Filipino Ensaymada - Confessions of a Chocoholic

How to make Ensaymada – Filipino Sweet and Buttery Rolls recipe

I return, my dear readers, from the abyss (aka work), armed with a recipe for the popular ensaymada.

Ensaymada is the Filipino answer to Puerto Rico’s pan de mallorca. Both are equally sweet, rich, buttery breads and they share the same coiled shape.

The Ensaymada

I’ve talked about the curious culinary similarities between the Philippines and the other Spanish colonized countries. The maja blanca is an example, and we can add the ensaymada to that list as well.

The Spaniards brought their cuisine as they expanded their territories. These were assimilated to the local tastes and spawned near enough versions across the globe. While the original ensaïmada and the pan de mallorca were heavily sprinkled with powdered sugar, we Filipinos stepped up our toppings game and threw in butter, sugar, and cheese.

A truly delicious overkill, in my opinion.

As with my pan de coco recipe, I used the tangzhong (water roux) method to give the ensaymada recipe softness. The tangzhong method calls for cooking some milk and flour before adding to the dough. It’s an Asian technique for yeast breads that many bakers swear by for keeping the bread soft, even after a few days.

I used my specially imported ensaymada molds, but you can use any mold that you have. The ones I got were about 4 inches in diameter. Most of the ensaymadas sold back home are even bigger!

I think the challenge for this recipe is shaping the dough into coils. Speaking for myself, I’m not very adept at rolling things and such. I find that the dough either slips or unravels, hence the uneven ensaymadas. My cinnamon buns and babkas aren’t the most picturesque either.

But in any case, it’s the taste that matters right? Imperfectly coiled ensaymadas pair off quite nicely with a cup of coffee or hot tsokolate, in my opinion.



This article will provide you with some information on Ensaymada, a sweet bread roll made from mashed potatoes, shortening, and bread flour. This pastry product originated in the Balearic Islands and is now popular throughout the Philippines and Southwestern Europe. Written accounts of ensaimada date back to the 17th century. The main ingredients in this pastry are bread flour, mashed potatoes, eggs, and shortening.
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 16 piecies
Calories 165 kcal


For the tangzhong:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsps flour

For the dough:

  • 4 cups 480 grams flour
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 110 grams 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks large
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 57 grams 1 stick butter, softened

For the filling:

  • 57 grams 1 stick butter, melted

For the toppings:

  • 57 grams 1 stick butter, softened
  • 220 grams 1 cup sugar
  • 100 grams grated cheese


For the tangzhong:

  • Mix flour and milk in a small saucepan.
  • Over low heat, whisk the mixture until it thickens like paste and slightly pulls away from the pan.
  • Set aside to cool.

For the dough:

  • Mix the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar.
  • Carefully add the tangzhong and the eggs. Knead slowly until somewhat combined. Cover with plastic and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add the milk while kneading. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
  • Add the butter and continue to knead the dough until smooth and shiny.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Let it rest for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and punch it down to remove the air.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Take 1 piece and form it into a ball. The rest of the dough pieces should be covered with a damp towel.
  • Flatten the ball with a rolling pin and shape it into a roughly rectangular shape.
  • Brush some melted butter. Roll the dough tightly, with the long side facing towards you.
  • Once the dough has been rolled into a rope, coil it around, tucking the ends at the bottom.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Brush the tops with softened butter. Generously sprinkle sugar and grated cheese before serving.



You can also add some sugar for the filling.
I didn’t use any egg or milk wash before baking.
Most local panaderias in the Philippines use margarine, instead of butter, for the topping.
Keyword bread rolls

Ensaymada Recipes

Filipino Ensaymada - Confessions of a Chocoholic

Ensaymada is a sweet bread roll

The traditional Filipino version of the sweet bread roll, the ensaymada, is made by twisting the dough into a snail-like coil and inserting one end into the bottom of the roll. Then, use a parchment-lined baking sheet or jumbo muffin tin to bake the ensaymada. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. They should reach an internal temperature of 185 degrees F.

Homemade ensaymada is buttery, fluffy, and made with egg yolks. It is easy to shape and bake. A specialized mold is available online or in a local supermarket. To make the dough easier to shape, combine it with butter and egg yolks. Don’t overknead it. The dough should be elastic, not too stiff. Then, bake it at a low temperature until golden brown and cooked.

It is made with bread flour, mashed potatoes, eggs and shortening
Taste sweet Filipino treats by The Ensaymada Project - ABC7 San Francisco

Homemade rolls are synonymous with good taste and hospitality. These breads make even the simplest dinner special. The flavorful dough and the yeasty aroma make these rolls a beloved partner to all kinds of foods. They can even complete a fried chicken dinner. Listed below are some recipes that you can try. Make some of these homemade rolls and try them out. You’ll be glad you did.

It is a pastry product from Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Ensaymada is a traditional Spanish pastry with Moorish and Jewish origins. It is often served as a breakfast or snack, and it’s a staple on Mallorcan tables. It can be eaten alone or cut up for sharing. The recipe is simple, yet time-consuming. Here are some tips for making ensaimadas:

Ensaymada is a traditional sweet pastry made with pork lard and sugar, and covered with sobrasada. It is made in tubs and is usually served cold, although it can also be incorporated into a variety of Mallorcan recipes. Ensaymada is also a delicious souvenir for visitors. Make sure to take home some when you visit Mallorca.

It is popular in the Philippines

The ensaymada that made Mary Grace Cafe a household name

The Filipino classic ensaymada (also called cemada) has a flaky crumb and tender layers that makes it a cross between bread and a biscuit. The original ensaymada recipe, created by Homemade Treasures, features butter and generous amounts of cheese on each bun. It’s easy to see why this Filipino sweet bread has become so popular. It tastes good enough to serve to guests at any celebration.

Filipino ensaymada is a brioche-like pastry topped with grated cheese. Its name is derived from ensaymemada, a Spanish word that means “floured” in English. It’s typically eaten for breakfast and is often described as a “sweet cheese roll”. The dough for ensaymada is made from flour, eggs, and sugar, and then proofed until doubled in size.

It is similar to cinnabon rolls

The other ensaimadas

You might have seen these cinnamon rolls on the mall. The dough is very similar to ensaymada dough. The two bake at the same temperature and are the same thickness. Both can be topped with cream cheese frosting and raisins. You can also use either shortening or butter to make vegan ensaymadas. If you like cinnamon, you’ll love this recipe. You can even try vegan version by substituting earth balance or vegan butter.

To prepare ensaymada, begin by making the dough. First, make a rectangle on a floured surface. Brush the dough with melted butter. Next, roll it up into a long log. Once it is long, turn it over seam-side-down. Press the seam side of the dough down to create a swirl. Once you have a rectangle, brush it with the melted butter.

It is topped with butter, sugar and grated cheese

Ensaymada is a delicious Filipino sweet that is traditionally served as a dessert. It has a soft pillowy bun with a buttercream frosting and grated cheese. It is a delicious treat that pairs well with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. This recipe requires the use of softened butter. The dough should be mixed with sugar and butter until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Then, add the grated cheese and mix well. Then, place the dough into a mixing bowl and beat on low to medium speed for 10 to 12 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once in a while.

After the ensaymada dough has risen to the right consistency, you can bake it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the dough in the baking pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Once cooked, turn off the oven and allow the ensaymada to cool. Sprinkle the topped ensaymada with powdered sugar and butter.

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