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These kaya muffins aren't your typical butter muffins. They have a soft, moist, and fluffy base that’s enhanced with the addition of fragrant kaya, along with a surprise kaya center and a crunchy pandan crumble topping. We’re absolutely loving the textural contrast. Feel free to use your favourite brand and type of kaya! [Go straight to recipe]
To those who are unfamiliar, kaya is a traditional spread made with coconut milk, sugar, and eggs, along with the occasional addition of pandan for added aroma.
It is mostly used as a spread on toast and enjoyed with slivers of cold butter, paired together with a cup of hot kopi on the side.
Ah, a true Singaporean breakfast.
For a twist on the popular kaya toast breakfast that we're all too familiar with, we decided to incorporate the popular kaya spread with a fluffy, buttery muffin base—a worthy contender for your breakfast table.
These muffins are buttery, soft, and very fluffy, and made even more moist with the addition of kaya folded into the batter.
Just like our kaya puffs, we decided to bring it to the next level by giving it a core of kaya for that extra burst of flavour when you bite into them.
And finally, for that cherry on top, the muffins are then topped with a crisp pandan crumble.
Our advice? Don’t skimp on the pandan crumble, for it adds a beautiful textural contrast to the moist cake base, along with lingering hints of pandan.
This Kaya Muffins with Pandan Crumble recipe is perfect for people who are constantly on the go, or are craving something different from the usual kaya toast in the morning. And the best part about this recipe is that you’ll be able to make it in a batch, which means breakfast is settled for the rest of the week!
What we love about this muffin batter is that it is incredibly easy to whip up.
One tip that we always tell our readers is not to overmix your batter.
Overmixing batter is one of the main reasons why your cakes/muffins turn out tough and chewy.
Once the dry and wet ingredients are mixed, stop stirring/mixing once the ingredients are combined. Don't worry if there are still small lumps in your batter, you can still proceed.
We recommend using a spatula to fold the ingredients together gently rather than using an electric mixer, as the mixer might overmix your batter due to its strength.
Besides overmixing, it is also important to make sure that all your eggs are at room temperature.
Cold eggs are also much more difficult to get incorporated with the other ingredients. This increases the chances of your batter being mixed unevenly, which will affect the final texture of your muffins.
A tip to get your cold eggs up to room temperature quickly would be to soak them in a bowl of tap water prior to using.
We’ve tried a bunch of different ways to make kaya the star of the show, and eventually discovered that adding a dollop in the center of the muffins gives them a nice burst of coconutty goodness in every bite.
It also enhances the flavor of the entire muffin. Put as much or as little as you like (we recommend about half to one tablespoon).
Also, try to use a spread that is of a better quality for the kaya flavour in the muffins to be more pronounced! You can tell by looking at the ingredients list on the jar. Those that use coconut milk are generally better in terms of taste and texture.
Make sure you don’t overfill your muffin cups, especially if you’re not using a muffin pan!
If you’re using individual muffin/cupcake cups, overfilling them will result in the batter spilling all over the edges during baking.
If you’re using a muffin pan, you can do what we did, which is to cut out small squares of parchment paper for the muffin liners.
This is a great alternative if you don’t have muffin/cupcake liners at home! This also adds a beautiful rustic look to your muffins.
Baking time also influences the final result of these muffins.
Bake them for too long, and the crust will brown too quickly, giving your muffins an undesirable burnt taste.
What if your muffins aren't done yet, but the tops are starting to turn brown? Simply cover the top of your muffins with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue baking as instructed.
To find out if your muffins are done, use the skewer test.
This is done by inserting a skewer into the center of the muffins. If the skewer comes out clean or with moist crumbs attached, that’s when you know they’re done!
You might need to try a couple of times as the skewer is likely to poke through the moist kaya filling, making it more difficult for you to tell if the muffins are done.
This recipe makes about 10 large muffins, or 15-20 smaller muffins if you prefer smaller bites. If you’re baking them into smaller treats, remember to check for doneness earlier than the time indicated in our recipe!
Soft, moist, rich, and topped with a subtly sweet delicious crunch. These kaya pandan muffins will definitely leave you wanting more.
Make a big batch and consume warm for best results. They store well too, so pop any leftovers in the fridge after covering with cling wrap to prevent them from drying out.
We recommend heating these up in the oven for about 5 minutes before serving for maximum enjoyment. This will re-crisp the pandan crumble for that beautiful textural contrast that we love in these muffins.
For pandan crumble
75g unsalted butter
5g pandan paste
113g all purpose flour
57g granulated sugar
57g brown sugar
For kaya muffins
240g all purpose flour
8g baking powder
115g unsalted butter, softened
200g granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
180g kaya (1)
160g-200g kaya (2) – for filling
Melt butter until liquid and whisk in pandan paste. Leave to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine all purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Mix until well combined.
Add butter mixture to dry ingredients and combine until a wet sticky dough forms. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 230°C. In a large bowl, sift all purpose flour, baking powder and salt together.
In another bowl, cream softened butter with sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
To the butter mixture, add vanilla.
Then, add eggs one by one, mixing after each addition until well combined.
To the same mixture, add in the dry ingredients and milk. Fold in until no flour streaks are left. Do not overmix. The batter should be very thick.
Fold in kaya (1) until well combined.
Line your muffin pan. Fill about 1/3 of each muffin cup then dollop half to one tablespoon of kaya (2) onto the batter. Finish by covering the kaya filling with more batter. Your batter should reach to about 2/3 the height of the muffin cup.
Finish each muffin with a generous serving of crumble. (Use your fingers to crumble the pandan dough over the batter for differently-sized lumps)
Bake 5 min at 230°C, then about 30 min at 180°C, until a skewer poked into the center leaves clean or with moist crumbs attached. If the crumble is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
Storage: Store completely covered/in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat at 160°C for about 5 min before serving to re-crisp the crumble.
These kaya muffins are perfect for busy mornings when you don’t have the time to whip up a breakfast meal for yourself, or for your family. Don't skimp on the pandan crumble—it's what makes these muffins so addictive you won’t be able to resist reaching out for another!
Don’t have an oven? You can try baking these muffins in an air fryer, using the tips from our air fryer guide.
If you find yourself craving some caffeine every morning, check out our white chocolate chip espresso muffins. If you have leftover kaya from making these muffins, use them in these Buttery 5-Ingredient Kaya Puffs!
Trying this recipe out? Make sure you hashtag #bakestarters on Instagram so we can see your wonderful creations!
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