Ube Halaya

15 May 2013

This is a classic Filipino dessert.  It is made out of grated purple yam, sometimes called taro or the Okinawa purple yam.  Depending on the consistency you’re looking for- making Ube can take anywhere between 30 minutes or HOURS.  The longer you stir- the thicker and richer it gets.  My Aunt Belle makes the best Ube Halaya.  She stirs the mixture over a low flame for hours until this dessert becomes luxurious and velvety soft.  It can be eaten warm or cold, alone or as ingredient in another classic Philippine dessert called “Halo-Halo.”  It is often served in town events called “fiestas,” or on other special occasions.  Sometimes, this dessert is topped with toasted coconut- but I prefer the plain decadent flavor and texture of this perennial favorite.

Ube Halaya

makes 6-8 servings



  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 lb grated purple yam (sometimes fresh yam are sold in Asian grocery stores, otherwise look for frozen grated version in Filipino oriental stores)
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


  1. In a wok, melt butter over medium-high heat
  2. Pour in condensed milk and stir into butter, letting slight caramelize and lower to medium-low heat
  3. Mix in vanilla extract and then grated purple yam
  4. Incorporate into milk mixture well, then pour in evaporated milk
  5. Stir until desired consistency is achieved; ideally for 2 hours
  6. Place pudding into ramekins, refrigerate OR serve warm
  7. Enjoy!




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3 Responses on "Ube Halaya"

  1. Ooh, how intriguing. I like that I’ve never seen this recipe/dish on a blog before. It can get tiring seeing variations on the same old things!
    Plus the purple color is so aesthetically pleasing- thanks for sharing this :)

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