Ube Halaya - Filipino Purple Yam Cake

Ube Halaya or Halayang Ube is a Filipino dessert made with purple yams along with coconut milk and condensed milk. These purple yams are uber vibrant and make for an amazingly looking purple cake. The yam mixture is also used as filling for pastries and even put on things like toast.

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The most difficult part of this recipe is having to stand over the stove and stir the mixture for about 30 minutes until it reduces down. But the result is an amazingly creamy, coconut-infused mixture that is delicious on anything.

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A very important note to remember if you wish to unmold this cake is first, you need to freeze it. The cake has a very soft set and if you want a neater presentation, freezing is a must. Also, it is best to use a spring-form pan. or to line your pan with parchment and transparent wrapping tape, otherwise the cake is not coming out.

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Ube Halaya - Purple Yam Cake

(Makes 8 1/2-inch cake)

  • 3/4 pound purple yams, cooked
  • 1/4 pound taro, cooked
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (can substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut


  1. In a food processor, blend the purple potatoes and taro. While blending, slowly pour in the non-dairy milk and puree until smooth.
  2. In a pot over medium high heat, melt Earth Balance butter. Add in coconut milk and purple yam mixture.
  3. Turn heat down to medium heat and cook until yam mixture is reduced by about half, about 30 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour mixture into a lined 8 1/2-inch spring-form pan. Cool before placing into a freezer and freezing for about 4 hours or until cake is firm.
  5. Unmold cake onto a serving platter and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Cut into slices. Thaw about an hour or until cake is soft.

Copyright © 2021 - Christina Ng