Ensaymada recipe: delicious, super easy to make Filipino pastry


Hello everyone! Every day gives me a chance to make changes to my favourite recipes. Sometimes I come across new techniques, other times I get the chance to try new ingredients. Here’s my new and improved ensaymada recipe.


Ensaymada is a super popular pastry in the Philippines. It’s usually part of merienda cena (or afternoon snack, in Spanish). Ensaymada can be enjoyed by itself or with your favourite beverage.

Ensaymada is a kind of brioche bread, which is characterized by its high egg and butter content, giving it a rich and tender crumb.

Ensaymada is the Filipino version of brioche bread, slathered with generous amounts of butter, and topped with sugar and grated cheese.

Generations of Filipino chefs and bakers have found creative ways of making ensaymada, giving it their own unique and modern twists.

For this recipe, I will be using more traditional methods, which will result in a flavourful ensaymada that is both sweet and salty, just the way Filipinos all over the world like it!


Most ensaymada recipes you will find on the internet use shortening. I don’t recommend it, because you end up with a less than satisfying ensaymada.

My ensaymada recipe uses egg yolks, milk and butter. Lots and lots of butter.

After all, everything is better, with butter.

What do I do with all the egg whites, you might ask? Why, I put them aside to make buttercream! 😉

People have reached out to me over the years to share how much they enjoyed making ensaymada using my first recipe, but after having tried this one, they’ve told me that they like it even more!

For the ensaymada make-up, I recommend using Gruyère, which is one of my all-time favourite kinds of cheeses.

Gruyère is a hard, yellow Swiss cheese that is aged for 12 months. Gruyère is sweet and a little bit salty, with a flavour that changes with age.

I like it because it’s both creamy and nutty early on, but becomes assertive, earthy and complex as it ages. Perfect for use with ensaymada!

While I’m partial to using Gruyère on my ensaymada, please fee free to use any cheese you’d like, such as Edam, Asiago, Cheddar or even Queso de Bola!

Just be sure to slather plenty of butter and sugar on your ensaymada, and whatever cheese you decide to go with, make sure to use a lot of it!


Ingredients for making ensaymada can be easily found at any grocery store or supermarket.

  • milk
  • butter
  • brown & regular sugar
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • flour
  • instant yeast
  • eggs
  • cheese


You won’t need specialized equipment to make ensaymada, just the usual, such as:

  • an oven & stove top
  • a mixer with a paddle and hook attachment
  • a couple of mixing bowls
  • a rolling pin
  • a baking pan
  • a nice, clean surface


For the dough:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp of instant yeast (or 1 pouch)
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg

For the ensaymada make-up:

  • 1 cup – 1 1/2 cup softened butter (or creamed butter)
  • 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup of regular granulated sugar
  • 1 or more cup of grated Gruyere cheese


1. Warm the milk with butter, brown sugar, the vanilla and salt. Best to set the stove on low – low medium, this way it does not scorch the milk. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat. Set aside.

2. Place the half of the flour and the yeast in the bowl of the mixer. Using the paddle attachment beat at low speed and add the slightly warmed milk (shouldn’t be hot, this will de-activate yeast) in a steady stream. Beat until smooth.

3. Add egg yolks gradually, making sure that eggs are incorporated with every addition. As always you should be scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Beat until smooth

4. Switch to a hook attachment and add the rest of flour. Once all the flour has been absorbed, you can switch your mixer to a higher speed. (You do NOT want to switch your mixer to high speed while adding the flour, that’ll be a big mess! ;))

5. Continue mixing until the dough forms and is no longer sticky or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (You’ll notice too that the sides of your bowl becomes “clean-ish”).

6. Transfer the dough into lightly oiled bowl to proof. Cover it with a damp cloth and wait until it doubles in size. It takes about an hour to two hours.

7. Once the dough has risen, knock it down.

8. Divide the dough into small equal parts 2.5″ – 3.5″ diameter ball, depending on how big you want the ensaymada to be.

9. With a rolling pin, flatten out dough to about 6-8” x 5” rectangle.

10. Brush the surface with softened butter. Add grated cheese and sugar and then roll it up. Keep in mind to seal the ends.

11. Now you’ve rolled it into a log, curl it into a coil. Place on slightly buttered muffin pan or brioche pans or baking pan.

12. Give it about another hour to let it rest and rise again.

12. Bake at 350F for about 30 – 35 minutes.

14. Once done, let ensaymada cool and finish with butter, sugar and cheese.

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  1. Wow.. gotta try this👍🏽 Got lots of left over yolk from making butter cream. This must be a good alternative from leche flan.. Thanks 🙏

    • Hi Elenore! Wasn’t able to achieve the “clean-ish” bowl when kneading. What do you think I did wrong? Is there a way to salvage it? Thank you.

      • Hi. Never had any problems using a stand up mixer – for me it usually takes about 4-5minutes using your dough hook at a higher speed.

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