For me, ube is not just comfort food. It’s forever glazed with fond memories of home. There are so many desserts and dishes you can create with this uniquely amazing tuber as I have mentioned in my article The Best Dishes to Make with Ube.

In this article, we tried our hand in recreating this Ube Cheese Pan de Sal using our ube halaya (ube jam) and cream cheese instead of soft cheddar cheese as filling. We incorporated Hanzhong for a softer and tender bread consistency.

This is our Ube Cheese Pandesal but better.

We added Hanzhong by making a thick paste with a small portion of the flour and liquid (water or milk). It is then chilled and mixed into the dough recipe. The purpose of adding this step is to make the bread softer while extending its shelf life and maintaining consistency.

Ube Cheese Pan desal but Better

Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 20 people
Calories 220 kcal


  • Tanzhong
  • 40 g bread flour
  • 120 g milk
  • 60 g Water
  • Use 180g of water if milk is not available.
  • 580 g bread flour
  • 5 g ube powder (or 50g ube flour)
  • 9 g active dry yeast
  • 60 g Sugar
  • 12 g Salt
  • 50 g Eggs
  • 260 g milk (90-100˚F / 32-37 ˚C)
  • 50 g unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 60 g bread crumbs
  • 180 g ube halaya (9-12g portioned)
  • 180 g cream cheese (9-12g portioned)


  • Prepare your tanzhong mixture by mixing the flour (40g) and water (180g) in low to medium heat until it turns into a slurry or paste-like texture. It will only take a few minutes to reach the consistency. Set-aside and keep it chilled to be used later with the dough batter.
  • Fit with a paddle attachment the standing mixer. In the bowl mix the active dry yeast (10g) with the lukewarm milk (260g) until completely dissolved. Add in the bread flour (580g), ube powder (5g), sugar (60g), tanzhong, and mix.
  • Change to a dough hook attachment and add in the milk and yeast mixture until you form a rough mass. Add in the butter by small portions one at a time gradually blending it in the dough until it easily pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Form your pandesal dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl covered with a wrap or cloth. Place in a warm room and let it rise until doubled in bulk for about 1 hour.
  •  Punch down to deflate, roll into a bowl and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Punch down again and cut the dough in half to work with one half at a time. Form about 18 – 20 rolls at 60g each. Fill in the rolls with cream cheese (9g) and ube halaya (9g). You can add more filling if you wish. Roll the balls in bread crumbs to coat and place on a half sheet pan (18” x 13”). Cover loosely with a cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F / 205˚C. Sprinkle dough with more crumbs and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bottom is browned. Let it cool on a wire rack or serve while steaming hot.
Keyword cakes, dessert
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