August 20, 2017

Heavenly Ube Cake Recipe from the Philippines

Winner ‘Best Cake Recipe’  in the Lindy’s Cakes Creative Writing Competition.

Cecille Leano Sia – Manila, Philippines.

We are delighted to share with you this wining recipe,  it is not only unique but also very special to the winner Cecille, you can read all about in her story in our separate blog post. The cake has been tried and tested by Lindy herself and everyone in the office has tasted it. If you have never had ube, purple yam, then this cake is like nothing you will have tasted before. It is difficult to describe, unusual but quite lovely. The texture is light and slightly pink in colour. You can buy ube, purple yam, in the UK from specialist Asian stores.

· 2 1/2 cups cake flour, (sifted with baking powder and salt)
· 3 teaspoons baking powder
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup ube (purple yam), cooked and finely grated
· 3/4 cup milk + 1/8 cup milk
· 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
· 1/2 cup light corn syrup
· 7 egg yolks, lightly beaten
· 1/2 cup vegetable oil
· 7 egg whites
· 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
· 1 cup caster’s sugar
· 1 (12 ounce) jar macapuno (coconut preserves) *OPTIONAL – use as filling (available in the UK from specialist Asian stores)

Buttercream Icing:
· Egg whites 50 ml
· Refined sugar 100 g
· butter, cold, cut into cubes 250 g
· 2 tsps violet food colouring (or until desired shade is achieved)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line bottoms of 3 – 9 inch pans with parchment paper, Do NOT grease. Mix together and sift the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. Place grated ube in a large bowl. Mix together 3/4 + 1/8 cup milk and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla; gradually blend into ube until smooth. Blend in light corn syrup, egg yolks, and oil. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the centre of cake bounces back. Invert pans on a wire rack and let cool upside down. When cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen cake from pans. Fill between layers with coconut preserves, then frost top and sides with butter icing.
5. To make Butter Icing: Combine egg white and sugar until fully incorporated. Place on top of a barely simmering hot water bath (double boiler). Whisk constantly until temperature reaches 65 -70 degrees C. Transfer into a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, whisk until medium stiff. Replace with paddle attachment then beat on medium speed until cold. Gradually add the butter and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add violet food colour.
*omitted food colour on the cake batter to keep flavour and aroma of ube (yam) pure.


Enjoy & tell us what you think.



  1. Hi! I am waiting on some Ube powder to come in the post and I am going to attempt this recipe with it in place of fresh ube. Very excited. Will let you know how it turns out!

  2. Do let us know how you get on and what you think of this interesting cake :-)
    Happy baking

  3. Will ube powder work on this recipe? Or perhaps the sweetened ube we can buy on jars?

  4. Hi Lorie
    When trying this recipe I used the sweetened ube that comes in a jar, as advised by a lovely lady in my local Asian food store. She told me that she always uses sweetened ube to make Ube cake – also that the cake is her young daughters favourite :-) Regards ube powder, I’m araid I’ve not tried it, but if you do please let me know how you get on.
    Happy Baking

  5. hannahbanana says:

    hi. I have tried baking this ube cake, but it turned out to be more like a puto. not the soft type of chiffon cake. do you also get the same texture, or is there something wrong on how I baked the cake? thanks :)

  6. hi, i want to know what milk was used on this recipe? thnks

  7. Where can I buy light corn syrup in UK?

  8. Hi Jiraiyah,
    If you can’t manage to find light corn syrup, you can use glucose syrup instead.
    Cake on!

  9. Hello Anne,
    Lindy just used semi-skimmed milk.

  10. Hello Hannah,
    You would need to check that you have measured your ingredients correctly – this may be the problem.

  11. Hi,

    If i use just 12″ square pan instead of 3 – 9″ pan is that ok i need to adjust cooking time for how long does it cook? And see if i replace corn syrup for glocuse is it the same measurement? Please advice i wanna make a square cake for my baby’s christening. Thank you very much

  12. Hi Sheryl

    Thanks for your question.

    Please refer to the link below regarding recipe quantities.

    You can replace corn syrup with glucose.

    Good luck with the baking!


  13. How did you cook the ube? how long and what method and how do i know if its cooked? :))

  14. Hi Aileen,
    See instructions above for the method of how to make the ube cake.
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)
    Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes
    It will be cooked when a skewer comes out clean.

  15. I tried using the ube powder.I added water,butter and sugar until it rehydrates.and my ube cake turned out great.yummy.

  16. HI! In your recipe of Heavenly ube cake recipe that the purple yam or ube should be cooked and grated before putting on to the cake mixture. but no mention how the purple yam or ube cooked and how long it needs to be cooked and at what temperature. Can please send your answer so that I will know what to do about it? Thank you. Deb

  17. Hi Deb
    Lindy always uses sweetened ube that comes in a jar, this was recommended by a lady in an Asian food store, but if you google it you should find how to cook them.
    Good Luck!

  18. hi, thank you for the recipe. love it, would make it again with proper corn syrup. i had no corn syrup, so i used golden syrup instead, which i thought it would overpower but did not. it was nice. i used frozen grated ube for the cake and ube spread with macapuno for the filling. i didn’t follow the buttercream because i was lazy, i used buttercream recipe with half icing sugar and marshmallow fluff, and it was nice.

  19. hi can u make it without ube and just normal yam?

    i live in englaND so cannot get it

  20. Hi Danielle

    Lindy uses the sweetened ube that comes in jars, which she managed to get from an Asian food shop, we have not tried making it with yam, but let us know how you get on!

    Kind Regards

  21. TO DEB: you simply wash and peel then roughly cut the purple yam. Then you boil it til its soft, pretty much like making mashed potatoes. You know its done when you can stick a fork/knife through it and fork/knife slides very easily. Then you take it out, drain and mash. Hope this helps!

  22. Hi, I just need to clarify something.
    Is it purple yam that you are suppose use? or purple potatoes that are really deep purple in colour and sweet? When my grandmother makes halaya ube(a Filipino treat that is so time consuming to make)she uses the purple potatoes. As far as I know, purple yam is taro and ube is purple potatoes. Either way I have seen both in Chinatown at the potato section in Toronto. I have made kalamay tube with purple potatoes and it is deelish.

  23. Hi Fernando

    I have had a quick look at the recipe as I haven’t baked this myself, and it does say yam. I think yams would be a slightly different to purple potatoes so I would try and stick to the recipe for the first time you bake it. Perhaps your grandmother’s recipe is slightly different if she used purple potatoes.

    Good luck

  24. Hi, I was wondering when to use macapuno as it isn’t mentioned in the recipe.

    Thank you.


  25. Hi Sumona

    The macapuno is an optional ingredient that can be used as a filling once the cake is cooked.

    Happy Baking!


  26. Kristine says:

    Hello… I was wondering if you could explain something to me. I tried mixing the egg whites with the tartar and sugar like the recipe says.. But I can’t get it to form a peak it’s still liquidy rather than foamy.. Please help I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.. Is it because I’m using a hand blender?should I blend it by hand?

  27. Hello Kristine,
    I would try beating the egg whites on their own until you get soft peaks, make sure the bowl and whisk is thoroughly clean. Then beat int he cream of tartar and sugar afterwards.
    Hope this helps!