Kaya (Malaysian Egg Jam)



Kaya-01 “Promise me something when you decide to write a cookbook.”

“What?” I looked at G curiously. The idea that he’s so confident that I’d write a book and that he’s making a request has got me.

“Make sure you put in a recipe for kaya.”

It’s true, G’s probably more of a kaya fanatic than I am. He has been hooked to the eggy custardy jam since his first bite at my parents’ place two years ago. My mom has always made our kaya supply from scratch. I, on the other hand, have never learned how to make it, up until now.


When the kaya supply I’ve smuggled from KL have run out.


When G. insisted me to ring my mom for the recipe.


When I know the secret tool to bribe G. … like, I dunno, that weekend getaway to a spa resort?

Kaya-02 I didn’t ring my mom for the recipe but I did find a recipe on the pioneer of Malaysian food bloggers: Lily’s Wai Sek Hong. This lady is probably the first Malaysian who started food blogging. She, as well as Bee of Rasa Malaysia, are like the big guns of the Malaysian food blogsphere. And, I kid you not when I say they were the ones who created the term – food blog superstardom.

Back to the kaya story. While Lily used the microwave to make kaya, I decided to go the ‘slow food’ way – patiently stirring the jam over a hot stove. Well, ‘cos I’m not a big fan of microwaves. My parents have inculcated the ‘evil ways of the microwave’ in us and since then, I’ve never reacted normally near those things. You can find Lily’s original recipe here. This is my adapted version. Kaya-03

Kaya (Malaysian Egg Jam)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Malaysian
  • 6 small eggs (60 gram each)
  • 2 cups (280 gram) dark brown sugar
  • 200 ml light coconut cream
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp pandan (screwpine) extract or vanilla extract
  1. Whip all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Beat well to make sure everything is well combined.
  3. Strain mixture and pour into a saucepan.
  4. Turn heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until kaya thickens. (If custard curdles, quickly remove saucepan from heat. Keep stirring, then return to a low flame)
  5. Stir for at least 25 - 30 minutes until mixture becomes thick and caramelized.
  6. Place custard into a food processor and blitz for 5 - 10 minutes. This will remove lumps from the kaya.
  7. Put in sterilized jam jars, allow to cool before refrigerating.
Kaya is very sensitive to heat since it is mostly all eggs so please be wary of your temperature. It's best to start on a low flame and just keep stirring to prevent it from curdling. If the custard is runny, remove it from the stove and beat in an extra egg to thicken it further.



  1. says

    Oooh, I’ve been hoping to find a looks-doable recipe for kaya for quite some time… and this is so wonderfully green! This shall be bookmarked for when I’m back home post-travelling 😀

  2. says

    I guess I’m way too lazy to make this from scratch and would just grab a bottle from the coffee shop. My sister has done the “microwave version” and she said that it’s pretty good – though I personally have not tried it.

  3. Mable Tan says

    Hannah: The wonderfully green comes from the pandan extract. So if you prefer it not so green, you can either use fresh pandan leaves tied in a knot (and stirred in with the kaya while it thickens) or vanilla essence.

    Jo: You’re absolutely fortunate to be able to buy this from the coffee shop. Cos we certainly don’t have them here! (Only overly sweet diabetic-giving ones at the Asian groceries)

  4. says


    thanks for the kind words. It will be my 5th aniversary of blogging in May and i have to thank my dear friend, Janny who builded my blog and patiently taught me how to post. Thank you Janny. Btw Janny is als in Melbourne.

  5. Mable Tan says

    Hi Lily,
    Thank you so so sooo sooooo soooooo much for dropping by my blog. You have no idea how honored I am to know that. It’s amazing how much you have done and achieve in that 5 years of blogging; How many minds you have opened and inspired. It would be really cool to meet you as I have so many questions to ask you, about cooking, about Malaysian food, about you! :)
    Anyway, thank you again for being here.

  6. shosho says


    I love the idea of making my own kaya but it seems to require lots eggs an sugar.
    btw can you tell me where can I buy Kaya in malaysia? i love to taste it first before making it.

  7. says

    Well the good news is, if you make it yourself you can control the amount of sugar and what sort of eggs (organic free range vs. cage eggs) you use. You can get kaya from anywhere – 7-11, hypermarkets but the best are always at small hawker carts that sell Nyonya cakes/kuihs.


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