Soft, fluffy, and tender ube cheese bread made 3 delicious ways. Choose from Pandesal, Cheese Roll, and my favorite, with sweet and delicious Ube Filling! You can make this with ube (purple yam) or sweet purple potato. Easy tips with video to help you every step of the way included!
This is the ultimate recipe for all you ube cheese pandesal lovers out there!
Ube cheese pandesal is another highly requested Filipino bread recipe. It's been trending on the internet for so long that I could no longer resist creating my own version. I know many of you have been waiting for this (you know who you are).
I'm sorry if it took that long. But, I really took my time. Thought long and hard how I'm going to make THE BEST VERSION.
And finally, here we are!
Are you excited as I am?
Let's start, shall we?
Why you'll love this Ube Cheese Bread recipe
Ube cheese bread is the name I came up with for this recipe because we are not just making one but three different variations of this highly cherished purple bread.
- Ube Cheese Pandesal - the classic pandesal stuffed with cheese; the bread that started it all.
- Cheese Bread Roll - a cross between Spanish bread and Ensaymada. This is my favorite. It's extra cheesy and super yummy!
- Ube and Cheese Filled - pandesal and bread roll stuffed with homemade sweet ube filling and cheese. A perfect combo and so so good!!
You can use one dough to make all three variations just like I did or make 3 separate batches for the whole family and friends to enjoy!
What you need to make Ube Cheese Bread and Pandesal
The 2 main components of Ube Cheese bread are:
Ube Dough Ingredients
The dough recipe uses simple basic ingredients like flour, milk, eggs, yeast, and butter. For the flour, I highly recommend using bread flour. Its high protein content makes fluffier pandesal.
To create the ube flavor, we will incorporate ½ cup of the ube filling to the dough. This technique makes a soft, moist, and tender bread. The sweet mashed ube/ sweet purple potato makes the texture of the bread soft and tender even on the next day. And the next day after!
Sweet Ube Filling Ingredients
To make the ube filling you will need fresh ube (purple yam), condensed milk, evaporated or fresh milk, brown sugar, and butter. Sounds familiar? Yes, it is essentially ube halaya. But what we're making is a simplified yet equally delicious version.
What is ube and where can you find/buy it?
Ube is a type of purple yam. It is a root crop native to the Philippines; grown and cultivated in other parts of the world. Note that it is definitely not the same as sweet purple potato.
Although fresh purple yam is available here in Singapore, it is not as easily accessible. Only a few wet markets sell them and would need to travel and make time to buy it.
Frozen and powdered forms of ube are available in some stores in the U.S. and online. However, we will not be using such here in this recipe.
So what's the best substitute for ube? Sweet purple potato!
It's purple and the preparation to make it into a jam (halaya) is the same. And best of all, it's much more accessible than ube.
How to make Ube Cheese Bread and Pandesal
The process of making this ube-based bread is as easy as making pandesal BUT with a few challenges which I wanted to highlight before you start baking.
Tip: Check out my pandesal recipe which includes step-by-step pictures and a video guide will walk you through the whole process of making and dividing the dough.
- The dough is very sticky which makes the whole process of shaping quite tricky. Even if you add more flour, it will still be sticky. This is due to the fresh ube/sweet potato that has been incorporated in the dough. I've heard that using ube powder, also yields the same result.
- The best way to manage the sticky dough is to keep on oiling your hands and to keep on "lightly" dusting with flour the surface where you're going to roll the dough. I highly suggest using cooking oil spray for convenience.
- For a deeper purple color and more pronounced ube flavor, you will need food color and an ube extract. If you don't mind having pale bread and are not comfortable with using artificial ingredients, you can definitely skip the two. The bread will still be delicious because of the filling and cheese. I promise 🙂
Let the buns cool before serving. Note that the cheese inside will be hot and will burn your tongue.
To serve the cheese bread roll: Spread softened butter on top and sprinkle with sugar and cheese. This is optional but highly recommended!
Well, I think that is it! Everything else (with a few more surprises) will be in the recipe card below. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I and my husband did! His comment after the first bite was, in verbatim:
Frequently asked questions
I recommend cheese with deeper flavor such as sharp and mild cheddar. In terms of ease of use and convenience, I find that cheese slices are the best! They easily melt and doesn't harden when the bread cools down.
Fresh ube has a very mild, earthy, and nutty flavor. It's in fact not sweet. The sweet "ube" flavor and smell we've all grown to love is actually a product of a combination of ingredients–condensed milk/ sugar for sweetness, evaporated milk/ coconut milk for the added richness, and butter which elevate the starchy texture. What I'm basically describing here is ube jam (ube halaya), the foundation of almost all ube recipes.
More Filipino snacks you can make at home!
- Whole Eggs Leche Flan
- Cassava Cake
- Soft Pandesal Recipe
- The Best Cheese Cupcakes with Cheese Crumble
- Soft Spanish Bread
- Brown Pandesal
- Butter Puto Cheese
- Ensaymada Cupcakes
- Puto Flan (Leche Flan Puto)
- Turon with Dulce De Leche
- Buko Pandan (Coconut Pandan Salad)
Watch the recipe video of Ube Cheese Bread
Ube Cheese Bread–Pandesal, Cheese Roll and with Ube Filling
- 2 ¼ teaspoon yeast mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup lukewarm water (from the boiled ube)
- 3 ¾ cups (490g) bread flour (add more as needed)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh milk (lukewarm)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (55g) grams unsalted butter (softened)
- ½ cup ube jam (or sweet purple potato)
- 2 teaspoon ube extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon purple food color (optional)
- vegetable oil for the bowl and hands
Extra flour for the dough
- ¼ cup (35g) extra bread flour
Cheese and Topping Options
- ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs (for Pandesal)
- cheddar cheese slices (known as "singles" for sandwich)
- Cheez Wiz spread (see note 6)
- softened butter, white sugar and grated cheese (for the bread roll)
- Place the ube in a bowl. Mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling. Stir until combined. Taste and add more sugar based on preference. Divide the mixture–½ cup for the dough and save the rest for the filling.
Make the Dough
- In a medium-size bowl, combine lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Stir until completely dissolved. Let it stand for 5 to 10mins until yeast begins to foam.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, brown sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Add milk, yeast mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula. Spread chunks of butter and ½ cup ube filling on top. Add the ube extract and food color, if using. Attach the dough hook and turn the stand mixer on to the lowest speed and beat for 2 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium, add additional flour as necessary. Continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes. The dough will be sticky because of the ube. Be careful not to add too much flour. I added about a total of 4 tablespoons more flour.
Rise # 1 Warm rise or cold rise
- Spray oil on the sides of the bowl then form dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until it doubles in size. To make ahead, do a cold rise by placing the dough in the refrigerator. The dough will slowly double in size the next day.
Rise #2 Divide the rolls
- Line tray with parchment paper. Grease with oil.
- Remove the plastic wrap. Oil your hands and punch the dough down. Transfer onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 20 to 22 portions and shape into a ball. Place on a tray and cover with a towel to prevent the dough from drying. For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale. Mine was about 45g each. Adjust based on your preference.
Variation 1: Ube Cheese Pandesal (Watch the video, it's helpful)
- Shape the dough into a disc until it's wide enough to wrap the sliced cheese or the Cheez Wiz spread (see notes and video for preparation). Place the cheese in the middle. Gather the edges and seal the bun tightly then roll on a surface to smoothen.
- For double filling, scoop 1 tablespoon ube jam and place it in the center of the sliced cheese. Gather the edges to seal. Place the cheese in the middle of the dough and seal tightly.
- Lay it on breadcrumbs. Shake off excess then place inside the baking tray. Repeat with all the other portions. Make sure that the dough is arranged two inches apart. Cover with a towel or cloth and let it rise for 45 mins to 1 hour.
Variation 2: Cheese Bread Roll with Filling (Watch the video, it's helpful)
- Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, flatten each portion into an oval shape. Fold the sliced cheese then place it in the middle. Spread 1 tablespoon of the ube jam, then roll the dough into a log. Lightly pinch the sides to seal.
- Place seal side down in the baking tray. Make sure that the dough is arranged 2 inches apart. Cover with a towel or cloth and let it rise for 45mins to 1 hour.
Bake and Serve
- Preheat oven at 170c/325f, 18 minutes before the dough finishes rising. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until the bread is cooked through.
- Remove buns from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Note that the cheese inside will be hot so wait for 10 minutes before serving.
- To serve the cheese bread roll: Spread softened butter on top and sprinkle with sugar and cheese. This is optional but highly recommended!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Ube/ Sweet Purple Potato - the amount is good for 12 pcs of bread plus the ½ cup for the dough. Add more if you need to fill 22 pcs. Increase the amount of condensed milk, milk, sugar, and butter. Just make sure the jam's consistency is smooth and thick and not thin or loose.
- Bread flour - can be substituted with all-purpose flour if not available. Replaced in the same amount as mentioned in the recipe.
- Yeast - use instant yeast or active dry. Follow the same proofing instructions.
- Ube extract and purple food color - if you don’t mind having pale ube-colored bread and are not comfortable with using artificial ingredients, you can definitely skip these two.
- The best way to manage the sticky dough is to keep on oiling your hands and to keep on "lightly" dusting the surface including the rolling pin with flour. I highly suggest using cooking oil spray for convenience.
- To easily wrap Cheez Wiz spread - scoop portions with a spoon and place in a tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 10 minutes. The amount depends on how cheesy you want your bread to be. I use 1 tbsp.
- Storage/Shelf-life: You can store leftover buns in the fridge for 3 days in an air-tight container.
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