One ingredient that I started using last year is ube. I absolutely love how it tastes in desserts, and the rich purple color it imparts to any dessert. At the beginning of year, I made a goal of mine to learn more about this Filipino ingredient and to use it more in my recipes. The first ube recipe this year is my ube brownies. I have absolutely loved riffing on brownies on this blog starting with my matcha brownies. Brownies are one of the easiest desserts you can make next to cookies, and they’re the ultimate crowdpleaser. And I can honestly say, these ube brownies are definitely a crowd pleaser.
What is ube halaya jam?
Ube jalaya jam is a Filipino dessert made with purple yam, coconut milk, and butter. It can be eaten as a snack or used in various Filipino desserts like halo halo, cakes, and ice cream. There are so many amazing recipes for ube halaya online, but I opted to buy mine pre-made at the store to cut down on cook time. I purchased the ube halaya jam at my local Filipino grocery store, but if you can’t find it locally, you can also get it on Amazon. If you are interested in making this from scratch, I found this recipe on the blog Kawaling Pinoy that looks really good.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Unsalted butter – Browned butter adds a nutty flavor to the brownies.
- White chocolate – Typically, chocolate is used in traditional brownies, but I chose to use white chocolate so you can see the purple color of the brownies. You can definitely use regular chocolate for these brownies, but you might not be able to see the purple color. Additionally, regular chocolate will make these brownies less sweet.
- Granulated sugar and light brown sugar – Sugar makes these brownies sweet and makes the texture chewy. The question I always get is “can I make this less sweet?” Yes you can, but the lowering the amount of sugar will make these brownies more cakey. I discuss reducing sugar in the tips section below.
- Eggs – Adds richness to the brownies and binds the batter together.
- Vanilla extract – Adds more flavor to the brownies. Substitute with an equal amount of vanilla paste (my preference) or 1 vanilla bean.
- Ube extract – Ube extract adds the purple color and ube flavor to the brownies. The extract is more responsible for the purple color than the ube jalaya. Technically, you can make this dish without ube extract, but I wouldn’t recommend it because it won’t be as purple and you won’t get a strong ube flavor.
- Ube jalaya – Ube jalaya adds the ube flavor to the brownies. I included this ingredient because I wanted some actual ube in the brownies. If you can’t find ube jalaya, I would add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of ube extract.
- Salt for seasoning
- All purpose flour
Making my ube brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Prepare a 8×8 baking pan by greasing it and covering it with parchment paper. Brown the butter. Heat butter over medium heat until it melts. Then lower the heat to low and cook until brown bits appear. Put the white chocolate into a bowl. Pour the browned butter over the top. Stir until all the chocolate melts. Set aside.
Combine sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, ube extract, ube halaya jam, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk until it becomes a fluffy, light purple color (~5-10 minutes). Pour the white chocolate mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add the all purpose flour and gently fold it into the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out the brownies and tap on the counter to release air bubbles. Optional: Sprinkle flaky salt on top of the brownies. Put them back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes in the pan before cutting into them.
Tips on how to make the perfect ube brownies
Use a light coloured pan to brown butter
It is a lot easier to brown butter using a light colored pan because it helps you see the color of the butter as it cooks.
Beat sugar and eggs until thick and creamy
Beating the eggs and sugar incorporates air into the brownies, creating a lift in the final product. This helps provide lift without any type of leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder.
Smack the brownies on the counter
This helps get rid of air bubbles and evens out the shape of the brownies, so they’re not thicker in one part and thinner in other parts.
Heat up the ube halaya so it is easier to incorporate
Pre-made ube halaya comes in a jar and it’s actually pretty stiff, so I found warming up the ube helps it incorporate better. I microwaved it for 20 seconds before adding it to the batter.
Can I reduce the sugar in this recipe?
Yes you can, but it will affect the texture of the brownies. I tested this recipe with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and the brownies became cakey. If you want to use 1/2 cup of sugar, I would reduce the all purpose flour to 1/4 cup, so you can achieve the fudgy texture you want. Another way to reduce the sweetness of these brownies is to use dark chocolate instead of white chocolate.
What if I don’t want a brownie that is fudgy or as gooey in the middle?
If you want a brownie that is more solid in the center, add an additional 1/4 cup of flour to the batter. You can also reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup (like I mentioned above).
Did you make this dish?
If you made this dish, I would love to see!
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Fudgy Ube Brownies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- Prepare a 8×8 baking pan by greasing it and covering it with parchment paper.
- Brown the butter. Heat butter over medium heat until it melts. Then lower the heat to low and cook until brown bits appear.
- Put the white chocolate into a bowl. Pour the browned butter over the top. Stir until all the chocolate melts. Set aside.
- Combine sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, ube extract, ube halaya jam, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whisk until it becomes a fluffy, light purple color (~5-10 minutes).
- Add the white chocolate mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
- Add the all purpose flour and gently fold it into the mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Take out the brownies and tap on the counter to release air bubbles. Optional: Sprinkle flaky salt on top of the brownies.
- Put them back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
- Let the brownies cool for 20 minutes in the pan before cutting into them.
- This brownie recipe makes a fudgier brownie. If you want a brownie that is more cakey/not as gooey in the middle, add an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the batter.
- Alternatively, you can reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. That would make the brownie cakey and reduce the sweetness of the brownie.