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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


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!


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



  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!


  • 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