A Mustache plugin for the CakePHP framework.
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


MustacheCake Build Status

A Mustache plugin for the CakePHP framework.


  • CakePHP 2.x

Currently unit tested on latest tags from 2.4 and 2.5 branches.


  1. Clone this repo into app/Plugin/MustacheCake.

    git submodule add https://github.com/Dismounted/MustacheCake.git app/Plugin/MustacheCake
    git submodule update --init --recursive
  2. Load the plugin in app/Config/bootstrap.php by calling CakePlugin::load('MustacheCake');.

  3. Specify the Mustache view class in your controller (either individually or through AppController).

    class AppController extends Controller {
    	public $ext = '.mustache';
    	public $viewClass = 'MustacheCake.Mustache';
  4. Start using Mustache!


For a reference of Mustache syntax, see the Mustache manual: http://mustache.github.io/mustache.5.html.

Layouts and views are processed via Cake conventions; just create templates in the same place as usual. The only difference is that the extension becomes .mustache.

So for the bar action in FooController, create bar.mustache in app/View/Foo.

MustacheCake tries to be smart: if a template is not found with the extension specified in Controller::$ext or .mustache, it will search for one with .ctp. Any .ctp file will be rendered by the default Cake View class. This allows you to gradually migrate across to Mustache and to use plugins without rewriting their views.


Partials are loaded from app/View/Elements automatically. Calling {{> foo }} will include app/View/Elements/foo.mustache. Missing partials are simply returned as empty strings, no exceptions or errors will be recorded.

While using Mustache syntax to call partials is recommended, you can also call $this->_View->element() in a view model This should only be used if unavoidable. An example of such a situation is when you need to include a non-Mustache partial (i.e. a .ctp template).

Note that there is a difference in variable scope between the two methods described above.

You can also call View::element() in .ctp templates to include a Mustache partial in non-Mustache templates.

View Models

You can also have a class that accompanies the template as a "view model". Firstly, we'll need to tell MustackeCake where to find the corresponding view model. To do this, create a file in the same directory as the template with a .php extension (i.e. for bar.mustache, create bar.php). Inside this file, add the following two lines:

App::uses('SomethingViewModel', 'View/Foo');
Configure::write('MustacheCake.useViewModel', 'SomethingViewModel');

The first line tells Cake to allow SomethingViewModel to be lazy loaded from app/View/Foo. The second line tells MustacheCake to use SomethingViewModel as the view model for this template. As you can see, you can name and locate view models whatever and wherever you like, and also use the same view model across several templates.

Now create the view model file where you specified above. Inside this file, create a class that extends MustacheViewModel (or another view model), ensuring to call App::uses('MustacheViewModel', 'MustacheCake.View'); beforehand.

From the view model, you can create methods to run whatever logic you need. One common use case would be to call $this->_View to access Cake helpers, elements and blocks. A call to {{ foo }} in the template will attempt to call the foo method in the view model. If the method does not exist, the foo view variable will be returned instead.

MustacheViewModel::_init() will be run during MustacheViewModel::__construct(). Override this method to setup your template (e.g. adding scripts to its view block using HtmlHelper).

As you can see, view models can become a very useful and powerful tool, allowing you to keep your templates "clean" and your models free of presentation logic. However, it is not necessary to create a view model. If one does not exist, MustacheCake will simply use view variables set from the controller.

String Templates

Strings can also be used as a template. Simply use MustacheStringView instead. Here's a simple example:

$View = new MustacheStringView();
$View->layout = false;
$View->set('planet', 'world');
$out = $View->render('Hello {{ planet }}!');


Sorry! I've tried to make it as straightforward as possible, by providing a light "glue" between CakePHP and Mustache. Once you get the hang of using MustacheCake, it should make a lot of sense.

Included in this repo are the default Cake layouts and views transposed to work with MustacheCake. Looking at these may make the usage scenarios clearer. They are located in MustacheCake/View/Layouts and MustacheCake/View/Pages.