Unlike their South-East Asian counterparts, Filipinos have a penchant for desserts, which feature heavily in their cuisine. This sweet tooth may explain why desserts are eaten at anytime of the day rather than after dinner as they are elsewhere. Maja mais is common during morning or afternoon merienda or snack time.

Coconut cream and corn bring richness and texture to this recipe for creamy panna cotta-like pudding called maja mais.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (41 votes)


  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup creamed corn
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Sift sugar and cornstarch in to a mixing bowl. Add water slowly, stirring until dissolved. In a large saucepan, place the coconut milk and creamed corn. Stir to combine. Bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat then gradually add the cornstarch mixture, stirring to combine. Continue to cook until the mixture has thickened and the cornstarch is thoroughly cooked — you don’t want to have a floury taste.

Remove from heat and pour into a 20 x 25 cm glass dish and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160°C. Spread the desiccated coconut on a baking tray and toast until brown, approximately 10 minutes.

To serve, cut into squares, or diamonds as the Filipinos prefer, and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.