Cover Photo: The Daily Knead Official Facebook Page

Cheesy, buttery, and insanely soft, ensaymadas are irresistible Filipino staples for a delicious and addictive reason - try out some of our favourites, listed below.

Ensaymadas are a quintessential Filipino pastry. A unique evolution of the Mallorcan ensaimada (a traditional coiled sweet bread usually served at Easter) the Filipino ensaymada features a much richer dough. Enjoyed at breakfast, merienda, or even as dessert, these tender, buttery buns are coated in sugar and topped with cheese, making for a unique and ultra-addictive indulgence that goes perfectly with a cup of coffee or tsokolate

Read on to find some of the best ensaymada in and around the metro, including the classic iterations, luxurious takes with truffle or prosciutto, and a heavenly ensaymada-adjacent doughnut we just had to share.

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1. Cafe Mary Grace

As the verifiable monarch of this baked treat, no ensaymada list would be complete without the one and only Mary Grace. Setting a high standard for ensaymada enthusiasts, their famous iteration of the Pinoy staple is remarkably soft, buttery, and delicious - trust us, it’ll have you reaching for seconds before you’ve even realised you’ve finished your first.

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2. Cibo di Marghi

Fusing her relentless passion for authentic Filipino cuisine and undying love for Italian fare, Margarita Forés rolls out luxurious ensaïmada at Cibo di Marghi. These indulgent pastries come in three genius variations - parmesan, prosciutto, and the bestselling truffle ensaïmada.

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3. Luxury Sweets by Joey Prats

Dubbed by some as the “Rolls Royce of ensaymadas”, Luxury Sweets by Joey Prats uses only the finest, top-quality ingredients to craft these decadent buns. As their only product on offer at the moment, they’ve dedicated all their time and effort to these gourmet queso de bola ensaymadas - try it out for yourself and reap the rewards of their hard work.

4. The Daily Knead

The Daily Knead has been the talk of the town since opening their bakery in 2020. Without any preservatives and extenders, the treats from head-baker Franchesca Herring are made with her kids in mind to produce the best bakes. This commitment to quality shines through their brioche ensaymadas, which are slathered with luscious homemade buttercream and beautifully sharp aged manchego - plus, for those looking for something even more special, the jamón ensaymada is also topped with jamón serrano.  

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5. Wildflour Café + Bakery

This celebrated bakery churns out countless baked goods for every mood, so it comes as no surprise that Wildflour also produces ensaimadas. Offering their quality take on the Filipino classic, this sugar-coated brioche comes with a generous mountain of cheese, and even comes in an ube variant.

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6. Panaderya Toyo

Though not exactly an ensaymada, Panaderya Toyo packs the same sweet-salty-umami deliciousness into their glorious quezo de bola bicho. The base of this Filipino delight is left to ferment overnight, giving the doughnut the unbelievable tenderness you look for in an ensaymada as well as a pronounced tang to round out the flavour.

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7. Bungalow Café and Bakery

When you see a line out the front of a bakery for pick-up alone, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re in for some great eats. Bungalow Café and Bakery is a brunch (and boozy lunch) gem in the metro’s south, pumping out great coffee, whimsical drinks, exquisite food, and excellent bakes - including a classic ensaymada.

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8. Breakfast At Antonio’s

As another institutional breakfast destination, Breakfast At Antonio’s has won the hearts and stomachs of many Filipino gourmands, seducing even the most home-bound city-dwellers to make the journey out-of-town. On your next daytime date at the beloved breakfast spot, try out their classic or quezo de bola ensaymadas, which you can even opt to have grilled and served with a side of parma ham and hot chocolate.

9. Buttery & Co

Buttery & Co takes their classic sugary-buttery-brioche ensaymada decorated with fine powdered Edam cheese to a whole new level. Apart from the reliable classic, Buttery & Co also offers salted egg custard ensaymada, which is adorned with an indulgent salted egg yolk custard.

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10. The Peninsula Boutique

Everyone knows about the hotel’s iconic halo halo, served at the equally legendary hotel foyer. On your next visit to The Peninsula Manila, pick up some of their ensaimada, which comes in the classic ensaimada topped with cheddar cheese, an ube-stuffed iteration, and a forest ham-packed variant.

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11. Pasteleria Mallorcas

Specialising in traditional Spanish pastries made with heirloom recipes, the ensaimadas at Pasteleria Mallorca resemble the authentic, old-fashioned buns we know and love from our childhoods. The Mallorca bakers use only the finest butter, sugar, and quezo de bola, producing a bun that achieves that valued nostalgic sumptuousness. 

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12. Cunanan Bakery

Cunanan Bakery has the esteemed stamp of approval from titas throughout town, fostering a growing clientele thanks to the power of word-of-mouth. "We make them meticulously and as perfectly as possible by giving maximum attention to the baking process, to wrapping them neatly and consistently, and to placing them in the box", shares Marga Cunanan Kwok, store manager and daughter of the matriarch behind the bakery. "We strive to make sure that our customers are more than satisfied with our product" - a sentiment that certainly shines in their classic buns, which come in large, small, and miniature sizes.

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13. Diamond Hotel

Ube kinampay is a much sought-after crop believed to be the highest-grade variant of this Philippine purple yam. Diamond Hotel fills their ube kinampay ensaymada with this “queen of ube” before topping the pastry with buttercream frosting and cheddar. Available only while supplies last, you’d best place your orders before they sell out for good.

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14. 50 Shades of Dough

50 Shades of Dough is not one to skimp on flavour, smearing their tasty rolls with a lavish serving of butter and cheese. “This is the Holy Grail of ensaymadas”, said one happy customer. Raving on, they proudly declared “I will probably be 50 pounds heavier and look like an ensaymada after eating this whole box and I don’t care”. These winning ensaymada also come in an ube variant just as creamy as delicious as the classic.

15. Mary & Martha

The goodies from Mary & Martha are another great option for those seeking out the classic ensaymada. These unbelievably fluffy buns are topped with light and salty queso de bola, presenting an exceptional take on the ensaymada standard that is so well-executed we've heard it may even rival that of Mary Grace. However, Mary & Martha also cater to those looking for something a little different - apart from the classic, they also have ensaymada filled with ube halayatablea, and red bean.

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16. Baked By V

Another brand with a diverse range of ensaymadas to choose from, Baked by V offers the queso de bola ensaymadas in classic, salted egg, and bacon, each pc which also available in miniature sizes.  In addition, they also produce a beautiful ube ensaymada with a striking purple base made gooey and moist with a cheese and ube filling.

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17. Hizon-Ocampo Ensaimadas

The heritage recipes of the Hizon-Ocampo sisters live on through these ensaimadas. Auring Ocampo Escaler and Charing Hizon Ocampo were the founding mothers of two culinary schools - one in Manila and one in Pampanga. Today, their grand-nephew Tito Villanueva pays homage to their timeless craft, working with one of their former pupils at the San Fernando branch to produce these perfectly light and cheesy ensaimadas. Apart from the invaluable historical value and the time-consuming process it demands, Tito shares that another unique secret to the success of these tasty rolls is the use of butter and lard. To try them out for yourself, place orders through this number: +63 917 819 5498.


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