Cake is indisputably the best dessert food. There's a cake for every occasion, and I personally believe we should eat cake for no reason as well! And there are so many beautiful flavors you can incorporate. Enter: ube, the purple yam best known for its bright vibrant purple color and unique flavor! This ube cake recipe is not only pretty it incorporates a vegetable!
What I love most about ube as a flavor is that it somehow manages to be totally unique and also not too "out there" for less adventurous eaters. It is a staple in Filipino cooking. A lot of people compare the flavor to vanilla, but note a slight nuttiness. There is also a slightly tangy element. Whether you want to impress guests at a party, or you simply want to switch up your dessert rotation at home, you should definitely give this ube cake a go! I know Red Ribbon has its place, but nothing beats homemade!
Why You'll Love This Ube Cake Recipe
- Easy Bake - I get tired of plain vanilla and chocolate cakes, but I also don’t always feel like washing, juicing, and zesting fruit, chopping nuts, etc. I love that ube offers a divergence from the norm without requiring a lot of extra work.
- Naturally Colorful - The shade of ube is one of its most enticing qualities. It has such a beautiful purple, and you don’t have to use any artificial dyes to achieve it. My kids and I love to pretend we are making the cupcakes from Cat In The Hat when we make this!
Ingredients for Ube Cake
- Flour - You will need 2 ¼ cup All Purpose flour, note: not cake flour.
- Baking Powder - Add 2 tsp baking powder to make sure your cake rises!
- Salt - ½ tsp salt will activate your baking powder’s super powers!
- Cornstarch - You will need ¼ cup cornstarch for this cake recipe.
- Butter - This cake calls for ½ cup butter. Be sure to use unsalted butter and let it sit out to soften as you gather your ingredients. Keep in mind that if you plan to make a buttercream to go on top, you will want to have extra butter on hand.
- Sugar - You will need 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar to make the cake. You may want to have some powdered sugar on hand for serving. You can dust your finished cake with powdered sugar, or you can use it to make a glaze or buttercream if desired!
- Ube - You will need both ube extract and ube puree. 1 tbsp ube flavoring will just bring enough concentrated flavor to make your cake pop, while ⅓ cup ube puree is a part of the cake as well. You can use fresh ube, or you can get the powder and rehydrate it before you begin your recipe.
- Vegetable Oil - You will need ¼ cup oil in your recipe. If you don’t have vegetable oil, you can sub in any light flavor oil, like safflower or extra light olive oil. You will also need to grease your pans before baking, so keep some extra oil, spray, or coconut oil on hand for that!
- Eggs - This recipe takes 4 eggs including both egg whites and egg yolks. Bring the white and egg yolk mixture them to room temperature before cracking to make it easier!
- Buttermilk - You will need 1 cup buttermilk. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own easily with milk and vinegar.
How To Make Ube Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8” pans liberally. Line with parchment circles if desired Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the ube puree, vegetable oil and ube flavoring until smooth.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the bowl.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk to the creamed mixture in alternating portions while mixing on low to amke your cake batter.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness and let cool before unpanning.
- Allow to cool, and garnish with frosting as desired.
Start by preheating your oven to 350F. Prepare two 8” pans. Grease them liberally. You may also wish to use parchment paper for easy removal! I also love prepping the ingredients before hand. In a medium bowl, sift together your all-purpose flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. Set this bowl aside.
In a separate, large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until the mixture reaches a light, fluffy consistency.
Add your ube puree, ube flavoring, and vegetable oil and beat the mixture until it is smooth.
Next, mix in the eggs. It is best to do the eggs one by one, and to use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl in between.
Continue to beat your ube mixture on low for this step. Alternating between the two, slowly mix in your flour mixture and your buttermilk.
When you finish mixing your batter, it is ready to bake! Pour it into your prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center of the cake before removing them. Be sure to cool your cakes before removing them from the pan.
Top your cakes with frosting, if desired, and enjoy!
Enjoy with coffee or as a dessert.
- When I prepare this recipe, I use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. You can also prepare it using a hand mixer, or a traditional whisk.
- You can make ube puree using fresh ube, or you can rehydrate ube powder. Look for ube in your local Asian market, or order the powder on Amazon! You won't need not even a teaspoon vanilla extract, like most cake recipes.
- The flavor of ube lends itself well to a variety of possible frostings, toppings, or fillings. Since this recipe makes two 8” cakes, it can be fun to layer them with a filling in the middle. Try extra frosting, coconut jam, dulce de leche, white chocolate ganache, praline topping, or marshmallow fluff. If you really want to level up the ube just spread some ube halaya or ube jam, but honestly this is great the way it is!!
- For a quick vanilla buttercream, beat 1 cup butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla, and a few tablespoons of milk. If it is too thick, add more milk. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar.
- This is not a sponge cake, or chiffon cake, but rather fluffy not spongy cake!
Ube has a unique flavor. It has a flavor similar to vanilla and caramel, but with elements of fruitiness and nuttiness.
Ube works well with a variety of frosting flavors. You could make an ube buttercream, or try marshmallow, vanilla, or caramel.
For people who didn't grow up around ube and taro, it is not uncommon to mix up the two. However, they are two different things. Taro is not as sweet as ube, and works well in savory dishes too. It does have purple in it but the main color is white. Ube is a bright purple color, with more natural sweetness.
Looking for more delicious desserts? Try these recipes of mine:
Tried this Ube cake recipe and love it? Please leave me a comment and rating below. Feel free to also tag me, I love to see your creations and sharing them. For more inspiration follow us on Instagram Or like us on Facebook
Ube Cake Recipe
- 2 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ cup Corn starch
- ½ cup Butter unsalted & softened
- 1 ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 tbsp Ube Flavoring
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- ⅓ cup Ube Puree rehydrated or fresh
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- Preheat oven 350F and grease two 8” pans liberally and line with parchment circles if desired.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, corn starch and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl f cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the ube puree, vegetable oil and ube flavoring until smooth.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down bowl.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk, to the creamed mixture, in alternating portions while mixing on low.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes. Check with a tooth pick for doneness and let cool before unpanning.
- Garnish with frosting as desired.
- can also mix by hand or electric beaters