Baked Sunday Mornings: Ube Cake

by byn on July 19, 2015

in Baked Sunday Mornings, Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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Ube Cake

I was so excited back in October to finally get my hands on a copy of Baked Occasions. Even though I had a preview of the book after testing out almost a dozen recipes, I couldn’t wait to see what other treats were inside. After the launch party at Baked Tribeca, I went back to my hotel, got into bed and cracked it open. My jaw dropped open when I found an UBE CAKE inside. How did the Baked boys know about ube?!?!

When I was growing up, ube desserts were always on the tables at my Filipino friends’ houses, and this was how I was introduced to this pretty purple vegetable. My friend Kristine would always pass on an ube treat from Red Ribbon whenever her family brought some for her, and we also made sure to visit a Red Ribbon in Vegas last time we were there together. I have been obsessed with making ube treats ever since (you can see it in my blog-iversary goals from back in 2011), but could never find purple yams anywhere.

Ube Cake Slice

I immediately knew this would be the most fun recipe for me to make from Baked Occasions, and when I saw it on our schedule for this summer, I was so happy. After a small matter of procuring ube powder (I had to order it off Ebay because wouldn’t ship it to Canada) I was in business. The first thing you have to do for this recipe is rehydrate your ube, so you just cook the ube powder with water until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Once you add the rest of your standard cake ingredients, the purple is quite muted, and I’d say the cake batter is looking pretty gray. I didn’t want to add too much purple food colouring to it (read this post on red velvet cake to find out why) but then again, when you look at Red Ribbon’s ube treats, they are pretty bright. I compromised and added enough food colouring to make it look purple, but not enough so that it was fake looking. Here’s what a Red Ribbon Ube Cake looks like in comparison (Kristine had just given me one last week, perfect timing):

Ube Colour Comparison

The layers baked up nice and flat, and I got my cream cheese frosting mixed up and ready to go. The frosting was a bit runny for me, and I ended up adding about 2 more cups of icing sugar to it. I think the real solution is to always start with cold cream cheese, instead of room temperature. I also had my customized purple sprinkle mix ready that I made by going to Bulk Barn and buying a few sprinkle shapes, picking out the purple ones, and combining them all together. I copied this from Sweetapolita, who is selling her own sprinkle mixes in her Etsy shop, but mine cost me less than $5 and I had so many left over.

Ube Cake Sprinkles

I absolutely loved the way the cake turned out! Just so, so, cute. I sliced it up and was excited to see my purple layers inside. Maybe they could have been more purple, but I’m glad I showed a bit of restraint with the food colouring. It’s really hard to describe the flavour of ube, but I will say the cake was dense, hydrated and almost earthy tasting, but that’s not really the right word. I ate a slice, cut two to share with friends at work, and wrapped up the rest of the cake to take to Kristine and her family, since it was her sister Mae’s birthday yesterday.

Ube Cake Top

This is no doubt the most fun baking project I have had in a long time. I need to get my hands on more ube powder!!!

Note: Each recipe in Baked Occasions corresponds with a holiday, and the one for this recipe is Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday. It’s actually called Gonzo Cake in the book, and Matt writes about his love for the author and his style of ‘gonzo’ journalism. Obviously I only saw UBE and read no further!

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dafna | Stellina Sweets July 25, 2015 at 3:34 am

Love, love, love– it’s perfect!!! You got a great shade of purple there– I agree that too much color would make it look fake. It’s hard to judge the color though– mine turned reddish in the oven, so I would err on the side of blue-purple in the future (like yours). I did the EXACT same thing with the book when I got back to my hotel room. I had tested this one, but it was so cool to discover the rest of the recipes. I can imagine how excited you were! :) Oh, and that sprinkle mix is fabulous. I wish we had Bulk Barn here– I would be ALL over that… 😉


Hannah Simpson-Grossman July 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm



Liz July 20, 2015 at 11:06 am

Love the purple sprinkles!


Yael July 20, 2015 at 12:43 am

Beautiful presentation!


Jenny July 20, 2015 at 12:42 am

Stunning, girl! The purple in the cake is incredible. Oh, and the sprinkles? GORGEOUS. Xo


Kristine July 19, 2015 at 6:42 pm

The cake was delicious Byn! You are right … It didn’t taste like the usual ube sponge cake I’m used too, but I think it might have more to do with the cream cheese frosting. Regardless, it was still great. :)

P.S. Mom also said to let you know she really enjoyed it!


Sheri July 19, 2015 at 6:07 pm

So pretty! Love love love the sprinkles. Matt is obsessed with ube too… have you ever had ube ice cream?


Susan July 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm

What a fun experience for you! I’ll be making mine today & based upon everyone’s comments, I think I’ll add a lot of food coloring to mine. Your cake looks just perfect!


Chelly July 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

You got a beautiful purple color!


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