Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

Frosting Lickin’ Good

posted by in Food Purveyors

In the space that is Rustan’s Department Store, where everything smells like money and the controlled lighting makes all the customers look like a million bucks, shines a little spot called Frostings.

A splash of color and the promises of old-fashioned treats beckon, complete with attendants in light blue. I’m compelled to come closer and I do. Cupcakes in a rainbow of hues glimmer up at me, their attractiveness difficult to deny. Or resist.

Black Forest cupcake

prune cupcake

A cupcake venture that saw its start at The Block in Quezon City last year, Frostings has since moved to spaces in Galleria and in two Rustan’s Department Stores (Shangri-La Mall and Makati). What’s striking is the sheer variety of flavors on offer: Swiss chocolate topped with Toblerone nuggets, the now ubiquitous red velvet, ube, black forest, lava, lemon meringue with burnished swirls, and so on. Twenty-two flavors all in all brought in fresh everyday from Bulacan, no less, with a cupcake of the month to boot. (This month it’s sans rival – photo below.)

sansrival cupcake

I’m equally blown away when I meet one of the owners of Frostings, Ernest Vergel De Dios. His baby-face looks and idealism reveal his young age, 21, and his manner is endearing. Painfully shy and modest, he tells me that this is his first time to be interviewed and he’s nervous. I laugh lightly and tell him that I don’t bite.

more cupcakes from Frostings

Ernest says Frostings is the brainchild of his mom, Dulce, who is General Manager of the supermarket bakery brand, Lemon Squares. She wanted to bring the cupcake concept to the Philippines after being inspired by the cupcake boom she saw on a US trip. “[She wanted to] translate the tastes and flavors she [had studied in Europe] to cupcakes… she had the concept but didn’t have the time to execute it,” he explains.

This was three years ago when Ernest was still in college mulling over a topic for his thesis in his Entrepreneurial Management class. So Frostings became his proverbial “baptism by fire” in the business and today, he’s the President of the (cupcake) company. It was still in the conceptualization stage when Sonja’s Cupcakes debuted. (Sonja Ocampo is widely considered to have begun the “cupcake craze” in the country with her eponymously named store.) I ask him what he thought about that. “Of course I got a little intimidated. We already had the plan. My mom said, ‘Naunahan ka na,’ so of course I was pressured.”

“How would you compare your cupcakes to Sonja’s?” I ask.

“Frostings is more modern, more attuned to the Filipino taste. The other existing cupcakes offered locally are more American in taste and appearance. Ba’t ganoon? The Filipino taste is one of the best in the world… Swak talaga, it’s not too sweet, yung icing tama lang, plus yung cake, soft cake.”

white chocolate cupcakes

I find Frostings cupcakes lighter (as opposed to less dense) and it’s less sweet too. Boiled icing (also known as marshmallow icing or 7-minute icing) is more frequently (but not exclusively) used than American buttercream. Certainly, if you’re one of those who don’t like too-sweet desserts, you’ll like these. The cupcakes are obviously crafted with plenty of thought and care, and consistency has been spot-on in the three months that I’ve been sampling them. I prefer American-style cupcakes since I’m not crazy for boiled icing, but I’d certainly welcome these on a dessert table. Frostings is also the only place in Manila that sells Whoopie Pies, a traditional American sweet composed of two cake-like chocolate cookies sandwiching a marshmallow filling. It’s pretty good and quite addicting. The other non-cupcake treat is a miniature Apple Pie. There’s a skewed crust-to-apples ratio, so if you’re not big on crust then stick with the cupcakes.

Frostings Cupcakes
For store locator and more information, visit website:

Extra premium (those with liqueur): P70
Fruit: P60
Premium: those with buttercream icing – P50
Regular: those with boiled icing – P35

Other cupcake posts:
Cupcakes by Sonja: 1 Year Later
Cupcakes in the Courtroom
My Kind of Flowers
Cupcakes for a Birthday Girl and An Anxious Mom

23 Responses to “Frosting Lickin’ Good”

  • Finally, cupcakes not in buttercream frosting!:) I wanna try this…thanks!!:)


  • I love cupcakes, only that I don’t butter frosting on it. I want the sweet one, caramelized, glazed, colored. I love your post. This just makes me hungry.


  • i looove the photos of the cupcakes!! so enticing!! and if i’m not mistaken, this Ernest Vergel de Dios was my classmate back in high school, CSA. he’s really a soft-spoken guy. goodluck to his business!! =)


  • Swak talaga, lalo na sa budget! I never thought I could buy something inside Rustan’s for 35 pesos! Try the Smores Choco Caramel.


  • Their lemon meringue cupcake is the best — could be a bit more tarty lemon for me, but I LOVE lemon! The cake is moist, the curd in the center a nice tart surprise, and the amount of torched meringue frosting on top is just right. What was YOUR favorite cupcake Lori? :)


  • the black forest cupcake (premium variety) costs P75. a bit too extravagant for a cupcake, but i agree that the cupcakes are very meticulously crafted. i’ve tried 3 or 4 flavors already (including red velvet) and they’re pretty good. :)


  • i was about to go home when i saw frostings at galleria. i just looked at their display and i asked a lady who was buying at that time if the cupcakes tasted good, and she said “yes” and so i tried. i agree that it wasn’t too sweet, and they taste good (in fact, the cupcakes got my kids’ approval). the store is so clean and the staff were very accomodating and pleasant. the prices are very reasonable.


  • ironically, cupcakes arent a craze here in singapore but donuts are!!i bet gonuts or krispy kreme wud be a hit here. i miss sonjas even if ive only tasted them once :)



  • I just came from Frostings from Lori’s tip, and, wow, my picky family loved them. We didn’t try enough flavors (red velvet’s my current favorite), so we ought to make a return visit. Also took home a whoopie pie and apple pie.


  • i LOVE frostings! most of the cupcakes have yummy custard/cream fillings, is not overly sweet and always hits the spot for me. i just wish they had a branch in quezon city.


  • I second the motion michelle, I love them too!. I’m crazy with their sans rival and lava cake, I’m not really into sweet thing but this one is talagang panalo. Try also bakery treats’ sans rival, the best!, hindi nakakasawa. Sad to say, the bakery (owned by lemon square) is only located in bulacan. Paging Frostings, I hope that at the soonest time possible, maglagay din kayo ng sans rival from bakery treats.


  • I’m checking out their website now so I can plan my assault on their store nearest me :) Thanks for the review!


  • We thank you all for your positive feedback about our products. Rest assured that we will continue improving the quality and flavors of our products. And yes please watch out for our branch in Quezon City!


  • Is the sans rival cupcake any good? :D~


  • *drool*

    this post just made me hungry!
    i want cupcakes too! unfortunately there’s not much cupcakes here in singapore (as mentioned by Shan).
    Can’t wait to try this one out! :)

    thanks for the review!!


  • Is the sans rival cupcake any good? :D~ Comment by abbee — September 14, 2008 @ 4:28 pm


    yesiree abbee, it’s not only good but it tastes really really goooooddddd…it’s my current fave right now…i could eat two in just one sitting (i’m not exaggerating though, di kasi sya nakakasawa, hindi masyadong matamis kasi}…i’m buying mine in galleria but the crew said they have branches also in G4 & shangrila.


  • sampled both sonja (mocca) and frostings (swiss chocolate) over the week. i like frostings for the frosting (both quantity, texture, and taste). i equally like the cake although sonja would be a notch higher.

    Now for the presentation. this is where sonja beats frostings… sonja’s frosting has this trademark tip, then the tiffany blue box and brand sticker… galing! which is quite the opposite of what i can say about frostings – packed in clear plastic cup with clear plastic dome cover (akin to the 7-11 slurpee lid)… then i was immediately turned off with those jack-o’lantern chocolates placed on top of all cupcakes… had i not been constantly reading your block i might have not given frostings a try.

    i plan to give cupcakes as christmas tokens… i won’t be wrong if i’ll give sonja’s for my friends.


  • I’m addicted to frostings particularly the Smores cupcake. I LOVE it. You should give it a try.


  • Thanks again for the informative post.


  • i’ve tasted it and i bought 1 box of
    assorted cupcakes and i find it super
    delicious and the price just right..
    its far far better than SONJAS at serendra.


  • those who are asking if its good or what
    stop asking please blah blah blah……
    go for yourself and buy and taste it yourself….dont let others taste for you..


  • i have tasted frostings cupcakes and sonjas cupcakes..between the two the winner for me is frostings in taste,price,texture,presentation, and
    packaging…sonjas cupcakes are too over rated and too expensive but not too tasty.
    its dry,the icing is too sweet..the chocolate cupcake of frostings is to die for,very moist and the icing of chocolate is yummy 100 times……..




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