Friday, April 23, 2010

Ube Cupcakes! Happy Birthday to Me!

In honor of my birthday, I'm baking one of my favorite Filipino deserts in cupcake form and sharing the recipe with you all!
nom nom nom

Ube is a purple yam that is used in many desert items in the Philippines.  But my favorite form is ube cake.

I loved bringing this cake to large gatherings of non-Filipinos.  It was enough to weird people out, but not weird enough that they wouldn't enjoy every bite of it.

Though it looks like it should be saccharine sweet, it's not as bad as one might think.  The one drawback to the cakes we buy in Filipino bakeries like Goldilocks or Red Ribbon is that they are usually BRIGHT purple due to the addition of food coloring.  Granted, ube is purple enough on its own, but you can tell that there's extra tint added.

I'd also like to add that another drawback is the fact that there isn't a Filipino bakery in Boston.  Nonetheless, I wasn't going to let it stop me from enjoying this treat.

I had to do a bit of looking around on the interwebs for a perfect recipe.  I've made this in cupcake form before, but I'd have to say that I'm pretty proud of it this time around.

I took advice from Burnt Lumpia's blog, which features a lot of great Filipino recipes.  But the main cupcake recipe I used was from Mark Bittman's Golden Layer Cake recipe in How to Cook Everything.

Ube Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 cup Purple Yam, Ube
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 tsp Pure Tahitian Vanilla Extract
  • 18 tbsp Butter (10 tbsp for cake, 8 tbsp for frosting)
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar - Raw Turbinado
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups Cake Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder Aluminum Free
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar Powdered
Defrost frozen Ube.  Frozen ube can be found in Filipino markets and some Asian groceries.
Take butter and cream cheese out to make them room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place cupcake papers in muffin tins.
Mix ube (once defrosted, you can scrape ube into measuring cup with a fork), milk, and vanilla extract.  Set aside.
Cream 10 tbsp of butter until smooth, then gradually add the sugar.  Beat until light for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mixtures ready to be mixed!
Add to butter/sugar/egg mixture by hand, a little at a time, alternating with the milk/ube mixture.  Stir until smooth.  The mixture should be light purple, but not overwhelmingly so.
Scoop matter into muffin tins lined with cupcake papers, using an ice cream scoop for help.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Mmmm....ube cake batter...
Frosting:  Mix cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time.  Feel free to add some sprinklings of shredded ube to make the frosting purple.
Frosting and sprinkles!
Frost cupcakes after 30 minutes of cooling.
Ta da!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cupcakes

Amount per Serving
Calories 253
Calories from Fat 109.1
(According to and my input of the recipe)

What's interesting is that I feel like I should put them in the fridge, but most resources and my trusty sister-baker says not to.  So, I just keep them in my handy cupcake transporter until consumption. :)
Cupcake transportation at it's best!
So, I'm glad that I can share this with you all!  I'm excited to be out of my 27th year, as you readers can see it's been a difficult one.  But I'm also excited to be a little bit older and, I hope, a little bit wiser.

Here's to making 28 an awesome year!
Hooray for 28!


  1. Happy Happy Birthday. May you get everything you could ever want and more than you can ever imagine!!
    Have a great one!

  2. Oh, those look so good! I've never tried purple yam but now I really want to try it.


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