Ensaimada de Mallorca Recipe

The ensaimada de Mallorca or ensaimada mallorquina is an artisan product that comes from the Balearic Islands‘ great baking and pastry tradition. So much so that it is internationally renowned. It is common to see travellers carrying these small delicacies as a souvenir at the island’s airport.

Characteristics and ingredients:

Ensaimada comes from the Mallorcan ensaïmada, and from the Arabic saim, which means lard. It is one of the main ingredients of the sweet as well as flour, water, sugar, sourdough and eggs.

The characteristic shape of the ensaimada is a spiral of two or more turns in a clockwise direction. It has a golden coating resulting from baking with a firm, crisp and brittle texture.


When we cut a portion to taste it, we can appreciate its multi-layered flaky appearance inside. It was described by Josep Pla as “the lightest, most aerial and delicate thing in the baking of this country”. It is mainly sweet and has the aroma of baked dough, which is light when tasted.

Within the traditional ensaimadas we can find multiple variations as far as fillings are concerned. However, there are two that have the mention of Protected Geographical Indication.

On the one hand, Ensaimada de Mallorca with no filling at all and on the other hand Ensaimada de Mallorca with cabell d’àngel. Both are usually sprinkled with icing sugar.


  • 250 g of bread flour
  • Between 60 and 80 g of water
  • 1 medium sized egg
  • 80 g of sugar
  • 200 g of butter or lard
  • 4 g of dried yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Icing sugar

How to Make It:

  1. Take the butter out of the fridge so it is not cold and too solid.
  2. Mix the flour, egg, sugar, water and 25 g of butter for the dough (do not put all the water at once, add all of it only if you see that the dough is dry). The dough will be a little sticky at first. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Knead at intervals: 1 minute of kneading (fold and roll on the table) and 10 minutes of rest. Repeat this 3 or 4 times, until the dough is smooth. After resting, you can gently stretch it between your fingers until a translucent membrane is achieved.
  4. In the last round of kneading, add the yeast by rubbing it into the dough. Before, add a few drops of water to the dried yeast until it becomes a dough. Then knead and wait 30 minutes.
  5. Oil a surface (about 140 x 100 cm), so that the dough does not stick. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is very thin, a rectangle of about 100 x 30 cm.
  6. Spread the butter throughout the dough. Once it is covered with butter, slowly roll it out until the dough is translucent, like a membrane. It should come out something of about 130-140 x 90-100 cm.
  7. Roll out the dough on the longest side, until you have a cylinder more than a meter long and a couple of centimeters thick. Let it rest for 25 minutes.
  8. Gently stretch the dough to make it longer, and place it in a spiral shape on a sheet of baking paper, making sure to leave room for it to grow.
  9. Let it rise for about 12-14 hours in the off oven. If it is cold you can put a pan with warm water at the base to ferment it well; cold will slow down the fermentation.
  10. It should triple or quadruple in volume. If it still needs to grow, leave it longer. Keep the dough from getting cold.
  11. Heat the oven to 180° C and bake for 18 – 20 minutes. Heat up and down. Put a metal pan with water in the oven while baking.
  12. Once cold, sprinkle it with icing sugar.

In the 17th century we find the first written references about the ensaimada of Mallorca. At that time, although the main purpose of wheat flour was to make bread, there is evidence that this typical pastry product was made for festivals and festivities.

From the 18th century onwards, the consumption of Mallorcan ensaimadas became popular among the middle and upper classes, and it became a common pastry for snacks.

Purchase in origin in our FASCINATING PLACES Palma de Mallorca.

Regulatory Council of the PGI “Ensaimada de Mallorca”
C/ Josep Darder Metge, 28 Entlo. A
07008 – Palma de Mallorca (MALLORCA)
Phone:  (+34) 971 276 145
Fax:  971 276 161
E-mail: pastissers@telefonica.net

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