All Things Pinoy,  Asian Flavors,  Baking Recipes,  Cupcakes & Muffins

Let’s talk about these delicious Ube Cupcakes

Looking for ways to make use of the ube jam in the fridge apart from eating it off the spoon? Try out these fantastic Ube Cupcakes!

Right now, the last tub of homemade ube halaya is sitting in the fridge. At the start of the year, we received two tubs of homemade ube halaya from two different people who spent their Christmas break laboring to make this delicious jam. (I hear it’s really hard work!) Since I do love me so ube, I was very happy to receive such a gift. But then I realized that if I counted the ube jam I bought last month that sat forgotten in the freezer, that would mean we had three tubs of ube jam waiting to be consumed. Clearly, it was time to make some Ube Cupcakes!

After Christmas, maybe some of you are in the same predicament as me. Well it sure is a good one to be in!

Ube Cupcakes 2

Ube is having a worldwide moment and I have to say it surprises me not one bit. It’s a common enough thing for us here in the Philippines, but I feel like it wasn’t until it garnered its international fame that it started becoming visible again. Ube-Leche Flan Layer Cakes started popping up on my feeds like crazy! I daresay ube has made a permanent comeback.

Ube Cupcakes 3

Because I am too lazy at the moment to make one of those cakes, I’m sticking with this super easy, one-bowl recipe for Ube Cupcakes I tested from Yummy Mag. I already knew Yummy wasn’t going to fail me, as evidenced by 98% of the recipes I’ve tried from them so far, but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting the Ube Cupcakes to be this good!

My favorite ube jam

Ube Jam 1

To make these cupcakes, you will need a good amount of ube jam. I am actually quite picky with my ube jam. I HATE those super sweet, commercialized-tasting jams. It took me a while to fall in love with ube jam wholeheartedly because I never really found THE ONE until I tried the Ube Halaya from Bahay Pastulan in Tagaytay.

Bahay Pastulan 1

Bahay Pastulan 2

Whenever we go to Tagaytay, my Mom likes to stop by Bahay Pastulan for some old-fashioned halo-halo. She even buys tubs of them frozen. To be honest, none of the other stuff Bahay Pastulan sells stand out to me as much as their ube halaya does. Although I do occasionally have some turon and hot coffee for merienda when we’re here.

Snacks at Bahay Pastulan

Bahay Pastulan is run by The Good Shepherd Sisters of Baguio, yet somehow I can’t remember Good Shepherd Ube Jam ever making this big an impact on me. I loved Bahay Pastulan Ube Jam from the first taste. It has an unadulterated ube flavor and is not too sweet; with a texture that is not entirely smooth but not particularly grainy either. You can even see that the color of the jam isn’t as dark violet as most in the market, which tells me they use a lighter hand on the food coloring.


Ube Jam 2

Recipe notes

These are pretty much PERFECT ube cupcakes, and I don’t just say that because it’s got a great ube flavor and is not too sweet. It’s also a one-bowl recipe which quite frankly I think will be difficult to mess up. You start out with the wet ingredients and then mix in your ube jam and flavoring.

How to make Ube Cupcakes 1

This recipe uses quite a bit of ube jam so I was expecting a full blast of ube as I mixed. The batter that comes out is so striking I could just stare at it all day!

How to make Ube Cupcakes 2

Once you have your ube wet mixture ready, you just sift in the dry ingredients directly over the top.

How to make Ube Cupcakes 3

Now here’s where you have to be cautious: Once you start incorporating the flour and you see the last bit of white disappear, STOP MIXING. We don’t want to over-mix this batter at the risk of creating a cupcake with a weird texture. Overmixed batter usually yields a tougher and less fluffy cupcake, and we don’t want that.

How to make Ube Cupcakes 4

That said, it’s important to make sure that you mix from the bottom of the bowl with your spatula. This way, the flour will be evenly distributed into the batter and even the parts at the bottom of the bowl will be incorporated with just a few strokes. The resulting cupcakes are stunning in appearance; with an equally stunning soft and moist crumb that will have you coming back for seconds.

How to make Ube Cupcakes 5

How to make Ube Cupcakes 6

The only adjustment I made to this already great recipe concerns the frosting. Flavor-wise it’s a great frosting. The coconut cream gives the frosting this kind of elegant and tropical taste, and it pairs well with the ube cupcakes too. But I found that the original recipe made way too much frosting, and that if you pile on the frosting it tends to overpower the ube cupcakes.

Ube Cupcakes 4

This is a recipe where you want the ube taste to come through from the cupcakes just because it’s so good! So while I do love the pairing of this cupcake with this frosting, I think just a dollop on top is enough.

Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

A delicious, one-bowl ube cupcake recipe for the books! Leave it as is or top with the coconut frosting.


For the cupcakes

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ube halaya, ube jam
  • teaspoon ube flavoring
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the coconut buttercream

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream, chilled but still pourable*


Make the cupcakes

  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and oil until well mixed and you can no longer see sugar crystals. Add the ube and beat until well combined. Stir in the ube flavoring.
  • 3. Over the ube mixture, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just well blended. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  • 4. Divide the batter into the lined cupcake pan, filling each just a little over 3/4 all the way full. Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cupcakes comes out clean. The tops should also spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Make buttercream

  • 5. In a large bowl, cream butter until light and creamy. Alternate adding the sugar with the coconut cream, whisking until mixture is light and fluffy. Add enough confectioner's sugar to get the consistency you like. (It will be easier to use a stand mixer.)
  • 6. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired, but make sure not to pile on too much or the frosting might overpower the cupcakes themselves.** Enjoy!


*Cold coconut cream will whip up easier than coconut cream at room temp. If you want, you can also refrigerate overnight until coconut cream has solidified. It will whip up into something akin to whipped cream. Whip with the sugar before adding in the butter.
**If you like the ube flavor to shine through more, I highly suggest not piling on the frosting. You can also opt for just a whipped cream frosting. (Whip up about 1-1/4 cups cold heavy cream using a cold bowl and whisk attachment, adding a tablespoon or two of sugar and whipping until stiff peaks.)
Adapted from Yummy PH

Ube Cupcakes plus Ube Jam

This post is a part of a new series I’m developing where I share Pinoy-related things I love. You can see more here. If you enjoyed this post, do follow me on social media for more. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. See you around! 🙂


    • Clarisse

      Hi M, ube flavoring is a purple-colored flavoring with the scent and flavor of ube or purple yam. Here in the Philippines it’s easily available in supermarkets, located at the baking aisle where all the other extracts are. Maybe in other countries it might be available in Asian groceries or in Filipino groceries. If you can, get your hands on the McCormick one.

  • Dave M

    This recipe absolutely does not work. I’ve tested it twice! I bake as a profession. I really wanted it to work but no luck. My guess is the ratio of wet ingredients to flour and baking powder amount is off.

    • Clarisse

      Hi BakerMom! This recipe does not make use of milk. The ube jam is usually made with condensed milk though, so that’s where the milk component to this recipe comes from.

  • Joy

    I made this twice in two week- first without frosting and the second time with the coconut frosting. Amazing recipe! Can’t really mess this one up (unless you over-mix). Thanks for sharing- this recipe is a keeper!

  • Kat

    I needed way more than just 12 mins on 325. I had to ramp it up to 350 and add another 25 mins so the inside wasn’t raw. But the flavor is great! I’m literally still waiting for them to be done in oven…

  • Apple

    Hi my cupcake would rise whenever it’s in the oven, but right after I take it off from the oven the top part would just drop and same with my temp. 12 min wouldn’t work it will still be wet and undercook.

  • Metshel Rescate

    Absolutely love it however I used I used my own Ube Halaya it turn out absolutely delicious my kids love it

  • Mae

    Hi, I made this recipe and it turned out moist and packed with ube flavor. Masarap! Thank you for sharing this recipe 🙂 I baked mine for 15 minutes.

  • Sarah

    Hi! This recipe worked for me, but the only problem was the baking temp and time. It wasn’t enough so I increased the baking time to 350 degrees and baked for another 10 minutes. It came out perfectly and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

  • Amy

    I made these and they are so delicious!!! unfortunately the 12 minutes on 325 was not nearly long enough in my oven though and it tone almost double that amount of time, also my cupcakes sank in the middle 🙁 I made sure not to overfill them, I didn’t overmix, do you know what it could’ve been? is it maybe because where I live the altitude is over 6,000 ft? maybe next time I will try and compensate for that! Also my batter looked a little wetter than yours, i’m wondering if I should have packed the flour instead of doing the scoop and level method. they’re still so delicious and the texture is wonderful nonetheless!! I can wait to try again and I hope it works better next time!

  • Vivian

    This recipe works, every step turned out just like the picture! Cupcakes came out very fluffy! I wonder if i can swap Ube for other ingredients and still get the same fluffy heavenly cupcakes? Love to experiment and extend this recipe. What do you suggest indigents i keep?

  • Denielle G

    I just tried this recipe and I have to say it is bomb! I actually loved it! It is soft and rich with real ube flavour, i don’t like using ube so the fact that it requieres fresh ube is great. I do have to mention I baked a batch at 325 but they took forever to bake inside and the outside was burning a bit, so I decided to bake the next one at 350 and that worked perfectly.
    Thanks for sharing and been honest about your recipe!

  • Bert

    Tried the recipe and loved it. My only problem was for the frosting. It’s too wet and runny. Is it maybe because my coconut cream was room temp and too liquify?

  • S

    I made these cupcakes, but the temperature is way off. So my cupcakes didn’t bake properly. I then baked them again at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes and they came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe!! Time and temp needs to be adjusted though.

    • Clarisse

      Sorry to hear that. Mine came out pretty well using the temp and time on the recipe, but thank you for the tip for everyone else who might have the same issues.

  • Amanda

    YUMMMMMM thank you so much for this recipe!! Never baked with ube before and all your helpful tips were so appreciated. Couldn’t find your preferred halaya, so I did slightly less sugar to balance out the overly-sweet halaya jam. *chefs kiss

    1) If your oven is like mine, 12 minutes at 325, then bumping up to 350 for an additional 5 minutes was perfect. They were cooked through but still very moist, not at all dry
    2) Yes to refrigerating the coconut cream! Made piping the cupcakes much easier and the texture was great. Add in pow sugar slowlyyyy. You can add a splash of coconut milk if it becomes too thick
    3) If you’re looking for a little razzle dazzle ~ I garnished mine with crumbled coconut wafer cookies (mashed em up in a sandwich bag then sprinkled on top) and a tiny bit of lime zest.

  • Uzziel

    This recipe is for keeps. I mix it up with banana muffin batter and people like it! One thing I changed was instead of cake flour I used APF. It’s denser than it should be but it’s acceptable because I always what to have a ube muffin recipe to make, that the ingredients are efficient to divide and does not use condensed milk which is somehow hassle and too expensive for other people. Thank you Po. For making this recipe. Btw you are underrated. Also like your aesthetic.

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