I love how pretty the color of this cake came out. The purple pink tones makes the cake look delicate and princessy in my opinion.

For a while now I’ve tried to achieve a purple sweet potato cake that maintains it’s purple color. It usually turns a dull greyish purple once I mix the batter with egg yolks, like the one I made here. I am beginning to suspect it has something to do with the type of purple sweet potatoes available in the US.

Not too long ago, a fellow blogger told me to try adding lemon juice to the sweet potatoes to maintain the color. I’ve been wanting to try it out. So I was going to try it out for this cake, but I was also afraid it wouldn’t work. And I was planning on making this cake for BF’s family and I didn’t want to end up with a grey cake.

So then I thought about using ube. Ube is a purple yam that is very commonly used in filipino desserts. It also has a vibrant purple color like purple sweet potato. I’ve  baked with ube before, making ube cupcakes, and the cupcakes turned out a nice pink. So I decided to make an ube chiffon cake.

I’ve never seen fresh ube before, but they sell frozen grated ones at Ranch 99, so I think you should be able to find it at your local asian grocery store. You can see a picture of the one I use from this post.

I tried a new chiffon recipe. Lately I’ve found some new recipes that create an even lighter cake than my previous chiffon cakes. The cake came out light and cottony. BF liked how the colors looked on the cake.

There are some things I would do differently next time. For one, I am going to try  make a uniform paste by steaming the ube first and mashing it in a food processor. I just used the finely grated ube as is in for this cake, so there are lot of flecks of ube inside the cake. I also will add more sugar. I modified a recipe for a sweet potato chiffon cake, but sweet potato is naturally sweeter than ube, so I should have upped the sugar levels for the ube cake.

Now that I know how to make a chiffon cake using ube in the batter, the possibilities are endless. I think I’ll try regular sweet potato, taro, and attempt purple sweet potato again.

Ube chiffon cake (adapted from Little House)

Makes one 7 inch chiffon cake. I used this Wilton Pan


100g grated purple yam
3 tbs milk
15 ml lemon juice
3 egg yolks
20g white sugar (this is what I did for this cake, but next time I’ll try 50g; the original recipe calls for brown sugar but I didn’t want to dilute the purple pink color)
1/8 tsp salt
50ml canola oil
3 tbs water
85g cake flour
4 egg whites
50g white sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar


1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).

2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites, 50 g white sugar and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy peaks formed. You should be able to hold your bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the rest of the white sugar, salt, water and oil until combined.

4. In a small bowl, mash the purple yam with the milk and lemon juice. Add the purple yam mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until blended and smooth. Sift in the flour and beat until smooth.

5. Take about half of the egg white mixture and fold it into the batter. I use a spatula and keep stirring until no egg white streaks remain. Then add in the remaining about of egg whites and fold until no streaks remain.

6. Pour the batter into the ungreased pan.

7. Move the oven rack to the one row below the middle. Put cake in and bake for 25-30 minutes until the cake’s surface is golden brown. When you touch the cake it should spring back.

8. Remove from the oven and revert the cake pan upside down to finish cooling and rising. Put a plate underneath in case it falls out.

9. When the cake is completely cooled, gently run a plastic knife around the rim of the cake and then remove cake from pan.


15 Responses to “Purple Yam (ube) chiffon cake”

  1. Jackie — December 31, 2010 at 11:46 am

    The cake looks so pretty and delicate.Your BF’s family must be so proud to have such a talented daughter in law :).

    • Kirbie replied: — December 31st, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

      Thanks =) I really love the look of this cake; I hope they enjoyed it!

  2. tigerfish — December 31, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Love the color of this yam chiffon cake…the pastel purple looks like lavender ;)

    Happy New Year!

    • Kirbie replied: — January 1st, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

      Happy New Year to you too!

  3. Y — January 1, 2011 at 1:37 am

    What a great colour on that cake! Does the flavour come through as well? I really must try baking with ube one day.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 1st, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

      I could taste the ube but it was very light. I think as with most chiffons, the different flavors always taste light to me.

  4. Jessica — January 1, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Love the colors! Reminds me of spring.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 1st, 2011 @ 12:13 pm


  5. Medifast Coupons — January 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This cakes colour is fantastic! Not only is this cake beautiful to look at, it is delicious! Well done.

  6. Sophie — January 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    that looks very interesting. I’ve never had purple yam cake before.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 2nd, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

      You should try it out sometime! purple yam has a pretty mild taste, but it has such a pretty color.

  7. Carol — January 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Love the color! Happy New Year!

    • Kirbie replied: — January 3rd, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

      Happy New Year Carol!

  8. Beth — January 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Hint: Roast the ube instead of steaming. For peeled ube, wrap in parchment paper then with foil. Roast in oven at 400 F for 30 mins – 1 hour until soft. This way the ube flavor and color are intensified. With fresh ube, roast without peeling.

    • Kirbie replied: — January 26th, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

      Thanks for the tip!

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