Iloilo Yema-Filled Teren-Teren

Our yema teren-teren recipe is an ode to our former editor's favorite pasalubong from Iloilo: golden pieces of filled bread connected like trains.
8 servings
Wait Time
1 Hr
Active Time
1 Hr 30 Mins

Teren-teren is a local bread from Iloilo made up of 4-6 connected pieces (resembling a train, hence the name), filled with a sweet butter and sugar mixture. It's simple yet delicious, so we decided to make some ourselves; except we're filling our teren-teren with yema, inspired by Camiguin's pastel.

There's a bit of work needed to make this recipe, given that you're basically filling 32 small pieces of bread. But it's really not that tedious. Based on experience, it even becomes a bit relaxing at some point. The result is worth it: golden pieces of separable bread, filled in a sweet milky, custard-y filling.


  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 ½ tsp yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk, for milk wash

Yema Filling

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 5 egg yolks

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. Let proof for 5 mins.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and salt.


Add the butter, egg, milk, and yeast mixture into the bowl. Knead dough on low speed for 10 mins until smooth, elastic, and a bit tacky.


Transfer dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 mins to 1 hr, or until doubled in size.


To make the yema filling, add condensed milk and egg yolks in a small saucepan.


Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until mixture forms a thick but fluid texture.


Once cooked, set aside and let cool.


Once risen, punch down the dough, then divide it in 2 equal parts. Keep half of the dough in the fridge to prevent it from over-proofing while you work on the first set of teren-terens.


Divide the first half of the dough into 16 equal pieces, rolling each into a smooth ball.


Working one piece at a time, flatten each ball into a circle with a rolling pin, then spoon about ½ tbsp of the yema into the center.


Gather the edges of the dough, sealing the yema inside, then roll back into a ball.


Connect four balls together by placing them vertically. Repeat until you have four 4-piece teren-terens, placing each onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.


Run a sharp knife through the top of each teren-teren to expose yema filling.


Brush with milk wash. Let proof for 30 mins, or until doubled in size.


Repeat the shaping and filling process with the remaining half of the dough.


Preheat the oven to 300F.


Bake the teren-teren for 20 mins or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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