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Ube Pandesal with Cheese

This Easy Ube Pandesal with Cheese filling is made with ube powder. They stay soft, pillowy and moist for days after baking.

Pandesal made with Ube and with cheese filling.

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.

ingredients for ube pandesal

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 3/4 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.

Pandesal made with purple yam

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 Cheese Pandesal

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Ube Cheese Pandesal
4.97 from 62 votes

Ube Pandesal with Cheese

These Ube Pandesal are not just pretty, they are deliciously soft and pillowy with melty cheese filling. Perfect for breakfast or snack.
Print Rate
Course: Breakfast,Snack
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: pandesal,ube cheese pandesal,ube pandesal
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 239kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup ube powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 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!



NOTE 1 : This makes a very sticky dough. To handle it better, grease your hands with oil so the dough will not stick. Do the same to the surface where you will knead.
NOTE 2 : The windowpane test is one of the best ways to tell if the dough has been kneaded sufficiently. All you have to do take a small piece of dough, flatten it and slowly stretch it with your thumbs and fingers. If it breaks or tears immediately then it needs more kneading. If it stretches into a thin membrane without breaking where you can see the light through when you hold it up against it, then it's good! 
Nutrition Facts
Ube Pandesal with Cheese
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 296mg12%
Potassium 119mg3%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 195IU4%
Vitamin C 0.5mg1%
Calcium 129mg13%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* 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.



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. I have been making your pandesal recipes and they are fab! Thank you so much for sharing them. I am a mom (though I have a boyish name – Marc) who loves to cook that I passed the passion to my son who is now a Chef.

  2. Hi Bebs! Thanks for the recipe. My dough didn’t rise as much as it should have. I used the ube jam instead of powder. Are you supposed to still add the water? Maybe that’s where I made a mistake.

  3. 5 stars
    Hello Bebs, i love your recipes here and been making ube cheese pandesal for the family, they’re perfect but my concern is, some of the cheese pops out from the buns while baking in the oven, wondering what’s the cause and how will i avoid that to happen? Please help.. Thank you🙏🏻

    1. Hi Anna, try using frozen cheese so it will not melt too fast while waiting to rise and bake. Make sure also to have the cheese evenly covered with dough.

  4. Hi!

    I am going to use active dry yeast for this recipe, is there a difference within the rising time?

    Thanks! 🙂

  5. Hi Ms. Bebs, ive been using recipe and we love it so much but these days ube powder is all sold out i guess everyone is baking with ube. I bought a frozen grated yum and i have nonidea how to use it as substitute for ube powder can you please help me thank you so much God bless

    1. Hi Alma, you just boil it in a little water to form a paste (like ube halaya texture) then use about 2/3 cup to 1 cup for the recipe.

  6. hellow Miss Bebs. my dough turned out to be so wet, so added another half of flour and still turned to be tasteful. Thank you for the recipe and i will keep using it…

    1. Hi Jey, glad it still worked out for you. I am guessing you used ube flavoring instead of powdered ube since it did not absorb the liquids.

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Bebs, Thanks for this recipe.. I just have a question though (sorry may be a stupid one, new baker here).. will there be any difference if I use bread flour instead?

    Thank you

    1. There would be some difference but some might not even notice it. Bread flour tends to give a little chewiness but they normally rise better/puffier.

  8. 5 stars
    Hi! I used ube halaya before and now I want to try using the ube powder. However I bought a CRV brand of it. Is it exactly the kind of ube powder that we should use? If not, what should I do to get the flavor of ube? Should I just add more ube extract? Thank you!

    1. Hi Yannah, this is exactly what I do not recommend if you are to follow this recipe as I used powdered ube and CRV is ube flavoring in powder form. Not the same. But you can still use it, just do not use the same measurement of water for the powdered ube because it will not absorb it.

  9. Hi Ms Bebs! I have been using this recipe for so long my family loves it. So I decided to sell. After many times of doing this, it was only yesterday that my dough was so wet and sticky that I cannot roll it. I know it could be the flour. My question is, if the dough is very wet and sticky, can I add some more? Will it affect the softness?

  10. Hi, I’m having a hard time finding ube powder always out of stock. Can i use ube liquid instead? And if so, what’s the proper measurement if I use the liquid? Thank you so much.

  11. I am interested in the ube cheese pandesal however i can’t use all purpose flour due to health reasons. Can i use brown rice flour, almond flour or coconut flour? TIA

    1. Hi CME, I haven’t baked bread using the flours you’ve mentioned so I am not sure of the outcome. But I guess you will not know until you try.

  12. My dough was very wet and I can hardly handle it but my bread still turned out perfect. When I watched the video, it turned out that my ube mixture was more wet compared to yours. My pandesal did not look that great but the taste more than compensated for that. I will definitely try it again. It is now the 2nd day and my bread tastes so fresh without heating. Thank you.

    1. Hi Christina, thank you so much for your honest but really nice comment. I am only guessing that the ube powder you used is not the same as mine. It should be able to absorb the water and more.

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