Warm and golden goodness comes in different forms during the holidays, especially when we’re talking about the month-long Christmas celebration in the Philippines. And we’re not complaining. The Filipino Christmas is an annual celebration of joy and giving spent with family and loved ones, and may it be grand or simple, food is one common denominator to this delightful occasion.
This time, we put the spotlight on one of the staples on our Noche Buena tables: the golden goodness that is the ensaymada. Here, we scoured the city and rounded up the places where you can grab a bunch of the best-tasting ensaymada in town, so you don’t have to do it on your own amid all the holiday rush.
Standing out from the machine-baked goodies from the grocery or commercial bakeshops, Baby Pat’s ensaymada is home-baked the traditional way. “My ensaymada is entirely handmade and baked with passion and purpose using the most premium ingredients available in the market,” owner Pearl de Guzman emphasized. They promise an exciting experience with the spectrum of flavors they offer—from their classic Ube con Quezo de Bola to their modern takes for the curious palate like the Nutella and Speculoos-flavored Ensaymada.
Classic Confections’ Parmesan Ensaymada boasts of a distinct melt-in-your-mouth goodness. With the perfect balance of buttery and sweetness, using parmesan cheese instead of queso de bola or cheddar elevates their rendition of our ever-favorite ensaymada. They do not scrimp on the finest ingredients resulting in a soft and light texture, which perfectly pairs with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Whether it’s for a usual merienda habit or a delightful celebration like Christmas, they won’t disappoint.
Visit Nono's at their stores to get a hold of this extra delish bunch this Christmas!
Conti's most-loved Classic Cheese Ensaymada is known for its rich bread base topped with lots of grated cheese and melted butter. Satisfying the sweet cravings of its patrons over the years, they’ve also come up with additional flavors such as Ube, White Choco Almond, Apple, and Dulce. This satisfying lineup may be experimenting on infusing delightful textures that are not so common with ensaymada, but they surely deserve a space on our holiday tables with these modern twists.
Arguably one of the most underrated renditions is Hizon’s Quezo de Bola Ensaymada. Commonly brought as after-work pasalubong, their dense and buttery ensaymada hits just the right spot. Hizon’s version is larger than the usual pieces we spot on cafés and high-end bakeries. The nuttiness of queso de bola, the crunch of the sugar granules, and the chewiness of their dough remind us of bread that’s handcrafted in neighborhood bakeries, a genuine touch that hooks old-timers and new customers.
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Known for championing Filipino cuisine and offering a new spin to classic Pinoy dishes, Manam has also recreated our typical ensaymada. Their Three Cheese Ensaymada ‘Wich, a fusion of the classic ensaymada and grilled cheese sandwich, is garnished with a generous amount of kesong puti, parmesan, and cheddar cheese. You can even request for an additional raclette cheese on top, making the dessert even more rich and distinctly nutty.
The contender that seems to be reigning on everyone’s list is Mary Grace’s Ensaymada. With their signature brioche smeared with butter, sugar granules, and finely shredded Edam cheese, you’re in it for an explosion of flavors and textures that make their classic rendition a star. If you’re looking for a rush of savory and sweet in one warm bite, this is going to be your pick-me-up. No wonder that people of all ages are raving about them.
Soft, fluffy, and generously topped with 100% butter and real cheddar cheese, Must be Mom’s Classic Cheddar Ensaymada is at the top of their best-selling pastries. At an affordable price, you can dig into a bunch of perfectly-baked dough with a delectable combination of butter, sugar, and cheese. Their Dulce de Leche Ensaymada is also winning, a salty-and-sweet version of their classic ensaymada drizzled with custom-made dulce de leche.
Craving for this light and fluffy stuff? Find a Must be Mom's near you in these locations.
Opening their first branch in Marikina in 2011, Mylene’s Ensaymada and Banana Cake has expanded and revolutionized their curations for the sweet tooth. Staying true to what makes the ensaymada a Pinoy favorite, their business flourished by perfecting their soft and cheesy Classic Ensaymada. Whether you’re looking to bring a bundle to family and office events or give them as a gift, these goodies are packaged in a bronze-matte finished box tied with a glossy ribbon, a perfect accent to any occasion.
This one’s perfect for intimate and grand tables alike! Check out their Facebook page for orders.
Sugarhouse is creating something that’s close to their hearts. Rooting from an old family recipe, their Regular Ensaimada is soft, cheesy, and tasty, leaning towards the bread-like version. While they’ve mastered the classic ensaymada and try to cater to the demand for modern spins, they remain grounded to flavors that are truly Pinoy such as Quezo de Bola, Mango, and Ube. Their Regular and Quezo de Bola Ensaimadas also come in mini sizes, ideal for tea time or baon for kids.
Time to satisfy that sweet tooth! Hop on to Sugarhouse's website to check on their branches and opening hours.
Diamond Hotel embraces the trend of infusing ube with classic desserts. For a limited time this holiday season, their Ubi Kinampay Ensaymada is available. This is a modern twist to their signature Diamond Ensaymada that is known for its delicate sweetness and aroma. The flavorful blend of creamed butter, soft cheese, and ube filling might come as a surprise, but this palate experience is definitely made for the gods.
Drop by Diamond Hotel's Lobby Lounge to grab this specialty ensaymada. You may contact them at (632) 528-3000 for reservations.
It’s no surprise that it’s hard to pinpoint which dish is the star of the Noche Buena with the plethora of choices that we usually have. If you’re reaching the peak of the umay factor with all the savory dishes and sickeningly sweet desserts, soft and buttery goodness is always an option. Ensaymada is the way to go!