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How To Make Super Yummy Yema Balls (Custard Candy)

Updated on September 22, 2011
Another yema ball attempt
Another yema ball attempt

Aside from the Malay and Chinese blood coursing through my veins, I am first and foremost, a Filipino. When I was still in the Philippines, there were no celebrations without Filipino desserts. One could say that a celebration is not complete without the leche flan, buko pie, halo halo, mango float, so on. One could also never mistake a Filipino dessert from other desserts on the table. That is how popular and delicious they all are. I was able to observe and conclude that Filipino desserts are an explosion of sugary goodness-- even diabetics would take a risk just to have that one last bite.

"Oh please! Just one more and honest to god, that IS IT!"-from the diabetics in my family

That is not an exaggeration. Now that I am here in Singapore, all the sweets that I have taken for granted while growing up are now trying to creep out of my sensory memory wanting to be re-lived again. As somebody who cannot let go of tradition, I spend most of my free moments recreating and perfecting Filipino desserts as I remember them.

I have decided to share my own take of the super yummy yema balls. Yema balls, if I am right, is basically just custard candy. It is very simple to do and you only need a few ingredients that are probably lying now somewhere in your kitchen. Just a few minutes and you would be able to taste heaven in your tongue.

WORD OF CAUTION: If you are diabetic, please double confirm with yourself if you really want to try this and risk increasing your blood glucose levels. Well, you can, of course, make this dessert with the intention of sharing all of them with the family (but remember to leave a little something for yourself-- just a bit).

Condensed milk, Egg yolks, Flavouring
Condensed milk, Egg yolks, Flavouring


1 Can Condensed Milk

5 Egg Yolks

Artificial Flavouring (optional)

Butter (optional)

These ingredients and equipment are basic cooking necessities. They should be lying there somewhere. Now that you have them, follow these quick simple steps...

STEP 1. Mix the 1 can condensed milk and 5 egg yolks in a bowl until you have a consistent mixture. If you want to add an additional flavour (e.g. Pandan, Banana, Vanilla), pour a few drops into the mixture and mix thoroughly.


STEP 2. Preheat double boiler or for the remainder of the population who does not own one, use a saucepan or casserole (let's call this Saucepan A) and fill a third to half of it with water. And if you have another smaller non-stick saucepan (Saucepan B) that can fit inside Saucepan A, pour the condensed milk-egg yolk mixture there are start stirring.

Stir the mixture until it does not adhere/stick to the sides of Saucepan B. It usually takes around twenty to thirty minutes using this method. This may be time consuming--and tiring-- but the result would be worth it.

However, if you think double boiling it for thirty minutes is tiring and not your cup of tea, you can take the Plan B. Plan B also needs a lot of stirring but does not take as long as the double boiling method. In a non-stick pan, pour your mixture into it and on a low flame, continuously stir the mixture until it does not stick to the sides of the pan.

The difference between the two, aside from the time, is that by double boiling the mixture, you would get a very consistent and easily malleable product that you can easily stick your teeth into. On the other hand, the direct flame method would result in harder texture but equally tasty. I prefer the double boiled one.


STEP 3. By applying enough butter on the palm of your hands (this will stop the sticky yema from sticking to your skin), roll about a tablespoon of the cooled yema and form it into a round ball. If you have a shaper, use it.

Add some toppings (optional) and refrigerate the yema balls if you desire it.

Bon appetit!

I made three yema flavours in one day-- Banana, Pandan and Vanilla. My arms got a beating because of the constant stirring but it was worth it.

If you've tried the recipe and loved it, do leave your comments and other suggestions for future improvements.


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