Soft and buttery brioche-like Filipino sweet bread topped with cheese
My mom’s the whole reason why I even pursued making ensaymada in the first place! I was intimidated by making the bread, but after a few years of baking and learning little tricks to good enriched bread, I was ready to tackle the recipe.
Ensaymada stems from Mallorca, Spain, and it’s referred to as “Ensaïmada Mallorquina” or “Ensaïmada de Mallorca”. With the history of Spanish colonization, it made its way to the Philippines.
Filipino ensaymada is LUSCIOUS. The bread is soft and buttery (it’s really loaded with butter), topped with even MORE butter and sugar, then perfected with a mountain of shredded cheese.
This time, I shape the breads into small rolls and bake them in my smallest tins. You can shape them into any size you want including one large loaf tin. Just remember you will need to increase the bake time the larger the
As always, I encourage you to make this recipe your own. How can you change it up and add your own flavors to it?
How to make Ensaymada
To make ensaymada, you’ll start by making a simple milk bread, topping it with a sweet spread and then finishing it off with yellow cheese! Detailed recipe and ingredients below are below.
I’ve put some photos from my video to help guide you along the way.
First, you’ll make a milk bread dough
Knead this for a short time and then add butter. Then knead for a long time.
Let the dough proof in the fridge overnight. If you’re on a time crunch you can let it proof at room temp for an hour.
Before overnight After overnight
Shape the dough! You don’t have to shape them how I did here.
After shaping, let them proof once again
It’s baking time!
While its baking, you can move on to the topping. Its simply butter and sugar whipped together. Finally top it with some salty yellow cheese.
Try using cream cheese instead of butter for your topping, add a bit more sugar, and whip it up for a thicker cream cheese frosting!
I highly recommend using powdered sugar for the topping. It will result in a smoother, creamier frosting. If you do elect to go with granulated sugar, continue whipping the sugar and butter until the sugar granules are fully dissolved. Otherwise you will end up with a gritty, crunchy frosting.
Use a torch to melt the cheese on top, or place the finished ensaymada in the broiler on high for a few minutes for ooey gooey cheesy goodness!
- 2 cups flour (250 g)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (30 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast (or 2 teaspoon active dry yeast, bloomed)
- 3 eggs (150 g)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ cup butter room temperature (125 g)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter (113 g)
- ½ cup sugar powdered recommended but granulated ok (104 g)
- ½ – 1 cup cheddar cheese grated, cubed, etc. (any salty cheese)
- In a stand mixer, mix in flour, sugar, yeast, and salt, making sure the salt pile doesn’t make direct contact with the yeast pile. Mix all the dry ingredients well together.
- Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix until all the flour has been picked up. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes on low speed.
- While the mixer is still on low speed, add the butter.
- Keep the mixer on low speed and knead for another 20-25 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test.
- Scrape the sides and cover. Place in the fridge overnight. The dough will slowly proof overnight. I recommend placing in the refrigerator overnight because the dough contains a lot of butter. It will be chilled making it easier to work with when shaping. If you cannot wait overnight, simply cover and allow the dough to proof for at least 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Shape the dough however you please. I divided mine into 19 equal pieces by weight to place into little muffin tins. You can use whatever baking vessel you want but remember to extend the baking time appropriately.
- Place the shaped rolls into a well-greased baking dish, and cover with a large plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise again for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 175ºC. Once preheated, place the dough inside the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Allow the bread to fully cool down before placing the toppings. Note: Extend the baking time if you shaped the dough into larger rolls than me
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Slather evenly across the tops of the bread, and finish off with a generous heap of cheese.