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Kaya Jam

FoodAudrey Chong

Kaya Jam

The perfect marriage of pandan, coconut cream, eggs and sugar

When it comes to jam, nothing comes close to “kaya” in my heart. Or more accurately in my belly. Kaya jam is made with coconut cream, eggs and sugar. You can the flavour it either with pandan leaves which gives kaya its signature green hues or you can use palm sugar for a more caramel-like profile.

Wildly popular in Asia, you’ll find kaya in all conceivable forms, from our national heritage kaya toast to mainstream coffee and inventive cocktails. To make kaya the traditional way, you need bain-maire level patience and a whole lot of daydreaming accompanied by auto-pilot circular hand motion!

If that sounds like your kind of jam, then you’ll surely love this recipe.


  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 120g sugar
  • 30 ml homemade pandan extract (1/8 tsp if using store-bought extract)
  • Pinch of salt to taste


  1. In a medium mixing metal bowl, stir eggs, sugar and coconut milk gently without creating bubbles into a smooth batter.
  2. Add the pandan extract and salt and continue stirring with the whisk.
  3. Make a bain-marie by placing the metal bowl on top of a sauce pan of similar size.
  4. Heat water in the sauce pan on a low setting and gently stir the egg-coconut milk mixture with the whisk.
  5. Stir the jam mixture continuously to prevent curdling.
  6. Kaya jam is ready when the mixture thickens to the consistency of your choice, usually around the 45-60 minute mark.

Kaya jam goes on practically anything you can dream of, but for a true “comfort food” experience, spread it on a toasted bread with a slab of butter on top for breakfast! The kaya jam should last 1-2 weeks in the fridge.