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Ube Cupcake Recipe

Heads up! This recipe assumes you have made my Ube Pudding! So before you start making my Ube Cupcake Recipe, make sure you have your Ube Pudding prepped and ready. If you do, let’s party!

What is Ube?

Ube, also known as purple yam, is a starchy root vegetable that thrives in tropical regions. This versatile tuber is renowned for its vivid purple flesh and sweet, nutty flavor. Cultivating ube is relatively simple, making it a staple in various cultural dishes due to its unique color and texture.

Cooking with Ube: A Versatile Ingredient

Ube can be prepared in numerous ways, making it a popular choice for a variety of dishes. While it is not advisable to consume ube raw, it excels when steamed, boiled, or baked. Its striking purple hue has made it a favorite ingredient in traditional delicacies and desserts across different cultures, particularly in the Philippines.

Ube in Filipino Cuisine: A Staple in Desserts and Delicacies

In the Philippines, ube transforms into delightful purple yam pudding or jam, often enjoyed on its own as a dessert. It also takes center stage in an array of Filipino specialties, including rice cakes, ice cream, cakes, cookies, bread rolls, and even vibrant purple cupcakes. These creations are not only eye-catching but are imbued with the rich, comforting flavors of ube.

Historical Context: Ube and Its Roots in the Philippines

Ube has been a part of Filipino culture for centuries, embedded deeply in the culinary traditions of the islands. The use of ube in Filipino desserts dates back to the pre-colonial times when indigenous methods of cooking involved natural ingredients found across the archipelago. This historical ingredient reflects the adaptability and creativity of Filipino cuisine, making it a cherished cultural icon.

Perfecting the Ube Cupcake: A Go-To Recipe

For those who love ube, the ultimate treat awaits in the form of my go-to ube cupcake recipe. These cupcakes are soft, light, and moist, offering a perfect blend of sweet purple yam pudding and a touch of sugar. Topped with Swiss meringue frosting that adds a marshmallow-like texture, these cupcakes are irresistibly light and fluffy.

Safety Tips for Swiss Meringue Frosting

To ensure safety, particularly concerning salmonella, it’s crucial to heat the egg whites indirectly. Be sure the mixing bowl or glass never touches the hot water in the pot to prevent the egg whites from cooking prematurely. The perfect point for whipping is reached when the egg whites turn frothy and airy, setting the stage for the perfect frosting.

Join Me in the Kitchen

Ready to dive into the world of ube and explore its delightful possibilities? Follow along with my detailed guide to making these spectacular ube cupcakes. Let’s get started on this culinary adventure together, celebrating the rich flavors and vibrant colors of ube!

Instructional Video

Ube Cupcake Recipe


Dry Mixture

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (I prefer brown sugar)

Wet Mixture

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional), you may also use Ube extract
  • 12 oz purple yam pudding or jam
  • ¼ – ½ tsp red gel food coloring, adjust to your shades of purple (You may also use purple yam essence or extract)
  • ¼ – ½ tsp blue gel food coloring, adjust to your shades of purple (You may also use purple yam essence or extract)

Swiss Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – ¼ tsp blue gel food coloring, adjust to your shades of purple (You may also use purple yam essence or extract)
  • 1/8 – ¼ tsp red gel food coloring, adjust to your shades of purple (You may also use purple yam essence or extract)

Items You’ll Need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups, bowls, spoons
  • Stand or hand mixer with a wire whip attachment
  • Silicone spatulas
  • Cupcake liner (quantity of 24-30)
  • Muffin pans or cupcake mold
  • Ice cream scoop (I used 1 ½ tbsp scoop)


Prepare the Dry Ingredients

Sifting dry ingredients for Ube Cupcake recipe

To start, gather all the dry ingredients you will need. You will need one and three-quarters cups of all-purpose flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of kosher salt, and one and a half cups of sugar. Sift these ingredients into a stand mixer bowl using a wire whisk attachment. Make sure they are well combined before setting them aside for later use.

Prepare the Wet Ingredients

Adding wet ingredients into a measuring cup for Ube Cupcakes

In a separate measuring cup, combine half a cup of canola oil and two large eggs. Whisk them together until they are well combined. Then, add one and a half cups of buttermilk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture. Whisk again until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Mix the Ingredients

Mixing the Ingredients for Ube Cupcakes in a stand mixer.

Now it’s time to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Set your stand mixer to medium speed and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Increase the speed to mix the ingredients well. The consistency of the batter should be smooth and free of lumps.

Once the batter is formed, it’s time to add the star ingredient – 12 ounces of purple yam pudding or jam. Mix it into the batter until it is well incorporated. If you prefer a more intense purple color, you can add food coloring or purple yam extract at this stage. Experiment with different shades of purple until you achieve the desired color.

As you mix, be sure to pause and scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to break up any lumps of flour that may have formed. This will ensure that your batter is smooth and consistent. After giving it a final mix, set the batter aside for later use.

Bake the Cupcakes

Placing the raw ube cupcakes into the oven for baking

Now it’s time to fill your muffin pans with cupcake liners and pour the batter into them. Slowly pour approximately three tablespoons of the ube cupcake batter into each liner. Depending on the size of your liners, you may need to adjust the amount accordingly.

Once the cupcake pans are filled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the cupcakes for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Prepare the Swiss Meringue

Adding the ingredients to a glassware that is stove top safe for Swiss Meringue

While the cupcakes are cooling, let’s move on to making the delicious Swiss meringue that will top them off. In a heatproof glass or mixing bowl, combine four egg whites, three-fourths cup of sugar, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, and one-fourth teaspoon of cream of tartar. Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks sticky and glossy.

To cook the egg whites without scrambling them, we will use a double boiler method. Place the mixing bowl over a pot of steaming hot water and whisk continuously. Be careful not to let the egg whites cook; we just want to warm them up. Monitor the temperature and continue whisking until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the egg whites have reached the desired temperature, slowly pour the mixture into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Set the speed to medium and gradually increase it to high. Continue mixing until medium peaks form. At this point, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and then 1/4 of the blue and red food coloring to achieve a beautiful shade of purple. You can also use purple yam essence or extract if you have it on hand. Feel free to experiment with different shades of purple that suit your taste.

After adding the food coloring, give the mixture another mix until everything is well combined. You will now have a lovely, vibrant purple Swiss meringue that is ready to be piped onto the cupcakes.

Finishing Touches

Piping the swiss meringue onto the baked ube cupcakes

Transfer the Swiss meringue into a piping bag fitted with your preferred piping tip. Alternating between the shades of purple, pipe the meringue onto each cupcake, creating beautiful swirls or any design you desire.

And there you have it – your delicious ube or purple yam cupcakes with Swiss meringue! These cupcakes are not only visually stunning, but they also have a delightful flavor that will leave you craving for more.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy these delightful treats with your loved ones. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply treating yourself, these cupcakes are sure to impress. So, what are you waiting for? Get baking and let your taste buds experience the magic of ube!

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Jorden F
Jorden F
Jorden F

Amazing cupcakes!