Guest Post #8: Ensaymada Buns

Hi everyone, can you believe it? Finally, I am this close to Graduation (Imagine me pinching my pointer finger with my thumb) 😀 – And with graduation comes performances, baking, class parties, baking, muck up days and lots of baking!

I am no longer examining, my last one was 2 days ago actually, BUT, now I am out with friends, chilling and you know, haven’t really touched my spatula (I know, the horror!) – I promise, I will be baking up a storm soon BUT until then, please enjoy your final fabulous guest post 😀

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There are definite times when I feel like oriental desserts, swerving away from our common biscuits and bakes to pandan cake and whatnot. That is where this guest poster comes in 🙂

Samantha from Sweet Samsations is the one to cater to any of these sudden impulses. She is so cute and quirky but put a whisk in her hand and BAM, baking and cooking machine! She is so talented and makes such exotic desserts, as you shall soon see, so I am going to stop talking and let her whisk you off on a mouthwatering journey 😀


Hi All!

My name is Samantha, better known as Sammie, and I author Sweet Samsations. Amongst the many hobbies I have, such as photography, hot yoga and playing the piano, my biggest passion lies in baking! My kitchen is both a sanctuary and a playground for me where I can experiment with fusion dishes as well as attempt to replicate traditional ones.

Since I was little, I was exposed to a multitude of different Asian cuisines, from sweet to spicy (and everywhere in-between). This diverse range of “foodism” has expanded in Vancouver, where I can try every sort of food imaginable. My experience here with exotic foods has fostered a versatile and diverse palette for various cuisines, as well as a love to experiment with new dishes!

Filipino bun recipe cheddar and sugar

While living in global cities, it is not uncommon to have friends from all walks of life. The best part about it is that you also get to exchange cultures, be it in the form of language, values, and most importantly, FOOD. Now having said that, one of my best friends who grew up in Vancouver, Hambie, is of Filipino descent. It should not come as a surprise that I grew to learn a fair bit of this fellow Southeast Asian culture, due to our frequent girls’ night out, study sesh-es, and dinner dates. But let’s also not forget “Le rendez-vouz de la maison”. This is when your best friend’s mum invites you over for dinner and showcases her best dishes. Filipinos are one of the most hospitable people who enjoy sharing, especially via the channel of food! Aside from our frequent dinners at Pin Pin, a Filipino home is where I learned of the various traditional cuisines that my friends and their families consume on a daily basis.

Ensaymada sweet buns recipe

When I just got to know her, I recall a certain “rendez-vous de la maison” where Hambie offered me some bread to snack on. Being of Singaporean descent, my first instinct is to always say “no” out of courtesy. Yes, it is considered impolite to ask for food when visiting others’ homes, but when offered, always say “no” first. If thought bubbles could be seen above one’s head, mine at the time would have been the vivid image of my mum pulling me to a corner and saying, “Don’t trouble others. Say no!”. However those buns looked too damn good to pass up and Hambie could see my eyes beaming with delight as I tried to contain my drool…

Ensaymada recipe

“Try it! It’s really good. Don’t be shy! My food is your food too!” she said with a smile. This was when I first had a taste of the amazing Ensaymada. A sweet bread rolled in a spiral or tied in a knot with sugar sprinkled on top, and paired with some savoury shredded cheddar to finish. As you bite into the fluffy dough, the mix of sweet and savoury delight sends you straight to orgasm.


That was the only word I could use to describe my feelings towards a Filipino bakery. I very much enjoy the numerous items one can find in a Filipino bakery, but I gotta say, this is still my favourite Pinoy bun!

filipino Sweet Buns recipe

This year, I received a Goldilocks recipe book from a very special and sweet friend of mine in Vancouver. I couldn’t be happier with the thoughtful gift. I was already fortunate enough to be introduced to such a wonderful cuisine, but the thought that I was able to learn to cook and bake (more so bake) it was overwhelmingly enchanting.

Without further ado, I present to you my first attempt in making the delicious Ensaymada! Enjoy!


makes 8 ensaymada buns
adapted from Goldilocks Bake Book by Milagros Leelin Yee & Clarita Leelin Go

  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Topping: creamed butter, grated cheddar cheese, sugar (to taste)


  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup of water. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl with dough hook, place sifted all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Mix at low speed until incorporated.
  3. 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.
  4. Add unsalted butter and continue mixing until gluten is slightly developed.
  5. Transfer the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic.How to shape ensaymada
  6. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Punch down the dough and divide it into pieces weighing 60 grams each.
  8. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes then cover with plastic sheet to prevent from drying.
  9. Roll out the pieces thinly into 8″x5″ rectangles. Brush surface with butter.
  10. Roll into a long rod and twirl into shape, locking ends to seal.
  11. Place each piece in a greased ensaymada moulder.
  12. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. (Approximately 1 1/2 hours at room temperature)
  13. Bake for 17 minutes at 325 F or until golden in colour.
  14. Let the bread cool then remove it from moulder.
  15. Brush the top of each ensaymada with creamed butter and sprinkle with grated cheese and sugar.


Goldilocks Recipe Ensaymada

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  1. Sammie’s food is always amazing and delicious sweet buns, even more so!!! I imagine you’re enjoying a little side break from school now amongst other things, hopefully getting back into the kitchen with many tasty treats too!


  2. Monet says:

    Another great post! These look DELICIOUS. I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog (for one of Ryan’s necklaces) and I’d love for you to visit. I hope you are doing well, my friend!


  3. Sammie, these look so delicious! I’ve never tried anything quite like the ensaymada buns, but I would love to give these a try! And CCU…I hope you’re having some fun and enjoying time with friends! Congratulations on getting through this heavy exam period. ox


  4. Thanks for introducing me to Sam, Uru! It’s always cool to see other bloggers from my home town. I’ve never had an ensaymada bun before and Sam’s version looks incredible! So light and fluffy! I just ate lunch but could probably polish off a half dozen of these right now. Can’t wait until you’re back, Uru!


  5. ladygourmet says:

    Dear Uru, So glad you’re taking time to relax and enjoy yourself, and that all the stress of your studies are now behind you. I look forward to future posts.

    I’m hosting a special giveaway you might enjoy so please stop by and take a moment to join in on the fun!

    Samantha, I hope you join in too! It’s open to everyone.

    Your guest post for Uru is beautiful and these buns look so elegant and delicious.

    Blessings, Catherine


  6. helene dsouza says:

    High Five Uru! =D You ll be the graduation queen. =)
    Samantha it’s nice to meet you and your buns look super delicious and soft.


  7. I’m always excited to learn about different traditional sweets. I’ve never heard of ensaymada bans before, and I would be delighted to try my hand at veganizing the recipe now. They look so perfectly soft and tender!


  8. Becky says:

    A great guest post with another great blogger. Nice to meet you and be introduced to Ensaymada buns, Yum!

    Uru, have a great time celebrating end of exams and Graduation. What are you post graduation plans?


  9. Sammie says:

    Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for your lovely comments!! And dearest Uru, thanks so much for this wonderful opportunity to do a guest post for you! It’s been such a pleasure! 🙂


  10. Pingback: Ensaymada – Sweet Filippino Buns | Sweet Samsations

  11. Shirley Tay says:

    Pleasure to meet u, Samantha! Such a gorgeous baker with yummy bakes 🙂 Thks again Uru, for sharing! U’re in my Top 10 list of commenters, did u see it?? I’ll be sending some goodies to the Top 5 at the end of the year!! xoxo


  12. Liz says:

    Uru, I’m so glad you’re taking a little time to celebrate the end of exams with your friends. It’s wonderful to find Sammie here…and what an amazing treat! I’ve never heard of ensaymada before, but they are definitely unforgettable!!!


  13. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Thanks Samantha – these Ensaymada Buns look magnificent! So light and fluffy. Anything containing evaporated milk gets my vote.
    CCU, welcome back. Looking forward to seeing you wielding your spatula again. xx


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