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Taro Paste

Learn how to prepare taro paste with three ingredients: taro, coconut milk, and sugar. Taro paste is a great filling for bread, mooncake, mochi, or pastry.
Ingredients to Prepare Taro Paste: Taro, Coconut Milk, and Sugar.
Ingredients to Prepare Taro Paste: Taro, Coconut Milk, and Sugar.

Have you ever visited Asian bakerie and look at the pretty purple color from their taro baked goods?

Actually, you can make taro paste easily at home, just with a handful of ingredients: taro root, coconut milk, and sugar. You won’t get the shocking bright purple color though (I suspect the ones from the bakery are most likely artificial), but what you will get is a pretty pink hue sweet paste.

You can use taro paste for all sort of dessert, like for steamed buns (Chinese bao/mantou), bread filling, mochi filling, even mooncake filling.

And if you want to go with western dessert, mix this taro paste with a bit of butter (or coconut cream) to make the paste more like buttercream consistency and use as your cake/cupcake frosting!

Steamed and Mashed Taro.
Steamed and Mashed Taro.

Taro Roots

Taro roots are usually available in most Chinese grocery stores. Sometimes you can find them fresh, in which case you will need to peel the rough brown skin to reveal the whitish flesh with pink/purple vein/thread.

Some people can feel itchy from handling taro, so if you have a pair of disposable gloves, it is a very good idea to wear those while handling taro.

Most likely though, you will find the roots already peeled and vacuum packed, which is very convenient since the store already does the prep work of peeling the skin away for you.

Since we will be steaming the roots, it is best to chop them into smaller chunks. I like to chop them into roughly 1" cubes.

Once they are chopped, you can steam the taro until fork tender. You can then mashed the steamed taro root with either a fork, a potato masher, or even a food processor if you don’t want to do it manually.

Cooked Taro Paste.
Cooked Taro Paste.

Cook the Steamed Taro with Coconut Milk and Sugar into Taro Paste

Once you have mashed/pureed steamed taro, transfer to a frying pan (it doesn’t have to be non-stick, I use my stainless steel pan for this) along with coconut milk and sugar.

Cook all these three ingredients together over medium-low heat, and stir until everything is homogenous.

Stir regularly until a paste is formed. There should be no standing liquid and the paste should be smooth.

For me, 200 gram of sugar is generally sweet enough, but you can increase the amount of sugar to 250 gram, or even 300 gram, if you prefer sweeter paste.

Taro Paste, Cooked, Cooled, and Ready to be Stored.
Taro Paste, Cooked, Cooled, and Ready to be Stored.

Transfer to Jars/Containers for Longer Storage

This recipe should yield about 3 cups of taro paste. For ease of storage and usage, I usually store each cup individually.

Whenever I make a batch of bread, steamed buns, or pastry, I typically only need one cup per batch, so storing my homemade taro paste into separate containers per cup make the most sense for me.

I hope you will give this recipe a try, and hopefully this will end up being one of your favorite Asian sweet paste that you can use for many purposes: bread, steamed buns, mochi, mooncakes, and even for Western-style pastries.

Taro Paste

5.0 from 14 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 3 cups

Print Recipe


  • 750 gram peeled taro, cut into wedges
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 200-250 gram sugar


  1. Steam taro wedges in a steamer on medium high heat until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Mash steamed taro with a fork into a smooth paste. Or, you can use a food processor for this.
  3. Transfer the mashed taro paste to a frying pan. Add coconut milk and sugar. Cook on medium low heat, stir until coconut milk and sugar are completely incorporated to the taro paste. Taste test and adjust sweetness to your taste. I prefer to use 200 gram sugar.
  4. Chill to at least room temperature before using. Store any leftover in a clean tupperware in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Sky Sky says:

    Super easy! Tastes good too.

  • Nicole - The Granola Diaries Nicole - The Granola Diaries says:

    This is amazing, I had no idea it was so easy to make at home! I want to try this on top of some of my gluten free cupcakes as a frosting!!!

  • Alison Alison says:

    This looks so easy to do! I've never used taro paste in my desserts, but I'm going to give it a try!

  • Anjali @ The Picky Eater Anjali @ The Picky Eater says:

    I didn't realize how easy taro paste was to make until I saw this recipe!! Love that it's all natural and that you can use it in a variety of baked goods. I'll be making taro paste frosting for the cupcakes I'm making this weekend! :)

    • Anita Anita says:

      This is indeed quite easy to make at home. If you plan to use it as frosting, be sure to increase the amount of coconut milk so it is easier to pipe the frosting. As it is, the taro paste is more suitable as bread filling, or pastry filling, and will be too thick to frost. :)

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    What does taro paste taste like? I'm interested in using this paste in a frosting for a cake.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Kelly, it's rather sweet, so a bit like sweet potato in that sense. As a paste/puree, taro is much thicker, drier, and holds better shape compared to sweet potato. And of course, it's pink! Always a bonus. Just a reminder, since you want to use this as frosting, be sure to increase the amount of coconut milk so it is easier to pipe/frost. :)

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    What an easy and tasty recipe! I haven't tried this before, but I will definitely be giving this a shot!

  • Briana Briana says:

    This is delicious! Coconutty and Taro-y, and super simple to make, it's perfect! I used the recommended 200g of sugar and it was just sweet enough. I'm going to make mochi/mooncake like pastries with this paste. Thank you for this yummy recipe!

  • Suzanne Suzanne says:

    How long can it be stored in the freezer?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Suzanne, from my own experience, it's good for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. I haven't tried freezing yet, so I'm not sure, though I would guess it should last a good 2-3 months at the very least.

  • Natalie Natalie says:

    Hi! Would it be possible to still get the same results if milk was used rather than coconut milk? Or would it loose its texture/thickness?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Natalie, you can use milk if you don't need the paste to be dairy-free. Since canned coconut milk is slightly thicker than regular milk, I would start with 150 ml milk (instead of 200 ml) and only add more milk if the taro paste is too thick.

  • Janice Janice says:

    Thanks for this lovely recipe!! :) How much butter would you suggest adding to make this into frosting?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Janice, it depends on how thick or thin you want the frosting to be. I would say 1 cup taro paste, 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 1-1.5 cup powdered/confectioners sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt should be a good start.

      In a mixing bowl, whisk together taro paste and unsalted butter until fluffy. Add in salt and powdered sugar a little bit at a time, whisking until fully combined and frosting is smooth.

  • Laurice Laurice says:

    Hi! Thanks for this recipe! Is it still ok to use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Laurice, you can make coconut milk from coconut cream. The general guidance is one 5.4 fl oz can of coconut cream dilute with 2 cups of water to get coconut milk. If you simply substitute coconut milk with coconut cream, the taro paste will be too thick to be workable.

      • Laurice Laurice says:

        Hi Anita, thank you for your feedback! I made the taro paste as is (with coconut milk) while waiting for your reply. And it was good. Also received compliments from in-laws and friends. Glad I followed it! I just lessened the sugar. So good ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • wendy wendy says:

    Hi, this sounds wonderful. I would love to add this to butter mochi. Have you tried it that way? Also, can the leftovers be frozen for use another day? I just don't think I could use it all in a week. Thanks.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Wendy, I haven't tried adding taro paste to butter mochi, so I don't know if it will work, though it does sound very delicious. You should be able to freeze taro paste just like other paste for mooncakes such as lotus paste or red bean paste. It is better to freeze the paste in a freezer ziplock bag. It should last for 2-3 months when frozen.

  • Liszt B Liszt B says:

    Hi! I was hoping for some examples on recipes to use this with? My friend gave me 2 cups of taro paste because he know I like baking but I was wondering if thereโ€™s anything other than bread I can use taro paste with? What western desserts were to talking about?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Liszt, I was thinking of using taro paste as frosting. Try using 1 cup taro paste, 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 1-1.5 cup powdered/confectioners sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt should be a good start.

      In a mixing bowl, whisk together taro paste and unsalted butter until fluffy. Add in salt and powdered sugar a little bit at a time, whisking until fully combined and frosting is smooth.

  • Kei Kei says:

    Hi, can this paste be used for taro milk tea instead of taro powder? Thank you.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Kei, I have never use this taro paste for taro milk tea, so I'm not sure how it will work. If you do give it a try, please share with me. :)

    • Grace Grace says:

      Kei, did u end up using the taro paste recipe for milk tea?

  • Ava Pre Ava Pre says:

    Yes! Thanks for this, I will try this for filling in a sponge cake with whipped cream ... delicious! This will save me so much $$ making my own then buying a cake three times the price ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Pat Sam Pat Sam says:

    Is taro paste the same as taro butter? If it is not do you have a recipe for it, taro root butter. Had it at a luau and it was one of the better thing I had in a long time

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Pat, this is the first time I've heard of taro butter, so I'm not sure if taro butter is the same as taro paste. I'm sorry I can't help.

  • Chin Chin says:

    Tastes very good, like what you would get from frozen store bought buns. It's a tad too sweet for my liking, so next time, I'd reduce the amount of sugar. Next time, I'll double the recipe because one taro is like 4 times what is required for the recipe.

  • Vincy Vincy says:

    Can I use water instead of coconut milk?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Vincy, you can, but it will feel less creamy. I think it is better to replace coconut milk with heavy cream, half-and-half, or even regular milk instead of water.

  • David Lum David Lum says:

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. Is it possible to pipe detailed flowers with your taro paste!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi David, this paste is quite thick and I doubt you can pipe flower details with it. If, however, you thin the paste out by mixing it with some whipped cream, you may be able to do so. I haven't tried it myself, but I think I'll start with a 3:1 of paste:whipped cream as a starting point.

  • Sidesist Sidesist says:

    I love anything to do with taro filling. This taro paste looks so easy to make and yummy! I will have to try this!

  • Chadi Saleh Chadi Saleh says:

    Hello Anita! how are you? Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was wondering can I substitute sugar for honey or maple syrup ? Have a nice day.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Chadi, certainly. Just probably reduce the amount of honey/maple syrup a little to make sure the taro paste doesn't become too watery. Try using 80% of the amount first, and if the paste is okay, then you can add the remaining 20% of the amount.

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