Kaya Toast: Coconut Jam on Toast

Kaya Toast is a simple yet indulgent breakfast staple that has captured the hearts of many in Singapore and Malaysia. At the crack of dawn, countless locals flock to kopitiams (coffee shops) to savor this beloved treat. Kaya, a sweet coconut jam infused with the fragrance of pandan leaves and the richness of eggs, is the star of the dish. It’s generously spread over slices of crisply toasted bread, which are often slathered with a layer of butter. This humble pairing is traditionally accompanied by a cup of strong local coffee or tea, making it the quintessential morning ritual in this part of the world.

Kaya Toast: Coconut Jam on Toast


  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of kaya (coconut jam)
  • For the kaya (if making from scratch):
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 5 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Cooking Steps

  • Toast the slices of bread until they are crispy and golden brown.
  • While the bread is toasting, prepare the kaya if you are making it from scratch: In a double boiler, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and coconut milk.
  • Add the pandan leaves to the egg mixture and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Once the mixture begins to thicken, add the cornstarch slurry and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the kaya reaches a jam-like consistency.
  • Remove the pandan leaves and allow the kaya to cool before using it.
  • Spread a generous layer of butter on the warm toast, followed by an equally generous layer of kaya.
  • Slice the toast into halves or quarters and serve immediately, typically with soft-boiled eggs and a cup of coffee or tea.

Kaya Toast is not just a treat for the taste buds; it’s a small slice of comfort that speaks to the soul of local cuisine. When making kaya from scratch, the key is to select fresh, high-quality ingredients. The eggs should be as fresh as possible for the best flavor and texture, while the coconut milk should be rich and creamy. Pandan leaves, which give kaya its distinctive flavor and aroma, should be bright green and aromatic. Whether you enjoy it as a quick breakfast or a leisurely midday snack, Kaya Toast offers a delightful balance of sweetness and richness, perfectly encapsulating the simplicity and depth of Southeast Asian flavors.

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