Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ensaymada, from the Philippines

Left, traditional ensaymada.  Right, bite-sized ensaymada.

I stumbled upong my favorite snack on a recent trip to the Philippines this past December.  I discovered it while sampling breakfast foods at the Manila Hotel and I came across ensaymada. 

When I returned to the U.S., I recommended it for friends to try to make it at home.  I also spoke with some individuals who are from the Philippines and they informed me that it is there favorite snack as well!  They said, "It is very tough to dupliate anywhere else bu the Philippines.  There is something about how it is made over there."  It is an unusual but very delicious treat!  I first tried baking ensaymada with my grandmother, who is the best cook in the family by far!

Below is the recipe my grandma and I followed:



• 1/3 cup refined sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/3 cup butter


• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon refined sugar
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon instant yeast

  • grated cheese  
  • melted butter
  • sugar
1. Mix sponge ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine until blended and knead until dough is smooth. Shape into ball, cover wit damp cloth and let rise for 2 hours.

2. Put the dough ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl. Blend until well blended. Add the sponge and the butter. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into ball. Put in a bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise again until double in bulk.

3. Punch dough and divide equally into 8 pieces. Shape into balls, cover with damp cloth and let rise for 30 minute Roll out each piece thinly into 8 x 5 inch rectangles. Brush surfaces with butter. Roll into long rods and twirl into shape, locking the ends to seal. Place on greased ensaymada molds. Let it rise for 2 hours until doubles in size.

4. Bake at 325 F for about 10 minute or until light golden brown. Cool slightly and brush with melted butter. Top with grated cheese and sprinkle with sugar.


  1. Thanks for this post, Vanessa! Ensaymada is almost every Filipino's fave snack, but we don't think much of it here. We just eat it. I guess it becomes extra-special when you live abroad and it's not as readily available. But then again, you have the recipe. Amazing! Now I'd like to sample some of your OWN ensaymada. :)

  2. Oh, and one thing I love about ensaymada is how it just melts in your mouth. That's how we can tell a good ensaymada from an ordinary one.


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