Minatamis na Bao (Coconut Jam)

Minatamis na Bao is easy to make with only two ingredients! This Filipino coconut jam is thick and creamy with the perfect sweetness and intense coconut flavor. It’s a delicious spread you’ll love with your favorite bread!

I’ve been craving for bibingkang malagkit for awhile so yesterday afternoon, I decided to make a tray to enjoy as midday snack for the long weekend ahead. I was in the midst of thickening its topping on the stove when an epiphany struck me.

While religiously stirring the coconut cream and brown sugar, I gingerly licked my spoon and realized the mixture tastes so much like minatamis na bao. Oh my sweet! Is this how coconut jam is made?

I left my pot for a minute, did a quick Google search and sure enough, the ingredients and steps for minatamis na bao are the same as the kalamay topping! Stoked with this discovery, I set out to make a jar of my favorite breakfast spread from scratch. Oh, yeah. Success.

Minatamis na Bao, which literally translates to “sweetened coconut”, is very easy to make. All you need are coconut cream, brown sugar, and patience. Yes, patience, as it takes a good few hours of gentle simmer to bring the sweetened coconut milk to the desired soft ball stage.

But don’t let this deter you! If you use a non-stick pan and set your heat at the lowest setting, you don’t really need to man the stove other than a occasional stir here and there during the early stage.

Commercial coconut jams are readily available at most supermarkets, but trust me, nothing beats the joy of homemade. You get pure coconut goodness with no added preservatives!

Ingredient notes

  • Coconut cream– or also known as kakang gata is the first extraction from grated coconut meat. It’s thicker and richer in flavor than coconut milk.
  • Brown sugar– use dark brown sugar for a deeper color. For a more authentic taste and intense molasses flavor, use muscovado sugar.
  • Coconut jam vs kaya

    While the two spreads both use coconut cream and sugar, kaya jam which is popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, or Singapore, has added eggs and is flavored with pandan leaves.

    Helpful Tips

  • You can add a pinch of salt to enhance flavors.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil and begins to thicken, stir regularly to prevent lumps.
  • The jam will thicken more as it cools. To check for doneness, drop a teaspoonful into a bowl of cold water. If the mixture forms a soft ball in the cold water but flattens when removed, it is ready.
  • Serving suggestions

    Minatamis na bao is commonly served as a spread or filling for bread. Enjoy this gooey, yummy treat generously slathered on warm pandesal for a delicious breakfast or midday snack.

    How to store

  • Transfer the cooked jam to a clean jar and store it in a cool, dry place. It should last at room temperature for about 3 to 5 days, or up to a week depending on the ambient temperature.
  • You can refrigerate it for longer storage but it will harden and become hard to spread.
  • For longer shelf life, use sterilized jars. You can read more about canning guidelines at the National Center for Food Preservation.
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