Ube is purple yam. It is a starchy root vegetable, like potatoes, taro, sweet potatoes, but it is NOT a potato, taro or sweet potato. And, although it is a root crop, we use it more often in sweets and desserts – ube jam or halaya, ube cake, ube bread, ube rice cakes, ice cream, candy, etc. My personal favorite is stuffing it in cupcakes… then frosting the cupcakes with more ube infused frosting!
For the cupcake, I used a vanilla-sour cream cupcake – a super easy recipe that was shared by a friend a long time ago –
Stir together 2-2/3 cups cake flour, 1-1/2 cups vanilla sugar, 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add 3 super jumbo eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup whole milk, 2/3 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1/2 cup canola oil. Mix well. Scoop into 24 paper-lined cupcake tins. Drop a teaspoon of ube halaya onto each cupcake. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 22 to 26 minutes. Watch the cupcakes because they brown fast and if overdone, the top with be crusty instead of soft. Cool in pans about 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the icing, cream 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Add 3/4 to 1 cup ube halaya, by tablespoonfuls, mixing well after each addition. To make stiff, add powdered sugar. To thin, add milk. In my case there was no need to add powdered sugar but I had to thin the mixture a bit.