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This soft and fluffy vegan Ube Ensaymada is the buttery brioche of our dreams! It’s based on our Classic Ensaymada, but filled with Ube Halaya and ube extract for the iconic purple yam color and flavor. All you need is 9 simple ingredients to make this sweet and cheesy vegan Filipino treat! 

photo of ube ensaymada with cheddar cheese on a white serving platter

Classic Ensaymada Infused with Ube

If you’ve been making our recipes for any length of time, you like know we love our ube breadVegan Filipino Ensaymada recipe was one of the most highly requested Vegan Filipino Recipes we’ve ever had. And now that we’ve mastered the perfect vegan ensaymada dough (no eggs or dairy required for melt-in-your-mouth ensaymada!), we wanted to put our spin on an ube version. After a few rounds of recipe testing, we’re stoked to share the perfect vegan ube ensaymada. 

It’s just as soft and fluffy as the original sweet brioche dough, yet made with an ube-infused dough, then filled with sweet, jammy Ube Halaya. Top with the vegan buttercream and salty vegan cheese and enjoy the sweet, salty, ube combo. It’s truly love at first bite! 

Don’t forget to check out a few of our other popular ube recipes: Creamy Ube PieUbe Sugar CookiesFluffy Ube PandesalUbe Pichi PichiUbe Champorado, and Ube Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Non-dairy milk: Any unsweetened, non-dairy milk of choice will work well. Traditional versions are usually made with higher-fat milk like whole milk or evaporated milk, so rich and creamy Homemade Almond Milk or coconut milk works well. 
  • Vegan butter: We do all of our baking with vegan butter sticks instead of buttery spreads. They’re more consistent across brands and most similar in consistency to dairy butter. We recommend Country Crock, Earth Balance, or Melt. In this particular recipe, we used unsalted vegan butter. If you are using salted butter, reduce the additional salt to just 1/4 teaspoon. 
  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar for the best, deep ube color. If you use brown sugar or coconut sugar, the dough will become too dark and lose its vibrant hue. Save those sugars for making some of our other favorite Filipino recipes, like Filipino Sticky Rice Cake and Taho with Arnibal
  • Active dry yeast: If you’ve made any of our yeast breads and desserts, you’ll know we prefer active dry yeast over instant yeast. It helps the dough develop a deeper, more complex flavor without much additional effort! If you’d like to make this bread dough with instant yeast, use about 30% less (1.5 teaspoons instant yeast). 
  • All-purpose flour: Traditional ensaymada is made with all-purpose flour to keep the dough extra soft and fluffy. Unfortunately, we have not tested a gluten-free ensaymada recipe. 
  • Vegan sharp cheddar cheese shreds (optional): Any brand of cheddar cheese shreds of choice will do, but if you’d like your ube ensaymada to look extra authentic, shred your vegan cheese yourself with a fine grater. 
  • Ube: This ube ensaymada is made with ube extract to color the dough and homemade ube halaya (ube jam), to fill the rolls. We purchase ube extract on Amazon, but you may be able to find it locally at a Filipino grocer. 

Equipment Needed

How to Make Ube Ensaymada 

Prepare the Dough

  1. Proof the yeast. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm non-dairy milk, vegan butter, and sugar. Whisk until combined. The milk mixture should be slightly warm to the touch (typically around 110F-115F). If the milk is too warm, it can kill the yeast and prevent the ensaymada dough from rising properly. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the milk mixture, stir, and let sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. After 10 minutes, mix in the ube extract until well combined. Add in the flour and salt and stir everything together with a wooden spoon until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work. 
  3. Rise the dough for 1 hour. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size (this can take longer if your kitchen is cold).
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to a floured surface. Knead the ensaymada dough for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. As you work, add additional flour as needed, but keep in mind the dough is supposed to be slightly sticky.
  5. Divide into 10 equal pieces. Cut the sticky dough into 10 equal pieces, then cover the individual dough balls with a clean kitchen towel to help keep the dough moist.
  6. Prepare for baking. Grease muffin tins, ensaymada molds, or a large baking sheet with softened vegan butter or oil. Alternatively, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Roll and Bake

  1. Roll the ensaymada into tight coils. One at a time, take a piece of buttery dough and roll it into a ball. Using a rolling pin or a flat-sided cup, roll the dough out to about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Spread the dough with about 2 tablespoons of ube jam. Then, tightly roll the dough lengthwise so that the jam is fully enclosed in the dough (see photos for reference!). Lastly, roll each ensaymada into a coil (not too tight!), starting at one end then, tucking the end piece of dough underneath. 
  2. Rise again for 1 hour. Transfer the ensaymada to the prepared pan of choice. Repeat with all 10 pieces until each is rolled into a tight coil, then cover the muffin tin with a damp cloth and rise for another hour.
  3. Bake. Brush each roll with additional soy milk. Place the ensaymada into the preheated oven and bake for 22-27 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Prepare the buttercream. While the ensaymada bakes, prepare the buttercream. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the softened vegan butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. If you don’t use your buttercream right away after mixing, you may need to whip it again using the mixer to make it spreadable.
  5. Top the rolls. Allow the ube ensaymada to cool for 10 minutes. Then, with a pastry brush (or a spoon or butter knife), coat each ensaymada with the vegan buttercream. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and/or vegan cheddar cheese.
  6. Serve while warm and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions 

Just like Classic Ensaymada, ube ensaymada is the perfect treat to serve family and friends for special occasions or holidays, but there’s never a wrong time to indulge in a sweet and salty ensaymada!

We like to serve them as is, or alongside our favorite beverages, like a chilled glass of Almond MilkCold Brew, or a cozy Hot Chocolate!

Storage Instructions

As with most of our fresh Filipino breads, this Ube Ensaymada is best enjoyed while fresh. With that being said, leftovers will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Tips for Success

  • Measure the dry ingredients in grams. Preparing a yeast dough from scratch is simple, but using precise measurements is important for the best outcome. We have provided weighted measurements for the sugar, yeast, and flour. For best results, please use a baking scale, or if needed, use the Spoon and Level Method for the most accurate results. This will help prevent you from adding too much flour to the dough.
  • Use a quality ube extract​The vibrancy between ube extracts can vary greatly. For the best purple ube-colored dough, we highly recommend using an extract made with actual ube or purple yam as a primary ingredient. It should be sweet and have a vibrant, natural purple color. 
  • Invest in a milk thermometer. If you are new to baking yeast dough from scratch, it can be helpful to invest in a milk thermometer. This will ensure that the yeast mixture is not too hot or cold. For the dough to rise properly, it needs to be the right “bath” temperature! 
  • Don’t be scared of the sweet and salty combo. ​The buttercream frosting and salty cheese shreds work well together and are a combo you’ll quickly find yourself craving! 
horizontal photo of ube ensaymada with cheddar cheese on a baking sheet

More Ube Dessert Recipes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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Vegan Ube Ensaymada (Filipino Purple Yam Brioche)


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  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 3 hours 7 minutes
  • Yield: 10 ensaymada
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Soft and fluffy Ube Ensaymada is the buttery brioche of our dreams! It’s based off of our Classic Ensaymada, but filled with Ube Halaya and ube extract for the iconic purple yam color. All you need is 9 simple ingredients to make this sweet and cheesy vegan filipino treat!


Ingredients

Ensaymada Dough

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, warm to the touch (we used soy)
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ube extract
  • 10 tablespoons Ube Halaya

For Topping

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Proof the yeast. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm non-dairy milk, vegan butter, and sugar. Whisk until combined. The milk mixture should be slightly warm to the touch (typically around 110F-115F). If the milk is too warm, it can kill the yeast and prevent the ensaymada dough from rising properly. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the milk mixture, stir, and let sit in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients. After 10 minutes, mix in the ube extract until well combined. Add in the flour and salt and stir everything together with a wooden spoon until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work.
  3. Rise the dough for 1 hour. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a draft-free place to rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size (this can take longer if your kitchen is cold).
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer to a floured surface. Knead the ensaymada dough for 5-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. As you work, add additional flour as needed, but keep in mind the dough is supposed to be slightly sticky.
  5. Divide into 10 equal pieces. Cut the sticky dough into 10 equal pieces, then cover the individual dough balls with a clean kitchen towel to help keep the dough moist.
  6. Prepare for baking. Grease muffin tins, ensaymada molds, or a large baking sheet with softened vegan butter or oil. Alternatively, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  7. Roll the ensaymada into coils. One at a time, take a piece of buttery dough and roll it into a ball. Using a rolling pin or a flat-sided cup, roll the dough out to about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Spread the dough with about 1 tablespoon of ube jam. Then roll it tightly lengthwise into a long rope (as you would cinnamon rolls) so that the jam is fully enclosed in the dough (see photos for reference!). Starting at one end, roll each ensaymada into a coil. Tuck the end piece of dough underneath, then transfer the ensaymada transfer the ensaymada to the prepared pan of choice. Try not to roll it too tight.
  8. Rise again for 1 hour. Cover the with a damp cloth and rise for another hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  10. Bake. Brush each roll with additional non-dairy milk. Place the ensaymada into the preheated oven and bake for 22-27 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Prepare the buttercream. While the ensaymada bakes, prepare the buttercream. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the softened vegan butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. If you don’t use your buttercream right away after mixing, you may need to whip it again using the mixer to make it spreadable.
  12. Top the rolls. Allow the ube ensaymada to cool for 10 minutes. Then, with a pastry brush (or a spoon or butter knife), coat each ensaymada with the vegan buttercream. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and/or vegan cheddar cheese.
  13. Serve while warm and enjoy!

Notes

  • Storage: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. 
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Snack
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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