This Easy Ube Pandesal with Cheese filling is made with ube powder. They stay soft, pillowy and moist for days after baking.
With the rise to the worldwide fame of our humble ube or purple yam, came a lot of new food ideas and creations starring this pretty purple/violet root crop. From ube halaya, ice cream, cakes, cheesecake, and other delicacies, there seems to be no limit as to what you can make with ube.
These days, ube cheese pandesal seems to take the spotlight in the local scene. A variation of the traditional Filipino breakfast bread, Pandesal. And why not, we Filipinos love our pandesal, be it for breakfast or afternoon snack. And Ube Pandesal with melty cheese filling is perfect for both.
Ube Powder VS. Fresh Ube
This recipe uses ube powder that is now widely available in baking supply shops or even online. Alternatively, purple yam jam (ube halaya) can also be used. Just reduce the sugar as it usually contains sweetener already. Of course, fresh ube can also be used. It has to be boiled and then mashed. I would say to use about half a cup to ¾ cup of ube jam for this recipe.
The ube powder is first rehydrated with hot water that will have a consistency similar to ube halaya. This will be added in making the dough. It will create a sticky dough. But because of the high water absorption of the ube powder, the resulting bread will be soft and moist even for several days after it is baked.
I get a lot of comment from others who used ube powder but theirs turned watery when hot water was added instead of absorbing the liquids. I think this is not the real ube powder starch but is used for flavoring only. If this is what you have, then I recommend using our regular Pandesal recipe and just add the ube powder flavor to the dough, dissolved in little water.
Notes on this Ube Pandesal:
- This makes a very sticky dough. As you knead the dough the stickiness will lessen. To handle it better instead of adding more flour, grease your hands with oil so the dough will not stick. Do the same to the surface where you will knead.
- I used instant yeast for this recipe. Using dry active yeast takes longer time for the dough to rise than using instant yeast.
- If you do not have the time, prepare the dough the night before. You can refrigerate it after kneading or once they are filled and formed. Cover with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Before using it, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before going on the next step. I recommend using dry-active yeast if you are going this route.
- I used oil instead of butter for this recipe. Butter gives bread richer flavor but since this is already a flavored bread so I opted for oil which makes it softer and stays soft longer.
Ube Pandesal with Cheese
- ¼ cup ube powder
- ¾ cup hot water -only if using ube powder
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil - plus more for greasing
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tablespoon liquid ube extract (optional)
- 1 block quick melt cheese (165g) - cut into 12 cubes
- 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs - for coating
- Place ube powder in a bowl. Pour in hot water and stir until completely rehydrated.
- In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Pour in warm milk and oil and add the egg and mix. Add the yeast and mix again.
- Add the rehydrated ube and ube extract (if using) and mix well until well combined. It will be very heavy and sticky. Use your hand greased with oil if you have to or use a stand mixer.
- Tip the dough on a flat surface. Rub oil to both hands and knead for 7-10 minutes or until soft and smooth. Do the windowpane test to check. (SEE NOTE )
- Form the dough into a ball and lightly coat with oil. Place it back the large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm area and let it rise until it almost doubled in size. Depending on how warm it is, could take 30 minutes to an hour or more.
- Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal parts using a knife or dough slicer. Shape a part into a rectangle and then divide it into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Repeat the same with the other half.
- Flatten a ball and place a cube of cheese at the center. Fold the sides of the dough enclosing the cheese cube inside. Form it again into a ball and roll it in breadcrumbs, completely covering all sides.
- Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet living some gaps in between (at least an inch). Leave them to rise for another 30 minutes. While waiting, preheat oven 340° F /170°C. Bake the Ube Pandesal for 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and serve while hot!
I will try to make your Ube Pandesal recipe really looks yummy.
Hello ,it is ok to use bread flour? I just wanted to bake with available ingredients at my pantry. Thank you
Sure you can, Lily!
Christina Robertson says
If I’m using a Kitchen aid mixer, what speed and how long should I knead the dough?
Use speed 2.
Hi, do I have to add extra flour if I’m using rehydrated Ube powder due to the extra liquid?
If it is really dehydrated Ube powder then no need as it will expand as the starch absorbs water. But if it only food coloring with ube flavor then yes, you might need to add flour.
Margaret Ascaño says
I’ve made this several times now and it’s perfect everytime. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.
Hi! Always love your recipes 🙂 I want to make this using ube halaya. How much would you recommend I use? Thank you!
Angel Mercado says
Hi, I tried the recipe and followed the instructions religiously 3x but it didn't rise. I don't know what went wrong. 1st attempt I used a stand mixer although out and then 2nd and 3rd attempts I used my hand as per video instruction. But all three came out the same.
Angel Mercado says
And also the consistency and texture is very sticky like an ube jam which I also used for this recipe. And I kneaded it as directed. I still baked it just to see how it comes out, and the middle of the dough is wet and pasty. I even added 10 more minutes of bake time.
Hi Angel, have you tested your yeast to see if it is still active? If it is not the yeast, could you have added too much jam? If it is pure jam it should not be that sticky actually.
This recipe turned out excellent! Thank you foxy folksy!
Margaret Ascaño says
Used this recipe three times now and comes out perfect every time! Thanks for sharing. God bless
Thanks for this recipe! It was soft and yes even for 3 days still fluffy and yummy. Mine was very sticky dough because my ube powder mix as watery but it still turned out very good! This is now my favorite ube cheese recipe 😁
Glad you like it, Frances. If you were able to work with that kind of sticky dough, I am pretty sure you can handle any kind of dough now!
Riza Penaflor says
How much should i use if i’ll use ube flavor syrup instead of ube powder?
I can not say exactly because it will differ depending on the brand you are using. just start with a teaspoon and adjust I guess.
Hi, if i use fresh ube, do i still need to mix it with 3/4 cup water? Thanks.
You have to cook your ube first. Read the post above for more details.
For the all purpose flour, is it bleached or unbleached that you used? Can I use 50/50 AP and BF? Thank you. Excited to try your recipe.
I used bleached and yes you can use 50/50 AP and BF for this.
Will the ratio still be the same if I use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour? Thank you.
I will not recommend using purely whole wheat flour for this recipe as it will make it too dense, but if you are experienced in baking with whole wheat flour and know what to expect then go ahead. But you can replace 1 1/2 cup APF with whole wheat flour keeping the rest the same.
Can I use cream cheese with the ube halaya as filling instead of quickmelt cheese?😊 Thank you! Really excited to try your recipe!
Yes, you can Clarii.
Jeza P. says
I just want to ask regarding the Calories of this recipe. Is 239 kcal for 1pc of ube pandesal only?
Hi Jesa, yes, but this is only an estimate computed by the recipe app.
How long can I store the dough in the fridge? I’d like to store it after
They’re shaped and filled in, is it possible to keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days and then bake them?
If you keep them in the fridge that long they will go on rising and then deflate. You can freeze right after shaping them. When you are ready to bake them take them out and cover them with a damp kitchen towel and let them thaw and rise in a warm area before baking.
hello! i’m really excited to try this recipe out. How would it be different if I’ll be using butter instead of vegetable oil? thank you so much! 😊😊
It will have a buttery taste which is good, but using oil makes it a bit more moist and soft.
Hello po! Thanks for this great Pandesal recipe! Today I made it for the second time for the whole family and everyone totally liked it. I used the dried ube powder, sadly I haven't found liquid ube extract yet.
I just wondered, my Pandesal have a very light lavender colour. Your pictures show a nice purple colour. How can I get that?
Salamat po for your great recipes! 😀
Use violet food color.
I am a keen cook but baking is not really my forte..I thought baking is too complicated so only try to do easy simple stuff. Since lockdown last year, I had more time and started to take baking more seriously. I love your bread and cake recipes!!! They are very easy to follow and always very happy with the end result. I have tried your ube cheese pandesal today for the first time and the result is a soft, pillowy pandesal...everyone loves it!!! Thank you for sharing your recipes, will try them one by one.
That is awesome, Joice! Good to know that you are enjoying baking through our recipes. Keep it up!😘
Margaret Ascaño says
This ube pandesal recipe is the best one yet that i have tried. The only problem for me is the size of the finished product. I always end up with extra large rolls. What is the ideal weight/ amount of dough should be used for one roll? Thanks a lot and more power!
That can be remedied easily, Margaret. Divide your dough into 16 or even up to 20 to make smaller ones.
Margaret Ascaño says
I am a baking enthusiast and i have tried a lot of bread recipes but your recipe is the best one yet! I have also tried your ensaymada and i can not fault it. Your tips are most helpful especially about dough consistency as not everyone shares that. Thank you so much for unselfishly sharing your expertise. I look forward to trying more of your recipes. More power to you and be safe always.
Thank you so much, Margaret. I am glad you are enjoying making our bread recipes here.
Hello po! I've learned from your other posts that you used to live here in Germany. Kaya I want to ask. Ano po mas mabuting gamitin na backhefe at tsaka flour? Yung type 405? I want to try making this. 😍
Hi Anele, most of the yeast(Hefe) in Germany are instant dry yeast and you just add them directly to the flour. I used different brands and they mostly worked the same. My fave to use is the fresh yeast in cubes, I miss using it. As for flour (Mehl) Typ 405 has a finer texture that you can use for pie crust and cakes. Typ 550 is the all-purpose flour and Typ 812 is like the bread flour. So for this you can use 550 or 812 or mix of both.
I followed this recipe last night, and I must say, I've already tried so many recipes and this recipe has been the best one yet. Really fluffy and soft!
Just curious, have you tried using one packet (2 1/4 tsp) of rapid rise yeast? If so, what was the result? 🙂
A packet is normally good for 500 grams of flour and this has almost that so it should not be much of a difference. More yeast means a shorter time to rise and lesser means longer rising but greater flavor. But sometime, adding more can cause your dough to expand too fast before gluten is ready so it might collapse during baking.
Are there any alternatives for quick melt cheese. It is out of stock in the market, what i got i just a normal one (young matured cheese).
Use soft cheese that will melt when heated.
The best ube pandesal recipe
Thank you so much!
Hi, I want to bake half of the ingredients. How do I divide the egg or will still use 1 egg? Thanks.
Hello, can I make half of the recipe? How do you divide the egg? Or can you give me the measurements for half?
I would suggest doing the whole recipe and either freeze half of the dough and use it later or bake the whole batch and give some to others 😉 They will love you for it.
Hi! In this case, can I freeze the dough without the filling, and when I want to bake it I then thaw and put in the filling?
Yes, that would also work.
Hi can i use ube jam?how much should i put?
Yes you can, use about 1/2 cup.
Hi! Is it possible to omit the cheese and just make a plain ube pandesal for my friend who is lactose intolerant? Would the recipe and baking time stay the same?
Yes, sure you can, Patti. You can also have ube jam as the filling instead.
Sorry I used 1/2 cup ube powder, not 1 cup. 😊
I tried this the first time and failed bec I think my ube powder wasn't the same as yours so I adjusted in my 2nd try. I used 1 cup of the ube powder I have and around 1/4-1/3 c of water. The problem I encountered this time was it didn't rise. The ube powder I have was a little salty so I think that was a big factor affecting the yeast so I added yeast and knead again. And it rose! Yey! We all enjoyed the ube cheese pandesal! Thanks for this recipe. 🙂
Good for you for making it work! Well done, Tisha!
Hello, I baked this ube pandesal last night and it was perfect! I used the regular pandesal recipe and add the rehydrated ube powder and ube extract at the end. Also, I beat the egg before combining it with the rest of the ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂
That is great, Rosemarie. Glad you like it.
Hi Ms. Bebs,
If i am going to use stand mixer for kneading, how long will it take to complete the kneading process?
It really depends, but normally at medium speed about 10 minutes. Just do the windowpane test to check.
Hi if im using bread machine how long it takes instead of using hand to kneated
Hi Marissa, the bread machine is pre-programmed when you use the dough function, just follow that.
Hello I used your pandesal recipe and it turns out good 👍 thank you for sharing! I just wish I had known it before.i used other recipes and it didn't came out good.By the way is it okay to just add ube flavoring only without adding ube powder or halaya?
Hi Glenda, if you will use ube flavoring then use my plain pandesal recipe and add it to the dough instead.
Can you use bread flour for this recipe? If so, do the measurements change?
I actually recommend it if you have it. Use 50/50 bread flour/APF.
Hi! I want to try this recipe for breakfast, can I prepare it the night before? Will there be any adjustment? Thank you
I suggest using active dry yeast and let it rise overnight in the fridge.
Can I use ube McCormick flavouring instead of powder? And how much should I use?
Hi Charlotte, start with 1/2 teaspoon first and see if you need to add more. Skip the additional water for the ube powder hydration. I would actually suggest that you use my pandesal recipe and just add the ube liquid flavor to the liquids.
Thanks for sharing this recipe! It really is soft and it stayed that way for 3 days! It’s my first time to try ube cheese pandesal and I liked how simple the recipe and instructions are. I used my homemade ube halaya for the dough as well as filling and it is so good! 👌🏼
Hi Jec, that is great for your first ube pandesal. Try our other bread recipes too😉
Is the nutrition facts for for one piece of bread?
Yes it is.
Cynthia Chenaille says
Wow! The first time I tried to make this ube pandesal recipe, it was perfect. I couldn’t believe I can do it, and even my husband love it so much, now I am making another batch today, it’s literally in the microwave fir first proofing, because there are 2 pieces left. Your pandesal recipes are the best one I’ve ever tried. Thank you!
Super! Really glad you are enjoying making them using our recipe. Thanks for the great review, Cynthia.
Hi, what kind of oven do you use? Mine is a convection oven and i tried baking this at 170 C for 20 minutes and it ended up hard.
Yes, a convection oven will give you a higher temperature than when using a conventional oven. Lower the temperature to 150°C for 15 to 20 minutes.