Authentic-Tasting Filipino Vegan Ube Halaya Recipe (Purple Yam Dessert)

Recipes Pinterest Pin of vegan ube, a spread made with purple yam and vegan condensed milk

Ube halaya (or Úbi alaya in Kapampangan; there’s no “h’s” in the Kapampángan language ^^), is a thick jam, filling, spread, or pudding dessert, depending on how you eat it.

The pudding or kalamay version is usually topped with a latik, or coconut milk curd topping.

The first time I made vegan ube halaya brought me back to my childhood. It tasted so similar.

Ube halaya is made from boiled and mashed purple yam. This vegan ube recipe uses frozen ube that is available in most Asian supermarkets, as well as vegan dairy-free alternatives.

This vegan ube halaya recipe is easy, but requires some patience with the stirring. If you’re able to cook this over an open fire, even better for authentic ube halaya.

Is Ube Vegan?

While the actual purple yam is vegan, traditional ube desserts are not vegan. Ube desserts like ube halaya, ube ice cream, ube calame, and ube bread are not vegan and use dairy.

The only vegan ube you’ll find is if someone specifically made it vegan with vegan alternatives, or they used ube extract to color and flavor accidentally-vegan Filipino desserts.

Language Learning Bits

  • Ube = purple yam
  • Úbi Kalámé = purple yam “pudding” in Kapampángan – “kalamay” in Tagalog
  • Halaya/alaya = jam
  • Latik = coconut milk curds

Different Ways to Enjoy Vegan Ube Halaya

  • Spread on toast
  • Filling for pan de ube (ube-filled bread)
  • As a kalamay/kalame pudding inside an oval tin topped with latik

Vegan Ube Halaya Ingredients

Equipment Needed for Vegan Ube Halaya

Vegan Filipino Ube Halaya Recipe

Vegan Filipino Ube Halaya Recipe

Yield: Makes a large batch, estimate 5-6 cups, or two oval kalamay pans.


Ube Halaya

  • 2 packets of thawed frozen ube (purple yam)
  • 1 can of vegan sweetened condensed milk from Nature’s Charm
  • 1 can of vegan evaporated milk from Nature’s Charm
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter (favorite is Earth Balance)

Latik Topping (optional)

  • 1 can of coconut milk or coconut cream


How to Make Vegan Ube Halaya

Vegan Ube halaya filling:

  1. The night before, thaw the frozen ube in fridge. If morning of, take out of freezer to thaw at room temperature, or microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan on medium-low heat, combine all ingredients.
  3. Mix together and continue stirring until the ube doesn’t drop from the spoon. This takes 30 minutes to an hour. (Listen to a podcast or check out Alamat, a Filipino-pop group that sings in 8 Philippine languages!)

Latik (optional topping)

  1. Cook coconut milk or cream in a sauce pan on medium heat until brown curds form. This also takes a while!
  2. Let cool. You don’t want any liquids, just the coconut bits.
  3. Scoop and pat down ube in an oval pan, or whatever dessert pan that you have.
  4. Sprinkle latik over top of ube.


  • If you want more of a thinner, spreadable vegan ube spread or jam, use only 1 packet of frozen ube.
  • I haven’t tried making vegan ube halaya with just coconut milk or cream in case you aren’t able to buy the vegan condensed and evaporated milks. I don’t think it'll be the same, but probably still yummy!
  • You can also use the vegan ube halaya to make pan de ube (ube-filled bread), eat with toast, or experiment adding it to other vegan ube desserts.

Try These Other Vegan Recipes

Recipes Pinterest Pin with two sticks of carioca, a Filipino dessert of fried coconut balls glazed in brown sugar sauce
Recipe Pinterest Pin of mini fried vegan coconut buko pies