Deutsch: Halaya / Español: Halaya / Português: Halaya / Français: Halaya / Italiano: Halaya

Halaya, in the food context, refers to a popular Filipino dessert known as Ube Halaya or Purple Yam Jam. It is a thick, sweet concoction made primarily from boiled and grated purple yam (ube), mixed with coconut milk, milk (often condensed and/or evaporated), and sugar. The mixture is cooked down until thickened into a dense, sticky paste, which can be eaten on its own or used as a filling or topping in various Filipino desserts and pastries.


Ube Halaya is celebrated for its vibrant purple color, creamy texture, and sweet, earthy flavor. Ube, the key ingredient, is a type of yam native to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia, known for its distinctive purple hue and sweet taste. Ube Halaya can be garnished with latik (fried coconut milk curd) or served with a sprinkling of coconut flakes, and it's commonly enjoyed during festive occasions and holidays, though it's also a beloved treat year-round.

Application Areas

Halaya is versatile and can be used in various culinary applications, including:

  • Stand-alone Dessert: Often served at room temperature or chilled, cut into squares or molded shapes.
  • Filling or Topping: Used in cakes, pastries, sweet buns, and as a topping for halo-halo, a famous Filipino shaved ice dessert.
  • Spread: Can be spread on bread or crackers as a sweet, creamy treat.

Well-Known Examples

In addition to being enjoyed on its own, Ube Halaya is a crucial component in many Filipino desserts, such as:

  • Ube Cake: A vibrant purple cake made with ube halaya in the batter, often layered with ube halaya filling.
  • Ube Ice Cream: Ice cream flavored with ube halaya, known for its rich, creamy texture and unique taste.
  • Ube Pandesal: A modern take on traditional Filipino bread rolls, filled with ube halaya.


A basic recipe for making Ube Halaya involves:

  1. Ingredients:

    • 2 pounds purple yam (ube), boiled, peeled, and finely grated
    • 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
    • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (adjust to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  2. Preparation:

    • In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the grated ube and cook for a few minutes.
    • Pour in the coconut milk, condensed milk, and sugar. Stir well to combine.
    • Continue to cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, for about 30-45 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a paste-like consistency.
    • Once thickened, you can add vanilla extract for additional flavoring.
    • Transfer the halaya to a greased dish, mold, or container and let it cool. Refrigerate until set.
    • Serve chilled, garnished with latik or coconut flakes if desired.

Treatment and Risks

Making Ube Halaya is generally safe, but care should be taken when handling hot ingredients and during the lengthy stirring process to prevent burns. As a dessert high in sugar and fat, it should be consumed in moderation, especially by individuals monitoring their sugar intake or those with dietary restrictions.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Ube Jam
  • Purple Yam Jam


Halaya, particularly Ube Halaya, is a quintessential Filipino dessert loved for its unique flavor, vibrant color, and versatility in various sweet applications. Whether enjoyed on its own, as a filling, or as a topping, ube halaya is a celebration of Filipino culinary heritage, bringing a taste of the Philippines to tables around the world.


Halaya refers to sweetened purple yam. Cooked or boiled yam is grated then cooked with Coconut milk (Gata) until sticky . Halaya is served as dessert and one of the ingredients of the famous dessert in the Philippines called Halo-Halo

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