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This Ube Halaya (also known as Halayang Ube or purple yam jam) is an easy, homemade Filipino dessert perfect for celebrating holidays and Filipino culture. All you need is 8 vegan-friendly ingredients! 

close up photo scooping out homemade ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam) from glass jar

You know my love for recreating my favorite childhood Filipino recipes and ube recipes are one of my favorite things to recreate! If you love the jammy consistency of Ube Champorado and the sweet vanilla taste of Ube Pichi Pichi, you’re going to LOVE this creamy Ube Halaya recipe! 

close up of bowl full of homemade ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam)

What is Ube Halaya?

Ube halaya, also known as Halayang Ube or purple yam jam, is a popular Filipino dessert served for special occasions and festivities. It’s made from mashed ube that is combined with milk, sugar, and butter to make a thick and creamy pudding-like dessert. 

In the Philippines, this delicious dessert is often served as a sweet spread, pastry filling, layered in Halo Halo, or served alongside a scoop of ice cream or yogurt with a sprinkle of Latik (Coconut Curds). There’s truly no wrong way to indulge in this Filipino delight! 

labeled Ingredients for ube halaya on board: evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut milk, sugar, ube, salt, ube extract and butter

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Ube: Halayang ube is best made with frozen grated ube that has been fully defrosted. This is the same type of ube we use to make our Creamy Vegan Ube Pie and Ube Cinnamon Rolls and can often be found at your local Asian market or online.
  • Full-fat coconut milk: Adds creaminess and richness and helps to make the ube jam a velvety smooth texture. 
  • Vegan condensed milk: Works as both a sweetener and a thickening agent. We use Nature’s Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.
  • Vegan evaporated milk: Helps to thin the jam to the right consistency. if you can’t access already-made evaporated milk, you can make your own, the instructions are in the notes of the recipe card.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar adds additional sweetness and helps to enhance the sweet, nutty flavors in the fresh ube. 
  • Vegan Butter: Stirring butter into the final jam adds richness and gives this ube dessert a luxurious, smooth mouthfeel. 
  • Ube extract: Helps to intensify the deep purple color in the grated ube. We purchase our ube extract on Amazon
  • Pinch of salt: Helps to balance the sweetness and enhances the flavors in the jam. A little goes a long way.  

Equipment Needed

How to Make Ube Halaya

  1. Bring the ube mixture to a boil. Into a medium pot, add the frozen grated yam, coconut milk, vegan condensed milk, non-dairy milk, and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved and everything is homogenous. 
  2. Cook for 40-45 minutes, or until thickened. Once the halayang ube is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens, about 40-45 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the ube extract, salt, and vegan butter. After 40-45 minutes, stir in the ube extract and salt. Then, add the vegan butter 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring between each addition. 
  4. Cool, then serve. Remove the creamy ube dessert from the heat and transfer to jars such as a mason jar, or similar small airtight container. Allow the recipe to cool to room temperature, then enjoy as desired! 
horizontal photo of toasted bread with close up photo of a piece of toast with ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam) on white board

Serving Suggestions 

As mentioned above, there are numerous ways to enjoy this traditional Filipino dessert. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it:

  • Enjoy as a standalone dessert: Top with Latik or vegan cheese shreds and enjoy this halayang ube straight out of the jar! 
  • As a sweet jam spread: Use halayang ube just as you would use an American jam and spread it on toast, pancakeswafflesfrench toast, sweet breads like Vegan Pandesal or Ube Pandesal, or with Vegan Ensaymada
  • In puddings: Add to simple puddings like Chia Pudding, or custard-like desserts like Vegan Crème Brûlée for an extra sweet, jammy flavor. 
close up of jar full of homemade ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam)

Recipe FAQs

Is ube the same thing as purple sweet potatoes?

Despite their similarities in shape and color, ube and purple sweet potatoes like okinawan sweet potatoes are not the same thing and don’t usually work well as 1:1 replacements for one another. Ube has a distinct nutty, sweet vanilla flavor and is soft and starchy once steamed.

Purple sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are more dry and are noticeably sweeter than ube. For this recipe, it is worth it to hunt down real ube (fresh or frozen!). 

Can I make this ube halaya with fresh ube?

Absolutely. If you have access to fresh ube, please feel free to use it! We typically use frozen ube because it is difficult to find fresh ube in our area, but fresh ube works great. Make sure to steam it before adding it to the pot and mashing it with a potato masher. If needed, check out this helpful tutorial: How to Cook Fresh Ube

How long will homemade ube halaya keep?

Leftover jars of ube halaya will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer. 

close up of jar full of homemade ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam)

Quick Tips

  • Be patient with the cooking process. Ube jam will need a full 40-45 minutes over medium-low heat to thicken properly and requires a bit of patience. Don’t try to rush this process! 
  • Stir frequently. ​This will ensure the sugar and ube don’t burn to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. Depending on the brand of vegan condensed milk, you may find your halayang ube needs a bit more added sugar. Feel free to increase this measurement to taste. 

More Ube Dessert Recipes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos! 

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close up photo scooping out homemade ube halaya (filipino purple yam jam) from glass jar

Ube Halaya Recipe (Purple Yam Jam) 


  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: About 4 cups
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Ube Halaya is an easy, homemade Filipino dessert perfect for celebrating holidays and Filipino culture. All you need is 8 vegan-friendly ingredients!


Ingredients

  • 16 oz frozen grated ube (defrosted)
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 can (12 oz) vegan condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup vegan evaporated milk* (see notes)
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ube extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Bring the ube mixture to a boil. Into a medium pot, add the frozen grated yam, coconut milk, vegan condensed milk, vegan evaporated milk, and sugar. (If you want your ube halaya to be a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender to blend until smooth or blend together in high-speed blender before adding to pot). Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved and everything is homogenous.
  2. Cook for 40-45 minutes, or until thickened. Once the halayang ube is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens, about 40-45 minutes.
  3. Stir in the ube extract, salt, and vegan butter. After 40-45 minutes, stir in the ube extract and salt. Then, add the vegan butter 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring between each addition.
  4. Cool, then serve. Remove the creamy ube dessert from the heat and transfer to jars such as a mason jar, or similar small airtight container. Allow the recipe to cool to room temperature, then enjoy as desired! The ube halaya will thicken as it cools.

Notes

  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. Depending on the brand of vegan condensed milk, you may find your halayang ube needs a bit more added sugar. Feel free to increase this measurement to taste.
  • Storage: Leftover jars of ube halaya will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Fresh ube: If you have access to fresh ube, please feel free to use it! We typically use frozen ube because it is difficult to find fresh ube in our area, but fresh ube works great. Make sure to steam it before adding it to the pot and mashing it with a potato masher. If needed, check out this helpful tutorial: How to Cook Fresh Ube.
  • Evaporated Milk: If you can’t access already made evaporated milk, simply add 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened plain non-dairy milk to a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and let the milk simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the volume reduces by half.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: ube, yam, jam, spread, dessert, snack

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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