Pumpkin in Sweet Coconut Cream (Fak Thong Kaeng Buat) Recipe

Leela Punyaratabandhu

Notes: When it comes to this dish, I use either one of the two—and only two—types of pumpkin: calabaza (which resembles the most common type of pumpkin used in Thailand in this dish) and kabocha (squash). These two have much firmer texture than other types of pumpkins and are the most suitable for this application. I don't recommend anything else including sweet-ish squashes such as butternut or delicata. I use granulated sugar here. But you can use palm sugar or a combination of palm sugar and granulated sugar. Just work out the amounts according to your liking.

Recipe Details

Pumpkin in Sweet Coconut Cream (Fak Thong Kaeng Buat) Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 1 pound calabaza pumpkin or kabocha squash (about half a medium pumpmkin)
  • 4 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 3.4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Remove pumpkin seeds and trim off the slimy, stringy parts that are attached to the seeds. Peeling is optional if you use calabaza or kabocha. Most of the time, in Thailand, the peel is left on for texture and to help pumpkin pieces hold their shape somewhat better. But if you don't like the texture of cooked pumpkin peels, you can remove the peel. Cut pumpkin pulp into bite-sized chunks of roughly the same size.

  2. Place pumpkin pieces, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan; bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Once coconut cream is boiling, taste for sweetness. Add more sugar, if needed. After 10-12 minutes, pumpkin pieces should be fork-tender. Immediately remove saucepan from heat. (Do not cover as residual heat will continue to cook pumpkin.) Allow it to cool to lukewarm and serve.