Vegan Pandan Kaya Buns (Coconut Jam Buns)

Coconut jam, also called kaya or srikaya is a spread for food like bread, biscuits and crackers. The main ingredients are usually coconut milk, sugar or palm sugar, eggs and pandan (screwpine) leaves. Kaya means rich in Malay language, it is sweet and has a curd like rich creamy texture just like custard.  For my gluten free pandan kaya buns, the main ingredients for my fillings are coconut milk, gluten free and vegan custard powder, pandan (screwpine) leaves, agave syrup, gluten free corn (maize) starch and rice milk. For the dough, I am using gluten free white bread flour (Laucke Easy Bakers) and meals & grains bread flour mix (Laucke Easy Bakers). You can use any gluten free bread flour and add you own meals and grains if you prefer. This gluten free bread dough is a wet dough as it needs more liquid than normal gluten bread to turn out light and fluffy after baking in the oven. My recipe is also vegan, dairy free, egg free, nut free and refined sugar free. These buns are also perfect for kids’ lunch boxes. Check out my other buns recipes, vegan Chinese Steamed Custard Buns and Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao).

Vegan Pandan Kaya Bun

Vegan gf Pandan Kaya Buns

Kaya spread or coconut jam spread is a Peranakan cuisine, a fusion of Malay and Chinese cuisines. There are many different varieties of kaya jam available commercially, they range from Nonya kaya, which is light green in colour with pandan (screwpine) leaves added; Hainanese kaya that is dark brown in colour, due to caramelised palm sugar added and sweetened with honey and kaya that is yellowish in colour, with eggs added as an ingredient. Kaya spread is passionately popular in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. Loved by all ages especially as a spread on toast with some butter or margarine for breakfast or as a snack and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. The fabulously famous kaya toasts are widely available in cafes, as a street food or or at the night markets.

Vegan Gluten Free Pandan Kaya Buns

Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) is part of the large palm family (Arecaceae species). The source of the coconut plant has been in disputes for many centuries. But commonly consented that it was first planted in the Indian-Indonesian province and the coconut disseminated by floating in the ocean and carried across the world by the sea tides. Coconut trees are grown in tropical weathers like Asia, Pacific Islands, Latin America and Africa. Coconuts are called cocos by the Spanish voyagers, meaning ‘grinning face’, as the bottom of the coconut has three small eyes that looked like the face of a monkey. Coconut is a one-seeded drupe (fruits like peach, cherry or plum) but often wrongly classified as nuts. Historically, coconut has been used by many as food as well as for medicinal purposes. Coconut is extremely versatile and many parts of the fruit like coconut water, cream, milk, oil, sugar and the flesh are used in cooking, baking, skin care, hair care, cosmetics and for prevention of diseases. Coconut milk is one of a small number of fluids that comprise a great quantity of fiber as it is produced by shredding coconut meat and combining with coconut water. Coconut milk is often seen as a lactose free option for people with lactose intolerance. It is also very well-liked by vegans as coconut milk is a fantastic dairy free base for vegan smoothies, milkshakes, desserts, cakes and curries, etc.

Vegan Pandan Kaya Bun gf

Coconut are often regarded as an unhealthy choice as it comprises a substantial quantities of fats, however it is different from nuts, as it contains mainly medium chain saturated fatty acid, specifically lauric acid. This is then transformed by the body into a substantially beneficial compound called monolaurin which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Nonetheless, coconut milk has a high amount of saturated fatty acids and it should be used in moderation. However, there are numerous health benefits associated with consumption of coconut milk as it is abundant in essential minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and selenium. It also contains minor amount of B group of vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin E. Health benefits of coconut milk include healthy bones; boost the function of the immune system; protect the body against free radicals; promote transportation of oxygen by red blood cells and aid in the blood clotting process called blood coagulation by platelets.

gf & Vegan Pandan Kaya Buns

Vegan Pandan Kaya Buns (Coconut Jam Buns)

Popular buns filled with kaya spread or coconut jam spread that is sweet and has a curd like rich creamy texture just like custard.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Asian Desserts, Malaysian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 24 buns
Calories: 211.12kcal
Author: Daphne Goh


For the dough:

    Dry Ingredients:

    • 300 g 10.6oz gluten free white bread flour (Laucke Easy Bakers)
    • 500 g 17.6oz/1.1Ib gluten free meal and grain bread mix (Laucke Easy Bakers)
    • 2 teaspoon dry active yeast
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    Wet Ingredients:

    For the Pandan Kaya Filling:

    • 85 g 3oz gluten free and vegan custard powder (Orgran)
    • 50 g 1.8oz gluten free corn (maize) starch
    • 270 ml gluten free coconut milk
    • 200 ml rice milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 6 fresh or frozen pandan screwpine leaves, washed and tie into knots
    • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • tablespoons agave syrup
    • ¼ teaspoon salt


    • 2 non-stick 12 cup muffin pans


    For preparing the dough:

    • Warm the rice milk in a small pot for around 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add in the extra virgin olive oil and agave syrup and mix well.
    • In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients including the yeast.
    • Attach the mixing bowl to an electric mixer and then attach the dough hook. Using low speed, mix for about 30 seconds or until ingredients are well combined.
    • Continue on low speed, gradually pour the warm rice milk mixture in step 1 into the well in the large bowl for about 2 minute.
    • Stop mixing and then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
    • Mix on low setting for another 5 minutes or until dough is well combined.

    For the Pandan Kaya filling:

    • Mix the gluten free corn (maize) flour with all the water.
    • Heat up a frying pan, add and combine all the ingredients including the corn (maize) flour mixture in step 7. Stir and mix the ingredients on low heat until mixture is smooth and has thickened.
    • Remove the frying pan from heat and let the custard filling cool for around 2 minutes.
    • Discard all the pandan (screwpine) leaves.
    • Roll the custard filling into 24 balls about 1 inch each. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
    • Serve the remaining pandan kaya jam with the buns or reserve as a jam spread.

    For stuffing the dough:

    • Lightly grease all the muffin cups with some extra virgin olive oil.
    • Scoop and place small amount of wet dough into the bottom of each cup of the muffin pan.
    • Then place a pandan kaya jam ball into the centre of each muffin cup, gently flatten the jam ball slightly.
    • Fill each muffin cup with the rest of wet dough until nearly the edge.
    • Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes.

    For cooking the bun:

    • Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 190C or 375F. Bake the buns for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Remove and place the cooked buns on a cooling rack.
    • Reheat by covering the buns with aluminium paper and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or in microwave for 40 seconds or until buns are soft.


    Allergens: Yeast and soy in Laucke Easy Bakers bread flour.
    Fresh or frozen pandan leaves can be purchased from Asian groceries stores.
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegan Pandan Kaya Buns (Coconut Jam Buns)
    Amount per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Saturated Fat
    Trans Fat
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin C
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

    Disclosure Statement: I am NOT paid by Laucke Easy Bakers or Orgran for this post!

    Gluten Free Vegan Kaya Buns

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