Kirbie's Cravings

Purple Yam (ube) chiffon cake

photo of a slice of Purple Yam chiffon cake

I love how pretty the color of this cake came out. The purple-pink tones make 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 its 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.
photo of a Purple Yam chiffon 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.
photo of a slice of chiffon cake with the cake in the background
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 making 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 a 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.close-up photo of a slice of chiffon cake


Ube Chiffon Cake

Servings: 1 (7-inch) cake (see note)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ube is a purple yam that is very commonly used in Filipino desserts. It has a vibrant purple color, like purple sweet potato, which gives this chiffon cake its beautiful color.


  • 100 g grated purple yam
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 20 g 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
  • 50 ml canola oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 85 g cake flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 50 g white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 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.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the rest of the white sugar, salt, water and oil until combined.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pour the batter into the ungreased pan.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When the cake is completely cooled, gently run a plastic knife around the rim of the cake and then remove cake from pan.


  • I used this Wilton Pan*
  • Recipe adapted from Little House
  • *Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

15 comments on “Purple Yam (ube) chiffon cake”

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

  2. Love the color of this yam chiffon cake…the pastel purple looks like lavender 😉

    Happy New Year!

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

    • 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. Love the colors! Reminds me of spring.

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

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

  7. Love the color! Happy New Year!

  8. 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.

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