“Ensaimada Malolos”

A lot of Bulacan and Manila seniors get weak in the knees at the thought of the “Ensaimada Malolos” of long ago — a bread rich with eggs and lard decadently topped with Danish butter, “queso de bola” Edam cheese, slivers of “Hoc Shiu” Chinese ham, and slices of “itlog na pula” red eggs…



  1. Sheryl Mañago said,

    June 20, 2012 at 2:51 am

    The ensaymadas of Imang Beatriz are delicious. I saw her praying the rosary when I took my order at her house this week. She’s 102 years old according to her daughter.

  2. Enrique Bustos said,

    May 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    According to Culinary Icon Nora V. Daza Tibok-tibok was originally from Angeles Pampanga it was named Tibok-tibok because any movement causes the concoction to imitate heartbeat vibrations but it is really Maja Blanca made of Carabao’s Milk with toasted latik strewn on top One Variation has Corn Bits

  3. Enrique Bustos said,

    May 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Dolphy, Loren, Miriam, even Meldy-they have one favorite ‘ensaimada’

    By Linda B. Bolido
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Hizon’s built its name on a recipe handed to the founder by an unknown benefactor
    IF CHICKEN “BUILT” ONE restaurant, ensaimada made Hizon’s Cakes & Pastries and the adjoining Za’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop on Bocobo Street in Ermita, Manila.

    Mention the name Hizon’s and it immediately conjures images of soft and fluffy ensaimada smothered in butter, sprinkled with sugar and grated cheese, or its grilled counterpart, flattened like a pancake without losing its irresistible richness.

    It was the ensaimada that built up Hizon’s loyal clientele—from the graceful and dainty wealthy Chinese ladies who descended on the old place on Raon (near Bilibid Viejo) in the Quiapo district, delivered by calesas, to today’s movers and shakers in entertainment, politics and industry.

    Hizon’s founder, Inocencia, was a widowed single mother working as a salesperson in the posh Aguinaldo’s Department Store in Escolta.

    She must have been quite an efficient and solicitous salesperson because one day, out of the blue, a woman handed her a piece of paper containing a recipe. Daughter Milagros Ramos Roasa said the woman told her late mother, “Dito ka yayaman” (This will make you rich).

    Inocencia started by having her twin sister Paz bring her ensaimada to offices and commercial establishments. The ensaimada was such a bestseller that they eventually put up their first bakeshop on Raon, calling it Hizon’s, their maiden name.

    Preserving a classic

    The widowed 64-year-old Roasa learned everything about the family business from her mother in their own kitchen.

    She makes sure both Hizon’s and Za’s stay true to tradition, preserving every recipe her mother concocted, including the ensaimada, in note cards that she has carefully and securely filed.

    She said the recipes were collected from friends and family, who also vetted every new creation. One volunteer “food critic” was Mary Ejercito, mother of former President Joseph Estrada.

    Roasa said her mother, who also did not have any formal baking or cooking training, made the recipes her own by “improvising,” her mother’s favorite word.


    While improvisation was her mother’s battle cry, Roasa’s is consistency. It was one of the most important lessons she learned from her mother: “Hindi nandadaya (do not cheat) and hindi pinapalitan” (no substitution for ingredients).

    Roasa made it clear that Hizon’s has remained a bakeshop and has not gone, nor is planning to go, into catering or similar services. Though there was a catering service of the same name, she said it was not in any way associated with their establishment. Za’s was always envisioned as just an adjunct to the bakeshop. In fact, though a function room has been set up beside the restaurant, it is primarily for the family’s use, lent occasionally only to the closest and dearest.

    Main satisfaction

    Roasa wants to be able to oversee everything personally, that is why catering, which will require her to work outside her milieu and where there are many factors beyond her control, does not appeal to her. Her main satisfaction after decades in the business is the fact that “walang nagko-complain na nagbago ang quality o lasa” (nobody has complained that the quality or flavor has changed).

    Comedy king Dolphy used to enjoy a merienda of grilled ensaimada and hot chocolate at Za’s Cafe. Though Dolphy rarely personally goes to the bakeshop now, he and partner Zsa Zsa Padilla send out regularly for their regular fix of Ox Tongue, Dinuguan and Chow Mein, in addition to the ensaimada.

    Sen. Loren Legarda’s favorites are Apple Pie and ensaimada. Her colleague in the Senate, Miriam Santiago, prefers Pineapple Pie and Spaghetti, while former congressman, now television talk show host Oscar Orbos goes for coffee and ensaimada.

    Her Imeldific, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, regularly orders taisan and ensaimada while actress Iza Calzado goes for ube cake. Quezon City Rep. Mary Ann Susano, meanwhile, gets apple pie and ensaimada

    Roasa said her parents got the idea of pairing a coffee shop with a bakery during one of their travels to the United States. Za’s is short for Zamora, the family name of her mother’s second husband.

    It was only recently, at the suggestion of her children Frances May (Calixto) and Carlo Alvin, that Roasa finally agreed to open outlets for Hizon’s baked items, and only because the youngsters assumed the responsibility of overseeing them.

    Carlo Alvin is in charge of the outlets at Greenhills Promenade in San Juan City and Landmark in Makati City, while Frances takes care of the store at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

    Both restaurant and bakery do not deliver. Customers can place their order by phone but will have to pick up the items themselves or send somebody else to do it.

  4. perla fontilla said,

    April 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Could anyone please tell me who started the recipe for the ‘tibuk-tibuk’ – like the one so popular in San Fernando?

    Good recipes come from people with refined tastes.

  5. Ginger Tabora said,

    January 10, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Hi Toto,

    “Hizon’s” owes their success to my great-grandmother, Auring Escaler. She taught the Hizon’s how to make “ensaimada.” However, their version is different and does not come close to Lola’s.

    Their “ensaimada” is on the dry side, compared to Lola’s light, moist, buttery, and cheesy pillows of deliciousness.

    Don’t even get me started on Lola’s boat tarts, food for the gods, turron alicante, and tocino del cielo… BEST EVER!

    We Escalers were definitely blessed to have grown up knowing Lola Auring’s cooking.

  6. Nick Acuna said,

    October 1, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Panaderia La Conception baked their bread on a wood- fired pugon [oven]. Enciemada, inipit, pilipit and “bowling”[ round butter coated pandesal ] will never have its original distinctive taste unless baked this way.

  7. Enrique Bustos said,

    July 18, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Excerpt from the interview of former President Joseph Estrada in the Manila Bulletin:

    SCB: You are also known for your love for food, what’s your favorite food?

    JEE: Because my mother was into culinary arts. She even baked the wedding cake of Vicky Quirino, the then First Lady. ‘Yung Hizon’s, siya ang nagturo dun ng ensaymada.

    SCB: So lumaki kayo na bountiful ang pagkain sa lamesa?

    JEE: Hindi naman, just right. Basta every Sunday, may pochero. Wala nang ibang babae na kamukha ng mama ko. Ang mama ko, nag-aral ng culinary arts, sa Conservatory of Music. Magluluto siya sampu kami, sabay-sabay, pag gabi sabay-sabay kami kumain. Pagkatapos magluto, kumain, pupunta na ‘yan sa piano, kakanta na. Siya ‘yung through and through na ideal housewife. Ang ganda pa ng boses. Kaya sampu kami. (laughs) ‘Yun papa ko, one woman man. Kaya sampu kami. (laughs)

    SCB: Did you learn how to cook from her?

    JEE: Konti. Bacalao, my favorite

  8. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 27, 2010 at 9:32 am


    Dona Mary Ejercito was civil to all of President Estrada’s special lady friends. President Estrada promised his father, Emilio Ejercito, that he would take care of all his children and send them to good schools, provide them with everything they need, and they would all carry the family name Ejercito.

    As far as i know, President Estrada already provided all his families with all the material things and he gave them different businesses. But among all of them, Guia Gomez is the most business-minded; I believe she is the richest of them all. Senator Loi Estrada also her own business like their real estate company JELP real estate development corporation. Laarni Enriquez has her own shopping mall in Malabon: Star J shopping center.

  9. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

    That happened when Loi Estrada went to live for a while in the United States because she couldn’t take the womanizing ways of her husband. But she returned home after her son Jinggoy was looking for his dad. She loves her children very much and does not want them to be deprived of seeing or having a good relationship with their dad.

    J.V. Ejercito grew up with the other children of his dad because his mother also took care of the children of Estrada with Peachy Ossorio, Jojo & Teresita.

    Peachy Ossorio is the daughter of a movie director. She and Joseph Estrada had a special relationship before he even met his future wife, Dr. Loi Pimentel.

  10. george shaw said,

    June 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    how about that story, JV of Guia thought all the while he was the only child of Erap because Erap was always at home with them?
    that Guia was the only lawful wife and played the role of the only recognized wife of the Mayor.?

    and that was what the people of San Juan likewise believed.

  11. Myles Garcia said,

    June 21, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Enrique, re your very revealing post #14 (well, actually most of your posts are positively interesting) about the late old lady Estrada…and if I may veer the subject here slightly…did she ever recognize (or play favorites) with the various daughters-in-law, partnered by her famous son?

    I mean we all know Dr. Loi is/was the #1; but Guia is now mayor of San Juan; and then Erap’s daughter by Lani seems to be the most accomplished, having earned a Bachelor’s from that a London school and supposedly going on to graduate school.

    So who gladdened the old lady’s heart and which ones broke it? Or was she objective with all of them? Also, if Erap does not divide his assets (well, Juan de la Cruz’s assets) before he kicks the bucket, which of his heirs will get the lion’s share or will it be another scandal celebre??

  12. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 13, 2010 at 4:00 am

    During President Carlos P.Garcia’s term United States of America’s President Dwight Eisenhower made a State visit to the Philippines and he was given by President Garcia a State Dinner at Malacanang Palace. Estrel’s was asked to baked its famous caramel cake for the U.S. President. President Eisenhower was so impressed with cake after he returned to Washington D.C. he immediately wrote Estrella Ylagan thanking her for the good cake he had eaten when he visited Manila.

    Estrella Ylagan gained her early cooking and baking experience as assistant to her aunt the renowned Maria Ylagan Orosa a culinary legend in her time.


    Juda Joven Liu-gourmet/chef/baker member of the renowned Guerrero clan of Ermita her mother Leni Guerrero Joven used to own and operate the Costa Brava Spanish restaurant in Makati Ave


    Husband and Wife Boy Aurelio and Cecile Chuachiaco Aurelio are both popular in their own separate catering business Boy Aurelio’s family used to own the Aurelio Hotel in Roxas Blvd he established the Miyako Japanese restaurant in their hotel and he also owned the San Francisco Steak House & Tom Sawyer Fried Chicken while Cecile Chuachiaco Aurelio’s sister in law Grace Sycip Chuachiaco used to own the New Tokyo House Restaurant on Makati Ave she now owns the Kitaro Japanese restaurant


    THE PLAZA,was founded by husband and wife team JOSE C. REYES & IMELDA A. REYES. Joe Reyes is the son of DONA ENGRACIA C. REYES, the founder of THE ARISTOCRAT chain of restaurants

  13. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 12, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    ”President Estrada’s mother Mary Ejercito attended the exclusive Colegio de Sta Rosa for girls and proceeded to enroll at the University of the Philippines’ Faculty of Music. She married a year before receiving her diploma in piano.”

    “After their marriage, the Estrada patriarch brought his wife to take up culinary studies in the United States and Europe, specializing in baking and European dishes.”

    “Being close to the families of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon and President Elpidio Quirino, Dona Mary was especially asked to do the wedding cakes of their children, and also prepared cakes for the elite ‘Manila’s 400′ at that time. one of her most unforgettable wedding cakes was the one she did for Vicky Quirino, the only child and official hostess of the former president in Malacanang. Her talent in baking and cooking, compelled a family friend to ask for Dona Mary’s advice before opening a bake shop which, in a short while and under her guidance, grew to become the very popular ‘Hizon’s’ since the 1950′s ‘The Hizon family was very grateful to her that later, even in a wheelchair, the Hizon matriarch would come and visit her constantly at her house in San Juan.’”

    “Dona Mary excellence in home making made her children look forward to Sunday as family day when Dona Mary would use her culinary skills to churn excellent Spanish dishes. like ‘paella, bacalao, callos, cocido, and her superior desserts’ and has continued to this day even after her death as their family tradition for Sunday lunch and reunion.

  14. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 12, 2010 at 3:00 am

    The son of Susan Calo Medina, Marc Medina sells his family’s version of the large kapampangan ensaimada every saturday at the Salcedo weekend market

  15. Ipê Nazareno said,

    June 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Another Hizon’s/Za’s Cafe favorite is their Lengua. Yum

  16. Ipê Nazareno said,

    June 11, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Hizon’s ensaimadas with ham from either the Plaza or Boy Aurelio’s kitchen = yum

  17. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 10, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    “Hizon’s” still has the best “taisan” and “raisin bread”.
    Their “chocolate eh” is what is best taken with their ensaymada.

    Their caramel cake was the best selling according to the lady.
    The one of “Estrelle’s” and Juda Guerrero Joven-Liu are likewise worthy.

  18. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 10, 2010 at 6:22 am

    Another famous Kapampangan “ensaimada” is a heirloom recipe that dates back to the 1930s, developed and modified by Salud Dayrit-Santos, one of San Fernando’s renowned cooks in her time, and passed on from one generation to the next. Her granddaughter Melissa Henares sells it every Sunday at the Legaspi Sunday Market.

  19. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 10, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Another first cousin of Inocencia Hizon-Zamora of “Hizon’s” bakeshop is the former owner of “Red Ribbon” bakeshop, Mrs. _____ Mercado [ her first name escapes me now ].

    Unfortunately, when Salome P. Ramos passed away she was not able to teach anyone the original recipe of the famous “La Concepcion” bakery “ensaimada.” The “EuroBake’s” “ensaimada” is another version of “La Concepcion’s” “ensaimada.”

  20. Josh Moya said,

    June 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This forum makes me crave for soft and fluffy ensaimadas. 😉

  21. June 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm


    I think people have forgotten the fact that Inocencia “Cecing” Hizon-Zamora and Aurea Hizon Ocampo-Escaler were Hizon second cousins:

    Inocencia Hizon-Zamora was a granddaughter of Saturnino Hizon y David with his first wife Maria Quison.

    Aurea Hizon Ocampo-Escaler was a granddaughter of Anacleto Hizon y David and Victoria Singian de Miranda.

    Saturnino Hizon y David was an elder brother to Anacleto Hizon y David. Saturnino remained in Mexico town while Anacleto transferred to San Fernando town when he married Victoria Singian from there.

    The Hizon de Pampanga are a big clan.


    Toto Gonzalez

  22. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm


    In one of those regular lunches of the Capampangan ladies in “Za’s Cafe” of the “Hizon’s” Bakeshop in Ermita, when we passed by for our mom, I remember distinctly the time Cecing Hizon, the owner of the coffee shop, engaged the Capampangan ladies in a conversation and she said, in the presence of Alice Escaler-Gana, that it was the latter’s mother, the grand old lady Tia Aurea Ocampo-Escaler ( CHA AUREA was how she was addressed ), was the one who taught her the recipe of their famous “ensaimada.”

    And in true Capampangan trait, Cecing Hizon gave each half a dozen “ensaimadas” to take home.

    Another Capampangan “ensaimada” my mom’s family enjoyed was the one of “Q” Bakeshop in front of Sto. Domingo church run by the Quiason sisters. There were three jovial sisters — Erzing, Naty, and Floring — always present to greet them, one was shorter, slim with glasses, another taller, slimmer with glasses too.

    And true in Capampangan trait, they would engage in a prolonged conversation like there was no tomorrow while the other patrons waited.

    Then of course the oversize “ensaimada” of Imang Beatriz Rodriguez of Bacolor.

    ***I recall Alice Escaler-Gana’s standard for a good ensaimada: the top layer, sugar browned and slightly sprinkled with cheese could be peeled off, with the main “ensaimada,” tasting of Brunn butter, left intact. ( None has come up to that anymore ).

    Now, it is the Cunanan “ensaimada” of Valle Verde which is desired because of the generous sprinkling of “queso de bola” on top. And they are meticulously wrapped neatly!

    After the exposure to Capampangan “ensaimadas,” unfortunately the “Ensaimada Malolos” pales in comparison.

    None can beat the Capampangan when it comes to great taste AND presentation.

  23. June 6, 2010 at 11:55 am


    I have had authentic, homemade “Ensaimada Malolos” in the Tantoco, Tiongson, and Bautista houses in Malolos and they were goooood!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  24. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 6, 2010 at 10:57 am


    “Eurobake” in Malolos sells them.

    It is as large as a dinner plate, with two or three slivers of ham, a splatter of whitish margarine, a hint of Magnolia cheddar cheese or so, and to cap it off, it comes with slices of “itlog na pula.” Plus the “ensaimada” is chewy. And by the time you reach home to eat it, the cut-rite wrapper is almost glued to the “ensaimada.”

  25. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 6, 2010 at 6:47 am

    The “Malolos Ensaimada” was popularized by “La Concepcion” bakery owned by Salome P. Ramos who studied baking under Alberta Santos Uitangcoy-Santos. Husband and wife Rene and Bessie Ramos thought of continuing the family legacy. They established “Eurobake” which now makes the famous “La Concepcion ensaimada” and “Inipit.” The original “ensaimadas” were simply baked bread with lard on top. But their version is topped with salted duck egg, sliced ham, and cheese.

  26. June 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

    My mom leaves for her yearly summer sojourn to visit my sisters Stateside this evening, why is she always “smuggling” 3 dozen “Hizon’s” ensaimadas in her luggage?

    Which are quickly devoured by her voracious “apos” upon landing!

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