Ensaymada Recipe

Soft and buttery brioche-like Filipino sweet bread topped with cheese

Watch How To Make It:

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.

The recipe in this video doesn't use brioche or ensaymada molds/tins. Instead, I used a baking dish, since it's more commonly found in everyday kitchens. If you have the molds, use them!

As always, I encourage you to make this recipe your own. How can you change it up and add your own flavors to it?


Brioche Dough:
2 cups flour (250 g)
2 tbsp sugar (30 g)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast (or 2 tsp active dry yeast, bloomed)
3 eggs (150 g)
1-4 tbsp milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature (125 g)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

1/4 cup butter (57 g)
1/4 cup sugar (52 g)
1/2-1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or any salty cheese of your choice)


To Make The Bread:
1. 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.
2. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and mix until all the flour has been picked up. Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.
3. Depending on how dry or wet your dough is, slowly add milk 1 tbsp at a time until you get a dough that is sticky but can still be picked up and cling onto the dough hook of your stand mixer (watch the video for an example).
4. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes on low speed.
5. While the mixer is still on low speed, add the butter slowly, one pat at a time. Allow each pat to fully integrate into the dough before adding another pat of butter.
6. Keep the mixer on low speed and knead for another 20-25 minutes, or until the dough passes the windowpane test (watch the video for an example!)
7. Once the dough passes the windowpane test, cover it in an airtight container or plastic wrap and allow to double in size, which typically takes anywhere between 30 min-2 hours.
8. Once doubled, tip the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and evenly divide into 8-12 pieces and shape into rolls or swirls. It doesn't have to be perfect!
9. Place the shaped rolls into a well-greased baking dish, and cover with a large plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.
10. Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 175ºC. Once preheated, place the dough inside the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Allow the bread to fully cool down before placing the toppings.
11. 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 shredded cheese.

Optional: use a blowtorch 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!

Enjoy the ensaymada hot, with a freshly brewed mug of coffee.

Special Notes:

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!


Post on social media and tag @jeanelleats! I get so happy when I see people making these recipes at home!

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