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Ensaymada Recipe

These could easily be the best homemade ensaymada you could ever make. Who could resist this soft and buttery sweet dough that is baked to become pillowy buns? Coated with buttercream frosting and topped with lots of grated cheese. The perfect mate for your coffee and tea. A warning though, one piece will never be enough.

Try this ensaymada recipe for that soft, sweet bread covered with buttercream then topped with lots of grated cheese. Just yummy! |

I have been craving for Ensaymada for some time now. For my Filipino readers, you know exactly what I am talking about. But for those who are not familiar with it, let me introduce it to you. 

What is Ensaymada

Ensaymada is a type of Filipino soft, sweet dough pastry covered with butter and sugar then topped with lots of grated cheese. 

It was adapted from the Spanish Ensaïmada but has evolved throughout the years to become what it is now that is loved by many Filipinos.

The province of Bulacan is famous for this bread. I remember when we were little and our parents would go to Bulacan (my mother’s home province) for a visit, they would bring back home some special Ensaymada.

Try this soft and cheesy Ensaymada recipe. |

Back in those days, ensaymada was simply just coated with butter, sprinkled with sugar then topped with cheese. Additional toppings of sliced salted egg made them a lot more special.

The ensaymada that is popular nowadays is the really soft ones. Usually creamed with buttercream frosting and topped with grated cheese. They are very tasty and this recipe is exactly that.

I was reading a lot about making really soft Ensaymada and I am quite happy with the outcome of this recipe.

soft ensaymada

The secret to the best, fluffy Ensaymada

While in the process of making it, I have to say that the dough was really sticky and I was in a bit of a doubt if it is going to rise at all.  

But I was surprised that it did rise and really well. I learned a lot from the process of making Ensaymada that I will have to edit my recipe for baked doughnuts.

The trick, I learned, was patience… (actually, I fell asleep while waiting for the dough to ) after three hours of “waiting” patiently, I was amazed to see that my really sticky dough more than doubled its size..hehe…I did the same on my second and third trial (except for the nap) and the result was the same.  But I stopped it from rising further than almost double. We do not want to over-rise them.

This recipe makes 16 soft, cheesy and delicious Ensaymadas.Try this soft and cheesy Ensaymada recipe. |

For those who are asking about a mold you can use to make ensaymada, I found these on Amazon. But you could always use a muffin form or just do it without any mold, like how it is done before.

Notes on this Ensaymada Recipe

  • This dough is quite soft and sticky in the beginning. As the gluten structure builds, it will become more elastic and less sticky. Try to avoid adding too much extra flour. As you knead the dough the stickiness will lessen.
  • This dough can be made a day ahead.  After kneading, cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Before using it, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then deflate it and shape it.
  • Using dry active yeast takes a longer time for the dough to rise than using instant yeast. I highly recommend using SAF Instant Gold (specifically made for sweet dough) or Red Star Platinum brands. Because they rise faster, it eliminates the chance of taking on a slightly tangy, fermented flavor.
  • I used shortening for the dough but a lot of people ask if they can use butter. The short answer is, yes. But while butter will make delicious buttery bread rolls, using shortening makes it fluffier and lighter-textured baked goods.
Ensaymada Recipe

Homemade Ensaymada

Other Filipino bread and pastries to try

  • Spanish bread – bread with sweet and buttery filling
  • Cheese bread – a sweet bread covered in milky goodness
  • Pandesal – Filipino breakfast rolls
  • Peach Mango Pie – a well love modern Filipino dessert
  • Mamon – a mini-chiffon cake top-coated with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar
  • Empanada with Chicken Filling – a savory treat perfect as snack or even lunch.
  • Hopia – mini cake-like pastry with sweet bean or ube filling
  • Siopao – steamed buns with sweet-savory chicken Asado filling.

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Try this soft and cheesy Ensaymada recipe. |
4.81 from 119 votes

Ensaymada Recipe

Try this ensaymada recipe for that soft, sweet bread covered with buttercream then topped with lots of grated cheese. Just yummy!
Print Rate
Course: Dessert,Snack
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: ensaimada,ensaymada,ensaymada recipe
Servings: 16
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening - -softened to room temperature
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast - (about 7-9 grams (1/4 oz) or 1 tablespoon) - proofed in 1/4 cup warm water ( See Note 1 for alternative)
  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter - - softened to room temperature- for brushing


  • 1/2 cup butter - - softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Kraft cheese - or other grated cheese


  • In a mixing bowl, mix together milk, shortening, sugar and salt.
  • Add half of the flour and the bloomed yeast and mix for 3-5 minutes at medium speed until a paste-like consistency is achieved.
  • Add the egg yolks and the rest of flour and mix for another 3 minutes. Add more flour if the mixture is too liquid or too sticky but not too much.The dough is supposed to be sticky.
  • Scrape the sides while folding the dough in the middle of the bowl and then cover with kitchen towel. Let it rest and rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it doubled its size.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl while tipping the sticky dough over to the thinly floured working surface.
  • Roll the dough into a log and cut into 2. Roll each log again and cut into 2. Repeat this process until you end up with 16 slices.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll a slice into a rectangle (about 8x4 inch) and brush the surface with softened butter. Roll it from one end of the long side to the other end, creating a long, thin log then shape it into a coil (spiral) with the end tucked under.
  • Place each coiled dough in a greased mold and let it rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes to 1 hour until it has risen to almost double its size.
  • Bake them in a preheated oven at 300°F /150°C for 20-25 minutes. Once baked let them cool down for a few minutes before removing from molds.Then let them cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream by creaming ½ cup of softened butter and ½ cup powdered sugar.
  • Using a knife or spoon, cover the top of the ensaymadas with buttercream and lastly with a generous amount of grated cheese.



Note 1 - You may also use instant yeast which requires no proofing and can be added directly to the flour before kneading. Using instant yeast will also cut the rising time. Add the 1/4 cup of water for proofing ADY to the liquids instead.
Note 2 - For puffier and faster rising, I recommend using SAF Instant Gold which is made for sweet dough.
Nutrition Facts
Ensaymada Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 325 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 69mg23%
Sodium 340mg14%
Potassium 68mg2%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 420IU8%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.
Try this soft and cheesy Ensaymada recipe. |


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. Hi! Will try this recipe this week and am very excited. Since I’m only cooking for two I want to half the recipe. Can I just divide all ingredients by two?

    1. Hi Monica, some of the ingredients are difficult to divide in half. I suggest making the whole batch and refrigerate the other half of dough to use the next day to make buns or cinnamon rolls.

  2. 5 stars
    Your ensaymada recipe is amazing! Got good reviews too from friends and family that we shared our ensaymada with. Def satisfied my craving! Cant wait to try your other recipes! 😊

  3. Hi! I’m going to attempt to make this. How big is the mold that you used? CAn you send a link if you bought it online ? Thanks in advance!

  4. Are you based in the US or North America? Just checking if your bread and ensaymada recipe has been adjusted for higher altitude and colder climate? I’m very frustrated because I cannot get my ensaymada to be light and fluffy and I don’t even use bread flour (use apf).

    1. Hi Joyce, I am currently in the Philippines. But I did these while in Germany as well. Just give them more time to rise, that usually does the trick.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi! I made these last night and they were delicious!! The only problem I had was the dough puffed up and spilled out of the tin molds while baking. Did I proof it too long or should I just split the dough into more tins? I made 16 and used the molds from your link. Thanks!

  6. I’ve made this ensaymada (with the addition tangzhong)5+ times because my family and friends love it so much!! But my most recent batch came out different (more similar to mason) and the bread was separating And falling apart more easily ):
    Do you think it has to do with not kneading enough or over rising the dough?


    1. I am not sure what changes you’ve made from your first successful batches to the later ones that are not so. Of course, under and over kneading will greatly affect the outcome. Overrising them can also lead to yeasty odor and tatse and deflated bread.

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I tried making 2 batches but I do not have enough shortening for the 2nd batch, so I used butter instead. I can definitely agree that shortening makes its more fluffier and light. This recipe is a keeper, all should I say all your recipes are a keeper. Thank you.

    1. You can freeze the dough to last for months and thaw it overnight in the fridge overnight before using it and let it come to room temperature.

      1. 5 stars
        I just want to ask, what size of mold that I need to use to make cheese ensaymada?
        And what kind of cheese do you use?

  8. 5 stars
    I am attempting all recipes in your site. 😂 I have tried your pandesal recipe after 4 attempts with other recipes and yours came out pwrfect. I have made pandesal four times already. As of the moment, Im doing the ensaymada. I thought of letting you know how grateful and elated I am. Thank you

  9. 5 stars
    I love it! My parents in law liked it. They’re japanese and the taste was just right for them. Thanks for the recipe.. looking forward for another baking to your one of you recipes.. 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Omigosh, these remind me of my Lola’s (although we usually just top ours with a little butter and sugar). Thank you so much; this recipe is perfect!!

  11. what kind of cheese did you use for this ensaymada? I am having a hard time finding the right cheddar cheese because most cheese i tried is too strong or taste bitter. I cant find something close to Eden cheese

  12. Great recipe! I’ve made this a few times with different variations.
    1. Layering a thin layer of ube halaya/ Nutella instead of brushing soft butter. – delicious!
    2. Used almond milk instead of regular milk (because I had run out) – the bread came out a bit bland

  13. I followed measurements to a T but my dough wasnt as sticky as that in the video. What could have i done wrong?

  14. Hi Bebs, what ingredient specifically makes the bread soft and fluffy? is it the butter? Also, I used cake flour on mine and it kinda tasted sour. Should I add less yeast?
    Thank you, appreciate your response. 🙂

    1. The additions of butter and eggs make bread softer and so is its ability to absorb as much liquid. I don’t think there is anything in the recipe that should make the bread sour unless the milk has gone bad. Reducing the yeast in this rich dough will require a longer rising time.

  15. Hi Bebs. I tried your recipe using bread flour and so far it’s the softest & fluffiest ensaymada I have ever baked! I chopped some ham and sprinkled them on the dough before rolling it. My family told me I don’t even need to top them with with cheese because the ham gave a salty but tasty contrast to the buttercream. I’ll make ube ensaymada next time, replacing the ham with ube jam. Thanks and hope you’ll come up with more great recipes. How about sansrival? 🙂

  16. 5 stars
    bebs! Thank you for this recipe this is the best ensaymada ive tried so far.
    I have question i wanted to put ube powder flavor to this how many table spoon can you suggest? Does it affect the original texture of the ensaymada?

    1. Hi Stella, I cannot say for sure as I haven’t done it myself. If you need to dissolve the ube powder flavor in liquid then just use the same liquid in this recipe. Goodluck!

  17. Hi! I wonder if the window pane test applies to this dough? It’s really sticky as what was indicated on your note. But I’m not sure if I kneaded it well. I did it for about 30mins because I don’t have a mixer

    1. Hi Ali, 30 minutes of kneading sounds a bit too long, normally 10-12 minutes should do the job. I am afraid it might have been over kneaded already.

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,

    Your ensaumada recipe is very yummy. My friends are asking me to bake for them. My question is, if I will double the recipe, do I have to double the yeast too?

    Thank you for sharing your recipe and tips.

  19. 5 stars
    It’s my first time to bake ensaymada and my family loves it. I will bake again and again using this recipe. Thank you so much Bebs for sharing!😊

  20. In using instant yeast, do i use the same amount? I have tried the recipe and i dont use mold, the ensaymada looked kinda flat. I let it rise as the instruction stated. Once in the oven it kinda lost it shape. Is that from the yeast i used? I used saf instant red by the way.

    1. Hi Kristine, did you at least shape them as shown in the video? The dough is very sticky and needs structure around it so it could push itself up and rise.

  21. 5 stars
    Hi po,
    Just want to ask, ilang teaspoon of yeast po ang ilalagay ko if ilagay ko ung dough sa fridge overnight for the first rise? Thanks.

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