Ensaymada Recipe

by liliana
Ensaymada Recipe

If you’re in search of the most delicious and irresistible snack, then why not try making an ensaymada? This classic Filipino pastry is a sweet and buttery treat that’s often enjoyed during special occasions or as an afternoon snack. It may look complicated to make, but don’t worry; this ensaymada recipe has simple instructions that are easy to follow. All you need to do is gather the right ingredients, enlist a little help with the baking process if needed (it tends to be easier when done together), and enjoy it warm out of the oven – all your hard work will have been worth it!

What Is Ensaymada?

Ensaymada is a type of Filipino pastry that has become popular world-wide in recent years. It is a soft, sweet bread that is covered with butter, grated cheese, and sometimes sprinkled with sugar. The dough can vary in ingredients, baking time, or shape depending on the region it is made in, but most include flour, egg yolks, milk, butter and sugar. The dough can be steamed or baked until golden brown. This is typically served as breakfast or dessert but can also be enjoyed as part of a snack throughout the day. An interesting fact about this delicious pastry is that it has gotten its name from an Arabic word which means “braided” because the dough used to be braided before being baked. Whether it’s for breakfast or any other occasion, ensaymada always makes for a special treat!

What Is Ensaymada

What Is Ensaymada

The Secret To The Best, Fluffy Ensaymada

They are a traditional Filipino pastry made with a sweet, doughy base and filled with cheese. For those wanting to try making one at home, this recipe makes 16 delicious Ensaymadas and is surprisingly easy to follow! The dough can be quite tricky; while it is naturally very sticky initially, have patience as the dough will rise after three hours. This rising process helps yield wonderfully soft and cheesy results! To ensure best results, make sure not to add too much flour or your final product won’t turn out looking like the traditional Ensaymada.



  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Softened
  • Envelope Active Dry Yeast
  • Flour
  • Egg yolks


  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Kraft Cheese

How To Make

After gathering the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, you are ready to start. Simply combine 2 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast with a 1/3 cup of warm milk (110 F) and one egg, adding 1 cup of flour until fully mixed.

Using a rubber spatula helps to ensure that all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Take care not to stir after the cracks appear on top of the mixture as it stands.

Letting the mixture untouched for 40 minutes is essential for ensuring that the flour can develop these cracks, which will allow air to enter so that excellent texture and flavor can be achieved.

Mixing a classic dough can be incredibly satisfying. To start, it’s important to have the right ingredients – eggs, sugar, salt, and flour. These should all be added to the mixer bowl and lightly beaten with a dough hook at low speed until just combined, around one minute. At this point extra flour should also be added, then the mixture should be beaten again on medium speed for 15 minutes.

Keeping an eye on it during this process will help to ensure that the finished product meets expectations; when ready the dough should easily and naturally attach itself to the dough hook and pull away from the sides of the bowl in violent slaps of delight.

Once the 15 minutes of mixing is over, take the dough out and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or until double in size. After this time, divide into 16 balls and arrange on a buttered baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Gently flatten each ball and brush with melted butter before sprinkling with sugar and cheese. Bake in a preheated oven (350 F) for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Let cool before serving – your Ensaymadas are now ready to be enjoyed!

The great thing about making your own ensaymada is that you can change up the ingredients and flavors to suit your own preferences. Get creative and experiment with different fillings or toppings! No matter how you choose to make them, these delightful pastries are sure to bring joy and delight. Enjoy!

Video How To Make It

Notes On This Ensaymada Recipe

  • The dough needs to be left untouched for 40 minutes to allow the flour to develop cracks, allowing air to enter and giving the Ensaymada a perfect texture.
  • When dividing the dough into balls, make sure each one is of equal size so that they all cook evenly.
  • When baking, it is important to keep an eye on the pastries as they can go from golden brown to burned very quickly.
  • Feel free to get creative and change up the filling or toppings according to your own taste preferences. Enjoy!

Freezing The Ensaymada Dough

If you have left over Ensaymada dough and don’t want to make more pastries right away, the dough can be frozen. Simply wrap the dough in cling film and place in an airtight container or freezer bag before freezing for up a month. When ready to use, leave the dough out overnight in the fridge to defrost before using. Alternatively, the dough can be microwaved for 10-15 seconds at a time without affecting the quality or texture of the final product. Enjoy!

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Tips For Making Ensaymada

Tips For Making Ensaymada

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Ensaymada Last?

Ensaymada made with the classic recipe can last up to three days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

What Is The Difference Between Ensaymada And Brioche?

Although both are enriched doughs, ensaymada is usually sweeter and richer due to the addition of butter, sugar, and cheese. Brioche, however, usually has a more eggy flavor due to the addition of eggs. Both make excellent pastries and breads.

What Equipment Do You Need To Make Ensaymada?

To make ensaymada, you will need a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, baking tray lined with parchment paper, and some sort of spoon or spatula to help flatten the dough balls.

Can You Substitute Regular Flour For Cake Flour?

Yes, regular flour can be used instead of cake flour when making ensaymada, however the texture and flavor of the final product may vary slightly. Using cake flour will give the Ensaimadas a lighter, fluffier texture but regular flour can still yield good results. Ultimately it is up to you to see which one you prefer!

Can I Make Ensaymada Ahead Of Time?

Yes, the dough can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. The pastries can also be frozen after baking and will last for up to a month. When ready to eat, simply defrost overnight and reheat in the oven before serving. Enjoy!


Ensaymadas should be an enjoyable cooking experience for all! By following the steps in Liliana Kitchen‘s recipe and adding your own personal touch of creativity, you can make these delightful pastries at home. Whether you choose to top them with sugar and cheese or something else entirely, ensaymadas are sure to please everyone’s taste buds.

Ensaymada Recipe

Ensaymada Recipe

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 325 calories 19 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Sugar: ⅓ cup
  • Shortening -softened: ½ cup
  • Active dry yeast: 1 envelope (about 7-9 grams (¼ oz)
  • Cup flour: 3 ½
  • Egg yolks: 1
  • Salt: ¼ tbsp
  • Butter: ¼ cup
  • Butter: ½ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ½ cup


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, shortening, sugar and salt to start the journey of creating your delicious dough.
  2. Add half of flour and yeast for a paste-like consistency before beating in egg yolks followed by additional flour.
  3. Gently fold while scraping the sides of the bowl until you have achieved an oh so sticky yet satisfactory end result - cover with kitchen towel then let it rest & rise!
  4. After some time has passed uncover this now double its size treasure chest ready to tip over into thinly floured working surface below.
  5. Roll out your dough into a log, then cut it into two pieces.
  6. Then you can further cut each piece into two, resulting in sixteen slices of dough. With the help of a rolling pin, flatten each slice into a eight by four inch rectangle and brush with some softened butter before rolling each one up from the long side to create a thin log.
  7. Shape the log into a spiral and tuck the end before filling greased molds and allowing them to rise in a warm place for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour until they've doubled in size.
  8. Bake the spiral-shaped ensaymadas at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crisp
  9. Let your tasty creations cool slightly before applying a generous coating of butter and powdered sugar to give them that classic ensaymada flavor.
  10. Enjoy!


  • To make sure your ensaymada bakes evenly, try using a pizza stone in the oven while baking.
  • If you're looking for a richer flavor, use melted butter instead of softened butter.
  • If your mixture is too dry and won't come together, add a tablespoon of warm milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Use parchment paper to line the baking dishes for easy removal.
  • Allow your ensaymadas to cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to a week.
  • For a unique twist, try adding some cream cheese and raisins or other dried fruit into the dough for extra flavor.
  • If your ensaymadas become too sweet, add a pinch of salt to the topping before adding it on.
  • You can also experiment with different fillings and toppings such as chocolate chips or nuts to make your own unique version!

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