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Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Let's turn ube (purple yam) into ube halaya spread! Perfect for your morning toasts, pancakes/waffles, and a great filling for bread/pastries.
Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Ube halaya is a Philippine bread/pastry spread with a naturally pretty purple color. It can be enjoyed as is as dessert, but I prefer to treat it as spread for my morning toasts, or as filling for my bread rolls. Ube halaya is my second most favorite Asian spread, right after srikaya (egg and coconut milk spread).

Like srikaya, you can buy ube halaya at most Asian grocery stores. But making it at home means it will be free of preservatives, and I get to control the level of sweetness too. Plus, it is actually super easy to make your own batch of ube halaya.

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Ingredients and step-by-step to prepare ube halaya

Here is what we need to make our own ube halaya: ube (purple yam), condensed milk, coconut milk, sugar, and butter.

First, steam/boil the purple yam until tender, then drain and mash with a fork/food processor.

Combine mashed purple yam with the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and continue cooking until the spread is thick.

I usually stop cooking once I can see the bottom of my pot when I scrape the mixture with a spatula.

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

Storing ube halaya

I store the spread in clean glass jars and place them in the fridge.

If you want to make sure the spread will last for some time, it is best to treat the jar(s) as if for canning purpose, i.e. sterilize by cooking in boiling water first.

On the other hand, if you plan to finish the spread within 2 weeks, it is not that important to sterilize the jars.

Ube Halaya - Philippine Purple Yam Spread

5.0 from 9 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 1 1/2 cup

Print Recipe


  • 250 gram ube (purple yam), peeled and cubed into 1" (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (or 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + 1/4 teaspoon salt)


  1. Steam/boil yam until fork tender. Drain, then mash with a fork (or with a food processor).
  2. Boil together mashed yam with condensed milk, coconut milk, sugar, and butter in a sauce pot. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the spread is thick. I usually stop cooking once I can see the bottom of the pot when scrape with a spatula.
  3. Transfer the cooked spread into clean glass jar(s) and store in the refrigerator. Allow the spread to return to room temperature prior to serving.
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  • Sandra Shaffer Sandra Shaffer says:

    I've seen different recipes using purple sweet potatoes, but I've never tasted it. This spread sounds so tasty and easy to make. I would love to spread some on toast and enjoy with a cup of tea!

  • Jenn Jenn says:

    I have never heard of this before, but I'm definitely intrigued. And that color is so pretty!

  • Ginny McMeans Ginny McMeans says:

    This is such a unique recipe and I love it! Healthy ingredients and a beautiful color to boot. Thanks so much!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yup, this should be a pretty healthy spread :)

  • Christine Christine says:

    This is simply amazing, Anita. I like spreading sweet potato on my toast for breakfast. I think I will really like this too! :-)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Sweet potato! Somehow I have a feeling it should be pretty inter-changeable with purple sweet potato. Orange spread should look just as lovely as the purple one ;)

  • Brian Jones Brian Jones says:

    Wow that is a certainly a new recipe for me and can't even imagine the flavour, lovely colour too!

    • roy loredo roy loredo says:

      I am sorry if the error i detected is only a problem with nomenclature. I just want to point out that "ube" is a purple yam and not a purple sweet potato. This particular yam tastes vastly different from the sweet potato. No offense meant.

  • tania tania says:

    i wonder if this would work with normal orange sweet potato and normal full cream milk instead of coconut? (not a big fan of coconut milk even tho i like srikaya)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Tania, it should work with normal orange sweet potato, but of course the color will be orange instead of purple :) I haven't tried using full cream milk, but I don't see why it won't work.

  • Mahy Mahy says:

    I love how this spread looks. The color is simply amazing! I can already see so many ways I could use it!

  • Jeannette Jeannette says:

    I've always wanted to try an ube recipe! I love its colour and I know I'll love the flavour too! Thanks for sharing something that I'm excited to try and make!

  • Vicky Vicky says:

    What a fascinating recipe. It's a new year and time to try some brand new recipes! Looking forward to trying this on some toast.

  • Emily Rampton Emily Rampton says:

    Delicious spread and I absolutely love the purple color!

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    I have never had this but it really does sound amazing and the color is just pretty! I can't wait to give a go.

  • Rose O Rose O says:

    Did you use a purple yam “ube” -the one traditionally used to make halaya in the Philippines? Or did you use purple sweet potato that has natural sweetness to it? I don’t want to be mislead. The purple yam “ube” does need to be sweetened because it has a bland flavor but purple sweet potato is naturally very sweet. Please advice.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Rose, the tubers I use to make this spread look like the ones in my purple steamed buns. It has been a while, but I was fairly certain the supermarket labeled them as ube. I hope this helps. :)

  • Gab Gab says:

    Do you think I can just use normal potato, then put some ube extract and food coloring?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Gab, if you can find Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, they make for an excellent substitution for ube. I haven't tried making this with normal potato, so I can't say if it will turn out well. I'm guessing since ube is on the starchier side, maybe you can try with starchy potatoes, but this is just a wild guess.

  • Christine Christine says:

    Hi, have you ever tried to actually can the Ube like pressure/steam canning to prolong the shelf life even more?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Christine, sorry I have never tried pressure/steam canning before.

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