Kaya (Coconut Jam)

Kaya (Coconut Jam)

Kaya recipe, final result as seen from the top. I first had this in Singapore as part of a kaya toast breakfast. This is the recipe for the kaya (coconut jam), but I also include notes on how to do the entire breakfast at the bottom. Be warned — I am trying to recreate something I only had a few times and I am doing it by cobbling together recipes I found online and my own experiments. Remember, I am a white guy from Buffalo.


20 ounces
Twenty 1 ounce servings
1,320 calories for the batch
66 calories per 1 ounce serving


  • 4 eggs
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 3 bunches of pandan leaves, knotted
  • 1½ tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1½ tablespoons of water
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar


I have photos for each major step. They are not great photos, but they at least show what I had so you can compare and/or mock.

  1. Mix the eggs, coconut cream, coconut milk, and sugar in a bowl until smooth (photo 2).
  2. Mix the water and corn starch. Set aside.
  3. Tie the pandan leaves into 3 separate knots (this makes them easier to retrieve later) (photo 3).
  4. Put the egg mixture in a saucepan and add the pandan leaves (knots). Cook on medium low for about 20 minutes, stirring the entire time (I prefer to use a wooden spoon) (photo 4).
  5. While the egg mixture is cooking, heat the 4 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan until melted.
  6. While the egg mixture is cooking, add the corn starch mixture to the kaya. Do not worry about the lumps, just keep stirring.
  7. While the egg mixture is cooking, add the melted sugar. Keep stirring (photo 5).
  8. At the end of 20 minutes, let the egg mixture cool.
  9. Discard the pandan leaf knots. Look for any loose leaves if your knots came undone.
  10. Put the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth (photo 6).
  11. Transfer to a storage container (photo 7).

Potentially Helpful Photos

I link the appropriate step to the image below, but I suspect they are self-explanatory.

Kaya recipe, showing eggs, coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar. Kaya recipe, showing egg, coconut, sugar mixture after being mixed with the hand mixer. Kaya recipe, showing the corn starch mixture in a bowl, the sugar in a saucepan, and the pandan leaves. Kaya recipe, showing the egg mixture and pandan leaf knots in one saucepan, sugar in another saucepan. Kaya recipe, cooking in the suacepan showing the color after after the melted sugar and corn starch were added. Kaya recipe, showing the mixture fresh from the pan into the blender, discarded pandan leaves in the foreground. Kaya recipe, final result from the side.

Kaya Toast

Now that you have the kaya, you can have the kaya toast experience. I will just describe the process, you can decide to adjust or correct as you see fit.

Soft boil or poach or otherwise cook a couple eggs so that the yolks are still runny. When you get the eggs into a bowl or onto a plate to eat, top with some white pepper and soy sauce.

Get some dense white bread. Toast two slices and then butter it. I prefer chilled slices off a stick of butter. Then cover each slice with kaya. Press them together into a weird butter kaya sandwich and slice it into strips.

Dip the strips in the runny eggs. Wash down with black coffee.

A plat of kaya toast strips, a plate with five soft-boiled eggs, a saucer and cup with coffee and cream and an odd red plastic spoon. Glass of iced coffee, a stack of squares of kaya toast, a plate with soft-boiled eggs in the shell, a caddy with white pepper and soy sauce containers. One poached egg each in two custard cups, with a bit of soy and white pepper. The cups are on a plate alongside a stack of kaya toast (kaya and butter sandwiched between toast cut into strips). In the background is a coffee mug next to a French press, along with the condiments used in the breakfast. Poached eggs in a saucer with soy sauce and white pepper, one egg is broken so the yolk is flowing. Another plate with strips of kaya toast (toasted country white with kaya jam between slices, cut into strips). A yellow coffee mug with the Beehive Coffee logo full of coffee. A Chemex, some low-sodium soy sauce, and white pepper are visible in the background.
The first photo is from Tong Ah Eating House in Singapore, the second is from Good Morning Nanyang Cafe also in Singapore. The third is my effort at kaya toast using the jam from the recipe photos above, and the fourth is from another batch of kaya but this time using poached eggs.


  1. Make sure you get coconut cream and coconut milk that do not have other ingredients in them, particularly sugar. I made this mistake when grabbing a can of Goya coconut cream.
  2. As you pour the carmelized sugar into the kaya mixture, note that this may cause the eggs to set immediately, so be prepared to slowly introduce it while stirring.
  3. Since the coconut cream and coconut milk separate, and you have to mix each one to make it consistent, also measure them out into freezer bags so you can just throw them into your next batch. Much better than trying to figure out what to do with the separating leftovers.
Open can of Goya coconut cream next to open can of Thai Kitchen coconut cream. Three resealable bags, each labeled with marker. One is six ounces of coconut milk, one is four ounces of coconut cream, one is six ounces of coconut cream. The first two are also marked as ready for kaya.
The first image shows that the Goya coconut cream is just translucent coconut-scented sugar. The second image shows the pre-measured bags ready to go into the freezer.