Yema Bread Rolls

Unwrapping the flavours of tradition with these soft buns filled with sweet surprises. A taste of Camiguin’s sweet heritage. 🌴 #SweetDelights #PasalubongFavorites #FilipinoFoodAdventure. Indulge in the delectable Yema Bread Rolls, a Filipino favourite with soft buns and a sweet yema custard filling. Explore the history and flavours of Camiguin’s cherished treat.

As I discover hidden culinary gems of the Philippines, I often seek out delightful regional delicacies. One such treasure is the Yema Bread Roll, which has a special place in my heart. This soft bun filled with a sweet custard known as “yema” is a beloved treat that originated from the province of Camiguin.

Pastel de Camiguín, also known as Camiguin Cake or simply Pastel, is the mastermind behind these delectable rolls. Eleanor Popera Jose and her family in Camiguin first conceived this heirloom recipe. It’s a taste of tradition, with a history dating back to 1990. Over the years, Pastel has evolved, offering a variety of flavours, including chocolate, mango, durian, ube, and cheese.

Filipinos have a profound love for yema, a sweet custard that’s reminiscent of caramelized custard. Often enjoyed as bite-sized or triangle-shaped candies wrapped in colourful cellophane, yema is also a beloved dip for rice cakes like kutsinta. While it’s been a staple in many Filipino desserts, yema’s journey as a pastry filling is a delightful surprise.

Yema Bread Rolls, sometimes called “pastel bread,” provide a convenient way to enjoy yema’s sweet indulgence. These rolls don’t require fancy cutlery or plates, making them a perfect on-the-go treat.

The heart of Yema Bread Rolls is its gooey sweet custard filling, primarily crafted from condensed milk and eggs. While this sweet treat is undeniably delicious, it’s essential to enjoy it in moderation, especially for those with blood sugar concerns.

Yema Bread Rolls have earned their place as a pasalubong favourite across the country. These soft buns with their sweet yema filling are a blessing for those with a sweet tooth. Enjoy them as an after-meal dessert or as a satisfying snack.

In addition to the original yema filling, Pastel offers a variety of other flavours, each bringing its unique twist to this beloved Filipino pastry. Pastel is a pasalubong, a regional specialty gift, strongly associated with Camiguin Island and nearby Cagayan de Oro.

To create these heavenly Yema Bread Rolls, consider using the Tangzhong method. This technique ensures your bread remains soft for 2-3 days, even without reheating. While it may require a bit more time, the results are well worth the effort.

Savor the tradition of Yema Bread Rolls, a Filipino delight that brings the sweetness of Camiguin to every bite. 🇵🇭😋

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Yema Bread Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Indulge in the delectable Yema Bread Rolls, a Filipino favourite with soft buns and a sweet yema custard filling. Explore the history and flavours of Camiguin’s cherished treat.


Units Scale

Yema Filling

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water


Bread Wet Ingredients

  • 125 ml fresh milk
  • 1 large beaten egg

Bread Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups high-grade flour , plus more for dusting
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided into 4 cubes


  • 1/4 cup melted butter


Yema Filling

  1. Prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing it until free of lumps. Set it aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine all the yema filling ingredients and the cornstarch slurry. Mix well.
  3. Cook over low heat with constant stirring until the mixture thickens. Set it aside and let it cool.


  1. In a small pot, combine all the Tangzhong ingredients. Mix until there are no lumps.
  2. Place the pot on a stove and heat it over low-medium heat. Stir constantly using a rubber spatula until it becomes a thick paste. Remove it from heat and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the Tangzhong and the bread wet ingredients. The mixture will be lumpy.

For the Bread

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add 2 1/2 cups of high-grade flour, yeast, and the Tangzhong mixture. Using a dough hook attachment, turn on the mixer at low-medium speed. Knead only until both dry and wet ingredients are well incorporated. Let the dough rest, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the towel and continue mixing by turning the mixer back on at low speed, adding salt and sugar while mixing. Continue kneading for 15 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, add the softened butter one piece at a time while the mixer is running. Knead for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the butter is well mixed and the dough is smooth and elastic again.
  4. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for about two minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and place it in a warm spot for one hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. When the dough is ready, punch it down to remove the air. Transfer it to a floured surface and divide it into 16 pieces.
  6. Flatten each piece of dough and fill with 1 tbsp of yema filling on top of the flattened dough. Gather the edges and pinch to seal. Place the filled and sealed dough in a greased baking pan, ensuring that the sealed part is at the bottom.
  7. Let the filled dough rise again for one hour or until it has doubled in size.
  8. When the filled dough has doubled in size, place it in a 180C preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  9. Brush the top with melted butter and let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes.
  10. Then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely then serve.


7 Responses

  1. The yema filling with sweetened condensed milk sounds really intriguing!

  2. Oh man, these bunds look and sound fantastic! I’m not too familiar with Filipino cuisine, but this dessert is now officially my favourite (even through I haven’t tried it it!) Because of the this unique custard as it contains condensed milk – this recipe is certainly calling my name!

  3. Oh my goodness these look incredible!!!

  4. Somehow my comment didn’t get through. I love that sweetened condensed milk filling.

  5. Michelle says:

    These yema bread rolls look heavenly, especially slathered with that caramelized custard!

  6. suituapui says:

    They look good! Very generous with the filling.

  7. These are beautiful little cakes. The filling with condensed milk sounds really wonderful.

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