Ube Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Flakes

ube cupcakes

Every time I go visit my parents, we usually end up going to the local Filipino store. There I have to fight the urge to buy everything off the shelves. On my last visit, I picked up a bottle of ube (purple yam) extract. For those who are unfamiliar, purple yam is a species of yam native to Southeast Asia (e.g. Philippines, Indonesia, etc.), and is widely used in a variety of desserts. I remember it growing up in the Philippines as a flavor of ice cream, cake, and as a jam in the Filipino dessert halo-halo. I decided to combine this very Filipino flavor with a very Western dessert, and so was born my Ube Cupcake with Toasted Coconut Flakes.


Ube Cupcakes with Toasted Coconut Flakes

Makes 24 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes:

  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ube extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk


For the Frosting:

  • 24 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ube extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  • 1 cup coconut flakes, toasted for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.


In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.


In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment and set at medium speed, cream the butter and sugar for about four minutes.


Set the stand mixer to slow and add the eggs one at a time. (Tip: crack the eggs first into a separate bowl to ensure that no shells end up in the batter).


Add the vanilla extract, ube extract, and buttermilk. Then slowly add the flour combination.


Fill the cupcake tins to 2/3 full. (Tip: use an ice cream scoop for even distribution). Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.


While the cupcakes are in the oven, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla and ube extracts. Then slowly add the powdered sugar until well combined.


To toast the coconut flakes, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the coconut flakes evenly. Toast at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, mixing half way through to ensure an even browning.


Frost the cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut flakes.


Enjoy!ube extract


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