cakes and pastries in PH

Oui, oui! Try ensaymada croissants by Makati home baker The Croissant Lady

Steph Arnaldo
Oui, oui! Try ensaymada croissants by Makati home baker The Croissant Lady
This 'Croissaymada' combines the flaky French pastry with the toppings of a classic ensaymada!

MANILA, Philippines – We all love a good croissant, and as Filipinos, it’s also hard to resist a classic ensaymada. But why choose one over the other? Have both and say oui, s’il vous plaît to this unique pastry hybrid, freshly baked by Filipina baker The Croissant Lady herself…the Croissaymada!

A play on croissant and ensaymada, the Toasted Croissaymada combines the flaky, buttery French pastry with the sweet Filipino delicacy of soft bread topped with butter, sugar, and cheese. Croissant Lady’s homemade Croissaymada boasts a generous brush of melted butter, a sprinkle of sugar, and a dusting of savory cheese to create a close-to-home take on the popular patisserie staple.

The Croissaymada’s got a power combo of sweet-salty-cheesy flavors in one bite, mostly due to the sugar and punchy grated cheese on top. In terms of textures, you get a light, flaky croissant that’s crisp on the outside with an airy center; and then a slight crunch from the toasted brown sugar bits on top. The most prominent flavor for me was the cheese on top – it’s not the Quickmelt-like sweet cheese some ensaymada bakers use; it’s the savory, almost bitter quezo de bola/manchego type of cheese that’s used, which is what I like, as a contrast to the sweet butter-sugar mixture.

It’s perfect dipped into or paired with your morning coffee or hot chocolate for merienda!

How it came to be

The novel idea for a toasted ensaymada-style croissant came from Croissant Lady Donatella Chua’s random ensaymada cravings while taking a break from baking last August 2021. Her home-based croissant business Croissant Lady was founded only a few months prior in April.

“While I was having my favorite Earl Grey tea in the afternoon, I craved for ensaymada. I was searching where to buy online, but I became impatient because, normally, I would quickly just go to Mary Grace for my ensaymada paired with a cup of hot chocolate,” Donatella told Rappler.

“Then a light bulb moment popped up in my head! Why don’t I make my own ensaymada toppings with my plain butter croissant? I have all the ingredients in my pantry!” she added. And so, the Croissaymada was born!

Donatella’s main business prior to the pandemic was selling restaurant and chef uniforms; however, with no income generated starting March 2020, the entrepreneur-foodie had to search for ways to be productive, pay the bills, and put food on the table fast. From being just a part-time baker, Donatella found herself “accidentally” baking croissants after craving for the flaky, chocolatey pain au chocolat she missed during a 2019 business trip in Ireland.

Soon, she began selling these croissants, and due to increasing customer demand, Croissant Lady become her full-time day job! She now bakes different types of croissants and other premium pastries daily from 7 am to 4 pm. Since the F&B industry reopened to 100% full capacity this year, Donatella has also been juggling both her start-up baking and restaurant uniform businesses simultaneously.

A box of six mini Croissaymadas costs P440, while a dozen costs P830. For six regular Croissaymadas, it costs P950 and P1,850 for a dozen. You can buy them freshly-baked or frozen.

Croissant Lady also has other flaky treats on the menu – both sweet and savory – like the spinach puff, spinach parmesan puff, peppered parmesan mushroom puff, danish apricot, and more.

If you want to enjoy her pastries fresh out of the oven, Croissant Lady also just opened her very first physical store at the Chef Works Philippines showroom in Pamana Building along Antonio Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. The team takes orders from Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 7 pm, with last call at 3 pm.

Customers can drop by the store for a croissant and a coffee or order a box of the good stuff for delivery via Croissant Lady’s Instagram page. –

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Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.