Ensaymada [Easy Filipino Bread Recipe]

Ensaymada is a type of pastry that is popular in the Philippines. It can be served as an accompaniment to coffee, tea, or with ensaymada sauce and cheese for breakfast or brunch.

ensaymada recipe

This blog post includes steps on how to make ensaymadas from scratch, including what ingredients are needed and expert tips for making ensaymadas at home.

Do you love Filipino food? If so, then this blog post is for you! Ensaymadas are a popular type of Filipino sweet bread that can be found in many different shapes and sizes. They’re often eaten as breakfast or dessert and are typically served with coffee or tea. This recipe will teach you how to make ensaymadas from scratch, including what ingredients are needed and expert tips for making ensaymadas at home.

Once you try these delicious treats, we know they’ll become your new favorite thing to eat! We hope this blog post has given you the information necessary to make some amazing homemade ensaymada recipes on your own. Now all that’s left is for us to tell you where we got our recipe from – it was passed down by my grandmother who learned it from her mother-in-law when she moved here from the Philippines back in the 60s. Enjoy! Make some of these delicious pastries today by following our easy step-by-step instructions!

What is Ensaymada?

If you love cinnamon buns, you will love ensaymadas. This is the Tagalog spelling. Otherwise, it may be spelled as ensaimada. They are coiled sweet rolls that are topped with sugar, butter, and cheese. When made right, they are usually soft and bouncy, making the perfect accompaniment for afternoon teas. The topping used may vary, but the common denominator is the soft pastry. It is baked as a spiral. 

You can trace this pastry’s roots back to the Spanish colonial times in the Philippines. It is soft and is often called cheesy soft with a characteristic fluffy nature. 


Ensaymada is made of flour, pork lard, sugar, water, and eggs. In the Philippines, butter is often used in place of lard. There are a couple of ingredients that you will need for this easy recipe;


You will need egg yolks as well as whole eggs. 


You will need unsalted butter for this recipe. Use good quality butter, which will give you a better product. While lard is sometimes used in recipes, butter is used in traditional recipes in the Philippines, where they developed this pastry during the Spanish reign of the area. 


You will need all-purpose flour and bread flour.  When you use two types of flour, it helps you contain the protein in the bread. This is another tip for you to get soft and fluffy textures. That’s what this pastry is all about, so use all the tips you can to get the softest and fluffiest dough for the best rolls.


Ensaymadas are a sweet pastry, so it may go without saying that you will need sugar. You will use it in the dough and also in making the characteristic sweet topping. 


It acts as an agent to make the dough. It is a base.


This also acts as a base for the dough. Its other function is to activate the yeast.


You will need dry yeast or instant dry yeast, whichever is easier for you to use. You can use one in place of the other. Place the yeast in lukewarm water to activate it. The water should become foamy. 


One of the characteristic ingredients in an ensaymada is cheese. Often, cheddar cheese is used for this recipe, and Gouda, Edam cheese, or quick melt cheddar cheese. 


This ingredient is easily forgotten in baking bread, yet it’s what can make or break the entire recipe. Bread made without salt has something missing. Ensaymadas are no different. You will need a bit of salt to bring everything together. 

Time & temperatures

It will take about 15 minutes to bake the rolls in a 350˚f oven.

Tips for ensuring soft and fluffy ensaymadas

  • Use egg yolks as well as whole eggs for a soft dough. 
  • Combine bread flour with all-purpose flour to get a soft and fluffy dough
  • Separate your ingredients and prepare them beforehand
  • Also, use warm liquids for better quality rolls
  • If you want the dough to rise and double the size without running out of time, do it overnight. Make the dough, cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and let it reach room temperature about 30minutes before. 

How to make ensaymada

The first step is to prepare the dough. Heat the milk and water to 40˚c or 105˚ f. This should take about 30minutes in the microwave. It’s essential to get it at the right temperature so that the yeast can activate properly.

For this recipe, you will need four egg yolks and two whole eggs. You will also need ½ a cup of lukewarm water mixed with one teaspoon of sugar. In addition to this, you will need one tablespoon of yeast, two ¼ cups bread flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4cup of sugar, one 1/4teaspoon salt, ¼ cup of whole milk, 1 cup of unsalted butter. Finally, you will need ½ a cup of unsalted butter, ¼ cup of white sugar, and ½  a cup of grated cheese for the topping. 

Separate the eggs, and whisk the yolks. Now, mix the water, sugar, and yeast and stir until everything is thoroughly blended. After about 5 to 10 minutes, it should begin to froth. Then in a separate bowl, preferably in your mixer, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Then add milk and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix and add the flour as you do so. ¼ cup at a time until the right consistency is reached. 

Cut the butter into cubes and make sure it’s at room temperature and mix it with the warm liquids. Meaning it will be soft and easy to mix with the rest of the ingredients. It shouldn’t be entirely melted, just soft. Mix it in, and make sure that it’s properly mixed and all the flour is folded in. knead the dough thoroughly. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. 

The following day, after it’s thawed out, place it on a surface with flour and knead it again until it’s ready to roll out. Then divide the dough into the size of rolls that you want. Mold them into the shape you want, and then put the rolls in a baking tray with parchment paper, so they don’t stick. 

Then bake at 350˚ F for about 15minutes. You will know they are done when the tops are brown, and you can stick a skewer through, and it comes out dry. Then go ahead and make the topping. Mix the butter and sugar, spread over the rolls, and sprinkle the cheese over it. 

ensaymada recipe


Ensaymada is a type of pastry that is popular in the Philippines. It can be served as an accompaniment to coffee, tea, or with ensaymada sauce and cheese for breakfast or brunch.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Dough Rising 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Philippines
Servings 4


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ½ cup lukewarm water mixed with one teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 ¼ salt
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup butter unsalted


  • ½ cup butter unsalted
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup grated cheese


  • Prepare the dough by separating egg yolks and whisking the yolks. Then in another bowl, mix lukewarm water with sugar and yeast and allow it to dissolve. Then again, in another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Add milk and the yeast mixture as well as the eggs to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add softened butter and mix for a further 5 minutes.
  • Pace up your mixer speed and add flour if the dough is not thick enough. Mix for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Knead the dough, place it in a bowl, and rest for a minimum of 4 hours, so it rises.
  • Then knead for about two more minutes on a floured surface.
  • Cut and apportion the dough and then shape it into rolls before placing them on the lined baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven at 350˚ F for about 15minutes.
  • For the topping
  • combine the sugar and butter
  • Spread it over the rolls
  • Sprinkle the cheese
  • Enjoy!