• Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 30 minutes
  • Serving For 4 people
  • Difficulty Easy

Recipe Description

The sweet and rich spread made from eggs, sugar and coconut milk is usually served with butter on toast for breakfast.

Traditional kaya requires that the custard be stirred in a double-boiler for four to eight hours to slowly develop the caramel. The quick kaya method calls for melting the sugar first before adding the coconut and eggs, which significantly shortens the time needed to achieve the deep caramel flavour.

This recipe was first published in The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/food/food-news/2020/05/23/luscious-kaya-ideal-for-all-seasons

Recipe Ingredient

  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 eggs
  • 30 pandan leaves + ½ cup cold water (if making pandan kaya)


  1. Stir in salt to coconut milk and keep in the refrigerator until needed.
  2. To make the caramel, heat sugar and water in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved, then simmer without stirring until all the water has evaporated and sugar starts to turn golden.
  3. When the caramel has reached the desired colour and viscosity, gently add in salted coconut milk, being careful to avoid the spurts as the cold liquid is introduced into the hot caramel. Add in eight shredded pandan leaves and bring to a slow simmer until all the caramel has combined with the coconut milk and becomes a thick syrup. Remove pandan leaves and allow syrup to cool completely.
  4. Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until yolks and whites have completely combined. Add eggs into the cooled syrup and strain the custard mixture through a wire mesh.
  5. If you are making pandan kaya, divide the mixture into two separate bowls. Blend about 20 pandan leaves with half a cup of cold water and strain the juice through a muslin bag or cheesecloth. Add the pandan juice into one of the bowls of the custard mixture.
  6. Pour the bowl of custard mixture into a double-boiler or bain-marie over medium heat and whisk continuously until the custard thickens, for about 30 minutes. The curd will be translucent and continue to thicken as it cools. Pour into jars and store up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
  7. Repeat with pandan custard mixture. Best served cold with butter on a hot toast.

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