skip to Main Content

Ube Halaya Recipe (Purple Yam Jam)

ube halaya recipeUbe Halaya is a Filipino dessert made from purple yam or “Ube ” as we call it. The recipe is actually really simple and so is the process, but I have to warn you though that it requires muscle power and patience…lots of it! Maybe that is why Ube Halaya is usually only served at special occasions because of the time and work it requires, but do not get discourage because  it is worth all the effort and with the new kitchen gadgets nowadays it can be a lot easier.

Ube Halaya is usually served cold. It can be eaten as dessert as it is  with or without the usual topping of Latik or grated cheese. But it can also be used for making other desserts like ice cream, cake, filling for hopia and so on. Ube halaya


With this Ube Halaya recipe, I used frozen purple yams that I bought in the Asian store. Fresh ones can also be used, of course, and I bet that they will be more flavorful than the frozen ones but fresh purple yams are not often available here in Germany. It turned out surprisingly good anyway and just to be sure, I put it to a test…. I brought some to a Filipina get-together party just last night and I can say that it was a success based from how fast it was gone. 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Ube Halaya Recipe (Purple Yam Jam)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 500 grams frozen purple yam, thawed and grated
  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (400 ml)coconut milk
  • 1 can (370 ml) evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Melt the butter in a wide, deep pan over medium heat. Add the grated yam and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil while stirring occasionally. Let it cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the yam mixture in a blender or use a stab mixer to turn it into fine puree.
  2. Return the yam mixture back to the pan and add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat into medium-low and let it simmer, while stirring regularly, for another 20-30 minutes or until it turns into a thick, sticky dough and pulls away from the side of the pan when stirring.
  3. Grease 2 -3 llanera generously with butter. Divide the Ube Halaya into the llanera and let it cool down to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
purple yam jam



Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This Post Has 33 Comments
  1. Hi Bebs,
    This recipe is perfect! I tried it for the first time and it was a success and the best. My friends loved it. Thanks for sharing. I just added 1/2 tsp of purple powdered colouring to enhance it’s colour.

  2. This is by far the best recipe for halaya I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many) because it is very MILDLY sweet (as in the sugar does not overpower the ube). It is the only one I use for making Ube Ice Cream and have referenced it here (link)

    Thanks for the honest, beautiful and transparent blog!

  3. Hello, Bebs! So silly I haven’t left a comment – this is perfectly delicious! Glad that I have found this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

        1. Hi Zynn, I cannot measure it since I gave them all away because we are moving back to the Philippines soon and we are disposing of some stuff. Sorry I cannot help.

    1. Hi Donna, in this one I used Gouda. But if you can get hold of Kraft Eden cheese or Velveeta (processed cheese) that is what we normally use in the Philippines.

        1. Hmmm…difficult to say, remember that most of the liquids would have evaporated by the time you are done but yeah maybe more or less a kg.

  4. I was afraid this will turn out to be too sweet but it was the perfect sweetness. Next time Ill add some food color. So yummy! I couldn’t stop eating it while I was stirring and pouring into jars! Ha ha! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Diana, I too don’t like it too sweet so the sugar in this recipe was already reduced like most of all the recipes in this blog. I know what you mean by not being able to stop eating this treat, the first time I made it, I think only half made it to the containers hahaha!

  5. thanks for the sharing…i love ube halaya or any ube or violet in colour- foood or non food..anyways, thanks for sharing the recipe…putting cooconut milk is nice to taste but there are some who are allergic to it so its still fine even theres no coocnut milk. Tory, about the colour, yo can add ube falvoring Mccormich brancd..its like a vanilla flavour then when it comes to colour , try to add food colouring taht you use in making cakes..not a liquid one, a paste one..hope it will help..

  6. Hi Bebs, I tried to use Purple Yam instead of frozen ube to make this filling for my hopia and it turned out well. Also, because I am diabetic, I didn’t use the condensed milk, instead I used an alternative sugar substitute (stevia). It was a good recipe.

  7. I recently discovered and love ube!!! Wanted to try making it and found the purple yams at the store (Asian produce section) and was so excited!! When I got home a couple of them were that gorgeous blue-y purpule color they should be, but others were less vibrant and more of a brownish purple inside. I grated them the night before to save time and placed in fridge (new mom of twins, just trying to take advantage of time when I have it)… but I think this was a mistake. The pretty blue-y color that had been left was all gone by the next morning – perhaps oxidized? My resultant product is this sort of sad mauve color… not exactly a showstopper. Any tips for me to keep the color at its peak? How to pick the best yams at the store… maybe can I treat grated yam with lemon to keep it vibrant? Any tips would be most welcome!!

    1. Hi Tory, I am not an expert on purple yams and I haven’t done it like you did, but I buy and use whole frozen purple yams and they seem to have retained their colors while frozen (I am not sure though if they added something to achieve this), so maybe freezing them after grating could work. Of course it is ideal to use them immediately after peeling or maybe you could boil them first unpeeled and you can store them in the fridge. (I will try to do these myself so I can give you more answers 🙂 )
      As for the brownish purple yam…sounds weird to me so I would probably cut them out or not use them at all…and as for your resulting color, you could add some natural food coloring. Believe me, most of the photos you see of purple yam recipes with deep purple color are not all that natural… 😉

  8. I made this with frozen ube and it was delicious, not too sweet. Also took only approximately 60 minutes and not the hours and hours of stirring. Thanks!

  9. Hi Bebs,
    For this ube halaya, can i use the purple yan known here in Canada or US? Because back home in the Philippines, kamote is different from the ube root crop that i buy in the market. I tried using the grated frozen ube but does not taste good. I am planning to buy and use the kamote (purple yam) i see in the grocery here in Edmonton, Alberta but i am not sure if it would be as good as this ube that you made. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I plan to try your Ukoy, ensaymada and this ube.

    1. Hi Nona,
      You are right, kamote and ube are not the same. Purple yam is what we know as Ube in the Philippines, Kamote is sweet potato. If they are selling purple yam then that should be the right one. Purple yam is usually darker in color (purple) also inside when cut.

    1. Hi Jam, I also like it only midly sweet so I usually look for and use recipes that use lesser sugar. You can of course still reduce the amount of condensed milk. Just remember, usually sa mga desserts or sweets, nababawasan ang tamis pagnaluluto 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

Back To Top