skip to Main Content
Subscribe to receive a free eCookbook! Sign Up!

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! | www.foxyfolksy.comI 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. | www.foxyfolksy.comBack 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.

WANT MORE RECIPES? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Try this soft and cheesy Ensaymada recipe. |
4.94 from 60 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
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons 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*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 340mg 14%
Potassium 68mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 10g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 8.4%
Calcium 12%
Iron 7.9%
* 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. |
Try this ensaymada recipe for that soft, sweet bread covered with buttercream then topped with lots of grated cheese. Just yummy!| #filipinofood #filipinorecipes #pastry #bread #baked #sweet #snack #breakfast #foxyfolksy


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!

This Post Has 321 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow!!!! I just tried your recipe. It’s my first attempt ever, baking ensemayda, and I was prepared to try several recipes. I came across your recipe and, WHOA!! I will not need to try the other ensemayda recipes on the internet. First stop, last stop.

    The bread is so soft and fluffy. Of the 16 rolls that were made, I ate 5 buns right out of the oven and without the butter/sugar topping. It tasted yummy by itself!

    I haven’t had time for the batch to cool down because I wanted to leave a comment to tell everyone that they need to try this recipe.

    Thank your for sharing your recipe!

  2. Tried your pandesal recipe few days ago and we really liked it!! Today we thought of doing ensaymada. Used margarine for shortening and instant yeast. So fluffy and yummy!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes. THANKS!! (Currently in MY)

    1. Hi Justin, homebaked goods do not last as long as the ones sold commercially. But it should be good for a couple of days (4-6 days) if wrapped tightly.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. And for sharing your knowledge about the active and instant yeast. It is really a big help. I tried your recipe and it turned out really soft and delicious!!! Can’t wait yo try your other recipes. You are a blessing!

  4. If i am going to use instant dry yeast, when should i add it?
    Also, which step will be the kneading? I am planning to use a stand mixer; should i use the paddle for steps 1 to 3 and the dough hook for step 4?

    1. Hi Nika, I’ve made this several times and used different brands of flour. Honestly, I will say that flour does affect the outcome a little. When I was still in Germany they have finer flour and here in the Philippines they are not as fine and need a little bit more water. If your dough comes out too dry then add a bit more water. The dough should be sticky but as you knead it will be less tacky and easier to handle.

  5. Thanks you very much for this “Excellent” Ensaymada
    Recipe – Made it Today
    Came out perfect
    Followed the recipe to the “tee”
    Rising time was 2 1/2 hrs.
    Came out Super Soft
    It’s a “Keeper” recipe!
    Over 5 Stars!

    1. Hi Michelle, I like using our processed cheese here in the Philippines for this recipe because it is soft, easy to grate and does not harden as other cheeses do.

  6. Pretty good recipe. Tried it today and it was a success. I used bread flour because I read somewhere that the bread rise better and is fluffier. For the topping, I used old cheddar then grated it. Do not use the pre-grated cheese that are sold in the supermarkets, as they are not fresh. I did a combination of superfine sugar and confectioners sugar with the butter for the topping. Everything else was great with this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Bebs.

    1. It really depends on a lot of factors so the length of time varies. The best clue is when the dough should rise up to almost double its original size, then it should be ready. Instant yeast makes it faster than active dry yeast.

  7. My instant yeast didn’t proofed. And I still mixed it in the dough, Is it still good? 😅 it’s been 3-4 hours now but it didn’t double its size. Should I wait more? Or throw it na? 🙁

  8. Hi Ms Bebs I just would like to ask for the proofing currently I only have the Tandaco Dry Yeast that weights 7grms per sachet is it alright to use and should I still put sugar when proofing?

    For the shortening is Copha Vegetable shortening made with coconut oil alright to use. We have quite limited available ingredients outhere? Thank you so much in advance,

    1. Hi Cecile, I am not sure if your Tandaco is instant or not, but in any case, proofing the yeast will not hurt. A sachet usually is good for 500g of flour, so if that is what it says in yours then it should be enough for this recipe. Yes, you could add a teaspoon of sugar when proofing to feed the yeast, but it is optional. Shortening from coconut oil should be fine too…

  9. This recipe is awesome! My family and friends love it! I wasn’t sure at first because my family are lactose so I went out to buy the lactose free cheese. They were so happy and really enjoyed their first bite. Can’t wait to try some more recipe on this site.

  10. Hi, I would love to try your ensaymada recipe but I couldn’t find a white cheddar cheese. What kind of cheese you use on this recipe. Do they have them at Walmart?. Thanks

  11. I love this recipe! I made tiny bite size ensaimaditas which I baked in mini cupcake pans. The recipe made 5 dozen, it sure was more tedious to make (having to roll out dough for 60pcs instead of 16). I also used granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar for the buttercream topping. This recipe is a winner! Thanks for sharing it! I’m excited to try the spanish bread next.

    1. That sounds fantastic and cute, Marita! I can imagine how much time and effort you put in those ensaimaditas of yours. Glad you like our recipe and hope you”ll like our Spanish Bread as well..

  12. I love it!!
    Easy to
    Follow recipe,,my husband
    Love it without cheese,only with butter cream,But i prefer with lots of cheese on

  13. Hello, I want to try your recipe and wanted to use SAF instant yeast gold per your recommendation. If I mix the SAF instant yeast directly to the flour, do I still need to add the 1/4 cup warm water with the rest of the liquid ingredients or not? Thanks

    1. Yes, you have to add the 1/4 cup warm water to the liquids. Your dough will be sticky but that is the target, it will be less sticky as you knead it.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I add less than 1/4 cup of the warm water since I was so excited to try your recipe and couldn’t wait for your reply and luckily it turned out great. I couldn’t believed how quick my dough rise using the SAF instant yeast even when I put the dough in the fridge overnight. Thanks again for sharing your recipe, your pandesal recipe will be my next to try. 😀

  14. Hi Bebs!
    I just tried you recipe and it worked really well! This is the ensaymada I have been hoping for. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  15. These ensaymadas are the best! They are very soft and yummy. I have a question, though. How should they be stored? How long will they be good for? I asked this because I am planning to bake these and sell them to friends. Thanks a lot and more great recipes, Ms. Bebs!

    1. Hi Krys, I have not tested it for commercial purposes so I cannot really say how long they can keep. But I guess, if packed really well individually with cellophane wrap, I would say it could last some days if using processed cheese. Think also that it has butter so that is also something to consider.

  16. Thanks for sharing the best ensaymada recipe! I just made one last night and it turned out what I want it to be, the soft ensaymada that my husband and I loved.

  17. Hello, just want to confirm , what sugar to be add in mixing dough?…granulated or powdered?…thanks so much

    1. Hi Jhing, as indicated in the ingredients section, the powdered sugar is for the buttercream toppings. Sugar usually refers to granulated sugar. 🙂

  18. Hi Bebs, if using SAF instant gold yeast, how much will I use on your ensaymada recipe. You have on your notes that this is a better kind of yeast to use. I have lots of this instant SAF gold yeast. Thank you.

    1. I use something similar to Crisco but you can also use lard. Butter is, of course, an alternative but it will not be as fluffy, will taste very good though.

  19. Thanks for the recipe Bebs. My kids and grandkids loved it. I used the 50:50 evap milk as I was out of fresh milk. I’ll try with almond bev one of these days.

  20. Hi, Ms. Bebs! Can I use a cupcake mold instead? If so, will the baking time change or will it still be the same? I can’t wait to try this recipe (among others)! Cheers!

  21. Hi there! I just made this recipe and I followed everything in it and my ensaymada turned out so soft and fluffy. Thank you!


    I tried your ensaymada recipe, however when I’m done, I tasted the yeast on the bread and I can smell as well.

    Please advise what is wrong in my baking.

    Thank you
    Anna Marasigan

    1. Hi Anna. Different factors could have caused it. If you are using dry active yeast try not to add sugar to the yeast when proofing it. Also, this sometimes happens to sweet doughs because they need longer rising time because of all the other ingredients like sugar, milk, and butter that hinder the yeast activity and letting the dough rise in a warm kitchen can cause it to have this effect on the dough, but it does not happen all the time. Try to let it rise overnight in the fridge. Or use a special yeast made for sweet dough. I tried SAF Gold and it works really well for sweet dough because it is made especially for this kind of bread. I also read that Red Star Platinum is another good brand to use for any kind of dough.

        1. Hi Bebs,

          I tried the method you suggested, and it worked! I dont smell nor tasted the yeast, however, I think I have to make some experiments on the flours available here, as I have read some articles that not all flours are the same. Thanks a lot

  23. HI,
    I tried your ensaymada and silvanas recipe and it was a hit. I have people ordering now for their consumption and as gifts.
    hanks for sharing and wishing you continued success.


    1. Thank you for your reply. I also would like to know if you have bread recipes using bread flour. I will soon go back to US from Philippines and have excess bread flour that I would like to use before I leave. Thanks again.

Back To Top