Friday, May 13, 2011


Ensaimada - made May 12, 2011 from my mom's recipe

I'm still revisiting Filipino baked goods from my childhood.  Ensaimada is a sweet roll lavishly buttered once it's baked and still warm then sprinkled with sugar (my favorite topping from childhood).  Think of it as the Filipino version of brioche as it's essentially an egg bread, similar in texture to challah or brioche.  This was my mom's recipe and something she made regularly when I was a kid.  It's also sold at Filipino bakeries like Goldilocks or Red Ribbon, oftentimes topped with shredded cheese in addition to butter and sugar but I prefer mine with just butter and sugar.

When my mom made this, it was my job to brush the little round foil pans with softened butter for the shaped ensaimada to rise in.  My aunt is currently visiting from the Philippines, my sister's in town and my parents were bringing both of them over to my house so it seemed like a good time to try out my fledging ensaimada-baking skills on a captive audience.  Using 6 egg yolks is an opportunity for egg-white omelets for breakfast later on or else plan to make something like an angel food cake to use up the whites.

Individual-sized foil round pans available at the grocery store

Put in for the 2nd rising

After the first rising of the dough, cut off equal-sized portions of the dough and roll into "ropes", generally 6-8 inches long but depending on how big you want your ensaimadas.  Coil into a round like a cinnamon roll and place in individual foil baking rounds that have been buttered.  Let them rise until they double in size or are over the top before baking.

Best eaten warm!

1 tablespoon yeast
¼ cup warm water (105⁰ – 110⁰ degrees)
4 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk, at room temperature
3/8 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
6 egg yolks

1.      Melt yeast in warm water.  Let stand a few minutes until mixture is foamy.
2.      Sift the flour and the salt together.  Add 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ cup flour to yeast and water and set aside.
3.      Cream butter, add sugar and continue beating until well blended.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well.  Add flour, milk and yeast mixture.  Beat thoroughly until smooth and elastic (I switched to a dough hook after I added the first cup of flour).  Place in greased bowl.  Cover with clean towel and let rise until double in bulk.
4.      Separate into small equal portions.  Roll out each to a thin rope of consistent thickness.  Roll into a coil and place in buttered individual round foil pans.  Let rise until double in bulk.
5.      Preheat oven to 350⁰ and bake until golden brown.  Once golden brown, brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  


  1. These sound heavenly! If they are like challah, topped with sugar, I KNOW I'll love them! I think I'll bake them for my Filipino daughter-in-law:)

  2. That's great - hope your daughter-in-law likes it! They're great warm with the butter still melted on it and the sugar still crunchy :)