Singaporean Desserts



Kaya – Coconut Egg Jam

from someones grandmother…


  • Coconut milk from 2 coconuts (Ayam brand works well)
  • 400 g sugar
  • 10 eggs


The coconut mlk must be pure and undiluted. If you get the canned or tetrapak stuff from the supermarket (Ayam Brand for canned or Kara for the pak) make sure you filter the milk. I usually find lots of coconut bits in these supermarket packaged ones. Best to filter it through a fine colander or a fine mesh sieve. If you have bought the shredded coconut bits and have to squeeze the milk out, there is a good way to do this. Fill those big coffee bags that are used by the kopi-tiams with the shredded coconut. Squeeze it with all your might and make sure you squeeze it till it is dry. DO NOT DILUTE! and do not waste a single drop. Torture the bag like you are killing someone you hate.

Now that the coconut milk part is over, it is time to make the kaya. Using an electric beater, beat the eggs at medium speed slightly. Just enough the break the yolks.
Add all the sugar and beat at full speed. Mix thoroughly. Stop the beating, add the coconut milk and beat full speed to mix thoroughly. When the sugar has finally dissolved. Pour to a clean steel pot and cook it over a slow fire with CONSTANT STIRRING! Whatever it is there is no shortcut. If you have to stand there stirring for an hour, you have to. Do not use ceramic pots as they will hold the heat for too long and may give rise to burns.

The kaya will change color from the eggy-white (from the eggs and coconut milk) to a redish-brown like gravy. This is due to the caramels forming from the sugar. It will also thicken. Keep stirring the bottom to prevent the bottom from burning. Burns spoil the kaya taste. If possible, lower the flame even more. Once when the eggy-white color is completely replaced by the redish-brown color, stop and leave aside to cool. At this time, you have to protect the kaya from naughty children coming in to lick it with a spoon

After it has cooled, you can bottle it in jars and refrigerate. This stuff can last for 3 days in room temperature, that is before the ants get to it.


I had better success using freshly squeezed coconut milk than the canned or packed ones.
Do not adulterate this recipe by adding additional flavorings. It just spoils it. Pandan leaves don’t cut well with it and same with vanilla essence. It has to be enjoyed as is.

How to eat it? Only on bread. This is not exactly a health food. It has lots of cholesterol and calories. I suggest eliminating eggs if you plan to eat it for breakfast. If you want a cholesterol fest, try spreading it on hot french toast that is fried in butter. A taste that is so good it could kill  update: I’ve done some research and experimentation. This is what I’ve found out. Heating by direct heat is usually too hot. Unless you have a burner that has a very low flame setting. What is is better as I have found out is to use a double boiler. You still need to stir it but the chances of burning kaya are eliminated. Source - Chia Jin Ngee



Why that name, I’ve no idea. Would someone care to tell me? When choosing fresh yam, the lighter in weight the better. Sweet potatoes come in many varieties and colours, a mixture will make your bobochacha look even more tropical.
cooking time – approx. 30 minutes


  • 300g yam (taro as it’s known in California) – remove skin and cubed
  • 300g sweet potatoes (sometimes known as yam in California) – remove skin and cubed
  • coconut milk – from one coconut.
  • Pandan (screwpine leaves) – a few leaves crushed and tie into a knot.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt.


Cover yam and sweet potatoes with just enough water and bring to a boil, add pandan, reduce heat and cook till yam is soft. add sugar and a pinch of salt. When sugar is dissolved, add and stir in coconut milk, remove from heat. Do not boil the milk. Served hot or cold from the fridge. (adjust thickness by adding water or coconut milk)

Source - Thian’s mom


Sago Pudding


  • 8 oz. of sago (half a packet)
  • 6 oz. of sugar (variably)
  • 6 oz. coconut milk
  • 32 oz. of water
  • Pandan leaves (optional)
  • Fruits (optional, you could have bananas, honey melon, water melon, or canned peaches)


(1) Boil the water in a pot
(2) Put the sugar and pandan leaves into boiling water.
(3) Add in the sago and stir periodically to make sure that the sago does not stick to the bottom of the pot. (The water should always be boiling)
(4) After 30-40 minutes, the sago should be cooked (they turn transparent). Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk.
(5) Cool in fridge and serve with fruit.


Kueh Dadar
(Pandan Pancake With Coconut Filling)

Makes 22 pieces


Pandan Pancake

  • half teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 225g flour
  • 1 tablespoon sago flour
  • 565g grated fresh coconut, white, for No.1 milk
  • 2 teaspoon Pandan flavouring


1. Squeeze grated coconut to get No.1 milk, should get 225ml. Set aside. Add 455ml water to grated coconut and squeeze again to obtain 225ml No.2 milk. Set aside.

2. Blend the two types of coconut milk together with other ingredients and mix till smooth. Strain into another bowl. Add pandan flavouring. Stir well. Let stand for half hour.

3. Heat a non-stick pan. When hot, remove pan from heat and grease base. Pour enough batter to cover the base of the pan thinly. Fry pancake till edges curl slightly upwards.

4. Pile pancakes on a plate to cool before filling.

5. Fill each pancake with 2 tablespoonfuls of coconut filling. fold to enclose filling, then roll.

Coconut Filling


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 285g grated palm sugar
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 6 screw pine leaves (pandan leaves)
  • 565g grated coconut, white
  • 1 tablespoon sago flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water


Boil sugars, water and pandan leaves until all sugar is dissolved. Add coconut, lower heat, stirring till almost dry. Add flour and cook for 5 min. Cool.

Durian Green Bean Dessert


  • 300g Green Bean (boil in 2 rice bowl of water)
  • 300g Gula Melaka (boil in 1/2 rice bowl of water. Put through a sieve)
  • coconut milk from 1 coconut or from 1 packet
  • 1 Durian (separate flesh from seed and put durian flesh into a food processor blend till smooth)


Boil green bean in water till cooked. Add in gula melaka. Simmer for 5 mins. (Add in more sugar if you like it sweeter)

To Serve:
Dish green Bean dessert into bowl. Add 2 tbsp coconut milk. Add in 1 tbsp blended durian.

Pisang Goreng

(Banana Fritters)

Yield: 2 servings


  • 4 Eggs
  • 12 T Flour
  • 4 Ripe bananas
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Cinnamon sugar


Slightly beat eggs and mix with flour and half cup water.

Mash bananas with fork and mix thoroughly with flour and egg mixture. Deep-fry banana and flour mixture by the tablespoonful in hot oil until golden brown.

Drain on absorbent paper and dust with cinnamon sugar.

Sweet Coconut Rice Balls



  • 1½ cups glutinous powder
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 2-3 drops green food coloring
  • 8 tsp. grated Java dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh-grated coconut, mixed with ½ tsp. salt


Mix the rice powder with the lukewarm water and green food coloring into a firm but flexible dough.

Pull off one full teaspoon of the dough and shape it into a ball with approximately 1-inch in diameter.

Push a finger into the center of the ball to make a hole, and put in approximately ½ tsp. of the grated sugar. Seal, and roll it back into the ball shape with the palms of your hands. Prepare all the balls and set them aside.

Prepare a pot half filled with water and bring it to a boil.

Drop the balls into the boiling water. Remove the balls with a spoon once they float to the water surface and then roll the balls in the grated coconut.

Serve at room temperature. Makes 30 rice balls.


(Steamed Cassava Cuts)


  • 500gm cassava (tapioca), peeled and grated
  • 150gm granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 medium coconut, grated and steamed with 1/4 tsp salt and 5 pandan leaves, shredded and tied into knots food dye, according to preference


Mix grated tapioca, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla.
Divide dough into 3 parts, each to be given a different colour.
Line the base of the steamer basket with grease-proof paper or banana leaves.
Pour in dough of one colour and level it according to the shape of the steamer basket.
Pile on the other doughs in alternating colours. Alternatively, you can steam each colour separately if you prefer the titbit to be of one colour only.
Steam for about 45 minutes until done, remove, cool and cut into pieces.
Roll the Sentiling in steamed, grated coconut before serving.

Kuih Pisang
(Banana Cakes)


  • 8-10 ripe kepuk bananas or 2 tanduk bananas, steamed until done
  • 1 packet (about 125 grams) of mung bean (hunkwe) flour
  • 1 1/4 litres coconut milk from 1 1/2 coconuts
  • 200 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Banana leaves, for wrapping


Peel bananas, cut diagonally to a thickness about 1cm and set aside.
Dilute mung bean flour with part of the coconut milk and set aside.
Boil remaining coconut milk with sugar, salt and vanilla.
Add mung bean flour mixture and keep stirring until the dough is thick and done.
Take a sheet of banana leaf cut into the desired size, place 1 tsp dough on it, add 1 slice of banana and top with another 1 tbsp dough.
Fold both sides of the leaf to cover the dough, then tuck in both ends so that the banana cake has a size of about 4x7cm.
Leave the dough to cool and set.
Notes: Banana leaves can be substituted with clear plastic sheets or aluminium foil.

from The Best of Indonesian Desserts, by Yasa Boga (Times Edition)

Kueh Ko Sui

(another popular recipe from the kitchen of Chia Poh Geok)


  • 1. Tapioca powder 10 oz
  • 2. Rice powder 10 oz (wet)
  • 3. Sugar 8 oz
  • 4. Gula Melaka 16 0z
  • 5. Lye water (alkaline) 2 teaspoonful
  • 6. Water 20 oz and 16 oz
  • 7. Pandan leaves 3 to 4 blades
  • 8. Coconut shreds 200 grams


Step ONE
Mix and boil the Water(20 oz), Sugar, Gula Melaka and Pandan leaves until they melt.

Step TWO
Sieve the mixture when cool.

Mix the Tapioca powder and Rice powder with Water(16 oz) and add in the mixture in Step ONE, before finally adding in Lye water and stiring thoroughly.

Pour the final mixture into moulds and steam for 15 min.

Allow mixture to cool and solidify. Remove the kueh from the mould and add Coconut shreds to serve.

Huat Kueh (Fatt Koh)


  • 200g muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 300g Hong Kong flour (low gluten flour used in Chinese pastries, substitute with cake flour if unavailable)
  • 60g rice flour
  • 4 tsp double acting baking powder


Bring the 400ml water to a boil and add sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolve. Leave the sugar solution to cool.

Arrange Chinese tea cups or a 12 bun ½ cup muffin tin in a wok. Add water to the wok and bring it to a boil. At the same time the tea cups will be heated up by the steam.

Sieve the Hong Kong flour, rice flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the sugar solution into the flour, using a whisk to mix. Alternatively, if you are lazy like I am, use a standmixer. Make sure that there are no lumps in the batter.

Make sure water in the wok is at a roaring boil. Pour the batter into the hot tea cups to at least 80% full. If using muffin tin, place cupcake liners in the tin before pouring the batter. Steam for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cake. Do not open the lid for the first 10 minutes however or the cake may go flat.

Don’t mean to toot my own horn but these home made huat kueh are the best I have ever tasted. They are fluffy, moist and have that intense flavour of muscovado sugar which I love.

Toddy Huat Kueh

Recipe by Amy Beh


  • 600g grated coconut
  • 300g rice flour
  • 20g green bean flour (lek tau hoon)
  • 225ml fresh coconut juice
  • 375g castor sugar
  • 225ml toddy
  • A few drops pink colouring


Squeeze out thick coconut milk from the grated coconut without adding water. Set the milk aside.

Combine rice and green bean flour in a mixing bowl. Add fresh coconut juice gradually and mix into a smooth batter. Set aside the batter to leaven for 30 minutes.

Add sugar and toddy to the rice flour batter. Put aside, covered with a damp tea towel for 3½–4 hours to leaven again.

Add thick coconut milk to the leavened batter and set aside for another two hours.

Add colouring to the batter and stir well to mix. Pour the batter into a tray. Steam over rapidly boiling water for 15–20 minutes. Remove and leave aside to cool before cutting.

Coconut Cendol Kueh


(A) Cendol Layer:

    • 750 ml general santan
    • 160g sugar
    • 1 1/4 tbsp agar-agar powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt

(B) 150 ml pati santan
(C) 100g cendol, drain well in a colander
(D) Gula Melaka Layer:

    • 100 ml water
    • 75g gula melaka, chopped finely
    • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 pandan leaves, knotted

(E) 200ml general santan

  • 1 tbsp agar-agar powder


Mix (A) together and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add in (B). Allow to simmer slowly. When bubbles appear turn off the fire. Leave to cool slightly. Add in (C) and stir well.

Pour into a tray and use a spatula to stir well to allow cendol to be evenly distributed. Leave to set.

To make the gula melaka layer, bring ingredients(D) to a boil to dissolve the sugars. Strain off impurities.

Mix (E) into the gula melaka syrup mixture. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add in santan. Cool slightly, then pour over cendol layer. Leave to set then chill well in the refrigerator.

Cut into squares and serve.

Kueh Lapis


  • 570cc or 30 egg yolks
  • 525-600 g butter, whipped or melted
  • 100 g flour, sifted
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbs. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbs. special layer cake extract or Ground Allspice
  • 15 g powdered milk
  • 1/2 tps. powdered vanilla extract


Place the egg yolks, granulated sugar and vanilla into mixing bowl. Beat to very high soft peak. Stir in the layer cake extract, flour, powdered milk, condensed milk and butter.

The batter should be very thick. Place wax paper at the bottom of a 8×8 inch buttered baking pan. Spread butter on top of the wax paper as well. Pour 3-4 Tbs. of batter into the wax covered pan and bake in a preheated 350°F oven (gas oven is better than electric oven) for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and press the cake evenly. Pour another 3-4 Tbs. of batter and bake it again for five minutes. Keep doing this step until the batter is finished.

Cool for a while when you have finished. Whilst the cake is still warm place absorbent paper towel on top and underneath, weight slightly and allow excess butter to flow through the cake and into the towel.

Serve when cool.

Kueh Baulu


  • 3 egg yolk, fresh
  • 4 egg white, fresh
  • 100 g : sugar
  • 0.5 tsp : essence, vanilla
  • 100 g : flour, wheat
  • 1 tbsp : flour, tapioca 0
  • .25 tsp : baking powder


Sieve together wheat and tapioca flour and baking powder. Beat the eggs and sugar till stiff. Add in vanilla essence. Fold in 20grms of sifted flour with 100ml of egg batter. Slightly grease and heat the special mould in a pre-heated oven of 250C. Spoon the well-folded batter to fill about 3/4 level of each compartment. Bake for about 5 minutes. Repeat with the balance of the batter until all used up. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Chwee Kueh/Kway


* 1 cup rice flour
* 2 1/4 cups water
* 1 heaped tbs corn flour
* 3 tps oil
* 170g Lard [I didn’t use lard]
* half tsp salt
* 2 tsp sesame seeds
* 2 cloves garlic
* 200g chopped, preserved, salted radish
* pepper
* dark soy sauce
* 1 tsp sugar


To cook rice cake * Mix two types of flour with water
* Add salt and 1 tsp of oil, beat well
* Stir mixture over low heat till it thickens, keep stiring to prevent lumps
* Arrange steel moulds in a bamboo steamer over boiling water and steam empty moulds for 5 mins
* Pour mixture into moulds and steam for 10-15 mins or till well cooked
* Remove from bamboo steamer and leave to cool for 10mins before serving.

Note: Test the constituency of the rice cake mixture first by steaming 1-2 moulds. If rice cake is too hard, add more water to mixture. If rice cake is too soft, add more rice flour.

To cook the radish
Toast the sesame seeds till golden brown
* Dice the lard, wash and drain
* Fry lard, garlic and remaining oil in a saucepan until brown
* Discard garlic and lard
* Add radish to remaining oil, cook over low heat for 30mins, stirring occasionally to prevent burning
* Add sesame seeds, stir well. Add pepper, soy sauce to taste

To serve
Remove rice cakes from moulds after 10 mins of cooling
* Place a spoonful of cooked radish onto each rice cake
* Serve with chili sauce.

Soon Kueh


  • 200g dried shrimps, soaked
  • 50g dried mushrooms, soaked and sliced
  • 200g chicken or port fillet, sliced into strips
  • 500g chives, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 900ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 500g rice flour
  • 100ml oil
  • 250g tapioca flour


Cook the filling and set aside.

Boil the water in a pot and then stir in the salt, rice flour and oil. Mix thoroughly till the mixture thickens.

Allow to cool before removing from t he pot. Knead into a dough with tapioca flour. Divide into the same number of portions as the filling. Shape into a ball

To make the soon kueh, wrap 1 ball of filling with the dough. Press the edges together to seal then twist patterns along the edges.

Steam on a greased tray lined with banana leaf for 12 minutes.

Remove and brush with oil.

Kueh Ambon


  • 15g instant yeast
  • 110ml warm water
  • 80g plain four
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pandan leaves
  • 350 coconut milk
  • 30g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 120g tapioca flour
  • 6 eggs
  • A pinch of salt


Mix yeast, warm water, 1 tsp of sugar and plain flour in a bowl. Stir till batter is smooth.

Cover and leave in a warm place for an hour.

Cook pandan leaves, coconut milk and salt over low heat.

Stir in butter and leave it to cool.

Pour in the batter and sugar.

Beat briefly.

Add in tapioca flour and eggs.

Beat at low speed for a while and add in coconut milk mixture.

Pour into a lined tray and leave to prove for 2 1/2 hours.

Bake in a preheat oven at 170 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower to 150 degrees and bake till cooked.

Onde Onde


  • 1 cylindrical piece of Gula Melaka
  • 1/2 grated fresh coconut (desiccated will do, too)
  • pinch of salt
  • 180g sweet potatoes
  • 240g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 TBSP pandan juice (by pounding 4 leaves)
  • *Optional*: a few drops of green pandan colouring
  • 165ml water (more, if needed)


1. Cut Gula Melaka into small pieces, or grate (it will melt easier).
2. Mix grated coconut with pinch of salt and steam for 5 minutes. Put aside.
3. Steam the sweet potatoes until soft. While *hot*, peel and mash with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.
4. Add glutinous rice flour, pandan juice, (colouring), and pinch of salt. Knead together. Add water a little at a time, kneading well until the dough is smooth.
5. Divide dough into equal portions of about 1tsp each. Roll each into a ball. Flatten each ball lightly, and put a bit of Gula Melaka inside. Close up the edges and shape into a ball.
6. Drop a few balls at a time into boiling water. When they float, lift out and roll in the grated coconut.

Ban Jian Kway
Hokkien Peanut pancake

This is a economical breakfast favourite seldom made at home these days. I have friends who ate this so often that they grew tired of it!


  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • some sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 350ml water(I like it with milk, i’m sure the hawker didn’t use it)


  • freshly ground roasted peanuts without skin. (just roast the peanuts in a wok, stir constantly without oil) sugar
  • sesame (optional) – wash and dry roast sesame in wok till fragrant, lightly crushed to release the fragrance.


Beat egg, add butter, sugar, salt and water/milk.

Add flour and mix to form a smooth batter.

leave for several hours.

Heat non stick pan, oiled lightly with butter if necessary, pour batter onto the pan, cover and cook till done(a nice brown underneath) on slow/medium heat.

Remove from pan, throw some peanut/sesame and sugar over, fold into half, cut and serve immediately.

Bubur Cha-Cha

(This recipe is adapted from The Star’s Nyonya Flavours cookbook.)


  • 300g yam, diced
  • 300g sweet potato, diced
  • 80g black-eyed beans, soaked in hot water for 2 hours
  • 100g sago pearls
  • 100g tapioca starch
  • boiling water
  • 3 cups thick coconut milk
  • 100g sugar, or to taste
  • 3 pandan leaves, knotted


Steam yam and sweet potato separately until soft (about 20 minutes) and set aside.

Remove the beans from the water it had been soaking in and cook in boiling water until soft. Remove and set aside.

Cook sago pearls in a pot of boiling until they become translucent (about one half hour). Remove and set aside.

Using a spatula, add boiling water to the tapioca starch in a mixing bowl, bit by bit until it becomes doughy. Mix well. When it can be handled with bare hands, roll into 1cm thickness and cut into strips. Cook in boiling water until they become translucent (about one half hour). Remove and soak in iced water until needed.

Put coconut milk, sugar and knotted pandan leaves into a pot and bring to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Add yam, sweet potato, black-eyed beans, tapioca jelly and sago pearls and mix well. Serve hot or cold.

(Compressed Rice Cakes)

These firm rice cakes are usually cooked in individual baskets of woven coconut leaves so that the rice swells until it fills the basket and becomes firmly compressed. Here is a simple and more practical way of producing similar results in Western kitchens.
Serves 6


  • 500 g Short or medium grain rice
  • 4 cups Water
  • Banana leaf or aluminium foil


Bring the water and rice to the boil.
Cover tightly with lid.
Turn heat very low and cook for 35-40 minutes until all water is absorbed.
Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.
Then press rice into a cake tin or pie plate to a depth of about 2.5 cm (1 inch).
Use a piece of washed and greased banana leaf or greased aluminum foil to cover the surface of the rice and put another plate on top.
Press down very firmly the plate.
Put a weight on top and leave at room temperature for a few
s, until very firm.
Remove weight, plate and banana leaf and use a wet knife to cut rice into 5 cm squares.
Serve with spicy peanut sauce.