Foods from the Phillipines: Ube Cake

Grandma Tara ordered some Ube Cake from Gladycakes - the best baker in all of Toronto who just happens to come from the Phillipines.   The travellers were delighted to see the purple cake! 

About the cake: 

Ube CakeUbe (pronounced oooh-beh) is a purple yam (same family as sweet potato) that is eaten a lot in the Philippines.  They are used to make all kinds of very cool purple desserts including this cake.  We asked Chef Glady to give us a recipe kids could make with very little help from adults. Try it at home and share photos of your creations on Instagram  #explorerhop.  

Ingredients: (simplified by Gladycakes and created for ExplorerHop.com)  
1 cup of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
1 cup ube jam*
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut or almond extract**
A few drops of purple food colouring (optional)***
3 cups of all-purpose flour

4 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of milk (room temperature)

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Grease and flour 3x 8 inch cake pans.
-In a bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix with a whisk until thoroughly combined (about 30 seconds). Set aside.
-In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar.
-Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together on medium for 5-7 minutes, until fluffy and pale in colour.
-Add ube jam to mixture and beat for another 2 minutes.
-Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added (about 20 seconds for each egg).
-Add vanilla and coconut or almond extracts to batter and mix just to combine
-Add in your purple food colouring (if using)
-Add a third of the flour mixture to the batter and beat just to combine
-Add half of the milk and beat just to combine
-Repeat, flour then milk and ending with flour.
-Divide batter equally into the three cake pans.
-Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
-Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done. To check if your cake is done insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean, with no streaks of batter. A few small crumbs are ok!
-Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
-Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Once cooled, you are ready to layer your cake with your favourite vanilla frosting. Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top, eat and enjoy! :)

Notes:
*Ube jam or Purple Yam spread or Ube Halaya can be found in most Asian grocery stores. It comes in a glass jar and will look like this: http://afodltd.com/images/afodpic/80-104.gif
When measuring out your ube jam, mash it into a paste before adding it to the batter.

** If you cannot find almond or coconut extract, don't worry. You can leave this out.
***If you'd like a deeper purple colour you may add purple food colouring to your batter. Gel (or paste) food colouring is much more concentrated than liquid food colouring therefore you will need less of the gel, but either works fine. 

Many thanks to Glady from Gladycakes who made this recipe especially for the readers of ExplorerHop.com . Photo provided by Gladycakes. 


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