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Ensaimada 3.jpg
Alternative namesEnsaimada
Place of originMallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Serving temperatureCold
Main ingredientsFlour, water, eggs, mother dough, saïm (reduced pork lard)

The ensaimada is a pastry product from Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. It is a common cuisine eaten in Southwestern Europe, Latin America and the Philippines. The first written references to the Mallorcan ensaïmada date back to the 17th century. At that time, although wheat flour was mainly used for making bread, there is evidence that this typical pastry product was made for festivals and celebrations.

The ensaïmada de Mallorca is made with strong flour, water, sugar, eggs, mother dough and a kind of reduced pork lard named saïm (from the Arabic shahim (شحيم), meaning 'fat').[citation needed]

In Mallorca and Ibiza there is a sweet called greixonera made with ensaïmada pieces left over from the day before.[1]


The Balearic Islands[edit]

Among the variants of ensaimada the most common are:

  • Llisa (literally plain) with no extra ingredient.
  • Cabell d'àngel (literally angel's hair), the stringy orange strands found inside pumpkins are cooked with sugar to make a sweet filling that is rolled inside the dough.
  • Tallades (literally sliced) covered with sobrassada and pumpkin, obtaining a bittersweet taste. It is typical of Carnival days, just before Lent, when meat (including lard and sobrassada) are not supposed to be eaten.
  • Crema (literally cream) with cream made with eggs.
  • Filled with sweet cream, chocolate or turrón paste.
  • Covered with apricot.

The Philippines[edit]

Philippine ensaymadas

The Philippines also adopted the Mallorcan ensaïmada (commonly spelled ensaymada in Philippine languages). As a Spanish colony for over 300 years, the Philippine variant has evolved over the centuries and is perhaps one of the most common delicacies in the country. The localized pastry is a brioche baked with butter instead of lard and topped with grated cheese and sugar and can be found in almost all neighborhood bakeshops. Other versions are topped with buttercream, salted egg slices, and a specially aged type of Edam cheese called queso de bola. The ensaymada of Pampanga features a very rich dough with layers of butter and cheese.

It is customary to eat ensaymada with hot chocolate made with native tablea during the Philippine Christmas season.

Due to its popularity, bakeshop chains such as Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, Julie's and Kamuning Bakery offer ensaymada with their own recipes.

Puerto Rico[edit]

In Puerto Rico, another Spanish colony until 1898, the ensaïmada is called pan de mallorca[2] and is traditionally eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flaó and Greixonera Archived 2011-09-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Pan de Mallorca | Traditional Bread From Puerto Rico". TasteAtlas. Retrieved 2020-12-03.

External links[edit]