Sweet Delight from Southeast Asia: Homemade Kaya Coconut Jam Recipe

October 11, 2020

Kaya is a popular traditional coconut jam from Southeast Asia, commonly enjoyed as a spread for toast or in various desserts. Here's a simplified recipe to make Kaya at home:


  • 4 large eggs
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 150 grams white sugar
  • 4 pandan leaves (also known as screwpine leaves), tied into a knot
  • 1/2 teaspoon pandan extract (optional, for added color and flavor)


  1. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs until well beaten.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, white sugar, and tied pandan leaves.
  3. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  4. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the saucepan while continuously stirring the mixture.
  5. Continue cooking the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps and sticking.
  6. Cook until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency. This can take about 1 to 1.5 hours, so patience is key.
  7. If using pandan extract, stir it in at this stage for added color and flavor.
  8. Remove the pandan leaves from the mixture and let it cool to room temperature.
  9. Once cooled, transfer the Kaya into sterilized jars or containers and refrigerate.
  10. Allow the Kaya to set in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before using.
  11. Enjoy the homemade Kaya as a spread on toast, as a filling in pastries, or in any way you prefer!

Note: Traditional Kaya recipes involve a double-boiling method using a water bath to gently cook the mixture, but this simplified version can be prepared directly over low heat. The pandan leaves and pandan extract add a distinct aroma and flavor, but you can omit them if unavailable.

Making Kaya requires time and attention, but the result is a deliciously creamy coconut jam that captures the essence of this beloved Southeast Asian treat.

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