Whimsical Ube Cake Creation

Ube Cake, often referred to as Purple Yam Cake or Ube Tres Leches Cake, is a delightful and visually striking dessert that originates from the Philippines. The star ingredient of this cake is the vibrant purple yam, known as “ube,” which not only lends its distinctive color but also a sweet, nutty flavor. Ube is a beloved ingredient in Filipino cuisine and has gained popularity worldwide for its unique taste and stunning hue.

Ube Cake typically consists of a soft and moist purple yam sponge cake that’s generously soaked with a mixture of three kinds of milk (hence the “tres leches” reference) – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk. The cake is then crowned with a luscious layer of ube-flavored whipped cream or frosting, often adorned with more grated ube or other decorative elements.

This cake is adored for its captivating color, delightful taste, and the perfect balance between the sweetness of the cake and the creaminess of the milk soak. Ube Cake not only appeals to the palate but also to the eyes, making it a wonderful addition to special occasions and gatherings. Its enchanting purple appearance and exotic flavor make it a dessert that’s hard to resist.


What is Ube Cake?

Ube Cake is a Filipino dessert made with ube, a vibrant purple yam that not only contributes its stunning color but also a distinct sweet and nutty flavor. Ube is widely used in Filipino cuisine and is a beloved ingredient in various sweets and desserts.

The key components of Ube Cake typically include:

  • Ube Sponge Cake: The cake itself is made from ube (purple yam) that’s been boiled and mashed, then incorporated into the cake batter. This results in a moist, tender, and beautifully purple-hued sponge cake.
  • Tres Leches Soak: After baking, the Ube Cake is soaked with a mixture of three kinds of milk – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk. This soaking process adds moisture and sweetness to the cake.
  • Ube Whipped Cream or Frosting: The cake is usually topped with a layer of whipped cream or frosting that’s flavored with ube extract or ube jam, enhancing the yam’s flavor and adding a creamy element to the dessert.
  • Additional Garnishes: To enhance the presentation and texture, Ube Cake may be garnished with grated or toasted ube, coconut flakes, or other decorative elements.

Ube Cake has gained popularity not only in the Philippines but also in various parts of the world due to its unique flavor, striking color, and the perfect balance between the sweetness of the cake and the creaminess of the milk soak and frosting. It’s often served on special occasions and celebrations, and its vibrant appearance makes it a visually appealing and delicious dessert.


Why you will love Ube Cake?

  • Unique Flavor: Ube, a purple yam, imparts a distinct and delightful flavor that’s nutty, sweet, and slightly earthy. It’s unlike any other cake flavor you’ve likely experienced.
  • Stunning Appearance: Ube Cake’s vibrant purple hue is visually striking and captivating. It adds a pop of color to any dessert table, making it an eye-catching and Instagram-worthy treat.
  • Moist and Tender Texture: Ube Cake features a moist and tender sponge cake that’s enhanced by a tres leches soak, ensuring every bite is a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
  • Tres Leches Soak: The soak made from a trio of milks – evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk – infuses the cake with sweetness and creaminess, adding depth and richness.
  • Versatile Presentation: Ube Cake can be presented in various forms, from layered cakes to cupcakes and even roll cakes. This versatility allows you to choose the style that suits your preferences and occasion.
  • Cultural Significance: Ube is a beloved ingredient in Filipino cuisine, and Ube Cake is a celebration of this culinary tradition. Exploring different cultures and their culinary delights is a delightful way to broaden your palate.
  • Perfect for Special Occasions: Ube Cake is often served at special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and gatherings. Its unique flavor and vibrant appearance make it a standout dessert that’s ideal for celebrating memorable moments.
  • Combination of Sweet and Creamy: The combination of the naturally sweet ube with the creamy tres leches soak and frosting results in a harmonious balance of sweetness and richness.
  • Exotic Dessert Experience: If you’re looking to try something outside of the usual chocolate or vanilla cakes, Ube Cake offers an exotic and adventurous dessert experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
  • A Trendy Dessert: Ube desserts, including Ube Cake, have gained popularity in recent years, and trying a trendy dessert can be a fun and delicious experience.

In summary, Ube Cake offers a unique and delightful culinary adventure with its one-of-a-kind flavor, captivating appearance, and a perfect blend of sweet and creamy elements. Whether you’re drawn to its exotic appeal, cultural significance, or stunning presentation, Ube Cake is a dessert that’s hard to resist and easy to love.


Ube Cake Recipe


For the Ube Sponge Cake:

  • 2 cups mashed purple yam (ube)
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Tres Leches Soak:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk

For the Ube Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup ube jam or extract (for flavor and color)


1. Prepare the Ube Sponge Cake:

1.1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.

1.2. In a bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

1.3. In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

1.4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.

1.5. Gradually add the mashed ube and mix until well combined.

1.6. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the ube mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth.

1.7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.

1.8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

1.9. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

2. Prepare the Tres Leches Soak:

2.1. In a bowl, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk.

3. Assemble the Ube Cake:

3.1. Once the cakes are completely cool, use a fork to poke several holes all over the surface of both cakes.

3.2. Pour the tres leches soak over both cakes, evenly distributing it. Allow the cakes to absorb the soak for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

4. Prepare the Ube Whipped Cream Frosting:

4.1. In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

4.2. Gently fold in the ube jam or extract until the frosting is evenly colored and flavored.

5. Frost the Cake:

5.1. Place one of the soaked cakes on a serving platter. Spread a layer of ube whipped cream frosting on top.

5.2. Place the second soaked cake on top and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting.

5.3. You can garnish the cake with additional grated or toasted ube, coconut flakes, or other decorative elements if desired.

6. Chill and Serve:

6.1. Refrigerate the Ube Cake for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld and the cake to set.

6.2. Slice and serve your delicious Ube Cake.

Enjoy the rich, moist, and uniquely flavored Ube Cake, a Filipino dessert that’s both visually stunning and a delight to the taste buds!


How to serve Ube Cake

Serving Ube Cake is a delightful experience, and there are a few steps to ensure it’s presented beautifully:

  • Slice the Cake: Use a sharp knife to cut even slices of the Ube Cake. Ensure that your knife is clean for a neat presentation.
  • Garnishes: If you have garnishes like additional grated or toasted ube, coconut flakes, or fresh berries, you can sprinkle them on the serving plate or over individual slices to enhance the presentation.
  • Plating: Place each slice of Ube Cake on a dessert plate or serving platter.
  • Whipped Cream: For an extra touch of indulgence, you can serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Ube-flavored whipped cream can be a great match.
  • Drizzle: A light drizzle of ube jam or syrup over each slice can add both flavor and a lovely finish.
  • Accompaniments: Consider serving Ube Cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a side of fresh fruit for a contrasting element.
  • Enjoy: Ube Cake is best enjoyed with family and friends. Serve it alongside coffee, tea, or a refreshing beverage of your choice.

Remember that Ube Cake’s striking purple color and unique flavor make it a visually appealing and flavorful dessert that’s sure to impress your guests. Tailor the presentation to your preferences and the occasion, and savor every bite of this Filipino culinary delight.


How to store Ube Cake

Storing Ube Cake properly will help maintain its freshness and flavor. Here’s how to store Ube Cake:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover Ube Cake, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight container or a cake storage container. Then, store it in the refrigerator. Ube Cake can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing (for Longer Storage): Ube Cake can also be frozen for longer-term storage. To freeze, wrap individual slices or the entire cake securely with plastic wrap, and then place it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe resealable bag. Ensure it’s sealed tightly to prevent freezer burn. Ube Cake can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
  3. Thawing: When you’re ready to enjoy the refrigerated or frozen Ube Cake, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. Slow thawing helps preserve the cake’s moisture and flavor. Individual slices may take a few hours to thaw, while a whole cake may require overnight thawing.
  4. Serve at Room Temperature: Before serving, allow the Ube Cake to come to room temperature. This helps restore its texture and flavor, making it as delightful as when it was first made.
  5. Avoid Frequent Temperature Changes: Minimize the number of times you transfer the cake between the refrigerator and room temperature to maintain its quality.
  6. Garnish Before Serving: If you intend to garnish the cake with additional ube or other toppings, do so just before serving to ensure freshness and a visually appealing presentation.

Proper storage of Ube Cake, whether in the refrigerator or the freezer, will help retain its delightful flavor and texture. Enjoy your Ube Cake whenever you crave a delicious and vibrant dessert.

Other Delicious Dessert Recipes To Try

Tips to make perfect Ube Cake

Making the perfect Ube Cake requires attention to detail and a few key tips to ensure that it turns out delicious and visually stunning. Here are some tips to make the perfect Ube Cake:

1. Use High-Quality Ube:

  • Start with fresh and high-quality ube (purple yam) to get the best flavor and color. If fresh ube is not available, you can use frozen or powdered ube, which can also yield excellent results.

2. Prepare the Ube Properly:

  • If using fresh ube, peel, chop, and steam it until soft. Mash it into a smooth consistency before adding it to the cake batter.
  • If using powdered or frozen ube, follow the package instructions for reconstitution, and ensure the ube is smooth and lump-free.

3. Gradually Add Dry Ingredients:

  • When incorporating the dry ingredients into the ube cake batter, do so gradually and mix until just combined. Overmixing can result in a denser cake.

4. Tres Leches Soak:

  • After baking, poke holes in the cake layers with a fork, and ensure the tres leches soak is evenly distributed. This step is crucial for adding moisture and flavor.

5. Ube Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • Use ube extract or ube jam to flavor the whipped cream frosting. Adjust the quantity to your taste preference, balancing the color and flavor.

6. Garnishes:

  • Consider garnishing the cake with additional grated or toasted ube, coconut flakes, or other decorative elements. This adds texture and enhances the visual appeal.

7. Refrigeration:

  • After assembling the cake, refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours or overnight to allow the flavors to meld and the cake to set. This step contributes to the cake’s deliciousness.

8. Serve at Room Temperature:

  • Ube Cake is best enjoyed at room temperature. Allow it to sit out for a short time before serving to bring out its full flavor.

9. Presentation:

  • Pay attention to the cake’s presentation. Slice it neatly, and consider adding garnishes or a drizzle of ube syrup for a polished appearance.

10. Practice and Patience:

  • Like any cake, making the perfect Ube Cake may require practice. Be patient and don’t be discouraged by small imperfections. Each attempt brings you closer to perfection.

By following these tips and embracing the unique qualities of ube, you can create a Ube Cake that’s moist, delicious, and visually stunning, making it a delightful dessert for special occasions and celebrations.



Q1: Why did my Ube Cake turn out dry and crumbly?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Dry and crumbly Ube Cake may result from overbaking. To avoid this, use a toothpick or cake tester to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out with a few moist crumbs attached, but not wet.

Q2: Can I use ube extract instead of real ube for the cake?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can use ube extract or ube jam if fresh ube is not available. Follow the package instructions for reconstituting powdered or frozen ube, or use ube extract for flavor and color.

Q3: My cake layers collapsed in the center. What went wrong?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Collapsed cake layers can be due to underbaking. Ensure that the cake is baked until it’s set in the center, and consider rotating the pans in the oven for even baking.

Q4: Why is my frosting too runny or too thick?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: To adjust the frosting consistency, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it or a bit more heavy cream to thin it. Be sure to make gradual adjustments and mix well to achieve the desired consistency.

Q5: The tres leches soak didn’t absorb well into the cake. How can I fix this?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: To ensure the tres leches soak absorbs properly, use a fork or skewer to create evenly spaced holes in the cake layers. Pour the soak slowly, allowing it to absorb before adding more.

Q6: How do I prevent the cake from sticking to the pans?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Properly grease and flour the cake pans before adding the batter to prevent sticking. You can also use parchment paper in the bottom of the pans to make removal easier.

Q7: My Ube Cake didn’t turn out purple enough. What can I do to make it more vibrant?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: The vibrancy of your Ube Cake can be adjusted by adding more ube extract or ube jam to the cake batter. Make gradual additions until you achieve the desired color and flavor.

Q8: What is the best way to store leftover Ube Cake?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Leftover Ube Cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Wrap it tightly to prevent drying out. Ube Cake can also be frozen for longer-term storage. Thaw in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.

Q9: Can I make Ube Cake in advance for an event?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: Yes, you can make Ube Cake in advance. Refrigerate it after assembly and store it in an airtight container. The cake’s flavor may even improve after a day or two in the refrigerator.

Q10: Can I substitute any ingredients in the recipe?

  • Troubleshooting Tip: You can make ingredient substitutions, but be aware that they may affect the flavor and texture. Using fresh ube is ideal, but ube extract or jam, as well as powdered or frozen ube, can be used as substitutes.

These FAQs and troubleshooting tips should help you overcome common challenges and ensure that your Ube Cake turns out as perfect as possible. Ube Cake is a delightful dessert, and with a bit of practice, you can master the art of making it.

Nutrition information

The nutritional content of Ube Cake can vary depending on the specific recipe, portion size, and ingredients used. Below is a general estimate of the nutritional content for a typical serving of Ube Cake, including both the cake and frosting:

  • Calories: Approximately 300-400 calories per serving, but this can vary depending on the size of the slice and the specific recipe.
  • Fat: Ube Cake can contain around 15-20 grams of fat per serving, primarily from butter and the whipped cream in the frosting.
  • Carbohydrates: Ube Cake is carbohydrate-rich, with around 35-50 grams of carbohydrates per serving, mainly from the cake and frosting’s sugar and flour.
  • Protein: Ube Cake contains a modest amount of protein, typically about 2-5 grams per serving.
  • Sugar: Ube Cake tends to be high in sugar, with around 20-30 grams of sugar per serving, primarily from the sweetened condensed milk and the frosting.
  • Fiber: Ube Cake typically contains minimal dietary fiber.
  • Cholesterol: Ube Cake may have a moderate amount of cholesterol due to the butter, eggs, and the condensed milk used in the recipe.

Keep in mind that these values are general estimates, and the actual nutritional content of your Ube Cake may vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size. Ube Cake is a delightful treat, but it’s generally considered a dessert high in calories and sugar, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation. If you require precise nutritional information, it’s recommended to calculate it based on the exact ingredients and quantities used in your specific Ube Cake recipe.

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