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Crowd Favorite Milky Filipino Cheese Bread

by Paula

I wasn’t a big fan of breads back when I was a kid but I have always had a soft spot for some yummy Filipino Cheese Bread.  I used to always go to the market with my mom to do some weekly grocery shopping and we would always stop at a bakery off the main street to buy some bread.  One of the many goodies that were on display was Filipino cheese bread.

This post is a part of the Filipino Bread series. This series aims to promote well-loved Filipino bread to everyone. Check out the other posts included in this series: #FilipinoBreadSeries .

As I remember, that bakery’s Filipino cheese bread was really yummy, especially after it had just come out of the oven.  However, there were times when they sold cheese breads that weren’t as freshly baked as I had wanted them to be and a lot of times the cheese topping kept falling off the bread.
I decided to use my recipe for pandesal as the base for this milky cheese bread and as I had some company coming, it was the best time to test out the recipe that I developed for this cheesy bread.  I set some goals for this recipe.  I wanted the bread to be:

  • soft
  • milky
  • cheesy
  • with lots of toppings

I crossed the first two off the list because the pandesal recipe that I used pretty much guaranteed that the final bread would turn out soft and milky.  I was now stuck with the problem of how to make the topping cheesy and prevent it from slipping off the bread.

I figured the main reason the topping kept falling off was probably the high temperature and humidity in the Philippines (or in Singapore, where I am now hehehe).  Due to the heat, the cheese becomes slippery, which makes grating it difficult.  The cheese also sticks to the icing sugar and dissolves it.  And getting it to stick to the bread? Forget it. Clearly, I had to do something about it.

I stored the cheese in the fridge for a couple of hours to harden it so that it’s easier to grate and mix with the sugar.  You may still want to run it through a blender for a second or two though, to get rid of the clumps before popping it back again in the fridge (to prevent it from melting) while you’re working with the rest of the ingredients.

Remove the cheese from the fridge just as you get ready to shape your dough then smother the dough balls with it. Like really smother them with cheese.  Roll the dough balls in cheese and sprinkle even more cheese on top.

I served these to my friends and the verdict? It was a success! A real crowdpleaser!

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Filipino Milky Cheese Bread

Crowd Favorite Milky Filipino Cheese Bread

  • Author: Paula (Gobble The Cook)
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x


Soft, milky, and cheesy in one bread? Sign me up for it!



For the Dough:

480 grams (4 cups) all purpose flour

110 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

35 grams (1/4 cup) powdered milk

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt

240 ml (1 cup) milk

1 egg, large

57 grams (1/4 cup) butter, softened

For the Cheese Topping:

226 grams (2 cups) cheddar cheese, grated finely

60 grams (1/2 cup) all purpose flour

170 grams (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar

140 grams (1 cup) powdered milk

57 grams (1/4 cup) butter, melted and cooled


  1. Combine the milk and the eggs in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, and yeast. After kneading for a few minutes (just enough for the dough to come together) add the butter in batches.
  3. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic (until windowpane stage). Form into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a well floured surface. Punch down the dough to slightly deflate.
  5. To prepare the topping: In a bowl, mix the cheese, flour, icing sugar, and powdered milk thoroughly. Gradually add the melted butter while mixing, until no lumps form. Set aside
  6. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and roll it in the topping. Place each ball onto a baking sheet.
  7. Cover the dough balls and rest for 1 hour or until the they double in size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Bake the bread for 10 -12 minutes or until light golden brown.


  • I cut the butter into pats, since it makes it faster to soften to room temperature and easier to add to the dough.
  • I found it easier to use chilled cheese for the toppings, especially if the weather is hot. Additionally, I chill the topping while waiting for the dough to rise.
  • To avoid lumps in the topping, I very briefly ran it through a blender before putting it in the fridge. This makes it easier for the topping to cling to the bread instead of dropping off in clumps.
  • Category: Filipino, Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Filipino

What to some more recipes like this?


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Shine Aug 8, 2020 - 1:38 PM

Hi! I tried your recipe and i got the same issues about the cheese topping becoming paste like instead of crumbly. 🙁 i think the butter in the recipe is too much?? Im not sure. I also added 3/4 cup of flour in the dough (for kneading) since the dough was too wet. 🙁 still turned out ok but not like the ones in your photo. 🙁

I think it will be more helpful if you’ll also post photos for every step? 🙂 so we can compare if what we’re doing is still on point.

Still, thank you for this recipe! Been wanting to try this since March and was only able to do it now. Epic fail for me but will try again. Hopefully next time ill be able to nail the cheese topping as crumbly and not pastey.

Paula Oct 8, 2020 - 10:07 AM

Hi Shine, thanks for trying it out. I’ll definitely try to update this recipe with some step by step photos. I’m a bit busy with stuff at the moment but hopefully, soon, I can get back to blogging and baking. Thanks!

Lani Jun 19, 2020 - 5:43 PM

Thanks for the recipe its realy delicious and soft. It feels like eating cheese pandesal. Cravings satisfied. My cheese strussel became cause i added too much butter so i just topped it on the dough. Still delicious

Paula Jul 5, 2020 - 7:36 PM

Hey, glad you liked it! I haven’t made the cheese bread in ages but I’ll definitely look into the streusel again and see if there’s something I can improve on. Thanks!

Lai Jun 8, 2020 - 1:42 AM

This recipe is such a ripped off. The dough is very dry and hard that my mixer cannot handle, so i knead it manually and it’s still the same, so i dump it in the garbage. I made another one and lessen the amount of flour from 4 to 3 cups and it worked. Then, as i was waiting for my dough to rise, i made the struesel… after mixing the ingredients, it turned paste like consistency not crumbly. Such a waste of my ingredients especially my eden cheese since we don’t get a whole lot from our filipino store here.

Paula Jul 5, 2020 - 7:41 PM

I’m so sorry that it didn’t work for you. I feel that the amount flour that I’m using is actually quite less than the measurements (in grams) of the others. Anyway, good luck and I hope you find one to your liking!

kikayk8 Jun 7, 2020 - 7:37 PM

For the toppings: Will the melted butter turn the mixture into a paste-like consistency? Is that what we should aim for? Thanks

Paula Jun 7, 2020 - 9:55 PM

Hi, it isn’t a lot of butter so it won’t be a wet paste. It’s to sort of hold them together so it doesn’t fall off the bread. Hope this helps!

Zedel Jun 1, 2020 - 6:08 PM

Hi Paula! I made this Cheese bread because it is also a favorite of mine..however i had a problem with the cheese topping…when I mixed all the ingredients, they turned into a paste-like consistency…it became spreadable..so what I did was, instead of throwing it away, I just made Spanish bread and used the paste-like cheese topping as filling. What happened? I followed the instructions carefully…and blending in the mixer made it worse…I hope I get a reply from you…thank you and stay safe..the bread was great though!

Paula Jun 1, 2020 - 6:14 PM

Hi, awww too bad it turned to paste for you. Was it rock solid when it came from the fridge? What kind of cheese did you use? At least you got to use it still, that’s good.? Maybe try speading it on top of the bread if it still turns into paste? Like coffee buns.

Jocelyn May 28, 2020 - 3:30 PM

hi there.what do you think is the problem with my steusel.it is not crumby and it forms like a sticku paste?

Paula May 28, 2020 - 9:43 PM

Hey, did you try to put it in the fridge before using it? The weather here is terribly and the cheese gets greasy whem left out for long. Good luck!

Cey May 26, 2020 - 4:03 AM

Can the recipe be scaled down to half as I will only be making for 2 persons? Thank you!

Paula May 26, 2020 - 7:56 AM

Yes,but please note to manually scale down the cups (e.g flour) if using cups instead of a scale. Thanks!

Erika May 7, 2020 - 1:28 AM

? I tried making this today, but I couldn’t get past the initial dough and gave up. After kneading by mixer/hand the dough would just not become smooth; it felt dry and had cracks all over… The windowpane test failed as when I took a piece of the dough it couldn’t even stretch without breaking.

However, I used Ovaltine (lol) instead of powdered milk because I couldn’t find any… could that be the reason why my dough wouldn’t come together in the first place?

I noticed you mentioned using more flour in place of powdered milk in another comment- would the same amount (1/4 cup) be ok? Or less is needed?

And finally, does the 1 cup of milk need to be warmed up to activate the yeast? Sorry, so many questions… I just want to get this right. Been craving this bread for so long!!

Paula May 7, 2020 - 1:18 PM

Hi, don’t worry, it happens to all of us. It can be the type of flour being used or the measurements of the ingredients. It can be the weather too ?. Baking can be frustrating.

Anyway, maybe you can try adding 3/4 of the dry ingredients first? See if it improves the texture of the dough. You can add the rest as needed. You can also try to rest the dough after it gets to the shaggy stage. Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes before you proceed. The important thing is not to overwork the dough.

But whatever happens, just continue with the steps. At least you’d still get to enjoy the bread. One of my 1st failures was a super hard pandesal that I had to dip in coffee for some time to be able to eat it.?

For the yeast, if you are using instant or rapid rise, you don’t need to warm the liquid. Just add it directly to the flour etc. If you are using active yeast, then yes, you’d need to warm the milk. Good luck!

Rein Alviz May 23, 2020 - 6:51 PM

Making this one today! Don’t use the same measuring cups for the wet and dry! It’s a common misconception you can use both for those ingredients:) try adding a little bit more of the liquid incase the dough is a bit dry! For the kneading and slapping make sure you knead it as hard as you could to release the moisture of the ingredients, learned it while making pizza dough before!

Thanks for the recipe paula!

Paula May 26, 2020 - 7:58 AM

Oh great reminder! That is something that a lot of people do forget!

Cham May 6, 2020 - 5:45 PM

Can i used bread flour instead of flour?

Paula May 6, 2020 - 6:15 PM

Yes you can use bread flour instead. Just remember that it has more protein content so there may be very slight differences in the texture and shape. Good luck!

Sarah Apr 26, 2020 - 9:48 AM

What if i don’t have powdered milk?

Paula Apr 26, 2020 - 10:08 AM

Hi Sarah, it’s ok if you don’t have powdered milk. I just use extra flour instead. Hope this helps!

Lyn Jul 22, 2020 - 7:47 PM

What specific brand of powder milk did you used? Many thanks

Paula Jul 22, 2020 - 8:04 PM

Hi, it was just some generic full cream powdered milk from the store. You can use any but I won’t recommend skimmed milk, it tastes different. Thanks!

Dee Apr 1, 2020 - 10:21 AM

At what point do you sprinkle the coating? It’s not specified in your instructions.

Paula Apr 26, 2020 - 10:16 AM

Hi, please check step #6. You use it just after you shape the dough.?

Heather May 25, 2019 - 11:12 AM

Hello. May I know what Brand of Cheddar Cheese you used?

Paula May 30, 2019 - 12:09 PM

Hi Heather, I either use the Kraft or Eden processed cheddar cheese that comes in boxes or if there’s a sale on, I’ll get the Emborg grated cheddar cheese. Hope this helps!

Belle Jan 13, 2019 - 5:32 PM

Been looking for this recipe. Will try to make this soon.

Paula Jan 14, 2019 - 2:01 PM

Hi Belle, I hope it turns out really well for you!

Theresa Jan 6, 2019 - 3:04 PM

How much sugar do you put in the dough as the recipe does not state it?

Paula (Gobble The Cook) Jan 7, 2019 - 11:12 AM

Hi Theresa! Thanks for pointing out the missing part – it’s half a cup of sugar or 110 grams. I’ve updated the recipe too!


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