Easy Ube Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, and delicious ube-flavored cupcakes! So easy to make and frost than a whole cake. I love these with our ube buttercream frosting because a cupcake isn’t a cupcake without a frosting 🙂

Ube Flavored Cupcakes with Frosting
Ube Cupcakes with Ube Buttercream Frosting

Why you’ll love these Ube Cupcakes

  • The cake batter is easy to make–it’s a straightforward cake recipe that is easier to make than a chiffon cake.
  • Easier to decorate compared to making a whole cake which needs more planning and decorating techniques.
  • Tastes like ube halaya, in cake form. I swear it’s so good!
  • Moist, tender, and not too sweet. Everything I want in a cupcake.


Here’s what you need for these cupcakes. They may look a lot, but trust me, each of these makes the ube flavor stand out!

Flour, sugar, eggs, milk, coconut milk, butter, ube flavor

A few notes about the ingredients

  • Butter – use pure unsalted butter, the best quality you can find. I don’t recommend substituting with margarine or oil as they lack flavor.
  • Oil – helps the cake stay moist. Another secret ingredient 😉
  • Milk – 3 types–canned coconut milk, fresh milk (or evaporated milk), and condensed milk. Sounds familiar? Yes, these are the key ingredients to making ube halaya and the secret ingredients of these cupcakes.
  • Vinegar – to be added to the evaporated milk and coconut milk to make buttermilk. This helps lift the cake as it bakes.
  • Ube flavor extract and color – in order to achieve that distinct ube flavor and color. Use purple for a lighter-colored cake or violet if you want it darker. I recommend using gel paste over liquid as they’re less watery.

💭 Top tip: Use room temperature ingredients, this includes eggs, butter, and milk. Bring them out of the refrigerator 45mins – to 1 hour before you start baking. Room-temperature ingredients make a smooth and uniform batter while cold ingredients do not blend together as easily which results in a flat cupcake.

Moist and Fluffy Cupcakes with Ube Flavor

How to Make Ube Cupcakes

And here’s how to make the best ube cupcakes:

step-by-step process on how to make ube cupcake
  • Make the buttermilk by combining coconut milk, full-cream milk, and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir briefly then set aside until it curdles, around 10 minutes.
  • Whisk sugar and butter until fluffy then add eggs one at a time. This will make a finer and fluffy crumb.
  • Add oil, salt, ube extract food color, and buttermilk mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the ube color to the liquid ingredients BEFORE adding in the dry ingredients. You can add more of it, if preferred, towards the end without overmixing the batter.
process on how to make ube cupcake butter
  • Sift the dry ingredients to remove the lumps. You can do this directly into the wet ingredients using a fine-mesh strainer. There’s no need for a separate bowl.
  • Do not overmix the batter – overmixing can result in a denser, gummy cake.
  • Fill the muffin pan lined with cupcake liners ¾ full to allow room for the cupcakes to rise.
  • Tap the muffin pan one to two times on your kitchen counter to remove air pockets. This will prevent holes inside your cake.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350f / 180c for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Purple Yam Cupcakes with Frosting

Serve with Ube Buttercream Frosting

Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with my super delicious less-sweet ube buttercream frosting. They’re so good together. Really, a match made in heaven! Follow this link to get the recipe.

For minimally frosted cupcakes, you can use a simple spatula to spread the buttercream on top (see photo above). Or take it to the next level “bakery-style” by using a piping bag with a pastry tip.

Finally, sprinkle with cake crumbs on top to finish. No need for sprinkles.

After the cupcakes are frosted, refrigerate until ready to serve. I personally love it a little bit chilled. Soooo yummy!

More Ube recipes you need to try…

Ube Flavored Cupcakes with Frosting

Make-ahead, Storage, and Shelf-life

Once the cupcakes have cooled, place them in an air-tight container without the frosting. These cupcakes should for 3 to 4 days if properly stored in the fridge.

Watch How to Make It

Love baking? Try these cake recipes!

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Buttercream Ube Flavored Frosting

Ube Cupcakes–moist, fluffy and easy to make

4.73 from 11 votes
Moist, fluffy, and delicious ube-flavored cupcakes! So easy and simple to make than a whole cake. Goes so well with ube buttercream frosting.
Servings12 cupcakes
preparation time30 minutes
Total cooking time25 minutes



  • ½ cup coconut milk (canned, see note 1)
  • ¼ cup fresh milk, full fat (or evaporated milk)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice

Cupcake Batter


  • Pre-heat oven to 350f/180c. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir briefly then set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add condensed milk and whisk. Add eggs one at a time. Whisk after every addition.
  • Add oil, salt, ube extract, food color and milk mixture. Continue whisking until everything is combined. Taste and adjust ube flavor and color as needed.
  • Sift flour, and baking powder onto the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fill each cupcake liner with the batter. They should just be 2/3 full. Do not overfill.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cupcakes from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Click here to get the ube buttercream frosting recipe.

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Canned Coconut milk – avoid using those that contain thickeners like xanthan gum, guar gum, or carrageenan. It should, at the minimum, only have coconut milk and water.
  2. Condensed Milk – reduced up to 1/4 cup for a less sweet cake.
  3. Ube flavor extract – the intensity of flavor may vary depending on the brand of extract you’re using. Start with 2 tsp first then whisk the batter. Add more if ube flavor is not enough based on preference.
  4. Food color – if the ube extract you have colors the batter just enough then you don’t have to use this. If using–use purple for a lighter colored cake or violet if you want it darker (which is what I used). I recommend using gel paste over liquid as they’re more concentrated and less watery. 
  5. Nutrition: per cupcake, frosting not included

Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Snack
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : purple yam cake, ube cake, ube halaya cake
Nutrition Facts
Ube Cupcakes–moist, fluffy and easy to make
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a few ube cupcake recipes out there and this is definitely the best! Love love the frosting! So good! Will make this for my friends on our next potluck.

  2. 4 stars
    Thank you for this amazing recipe. This was my first experience with Ube. Although I am not exactly sure what Ube is supposed to taste like, I enjoyed the flavor. I frosted mine with stabilized whipped cream.

    1. Ube is one of my favorite food flavors and I’m glad you enjoyed this. Whipped cream is a great great idea!
      – Mella

      1. 4 stars
        First time making ube cupcakes. I made a 24 batch of this but for some reason it made 48. Kind of confused. Cupcakes turned out great, was not a huge fan of the frosting for it. Maybe be better with a little less flavor

  3. 5 stars
    Really good, and not too sweet! The cupcake and icing combo was perfect! The cupcake stayed moist and soft, and the icing tasted of melted ube ice cream. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. So happy you love this, Mae! Your description of the icing is on point 🙂 Melted ube ice cream sounds really delicious.
      – Mella

      1. 5 stars
        The recipe title says it all! Moist, fluffy and really delicious,! Even the frosting was so good!
        I will make this for my friends and give it as a Christmas gift.

        Thanks, Mella!

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe . I tweaked it a bit by using Ube condensed milk. It was so good. The cupcakes stayed soft and moist even it was refrigerated. Really easy to make. The frosting is not so sweet .I brought them to a party and was gone in 2 hours. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    Made these little beauties today and I can confirm – THEY ARE AMAZING! I added some ube jam in the mixture and I think this made the ube flavour more intense. The icing was so so so good too! And yes, these are very easy to make! Love it!!