla - pure vanilla extract is what gives this cake that classic bakery aroma and flavor.
Ingredients for the topping
Traditional, authentic Taisan cake is topped with melted butter, granulated sugar, and shredded cheddar cheese.
Use unsalted butter for the topping.
And use a white cheddar cheese for a milder cheese that balances well with the cake flavors.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Exact measurements of ingredients and instructions are in the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this post. Here are some helpful tips to guide you as you make this recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, kosher salt, and baking powder.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then whisk in 1 cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk, oil, vanilla.
Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until combined. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites together with the cream of tartar and 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar. Whisk until frothy and firm.
Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the egg white meringue into the batter, just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then pop the loaf out of the pan and place onto a plate or cooling rack. Brush the top of the cooled cake with melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar topping, then sprinkle the shredded cheese.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Chiffon cakes like Taisan are made light and fluffy by the use of whipped egg whites, or meringue, instead of relying only on leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda.
Taisan cakes and Mamon cakes are two different, yet similar, type of Filipino desserts. Mamon cakes are sponge cakes, made with about twice the amount of eggs, so they are "spongy" and denser. Mamon cakes are also usually served like individual muffins, instead of as a loaf like Taisan cake is served.
Store leftover Taisan cake that is topped with cheese covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also make this cake without the butter, sugar, cheese topping, and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
🍽 How to serve Taisan
This Filipino cake is traditionally enjoyed as a mid-morning snack, with coffee or tea. You can also enjoy it in the afternoon, with coffee, tea, and other light pastries.
I think it's a great cake to enjoy with brunch or with an afternoon wine tasting! The lighter consistency makes it a great dessert to enjoy with a simple fruit salad or alongside a Melon and Prosciutto Caprese Salad.
Or, serve it after a cheese and charcuterie board or as part of a grazing table for an afternoon wine tasting.
And speaking of wine...
🥂 Best wine pairings
For this cake, you'll want to pour a glass of off-dry or sweet Riesling.
Or, go for a light, sweet sparkling wine, such as Moscati d'Asti.
More authentic Filipino recipes and modern Filipino-inspired recipes
- Lumpia (Filipino spring rolls)
- Pancit Bihon
- Filipino Pork BBQ Skewers
- Pandesal (Filipino rolls)
- Instant Pot Filipino Chicken Adobo
- Pancit Bihon Noodles
- Instant Pot Garlic Rice
For more, you can buy my Filipino cookbook: Modern Filipino Cooking, my 55-page e-Book with authentic Filipino recipes that I've adapted for today's modern kitchen!
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Taisan: Filipino Chiffon Cake
- 1 Loaf Pan
- ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese or cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, kosher salt, and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then whisk in 1 cup sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk, oil, vanilla.
- Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until combined. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites together with the cream of tartar and 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar. Whisk until frothy and firm.
- Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the egg white meringue into the batter, just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then pop the loaf out of the pan and place onto a plate or cooling rack. Brush the top of the cooled cake with melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar topping, then sprinkle the shredded cheese.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.