This Ube Macapuno Cake is ultimately soft and fluffy with subtle Purple yam and coconut flavor for sweetened shredded coconut. A small batch cake frosted with a simple homemade Vanilla and Purple Yam flavored whipped cream. A very easy and simple chiffon cake recipe that can be dressed up for any occasion.
Hello, hello. If you are new to my blog I would like to introduce myself. My name is Marilou or Marylou as most people call me here. I am was born and raised in Philippines, but I am now leaving in Canada, my new found home. Although I leave now in Canada, Filipino dishes and desserts are still close to my heart. I know that I do not share as much of those in my blog but I want to share some of my favorite Filipino dishes and desserts little by little. I want to share a bit of my culture and cuisine with you, starting with this Purple Yam Cake.
This post is especially dedicated to my Mom who is celebrating her 76th birthday. I was never into baking until I got here so I did not have any chance to make any cake from scratch for any of my family. They may not be able to taste this, but this for me is my way of celebrating my Mom’s birthday while away from home. Happy Birthday Mom, and Thank You for EVERYTHING. Let’s get baking!
What is Ube Macapuno Cake?
Ube means purple yam, and Macapuno means young shredded sweetened coconut. Purple Yam and coconut ingredients are a very common ingredients in Filipino desserts. Most of our beloved and favorite desserts have these two ingredients. You’ll be surprise what we can do with purple yam when it comes to desserts. We use for cakes and cupcakes, ice cream, bread, jam candies and for savory dishes that requires coconut milk. We love anything coconut and are crazy with a vibrant purple color the purple yam gives to our desserts.
If you have a Filipino friends or perhaps a Filipino like me the you probably know why I am rambling about. If you are new to using purple yam for making desserts, then let me introduce you to it. You might find the vibrant purple color weird or unusual, but trust me this’ll is as edible as any other types of yam or sweet potato .
How does a Purple Yam Dessert Taste?
If you are wondering how desserts with purple yam taste, it actually doesn’t have any strong taste. Purple yam provides moisture to the bake products just like when using any yam or sweet potato in desserts and bread. But more than the moisture, it provides a natural purple color to the dessert which makes it a popular ingredients among us Filipino. More than the taste,it’s actually the color that makes it attractive. Although some recipes still use artificial Purple Yam flavouring, I don’t use any when using it to make cakes and bread. The natural vibrant colour is lore than enough to produce a likely hue of purple color. The purple yam taste is very subtle, in fact I don’t actually taste it that much. So if you are worried of any weird taste, you can relax now. Since this is a chiffon cake, expect a really soft and fluffy cake, that’s not bad but something to look forward to.
Most purple yam have a vibrant purple color when cooked but not all purple yam have the same strong vibrant color. I noticed sometimes depending on the variety, the color could be lighter or darker. The one that I used for this recipe was labelled as Chinese Purple Yam. It has a really intense purple color which I love. In use whatever is available in the market.
Substitute for Fresh Purple Yam
I consider myself lucky because sometimes purple yam is not quite easy to find in some places. The good news is that powdered purple yam is not available in some Asian stores. You just have to dilute it in water and you got yourself an instant mashed purple yam. Definitely easier to use as you do not have to boil and mash the purple yam. You can use whatever is available to you but I always prefer using fresh purple yam since we have it here.
Feel free to decorate it the way you want to. I used a simple homemade Whipped Cream frosting. Half I added vanilla extract flavor.
How to Frost and Decorate This Cake
This is the one that I used to frost the layers of the cake. The other half I added a purple yam flavoring to give the whipped cream a nice hint of purple color. I find the whipped cream frosting are best for this cake because it is light and fluffy like this chiffon cake. You can use store bought whipped cream or you can make your own like what I did. I encourage you to make your own. You only need 2 ingredients, milk and icing sugar.
- 3 large Eggs (separate egg yolk and egg white) – room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Vegetable Oil or any Flavorless Oil
- 4 tablespoon Full Fat Milk
- 1/2 cup granulated Sugar (allocate 1/3 for the egg yolk mixture, and the remaining for the egg white mixture)
- 1/3 cup packed grated Purple Yam (Put the grated purple yam in 1/3 cup pressing it every time you add more. This way, it will be compact. When you remove it, it should hold the shape of the measuring cup)
- 2/3 cup Cake flour (sifted: sift first before measuring)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (or 1/2 teaspoon flavorless white vinegar or fresh lemon juice)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare the Purple Yam: Wash and scrub the purple yam. Pour water in pan and transfer the cleaned purple yam. With the skin still on, boil the purple yam for about 10-15 minutes of until soft. Depending on the size of the purple yam you are using , you might need to cook it longer or shorter. You know that it is already cook when you can easily insert a toothpick in the center all the way to the bottom. Set aside and cool until manageable to handle to remove the skin. Having the skin on while boiling will help retain the vibrant purple color of the yam. Remove skin of the purple yam.
- Mash the Purple Yam: There are several ways that you can do this. I personally like using a potato ricer to do this. The potato ricer produces a soft and fluffy purple yam. If you do not have a potato ricer, you can use a fine cheese grater to do this.
- Make the Cake Batter: Using electric mixer or wire whisk, mix egg yolks, half of the sugar, milk and vegetable oil Add the grated purple yam and continue mixing until fully combined.
- Add the Dry Ingredients: Sift the cake flour and baking powder onto the mixture. Carefully fold the flour until fully incorporated and no more lumps.
- Whisk the Egg Whites: In a separate clean bowl, add the cream of tartar and egg whites and whisk until frothy/bubbly, around 30 seconds. Gradually add the remaining sugar (in 3 additions to allow the sugar to dissolve). Continue whisking in medium speed until stiff peaks (more or less 8 – 10 minutes). You will know if it is already stiff peaks when you turn the bowl up side down, the egg whites will not fall and the texture should be stiff and glossy. Gradually fold the egg whites (in 3 addition) to the flour and egg mixture.
- Pour into a 6″ round pan. Tap 3-4 times on the counter top to release the bubbles.
- Bake for 43 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. The sides will slowly turn brown, and it will start to lift away from the side of the pan.
- Cool: Take out from the oven and let cool completely before decorating.
- Decorate as desired. My personal frosting preference is just a simple whipped cream frosting to keep it light and not too sweet. I would suggest stick to something neutral, buttercream frosting or whipped coconut frosting works great too. You can add small amount of purple yam coloring to give it a light share of purple or you can skip the coloring all together. This cake is tall enough to divide into 3 layers. You will need about 3 cups of whipped cream to coat the inside and outside of the cake.
Serves 4 – 5
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- To retain the vibrant purple color, boil or bake the purple yam without removing the skin.
- The purple yam I used has a very intense and dark color, this allow me to avoid using food coloring. If your purple yam is pale purple, you might need to use food coloring. Add the food coloring in both the egg yolk mixture and egg whites mixture
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