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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
4.99 from 55 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!

This Post Has 263 Comments

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  1. I have active dry yeast. What do you mean about proofing? How will i do it to make a soft spanish bread. If it is too sticky, will I add flour little by little?

    1. Hi Marie, proofing is a way of checking and activating your active dry yeast. Just take 1/2 cup of the lukewarm liquid in the recipe and add the ADY to it. Let it stand for 5 minutes. It should be foamy which means it is active. If it did not, then it is not good anymore. You handle sticky dough by greasing your hands and the surface with oil and working on it faster. Adding too much flour will make it dense and dry. Sticky dough means soft and moist buns.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,

    Thank you for sharing your recipe. I really love your recipe specially the ube bread pandesal always a hit with my family and friends.

  3. 5 stars
    tried a few recipes before and this one was the best! My kids loved it, also requested to put some Nutella on theirs. Will be trying more of you recipes, thank you for sharing it to us!

  4. 5 stars
    After freezing the dough and thawing them in the refrigerator overnight. Do you still need to leave them out and wait for the dough to be at room temperature before you put them in the oven to bake? and how long can you stored them in the freezer? I’m a big fan of your recipes and I’m finding ways how can I store them so my kids can just baked them whenever they want.

    1. Hi Aileen, if you are to bake them the next day then no need to freeze. Just refrigerate after kneading. If you did froze them then tranfer them to the fridge overnight so they can thaw. Then bring them out to come to room temperature.

  5. Hi Bebs! Thank you for your recipes. I had made Ube pandesal, Pandesal, Spanish bread and i made ur Palabok recipe too! Thanks again!

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Ms. Foxy! I already made this recipe twice and my family loves it. I also use the dough recipe for pandesal with cheese filling and it’ also works. Hope you can share a coffee bun recipe next time. 😊

  7. 5 stars
    My husband was having a home office upstairs. Out of a sudden a got a shadow behind me in the kitchen. He smelled the bread while I was baking it so he went down 😊He loved it! We loved it! 😋 Thank you sooo much for sharing your fantastic recipe! I will bake again for my friend on Wednesday. More power to you! God bless 💜

    1. That is an amazing baking success story, Beth! Happy to hear you guys like it. Stay safe while meeting friends and God bless you too.

  8. Hi Bebs,
    I want to try this recipe and I have a bread machine that’s been sitting in the basement for a long time. Wonder if I can you use a bread machine for this recipe? If yes, what would be the order of the ingredients when you put it in the bread machine? Can I use evaporated milk instead of fresh milk? How many pieces does this recipe yield? Thank you.

    1. Hi Doris, all liquid ingredients go in first then the dry ingredients, yeast very last. Evaporated milk is ok, yield is given above.

  9. Hi,

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter? Also for the dough, is it better to use butter than margarine or will it have the same taste/result?

  10. 5 stars
    Hi, bebs. It was my first time to make spanish bread yesterday, and my kids loved them. 5 stars for your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. ❤️

    1. Sure J, actually it 1=1.25 instant :ADY. But I’ve used both of them with same amount and there is not much difference actually.

  11. 5 stars
    Tried this today and it’s so good! I will divide the filling into portions next time because I had little left in the end (got excited) haha! Thank you for this simple recipe! ❤️ A first time bread baker here.

  12. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,
    Made these last night and it turned out so fluffy, soft and delicious. Our home smelled so good and my kids loved it. It has the right amount of sweetness. I’ll try both of your siopao recipes next. Thanks for sharing and stay safe. 😊

  13. 5 stars
    I rarely leave comments on websites but I just felt the need to leave one here.
    Your recipe is amazing!! I am SUCH an idiot in the kitchen so I literally shocked myself when I was able to successfully make your Spanish bread. Even with a tiny kitchen and a lot of resourcefulness required (cooking pots as mixing bowls, paint brush as pastry brush, etc), my Spanish bread came out sooo good. I can’t say it tastes exactly like the classic panaderia Spanish bread, but it is close and still so damn good. And I have you and your recipe to thank for that!!

    Also, here are some tips that some might find helpful.
    * My dough did not increase in size after an hour, maybe for a couple of reasons. It’s a bit cool, where I live. Or maybe the flour here is different. But just wait longer, it will rise. Mine took 2 hours for the size to double.
    * Ovens are a rarity here. But I have a microwave with oven setting (common here). If you are using something similar, you might need longer time and stronger heat to bake the bread. I had to up the temp to 160°C, and bake for 26 minutes. They came out looking 90% similar to the photos in this recipe. 90% because I only have panko breadcrumbs in my kitchen, and they look kind of strange on Spanish bread. 😀
    * Careful with the filling — it’s so good. I had a hard time filling 16 rolls because I kept eating a teaspoon of filling after it turned into a paste.

    That’s it. Again, thank you so much for this amazing recipe. I will try more of your recipes soon! Maybe pandesal or bibingka!! PLEASE MAKE A PANDECOCO RECIPE!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the very nice comment and I am really happy it worked out for you. Thanks also for sharing your workarounds so others may read it and help those with similar limitations as you have. 😘
      By the way, I just made a quick expriment, I have some panko breadcrumbs in my pantry and crush some finely using mortar and pestle. I then toasted it on a pan over medium heat untol golden brown! It is exactly like regular breadcrumbs perfect for this bread.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this earlier, it tasted just like the ones we can buy at ourlocal bakery, it is also not too sweet. Thanks for sharing your recipe, will try the ube pandesal next time.

  15. Hi! For the filling, is it 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup bread crumbs? The recipe list and the instructions doesn’t state the same. Thank you!

  16. 5 stars
    Hi! I’m new to baking and I am so glad I found your website! This spanish bread recipe and instructions are 100%. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    Hi! I just made your spanish bread recipe and it is the bomb! The flavor is just right and the yeast flavor is not too strong unlike other recipes. I’m going to try your pandesal recipe next time. Thank you so much and stay safe! 😊

  18. Hi! Can the dough be kept in the freezer if not using all? I wanna try making it but want to just bake half of what it makes 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can freeze the dough after kneading and before the first rise. You can also form them already and freeze them before the second rise. Remember to thaw the night before in the fridge. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled (this is the second rise), which will take longer than dough that has not been frozen. Bake as directed.

  19. Thank you madam for sharing the recipe! The bread is so delicious and the Sweet scent Buttery scent fills up our house! Greetings from Dubai

  20. Greetings from AU! My husband and kids love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Been trying for a long time, just found this perfect recipe. This has been my bonding time with the kids since lockdown. Today we will try the Ensaymada.

    1. Happy to hear that we could be of some help during these difficult times. Enjoy your baking/bonding times with your kids and do stay safe always…

  21. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs,
    I’ve been using your recipe in making spanish bread, ensaymada, pandesal and it turns out great. Now baking is my new hobby. Thank you for sharing! ❤️

  22. Hi there Bebs, i just made the dough this evening, can i bake them tomorrow? If yes, how do i store them? Thanks

    1. Hi Rachelle, you can refrigerate the dough after kneading so it will rise the first time in the fridge overnight. Just place it on a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  23. I used crushed graham crackers for the filling wine I didn’t have bread crumbs and it turned out great! Just sub equally.

  24. Hi, I’m just wondering about how much breadcrumbs should I put in the filling. Is it 1/2 cup or 1/4 cup? The filling ingredients is contrary to the instructions. Thank you.

  25. Hi! I just made this and the bread was superb.. however my filling was gritty and does not want to form a paste so i just put the crumbles in the bread before i rolled it… Was it because i used dark brown sugar? Im here in the UK and we have light and dark brown sugars.. Thanks!

  26. is there a refrigerated dough that I can use instead of making the dough? afraid that i might not get the right consistency of the dough.or me just being tamad.

    1. Hi Annie, I don’t use refrigerated dough so I can not recommend any. And this is medium sweet dough so I don’t think there will be an equivalent instant one.

    1. Yes, you can. But proof the yeast first with some of the liquid and sugar from the recipe. It might also take longer to rise, but should work the same.

    1. There could be different reasons. Either the dough has not risen enough before baking so the accelerated rising while in the oven will cause the outside layer to break. Rising time varies depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It can also be that the outside layer has dried up and crusted before it has completely risen. Cover the bread while proofing them the second time and bake at the preheated oven.

  27. Hi!!! Can I use wheat flour instead of APF? I am going to make this for sure but all I have is wheat flour. Thank you 😊

  28. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I was able to involve my whole family in the entire baking process even my little ones! After 25 minutes in the oven we all agreed it deserves a 5 star rating! Just the right amount of sweetness.
    It’s also a fun and creative way to engage my kids during this school closure.
    Thanks for this yummy recipe!

  29. i agree. my grandma was half spanish-filipino. i can remember how she used to make this and it’s always with pineapple jam that she made from scratch.

  30. Hi!
    Is it ok to do steps 1-6 the night before, leave the rolls in the fridge, and bake them early in the morning? Or will that mess up the texture? Thanks!

    1. HI Ingrid, I suggest you do step 1-5 then refrigerate the rolled Spanish bread. This will stop or slow down the rising. Take them out from the fridge and let them rise before baking. I would also suggest using dry-active yeast than instant yeast for long rising time.

    1. You can if you like, but I would recommend making the whole batch and just freeze some of the filled dough that you can bake later on.

      1. If i decide to freeze some of the filled dough then bake it later on, do i need to thaw it first or need to leave it in room temp before put it into oven or its ok to cook it straight from the freezer?

        1. Hi Lovely, I would recommend thawing first before baking. You can do this by placing the frozen dough from the freezer to the fridge overnight.

  31. 5 stars
    hi there, i hope this comment finds you well. wow, just wow. thank you for the recipe. it was my first time to bake this bread and it turns out perfect! my fave bread during my childhood and until now. My friends loved it so much that they request for it again. I’m so happy to find this recipe and don’t stop sharing your delicious recipes to everybody. Cooking, baking and bowling are my hobbies. my cooking website is still in progress. God bless and more power.

  32. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this very good recipe Ms. Bebs! My Spanish bread came out so good, my hubby and kids so loved it! And ohh, the batch I made was gone in a heartbeat!😀 I will definitely use your recipe again. Thanks!😘

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