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Filipino Spanish Bread Recipe

Spanish Bread is a favorite 'merienda' or afternoon snack in the Philippines that can be found in many local bakeries. You can also make your own and it is easy. We also found a way to keep that sweet buttery filling from oozing out. So you enjoy the full deliciousness of it without wasting any.

Spanish Bread showing the buttery sugar filling.

What is Filipino Spanish Bread?

Firstly, it has nothing to do with the Spanish bread of Spain (Pan de Horno). Except maybe that they share the same form (rolled) but the Filipino version of Spanish bread has something special. It has a sweet buttery filling.

It is a yeasted bread that is rolled into a log enclosing within a sugary and buttery filling. They are then rolled in breadcrumbs before baking.  It is very common to find them in 'panaderia' or local bakeries. Normally enjoyed as an afternoon snack.

Making the bread itself was no biggie. I read a lot of different recipes for Spanish bread and they all have the same ingredient for the bread, which is similar to Pandesal, so I just used my own recipe for that.

Filipino bread with filling.

Trying several recipes

The challenge for me was making the perfect filling. It took me four batches to finally get the filling right. That is, at least, my idea of what a Spanish bread filling should be. Sweet— but not overly sweet; buttery with a bit of a texture to it, and it should be moist.

The first batch, I followed what most recipe online uses for a filling: simply mixing butter, sugar, and bread crumbs together and spreading it to the dough before baking. I am not sure if it is the kind of breadcrumbs I used, because they turned out having a dry filling. The other problem is that most of the butter oozed out into the pan while baking. This seems to be a common problem with all the online recipes I found after I read the comments.

The second batch was almost the same, only with different measurements plus it adds powdered milk to it. The taste was good though.

With my third batch, I only used butter and brown sugar. I also smeared some butter on the center of the dough before adding the filling mixture. The outcome...slightly moist filling but there was no texture at all. Just a sticky syrup that also dries out once the Spanish bread gets cold. I recommend this recipe if you are eating them immediately after baking.

Bread rolls on a bread basket.

The perfect filling that stays inside

So after squeezing my brains out for some ideas, I decided to make an experiment. I cooked the filling!!!

Yup, I cooked the filling before spreading it to the dough of my Spanish bread! It is an additional step you will not find in any of the other recipes online. Believe me I read them all or at least those that are available at the time when I originally made this post in 2017. But, it was a necessary step to have a moist, textured, no-oozing-while-baking filling! I can see some have read my post and copied this step, which only means it really works.

The filling was brownish, not yellowish like ones I see on bakeries back home. I reckon that it is from using brown sugar and butter instead of white sugar and margarine that is normally used in bakeries. But I like the warm taste with a hint of caramel from brown sugar.

Freshly baked Spanish Bread on a basket

Sugary and buttery filling of Spanish Bread

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Filipino Spanish Bread - bread roll with butter-sugar filling
4.87 from 82 votes

Filipino Spanish Bread Recipe

Spanish bread is a popular 'merienda' in the Philippines with a sweet buttery filling! Try this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack.
Print Rate
Course: Breakfast,Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: filipino spanish bread,spanish bread
Servings: 16
Calories: 211kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast - - see NOTE 1
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 - 1 cup lukewarm milk - - see NOTE 2
  • 3 tablespoons butter - - or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 cup water or milk - - or more see NOTE 3
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar /white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • butter - - for brushing



  • In a big bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Pour in lukewarm milk, melted butter, and beaten egg. Mix until well blended. Add the instant yeast and mix well to form a slighly sticky dough.
  • Tip the dough on a surface greased with oil. Knead the dough with lightly oiled hands until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm area and let it rise until it doubled in size. Depending on how warm it is, could take 30 minutes to an hour or even longer.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter until bubbly. Add the flour and 1/4 cup bread crumbs and mix well. Once it starts to boil, add water or milk, sugar, salt and rest of breadcrumbs. Cook until it gets thick. Remove from heat and continue stirring until it forms a thick paste-like texture.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into 16 equal parts using a knife of dough slicer. Roll each piece into a long triangle (like a pizza slice). Brush the middle part with butter or margarine then spread filling on the surface leaving about a centimeter around the edges unfilled. Roll the dough starting from the wider end towards the smaller end enclosing the filling.
  • Brush each rolled dough with milk or water then roll it on a plate of breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper: make sure that the end part sits at the bottom so it won't open up while baking. Cover with cloth or kitchen towel or cling wrap and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes or until they doubled in size. Remove cover before baking.
  • Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake at 150°C (300°F) for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the Spanish bread from the oven and transfer to a bread basket. Enjoy while still warm.



  • NOTE 1: You may also use active dry yeast but it needs to be proofed first by dissolving it in 1/2 cup lukewarm water or, in this case, in the milk with a tablespoon sugar (taken from the ingredients for dough).
  • NOTE 2: Some flour, though the same type, may absorb water more than others. Start with 3/4 cup water and add more up to 1 cup if the dough is too dry. The dough should be a little sticky that will result in moist and soft bread.
  • NOTE 3: Some breadcrumbs absorb more liquid than others. In this case, you may need to add more liquid if you notice that the filling is getting too crumbly while cooking.
Nutrition Facts
Filipino Spanish Bread Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 211 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 269mg11%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 190IU4%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* 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.

This recipe for Spanish Bread was originally posted in February 2017. Updated in April 2020 to include new photos and a recipe video. The recipe remains the same.


Learn how to make this delicious Filipino Spanish bread for your afternoon snack. |


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. Thanks for the recipe and will surely be making this. But, just want to know if I can use olive oil instead of butter? Thanks

    1. Hi Reggie, you mean for the dough, right? Although I love olive oil and sometimes use it for making bread, I do not think it would be fitting for this sweet bread. You can use a more neutral-flavored oil instead.

  2. Hello! If you want to prep this in advance but still have it remain fresh, is there a way to store it and bake it only when you want it? Thank you!

  3. Hi Deb,

    Thanks sa mga recipe mo!
    We really like the APF pandesal, only tweak i did was, 3/4 milk and add 3tb butter. Using a gas oven btw, not burnt, no extra tray, Laging perfect!!! And your egg pie is also subarashii... Siopao is also kanpeki. Sana knock off ng star bread naman. Again , itsumo aragatou! - Rosario

  4. Thank you for sharing! Will definitely try to bake this one. Would like to ask if ilang days po mag remain soft and bread? Also shelf life. Thank you so much

    1. Home-baked bread normally stays soft for a day or two. If you want them to last longer I suggest using a higher hydration ratio so they remain moist longer. But be prepared to handle sticky dough.

    1. Hi Emma, I am guessing you are using a gas oven. If I am correct then you need to place an additional tray at the bottom rack to prevent the bottom of your baked goods from burning.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! my friends loved it!

    btw can i make this in advance then bake it on the day i’m serving them?
    also, what’s the difference if i’ll use brown sugar instead of white for the dough?
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Aside from the color, brown sugar sometimes takes longer to dissolve. You can immediately refrigerate the rolls once formed so they can do the final rise in the fridge overnight.

  6. 5 stars
    I really love your pandesal and spanish bread recipe. I make it at least once a week. It's perfect! Specially now that we can't really go out due to covid, I always just make bread at home. My family loves it. Thank you so much for your recipes!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi! Thank you for sharing your recipes. I tried this today and came out really good. It’s so soft, fluffy and not too sweet. My husband & the kids loves it. Thank you so much!

  8. I am making it now and noticed the oven temp is low at 300 deg F. I had to adjust it to 350 to achieve a golden brown look

  9. Hi Bebs! I’m a follower from LA! Can you make ahead the dough and store in the fridge? How long does it need to be thawed? 🙂

    1. Yes, you can just refrigerate the dough after kneading or after shaping the buns. It will slowly rise overnight then just bring it to room temperature before shaping or baking. It is recommended to use ADY for slow rising ..

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs!

    Thank you for this superb tasty recipe. My first time to make your recipe and turned out into yummy and irresistible. Will do the rest of your recipe soon. I just don't know how to share the photo of the outcome.😊

  11. 5 stars
    This is the first time i'm commenting on a recipe in my life. I needed to thank you!
    We made this and it was SUCH a hit <3 It brought us back to memories of our boracay family trip. Thank you so much for teaching!

    1. That is so nice of you, Pam, to spend time and effort to leave a comment and 5 stars at that. I truly appreciate it 😘

  12. i tried this today and i love it. Soft and fluffy and the filling is just right - not that sweet but flavorful. craving satisfied!

  13. Hello! I’m thinking of trying this recipe and I was just wondering if Panko bread crumbs are ok... 🙂 thank you!

    1. Panko breadcrumbs are too coarse and dry. I am not sure if it will come out good as is. But you can crush it to become finer and use that instead.

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