Ensaymada is rooted in the Spanish ensaïmada, with saïm referring to the lard that was used to enrich the dough. In the bread world, an enriched dough is one that contains dairy, fats, and sugar. Enriched doughs take longer to proof due to the additives, but the end result is a softer and more flavorful crumb. Ensaymada is topped with butter, granulated sugar, and cheddar cheese. Growing up, my parents would pack Goldilock’s ensaymada in my lunchbag as a merienda | snack. Because a lot of baking is chasing after nostalgia, I knew the Golidlock’s recipe was the place to start.

Goldilock’s is THE national bakery of the Philippines and thankfully there are bakeries here in the USA for overseas Filipinos and immigrants to enjoy. There’s even one in the International Terminal of SFO! If you can’t make it to your closest Goldilock’s all is not completely lost; they share their recipes in the coveted Goldilock’s Bakebook and on their Facebook page.

Goldilock’s Ensaymada

This ensaymada recipe is adopted from the Goldilock's USA Facebook page. In the instructions the only changes I made are to convert from cups to weight measurements, though I included cups as well. For my personal flair, please see the notes.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Merienda, Snack
Cuisine: Pilipinx
Keyword: Bread, Eatymology, Goldilocks, Merienda, Pilipinx
Servings: 16


  • Stand mixer
  • Brioche cups, 3" top


Bread base

  • 2 tsp Instant yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 506 grams AP flour, sifted 3 ¾ cups
  • 66 grams Granulated sugar 1/3 cup
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 Large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Evaporated milk
  • 76 grams unsalted butter, room temperature 1/3 cup


  • Unsalted butter, whipped at room temperature
  • Chedder cheese, grated
  • Granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325* F
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/3 part of water. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl with dough hook or flat beater attachment, place the sifted all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Mix at low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the dissolved yeast, remaining water, eggs and evaporated milk. Mix for 2 minutes at low speed then mix at medium speed for approximately 4 minutes.
  • Add unsalted butter and continue mixing until gluten is slightly developed
  • Transfer the dough in greased bowl and cover with plastic.
  • Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into pieces weighing 60 grams each.
  • Let the dough rest for 15 minutes then cover with plastic sheet to prevent from
  • Roll out the piece thinly into 8” x5” rectangles. Brush surface with butter.
  • Roll into a long rod and twirl into shape, locking ends to seal.
  • Place each piece in a greased ensaymada molder.
  • Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. (Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes at room temperature)
  • Bake for 17 minutes or until golden in color.
  • Let the bread cool then remove it from molder.
  • Brush the top of each ensaymada with creamed butter and sprinkle with grated cheese and sugar.


  • While the Goldilock’s recipe calls for proofing the yeast, I skip this step when using Instant Yeast. 
  • If you don’t have a stand mixer, the ingredients can still be mixed and kneaded by hand. 
  • The dough is very wet and challenging to work with. You can find some tips here
  • When the gluten is properly developed, your dough should pass the window-pane test
  • Whip ube extract or halaya into some butter for an ube ensaymada!

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