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 🙂
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!
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.
How to Make Ube Cupcakes
And here's how to make the best ube cupcakes:
- 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.
- 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.
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...
- 2 Ingredient Ube Ice Cream
- Ube Ensaymada
- Ube Cheese Bread 3 ways!
- How to Make Ube Halaya
Ube Flan Cake
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!
- Custard Cake (Vanilla Flan Cake)
Easy Ube Flan Cake
- Ensaymada Cupcakes
- Carrot Banana Muffins
- Tres Leches Cake
- Easy Chocolate Cake
Ube Cupcakes–moist, fluffy and easy to make
- ½ cup coconut milk (canned, see note 1)
- ¼ cup fresh milk, full fat (or evaporated milk)
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ cup butter (unsalted, softened)
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
- ½ cup condensed milk (see note 2)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoon ube extract (add more if preferred, see note 3)
- ¼ teaspoon violet or purple gel color (optional, see note 4)
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 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 ⅔ 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 and Tips:
- 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.
- Condensed Milk - reduced up to ¼ cup for a less sweet cake.
- Ube flavor extract - the intensity of flavor may vary depending on the brand of extract you're using. Start with 2 teaspoon first then whisk the batter. Add more if ube flavor is not enough based on preference.
- 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.
- Nutrition: per cupcake, frosting not included
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