I searched extensively online for the absolute best purple yam cake recipes as well as calling up a local Asian food store. Luckily, they were carrying purple yams! It was almost as if I was meant to complete this inquiry and make such a cake! The experimenting could now begin!
From Cupcakes to Cake
My first try at “ube” or purple yam cake came in the form of cupcakes, funnily enough. The recipe I chose is very similar to a chiffon cake with the addition of the ube.
While purple yams are usually very deep purple in color, after adding all the other ingredients the batter looked rather grayish, so I had to increase the amount of food coloring used in the recipe. The cupcakes came out great! Fluffy, light and of course, with an intriguing purple color. I added a buttercream frosting swirl that I had used in past recipes and added some colorful sprinkles for fun.
After my first success with the cupcakes, I dared trying an ube cake for another customer. He let me know that he used to get one every year in Vancouver and I found out, interestingly enough, it had been paired with a ube halaya frosting. Ube halaya is another dessert specialty from the Philippines usually cooked with ube and condensed milk.
Here are the cake layers filled with ube halaya buttercream in the middle:
For the special filling I simply mixed some ube puree with sweetened condensed milk and added this mixture to my standard buttercream frosting with a tiny bit of purple food coloring. I personally think the small amount of food coloring I used added a lovely color and overall aesthetic to the cake! I would highly recommend it if aesthetic is important to you.
The cake was frosted in a layered vanilla buttercream pattern with a few rows of ube halaya buttercream.
Soft pink and white gum paste daisies completed the design in a delicate finish.
I was so excited to receive this great feedback from the customer:
“I just wanted to let you know that the Purple Yam cake you made was absolutely amazing! My girlfriend loved it, as well as everyone at the party.
It was actually better than the one we used to get in Vancouver, thanks again!”
It’s always wonderful to hear back from a satisfied customer and to know others appreciate my baking creations as much as I do. Although this recipe might seem a tad abstract, I defiantly recommend it, especially if you want to try something new. Good luck and please comment or share the results from your purple yam cake! Enjoy your Filipino inspired cake!
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
This cake combines 2 Filipino dessert specialties made from purple yam (ube). The light and airy purple yam cake layers are filled with a ube halaya (purple yam + condense milk) buttercream.
Puple Yam Cake
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup ube purple yam, cooked and finely grated
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 7 egg yolks lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 7 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 drops red food color
- 6 drops blue food coloring
Ube Halaya Filling (double, if used as filling and frosting)
- 2 cups buttercream
- 2 tbsp purple yam puree
- 1-3 tbsp sweetened condense milk amount depends on buttercream
- 1-2 drops purple food coloring
Purple Yam Cake
- Preheat oven to 325F. Only line (don't grease) three 9" cake pans with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
- Put cooked and grated purple yam in a large bowl and slowly add milk and vanilla and combine until smooth. Mix in corn syrup, egg yolks and oil. Stir in flour mixture and set aside.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add in sugar and food coloring, beat until stiff peaks form. Incorporate 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter, then gently but quickly fold in remaining egg whites. If the cake batter is too pale purple for your taste at this stage, add more food coloring and incorporate.
- Divide batter into prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until springs back when gently pressed. Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes, then invert on wire rack and let cool fully.
Ube Halaya Buttercream Filling
- Combine 2 cups of your favorite buttercream with 2 tablespoons of purple yam puree, condense milk and food coloring. Start with 1 tablespoon condense milk and add up to 3 tbsp, depending on how much your buttercream can handle without becoming to thin.
- Spread filling between cake layers. Double filling recipe, if you also want to frost the cake with ube halaya buttercream.