A staple of all Filipino bakeries, ensaymada is the Filipino version of the French brioche. It is one of those Filipino dishes that have origins in Spain, what with the Philippines being a Spanish colony for almost four centuries… In fact, it is very much similar to a pastry specialty coming from the Balearic islands, particularly Mallorca. (The Mallorcan pastry is also called ensaimada, but is made using lard; the Filipino ensaymada, on the other hand, is made with butter.)



3 tsp yeast

57 ml lukewarm water

1 tsp sugar

190-230 g all-purpose flour (sift after measuring)

75 g sugar

85 ml whole milk (or diluted evaporated milk)

38 g butter, melted

2 egg yolks

*For the top/filling:  grated mild white or yellow cheese (I used cheddar), extra sugar, and softened butter.


  • Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in the sugar, then set aside for at least 5 minutes or until frothy.
  • Combine the sifted flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mix, then add the milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Mix everything until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Transfer the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with cling film brushed with oil, and let rise for at least one hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the risen dough, then divide into 12 small portions.** Roll each of the portions into logs, coil into snail shapes, then place in greased muffin tins or on cookie sheets lined with baking paper, making sure the buns are approximately 3 cm apart. If desired, you can flatten the logs, brush them with melted butter and fill with cheese prior to coiling into snail shapes. Let the portioned dough rise for at least another hour.
  • Brush the tops with melted butter, then bake at 150°C (300°F) preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly brown in color.
  • Let the rolls cool completely before slathering with butter, sprinkling sugar, and adding grated cheese (optional) on top.
** Alternatively, you can make just one big bun: just roll the dough into one log, flatten and fill with butter and cheese if desired, then coil into a snail shape and place in a baking tray lined with baking paper. This would take longer to bake though—about 25-30 minutes.


You can also sprinkle your ensaymada buns with grated cheese prior to baking.



2 thoughts on “Ensaymada”

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