Get a taste of the Philippines, no airplane ticket needed. Our Baking & Pastry Editor’s take on the beloved Filipino pastry, Ensaymadas, features a super-soft bread base crowned with a browned butter-sugar spread and savory Cheddar cheese. The sweet-salty combo is perfect for any occasion, from special holidays to an everyday afternoon snack.

  • 3 to 3¼ cups (375 to 406 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) refined coconut oil, room temperature, roughly cut into ½-to ¾-inch chunks
  • 3 large egg yolks (56 grams), room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, cubed, softened, and divided
  • Sugary Browned Butter Topping (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: finely shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese (see Notes)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (125 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt at low speed until combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and ¼ cup (60 grams) water over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add 2 cups (250 grams) flour, coconut oil, egg yolks, and 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter; beat at medium-low speed just until combined. Scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low speed until a soft, shiny, sticky dough forms, about 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too loose or overly sticky. (Be careful not to add too much flour; this dough is supposed to be quite soft and sticky.)
  4. Scrape sides of bowl; gently pull up and fold sides of dough to form a rough ball. Turn folded side down; cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Spray 16 (3¼-inch) brioche molds with baking spray with flour (see Notes); place evenly spaced on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat remaining 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter on high in 10-second intervals until melted.
  7. Punch down dough; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 16 portions (about 50 grams each). Shape each portion into a 5-inch log; loosely cover logs with sheets of plastic wrap.
  8. Pat or roll 1 dough log into an 8×3-inch rectangle; brush rectangle with melted butter, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Starting with long side opposite border, roll up dough rectangle, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. (It’s OK if a bit of butter squishes out.) Place seam side down. Starting on one end of rolled dough, coil into a spiral shape; lightly press loose end into side to adhere, and gently place in 1 prepared mold. Repeat with remaining dough and melted butter, wiping and lightly flouring surface as needed. Cover shaped dough, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until nearly doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
  9. Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Let cool in molds for 5 minutes. Remove from molds, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  10. Using a small of set spatula, spread Sugary Browned Butter Topping on top of cooled ensaymadas. Garnish with cheese, if desired.

  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a medium light-colored metal saucepan, cook butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter solids are golden and nutty in aroma, 7 to 12 minutes. Pour browned butter into a square glass baking dish or medium bowl; refrigerate until solid, 2 to 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature until softened before using, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened browned butter, sugar, and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Use immediately.



Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Braid