Yema Balls with Ube Filling

Yema  Balls with Ube Filling -

Filipinos have a love affair with practically every dish that has custard.  Yema is one of them. People love its golden color, and go crazier over its rich, sweet, creamy taste.

These custard candy balls are usually eaten as dessert or as a snack. This version is even made richer with ube (purple yam) filling.  How good are they? Well, once you pop, you may not be able stop!

Yema Balls with Ube Filling


  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 can, condensed milk (300 mL)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Bowl of sugar for coating
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 jar, store-bought ube (purple yam) for filling


1)      In a mixing bowl, mix the egg yolks, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt until combined.


Yema Balls with Ube Filling -
I make sure that the eggs are chilled to easily separate the yolk from the egg whites.

2)      In low heat, pour and spread the butter into the pan.  Then immediately pour in the mixture.  [Many people use a double boiler to make yema.  I personally discourage it as it unreasonably prolongs the cooking time]

3)      Stir constantly using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from getting burned.

Yema Balls with Ube Filling -
Make sure to use a non-stick pan 🙂

4)      Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it has the consistency of mashed potato or soft cookie dough. Once this consistency is achieved, turn off the heat.  Allow to cool in room temperature for 15 minutes.

Yema Balls with Ube Filling -

5)      Shape the mixture into balls using 2 teaspoons of the mixture, and putting ½ tsp. ube in the middle before shaping them into balls.

Yema Balls with Ube Filling -

Yema Balls with Ube Filling

6)      Lightly roll the balls in sugar.  This recipe makes about 15 to 20 balls.

Yema Balls with Ube Filling -

Extra tip: Nutella spread makes a superb dip too for these yema balls.  Enjoy!

Yema Balls with Ube Filling -

This recipe served as one of my two contributions to the latest issue of Expat Magazine — together with the Caldereta ala Osso Buco.  Again, many thanks to Expat Magazine for the wonderful opportunity.  Many special thanks to TJ and JV Ramos for making the contribution possible.  Friends, Expat Magazine is still available at leading bookstores and magazine stands.  Hope you can all buy the magazine! :)


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