For the Love of Ube

Happy December, friends!

Hard to believe 2019 is almost over, but with it being December, we’re just running on the holiday spirit in our household. We’re actually one of those households that starts decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving so we’ve been physically ready for the holidays for a few weeks now. But that doesn’t mean we forget about Thanksgiving. Being the first Filipino-American in my family, I actually take it upon myself to cook up Thanksgiving dinner myself for my entire family.

I like to cook the entire dinner for two reasons:

  1. I LOVE cooking for my family, and Thanksgiving is a good reason to do it.
  2. Because I do the cooking for Thanksgiving, I take away any cooking responsiblities upon myself for Christmas.

By doing #2, I get to solely focus on my favorite past-time during the holidays: baking.

For the month of December, I’m hoping to do a couple of baking related posts. First up…

UBE CUPCAKES

As a Filipino-American, I have to say that ube is probably one of my favorite things about being Filipino. Whenever I meet someone who has never had ube, I instantly become excited to share my love for all things ube.

  • Ube cake
  • Ube pancakes
  • Ube donuts
  • Ube ice cream
  • Ube pan de sal
  • Ube jam*

… I love it all. If it has ube in it, I’m likely an instant fan.

But before I even dive into the recipe, for anyone who is new to the world of ube, it is a pretty purple yam, and basically a staple ingredient in Filipino desserts. Most times, you’ll find ube in desserts in the form of ube jam (or “ube halaya”). So to create my cupcakes, I also had my first attempt making ube jam from scratch, although you can easily purchase ube jam in a jar from your local Asian/Filipino market.

Ingredients for the Ube Cupcakes

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups ube jam*, depending on how sweet your jam is
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ube extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Ube Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ube extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line your cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. combine then set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil until well combined. Add in ube jam until smooth.
  4. Add in ube extract, and mix until incorporated in the batter.
  5. With a spatula, mix in dry ingredients from the medium bowl and slowly combine with wet ingredients in the large bowl. Do not overmix.
  6. Scoop batter into liners. About 3/4 full per liner.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

While your cupcakes are baking, make your icing.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar, ube extract and vanilla extract until well-combined. If using a mixer, mix on medium speed.
  2. Slowly pour in the heavy cream. And continue whisking until soft peaks form.

*Ube Jam: to make my own ube jam I literally followed the recipe on the back of this ube condensed creamer that I found at the Filipino market.


Now that I’ve attempted my first go on ube jam. I’m hoping to make more ube jam and tackle a few more ube related recipes in the near future. Stay tuned and happy baking!

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