How to Make Kaya Toast

Growing up in Seremban I used to get Kaya toast from a stall above my local wet market. The vendor used large, very light and fluffy bread, cut into thick slices. The slices were then grilled over charcoal before being smeared with a generous amount of Kaya and sandwiched with thick chunks of butter.

It wasn’t until I visited Singapore as an adult that I realised Kaya toast is more commonly made using regular slices of toasted white bread and compressed in a sandwich press prior to serving. I’ve yet to find a bread outside of Malaysia that is as light and fluffy as I remember, but an un-cut white loaf from your local bakery may come close.

My Hangout-on-Air where I show you some other uses for Kaya.

KAYA – Pandan & Coconut Jam

Makes approx. 3 cups


  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 280 g raw sugar
  • 30 ml water
  • 2 pandan leaves, cut into 5 cm lengths


  1. Blend pandan leaves and water. Strain to extract juice, discard leaves.

  2. Combine pandan water with all other ingredients in a heat-proof bowl, whisk well until smooth. Cover bowl with foil and scrunch to seal.

  3. Place bowl in a steamer, (OR place bowl over a pan of boiling water to create a double boiler), and cook for 1 ½ hours, topping up water as needed, until custard is set.

  4. Allow to cool completely then purée the custard with stick blender to create a smooth jam. Store in refrigerator.


Traditional recipes call for standing at a stove for hours, stirring the mixture constantly. My method creates a set custard and uses a stick blender to turn it into jam. Of course if you want to cook the custard over a very low heat, stirring regularly until thick, you are more than welcome to.

Instead of water blended with pandan leaves you can use a splash of pandan concentrate, but keep in mind that your jam will be green.

Kaya Toast


Serves 1, multiply recipe as required


  • 2 thick slices white bread, crusts removed
  • Butter, sliced to 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick
  • 2 Tbsp kaya jam


  1. Toast or grill bread. Spread kaya onto one piece of warm toast, place butter slices on the other piece to cover surface evenly.

  2. Sandwich butter and kaya together, then press down gently with the palm of your hand. Cut in half diagonally.


Kaya toast is traditionally served with a strong cup of Malaysian coffee and a side of soft-boiled egg sprinkled with pepper, soya sauce and sesame oil.

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