Lola Lilia's Homemade Specialties

Contact Us
Our Products

Ensaimada Especial

Without a crumble of a doubt, one product at Lola Lilia's stands out--its baking process and recipe perfectly preserved by three generations of gifted bakers and real food lovers.

If there's a single closely guarded recipe that defines the evolution of a small-town, pre-war baking business into a local food and baking empire, that has got to be the formula for the Ensaimada Especial of Lola Lilia's.

Amparo "Paring" Garcia Miņoza Dumadag first came upon the priceless recipe in the kitchen of Justina Vaņo, a patrician Spanish lady who married a local chap from Calape. Paring was an expert in the kitchen, her fondness for good food and her flair for cooking and baking matched only by her meticulous attention towards food preparation and her zest to learn new dishes and techniques.

In pre-war Calape, Paring would bake the Ensaimada Especial along with other delicacies like Torta, Tajada, Kinatlo-an and Galletas in a circular clay oven called a hornohan, fueled by coconut husks or what the locals call binoongan. Since the use of yeast in baking was yet unheard of at the time, tuba or coconut wine was utilized as a leavening component to make the dough rise. Golden State butter in tin cans was another key ingredient for this pastry.

When World War II set in and the supply of wheat flour became scarce, Paring and her family ceased baking the prized Ensaimada and, instead, concentrated on making cassava flour-based Jelly Rolls, Mamon and Mamon Tostado.

But it was not until 1954, when Lilia Butalid Garay Dumadag came home to Bohol with her kids and husband Venerando, Paring's third son, after years of living in Manila, that the family began baking the Ensaimada Especial in commercial quantities.

Lilia recalls that during the period, Bohol's power supply proved too unstable for her modern electric oven, so she resorted to using the native hornohan. She would send samples of her Ensaimada to Chinese businessmen and the city's social heavyweights. And from then on, celebrations and fiesta tables in the city were never the same again!

Passed on to the third generation, in the very able hands of passionate baker Charmaine "Ching" Dumadag-Usares, the Ensaimada Especial of Lola Lilia's has retained the authentic old-world flavor of the original recipe. The only modern concession to it is the use of glazed paper to line the pastry during baking.

Upon request, though, dried banana leaves or unas, may be used, not so much to enhance taste as to be faithful to how it was done close to a century ago.

When clients specify, a yummy ube jam filling may also be put inside the Ensaimada, for an even more compelling gastronomic experience.

The fame of this golden pastry has already reached foreign shores. The Dumadag family introduced it to Pinoys in Canada and the US. Balikbayans from California never fail to order dozens of it to take home to loved ones abroad,
after having heard about the famed Ensaimada back in the US.

Veritable food lovers describe Lola Lilia's Ensaimada Especial as "sublime" and "to die for". Quite the precise adjectives for a golden pastry heavy with history, heaping
with raisins, butter, sugar, cheese and a lot of tender, loving care that goes into every product that comes out of the ovens of Lola Lilia's.