myFresha-licious: Ensaymada with Butter-Cream Cheese Topping

Ensaymada with Butter-Cream Cheese Topping

Light, cottonsoft, fluffy, and melts-in-the-mouth delicious.  Those were the exact words of my husband while eating and enjoying this wonderful ensaymada.  Thanks to a good friend Richard Ramos  who happens to be a baker/demonstrator at my previous company in the Philippines – Puratos, for the great recipe.

Ensaymada is a sweet bread that is very popular in the Philippines.  It is almost similar to the ensaimades of the Spanish.  The difference between ensaymada with the other soft breads in the Philippines is that, ensaymadas are expected to be soft, fluffy, and buttery while other sweet breads need not to be too soft.

Almost 2 years ago, I had posted another ensaymada recipe which I baked when we were still living in Singapore. See Ensaymada for the recipe.  Since  bread improver is available at Phoon Huat (the name of the store in Singapore where we buy all our baking needs), I was able to make a cotton-soft, fluffy, and delicious ensaymada using the straight dough method.

This time, however, since bread improver is not sold anywhere here in Qatar, I have to rely on the sponge and dough method to achieve a softer sweet bread.  For the purpose of posting this recipe on our blog, I have to convert all my ingredients in US measurement.  I always weigh all my ingredients when I do baking (so please don’t scold me 🙂 ) That is the proper way.  Baking is an exact science you know 🙂

For this recipe, the resulting dough was soft, wet, and sticky.  In short, the dough wasnot manageable.  I am supposed to give up after the mixing process butthanks to my husband and his 1001 ingenious ways of making my lifeeasier and comfortable I / we made it through with flying colors 🙂 Thank God, I married a Macgyver 🙂 

Where to buy ensaymada in the Philippines?  Almost all bakery / bakeshop large and small in the Philippines, including those bakeries found at the street corner, sell ensaymada.  The taste and softness however, may be different.  Who sells the best ensaymada in the Philippines?  Any bakeshop that uses Puratos bread improvers and were trained/educated by Puratos sells good quality ensaymadas 🙂

How to eat your favorite ensaymada? If you bought your ensaymada with toppings then just have it with your tea, coffee, juices, and even softdrinks.  BUT if you have a plain ensaymada, you can top it with butter and grated cheese.  If you are not lazy, you can make a butter-cream or cream cheese toppings.  I made a comibination of both for my ensaymadas’ topping 🙂 – butter-cream cheese topping (recipe below)  

This ensaymada is great with or without any toppings.  And, guess what, after more than 48 hours had past my ensaymada is still cotton-soft and fluffy 🙂 I don’t mind baking another ensaymada again provided my husband will help me with the make-up and shaping of these gorgeous things 🙂


Ingredients :

     Sponge (60%)

All Purpose Flour  – 3 c
Instant Yeast – 2 tsp
Fresh Milk – 1/3 c+ 1 tbsp
Water – 1/2 c+ 2 tbsp

     Dough (40%)

All Purpose Flour – 2 c
Instant Yeast – 1/4 tsp
Milk Powder –  1 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 c + 2 tbsp
Mashed Potato – 80 g.
Egg Yolk – from 5 large eggs
Fresh Milk – 3 tbsp
Unsalted Butter, (at room temperature) – 1/3 c + 1 tbsp

Baking Procedure :

Yield  :   20 Ensaymada
Mixing Method : Sponge and Dough
Fermentation   :  Sponge – 2 hours
Resting           : Dough – 30 minutes
Scale              :  70 g.
Proofing          :  1 hour
Baking in oven : 200 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes

1.  In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sponge using a wooden spoon or your hands.  Cover with a plastic and leave in a warm area (no direct sunlight!) for about 2 hours.
2.  In a mixing bowl (the bowl for your mixer), under low speed, mix all the dry ingredients for the dough.  Add the mashed potato.  Mix.
3. Pour in the fresh milk, egg yolks, and butter.  Mix at low speed for 2 minutes until incorporated. 
4.  Add 1/3 of the  sponge to the dough and mix at high speed until just incorporated.
5.  Add the other 1/3 of the sponge and continue mixing until just incorporated then add in the remaining sponge and continue mixing at high speed until well incorporated (approximately 5 minutes)

To test if your dough is already ready, that is if the gluten has already been fully developed, cut a piece of dough, stretch it with both hands.  If you get a thin film at the center of the stretched dough and it doesn’t break, then the gluten is fully developed

6.  Cut and scale the dough to 70 g. then roll it into a rope, then form it into a snail.  Do that for the rest of the dough.

7.  Proof for an hour (leave it as is for one hour)
8. 20 minutes before thproofing period is over, preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
9.  Brush each ensaymada with egg wash.
10. Bake ensaymadas for 15 minutes or until the top turns golden brown 

NOTE:  The final dough will be somewhat soft  and sticky, BUT it will still be manageable.  Here’s a few tricks I developed as I went on baking using this recipe.

1. Scale and cut the dough then roll it out into string on a floured working surface. 
2. OR you can use this, melt butter and brush it on your working surface and your hands then roll out your dough (scaled and cut) into string on the same surface

Spread a generous amount of Butter-Cream cheese Topping on top of the ensaymadas then sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese.  Below is the recipe for the topping


Ingredients :

Butter – 100 g
Cream Cheese – 1/4 c
Icing Sugar – 3/4 c

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream them at low then high speed.


– myFresha-licious on Facebook

– myFresha-licious on Pinterest

© myFresha-licious (12May2013)

40 thoughts on “Ensaymada with Butter-Cream Cheese Topping”

  1. Anonymous5 June 2013 at 15:14

    How do you mix the sponge and dough recipe? In your procedure above after mixing the dough recipe you proceeded to scaling ang cutting the dough.

  2. Anonymous6 June 2013 at 02:17

    Thanks for your fast reply and editing your direction. If we want to add bread improver to this recipe ( you mentioned that puratos is the best) how much do we put in and where to put ( in the sponge or dough recipe)

  3. Anonymous6 June 2013 at 08:49

    Hello can i still use bread improver in this recipe? And ifever how much?

  4. Hi. Yes you can use bread improver. I recommend Puratos' Soft'r Cotton. Based on this recipe add 1 tsp to the dough (not the sponge). Mix the improver with the dough's dry ingredients first.

  5. Anonymous7 June 2013 at 14:57

    I think rhe recipe above lacks liquid/ water. I tried mixing both the sponge and dough and it was only during the mixing that i noticed that there is wrong in the consistency for its almost all dry ingredients. I would appreciate it much if you can go over the ingredients and check if liquid/ water is missing.

  6. Hi. The measurements I provided in the recipe is correct. The total liquid (fresh milk + water) excluding the egg yolk is already at 60% (that is a lot – the usual is usually from 30-45% depending on the flour). Even if you used bread flour or with a high protein flour for this recipe, the resulting dough would still be wet, that is if you followed the recipe above. Please check your process again.

  7. By the way, how did you measure your flour? I think you may have added too much flour than needed. an extra 10 grams of flour makes a big difference.

  8. Anonymous16 September 2013 at 13:55

    hi, have you tried putting the dough in the fridge overnight before shaping? – Girlie

  9. Hi girlie. No I haven't tried. But as far as my knowledge dictates, I would not recommend you to do so unless you are using a special yeast meant for frozen doughs. If you freeze the dough for sweet bread, the yeast will not revive anymore, thus, your resulting bread will no longer rise. If you want to freeze your bread, you shape your dough, proof it, then par-bake the bread. After par-baking, then you can freeze for later 🙂

  10. Anonymous9 October 2013 at 05:19

    Hello… am inlove with your ensaymada…i wana try making it… would i get the same texture and fluffiness of the bread without using a mixer?

  11. Anonymous19 March 2014 at 06:58

    You didn't explain what did you do in your sticky unmanageable dough. How did you make it manageable and able to coil without sticking? Did you add more flour and knead it?

  12. Anonymous22 May 2014 at 06:13

    what's 80 grams to a cup. and please tell what you did tomake the dough manageable? and did you use uncooked mashed potato?

  13. shainna albutra

    hi.. can i ask what is the difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast?? because other recipe in making ensaymada active dry yeast is thyr using and using tht i need to huv lookwarm water then put the active dry yeast and add sugar leave it 4 about a min. until bubbled.. should i follow this procedure in using instant yeast or not??

  14. mmp from seattle20 June 2014 at 02:22

    i searched for a lot of ensaymada recipes and I can say this is the best ever!! I am an aspiring at home baker! Just to share what I tweeked with this recipe….I proofed my yeast with the warm milk and water and added 1 Tbs of sugar then added the flour! I used 1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes for this recipe! In the final mixing, I sprinkled 1/4 c of flour with the mixer speed on high as the dough was so sticky! I cannot thank you enough, MyFresha-Licious! My ensaymadas turned out how I want it to be!!! hats off to you for sharing……

  15. Hi thank you so much for the recipe it is really soft and fluffy..nde sya mahangin. super nagenjoy po ako while baking.this is my first time to baked ensaymada and perfect tlga.i followed your instructions. thank you so much.

  16. Anonymous2 November 2014 at 14:00

    hello there. I tried this recipe and it was really delicious and soft. I made this for my 90 Chin refugee students ( made 2 1/2 batch) just now and I'm sure they will love it. So in a way, you were able to help out too with your recipes. In behalf of my students, thank you and may God continue to bless you so you can be of more help to others.

  17. Anonymous13 November 2014 at 08:11

    I made the ensaymada but mine was actually burnt on top I baked it on 200C but I am guessing it's the gas mark I use that's why. the base is ok though, it tasted good and I also used sweet potato. I will try it again maybe I'll get it the second time around. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Hi

    I have been searching and tried for a good ensaymada recipe! Iam really excited to try your recipe! I have a few queries though….Do I need to prove the dough??? If not, I can only start mixing/preparing my dough after my sponge has proved for 2 hrs?
    Thank you in advance for your help!

  19. hi can i substitute the all purpose flour to bread flour? what could be the exact measurement?

  20. is the mashed potato in the recipe is the regular potato? bec. some revipe calls for a sweet potato

  21. Len11 August 2015 at 15:13

    I just tried this today. Really soft and fluffy! It actually doesn't need any improver at all! Thank you for the recipe!

  22. She Wolf Appetite

    Hi. Im doing it right now. 🙂 And for the sponge, may i just ask what should be the consistency? Coz mine is not wet.

  23. She Wolf Appetite

    It turned out good. However. Its like like ball of dough. It's not sponge like looking. I tried to do half recipe and whole recipe end results for both were still the same.

  24. Anonymous15 September 2015 at 16:55

    hi. i don't have stand mixer, if i knead by hand for how will it take the dough ready? if it is sticky, shall i need more flour to be able to knead the dough? or will it affect the bread later on? thanjks./

  25. Anonymous5 October 2015 at 16:05

    is the end result of the dough (sponge and dough mixed together) after 20-min kneading by hand be sticky pa rin or smooth to touch? thank you in advanced!

  26. Hi there…you said this recipe can also be done in a bread machine,but how willi do that?do i have to out firstthe ingredients of the sponge then press start at dough cycle then renove after then put the dough ingredients then press dough start or do i have to mix the sponge or dough ingredients in the machine then press dough cycle?.thanks..:-)

  27. Hi!you said we can use bread machine.So do i have to mix the sponge and dough ingredients together then press dough cycle ?or do I have to do sponge first then press the dough cycle then the dough ingredients then press again?.can u pls give exact instruction in using this .thanks

  28. Does your recipe from the first one that can beuse in a breadnaker machine give the sift and fluffy results as the inbredients mentioned above?..will it give the same results- texture, fluffiness, taste,etc.thanks

  29. Anonymous27 March 2016 at 17:59

    Hi, I didn't find the bread improver added on your list of ingredients. I've never bake bread so I am wondering maybe your ingredients do not need bread improver? I think I can buy bread improver in the US if I need it.

  30. hi i am so amaze how the result of this recipe. it is very fluffy and soft, but just i have to add little bit of the liquid during the sponge stage coz it turns very stiff. i think measuring by volume is tricky than measurements in grams. but all i can say it turns out so well. im happy i found your blog. but can i make a request if u can give the measurements in grams. i will really appreciate it. thank you for sharing an excellent recipe for ensaymada.

  31. Jessie L4 May 2016 at 08:25

    Hi, thank you for this recipe…I have actually tried this for maybe for more than 5 times already and it is always a hit. Family loves it. Soft and fluffy and kinda melts-in-the-mouth type =)

  32. Hi do You have To knead The sponge dough before resting for 2 Hours? Or just MIX The mixture? Thanks

Comments are closed.