From Spain to the Philippines: Learn How to Make the Classic Pinoy Ensaïmada
Ensaïmada, or better known in the Philippines as Ensaymada, is a pastry product that most of us enjoy, especially with hot chocolate or coffee. Filipinos grew accustomed to this pastry product made with flour, water, sugar, eggs, and butter. We love it so much that we got the traditional Spanish recipe, modified it, and called it our own.

Nowadays, we have it nearly everyday, from bakeries and streetside stalls all over the Philippines. But with such simple ingredients, why not just make them yourself?

500g bread flour
2 pc. eggs
250ml water
250g butter, softened
100g white sugar, plus 1/8 cup for dusting
10g active dry yeast
5g salt
melted butter
your preferred cheese, finely grated
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the yeast with warm (not too hot or cold) water and a pinch of sugar to activate it. Allow the mixture to stand until it becomes pale and creamy. Alternatively, use warm milk instead of water.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together, except the bread flour. Add the bread flour in batches, making sure to incorporate everything together, either by using a standing or hand mixer, or kneading it by hand.
  • Once the dough ball is smooth, cover the bowl with cloth or plastic and allow it to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in volume.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the excess air inside. Using a dough cutter or a knife, cut the dough into individual portions, about 50-70 grams each. Feel free to shape it however you like.
  • Brush a large, oven-proof tray with lard, oil, or parchment paper and place the ensaymada dough balls onto it.
  • Cover the dough balls again and allow it to rise for another 2 hours. Take this free time to read more articles on
  • Bake in a 180ºC oven for 40-50 minutes or until slightly golden.
  • To plate the ensaymada, allow it to cool. Once cool enough to handle, brush the top with some melted butter, sprinkle grated cheese, then sugar. Serve with coffee or hot chocolate.

Serves about 10-15 pieces, based on size

Ensaymada, from