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Kaya Puffs

“Street life
You can run away from time
Street life
For a nickel, for a dime
Street life
But you better not get old
Street life
Or you’re gonna feel the cold…”

- Street Life by The Crusaders

A small confession: I just gobbled up the smaller piece of Kaya Puff I made for brunch, and licked my lips in delight after it was all finished.

Not only did it satisfy my appalling hunger (I woke up as usual at 5.37 am on a misty Monday morning), it also healed my haunting nostalgia for home (I dreamt about my family last night). The taste was definitely Singaporean, and yet I am a million miles away.

I still had about one-third of the pandan kaya (pandan coconut egg jam) I made one month ago, so I decided to make some homemade Kaya Puffs. The pastry skin was a bit of a hassle to do, no thanks to my inexperience and lack of organization. The oil dough and water dough refused to stick together well, until divine intervention in the sense of sunflower oil entered the picture.

It was a tricky situation: I had to roll the pastry dough with a wooden rolling pin, making it smooth and homogenous but not sticky. So I kept digging my hands into the flour and sprinkling it over the dough and the rolling pin.

The secret was to squeeze and rub the dough with my hands first, to ensure that the dough reaches the kind of consistency I wanted.

I forgot to grease the baking sheet, so the side facing downwards on the tray was a little burned. Oh well, I guess it’s a lesson learned for the next time. Seeing how good it turned out, there will most definitely be a next time!

I love it when a few flakes fall out from the Kaya Puff; I remember there are many delicious Singaporean pastries like this one. I think my journey to being a real culinary goddess is gonna be a long one, given the number of amazing food that exist in the world.

Anyway, it’s the journey, not the destination, that makes it worthwhile, right? ;)


Recipe adapted and modified from The Star Online Kuali


For Pastry Dough:


75gr all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp salt
35gr water
1/2 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp lowfat milk powder


75gr all-purpose flour
33gr butter, softened
1 tbsp sunflower oil

For Filling:
2 tbsps kaya (coconut egg jam)


1. In a bowl, combine together the milk powder, water and salt.

2. In another large mixing bowl, sieve the flour of (A) and make a hole in the center. Pour in the water mixture of step 1, and add the egg and butter. Mix well with a wooden spatula until all the ingredients are blended in a runny dough. Set this dough (A) aside for 15 minutes.

3. In another mixing bowl, sieve the flour of (B). Add the softened butter and sunflower oil and mix with hands until smooth. If the dough doesn’t stick together, put a little more oil at a time (but not excessively). Continue mixing until a smooth dough is achieved.

4. Sprinkle flour generously on a large worktop (I used my clean plastic chopping board) and a wooden rolling pin. Scoop a ball of dough (A) and place on the worktop. Scoop a similar sized ball of dough (B) and perch on top of dough (A). Sprinkle more flour over the two doughs, then roll up and down with the pin.

5. If dough sticks to worktop, use a wooden spatula to detach it and mix the dough mixture with dry hands. Add two drops of oil to the dough if it is too sticky, and continue squeezing and rubbing the dough. Shape it into a ball.

6. Lay the dough ball on the worktop and roll it out a few times till it becomes wide. The shape may be oblong. Sprinkle some more flour on the dough if it sticks.

7. Place a tablespoon of the kaya in the centre of the dough. Fold up into a semi-circle and pinch the edges together to close. Make 2 or 3 puffs, following the same steps before.

8. Line a baking sheet on a baking tray and smear it with oil. Place the puffs on the sheet and gently spread the beaten egg glaze on the exposed side.

9. Insert the tray in the middle section of a gas oven, preheated to 190C, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.