This tender, buttery ube pound cake is one of the most unique desserts you will ever have and one of the easiest to make! All the ingredients come together in one bowl, so you can have dessert done in no time and with little clean up!

A loaf of ube pound cake sitting on parchment paper with pieces of pound cake around it and a knife on its left.

Pound cake is one of the easiest and most accessible cake recipes you can make. All of the mixing is done in one bowl, and the baking is then done in a loaf pan. There is only 1 layer, and you also don’t need a frosting to complete it. The first pound cake I’ve ever made was my matcha pound cake. It was so good I thought it would be fun to make this ube pound cake with an ingredient that I have been obsessed with recently: ube!

Whisked butter and sugar for the batter

What is ube?

Ube or ube halaya is a dessert made from boiled and smashed purple yam and is typically found in the Philippines. It tastes like a cross between almonds, pistachios, and vanilla (to me at least). When you have desserts like ube basque cheesecakeube brownies, or ube mochi pancakes, ube is what gives the dessert its purple color and flavor. Traditionally when you make ube, you combine grated purple yam, condensed milk, and butter together in a pan and cook until thickened to the consistency of mashed potatoes. That is then added to your dessert for flavor and color.

Finished purple batter in a bowl

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

  • All purpose flour – The main dry ingredient in this recipe.
  • Salt for seasoning
  • Baking powder for leavening
  • Unsalted butter – One of the key ingredients for this batter. I would highly recommend using only unsalted butter, so you can control how salty your cake is.
  • Granulated sugar – Adds sweetness and moisture to this pound cake. The most common question I get asked is if it is possible to reduce the amount of sugar. The short answer is yes you can, but it will affect the texture of the pound cake. If you want to reduce the sugar, I would add an egg yolk to rebalance the wet to dry ingredients.
  • Eggs – Adds richness to the pound cake and acts as a binder for the other ingredients.
  • Sour cream – Adds moisture and flavor to the pound cake.
  • Vanilla extract – Adds flavor to the pound cake. You can substitute with 1 vanilla bean or an equal amount of vanilla paste.
  • Ube halaya – Ube halaya is a jam made from condensed milk, purple yam, and coconut milk. I buy mine from a Filipino grocery store. You can also get it on Amazon.
  • Ube extract – The ube extract is responsible for the color of the pound cake as well as the flavor. You can purchase this on Amazon or at Filipino markets. The one I linked to on Amazon is the one I use. I would highly recommend using Butterfly Ube Extract because it yields the best results. I only have to use a little bit to get a vibrant purple color and ube flavor. If you are using another brand’s ube extract, I would use double the amount.
Purple batter in a greased loaf pan

Making my ube pound cake recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease a loaf pan with butter or oil. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix and set aside. Next, add butter to a large bowl and whisk with a stand mixer or hand mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides after you add each egg to ensure it mixes thoroughly.

Lastly, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, ube extract, and ube halaya. Mix until until combined (1-2 minutes). Add the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until just combined. I would recommend mixing until a little bit of flour is not incorporated and finish mixing with a spatula. This reduces the likelihood of over mixing which causes a tough texture. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Wet a knife with water and pull it through the center of the batter. This will ensure the pound cake cracks down the middle of the pound cake. Bake for 65-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. It should be nice golden brown all over. Let it rest for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

Baked ube pound cake in a loaf pan.

Use butter paper to grease your pan

This is a cool tip I picked up from Christina Tosi. There’s always butter left over on the parchment paper used to package butter, so why waste it? Use it to grease your pan.

Why is it important to have room temperature ingredients?

It’s important ingredients are at room temperature because all these ingredients don’t want to go together. The best way to get them to mix well or emulsify is to make sure they are all at room temperature.

Do not over mix the ube pound cake batter

Every time you mix the batter, more gluten forms. Overmixing the batter will produce an excess of gluten and will cause your cake to be tough instead of tender. I play it safe by mixing the flour by hand at the end, so I reduce the likelihood of over mixing.

Why do you score the batter down the middle?

Your pound cake will crack as it bakes and scoring it down the middle ensures it has a nice center crack instead of it cracking in random places.

What if I want to reduce the amount of sugar used?

If you want to reduce the sugar content by 1/4 cup, I would recommend adding an egg yolk to balance our the wet to dry ingredients.

Slices of ube pound cake on top of parchment paper.

Did you make this dish?

If you made this dish, I would love to see!

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Slices of ube pound cake on top of parchment paper.

Get the Recipe:
Buttery and Tender Ube Pound Cake

A buttery and tender ube pound cake flavored with ube extract and ube halaya.
5 from 15 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
  • Grease a loaf pan with butter or oil. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix and set aside.
  • Add butter to a large bowl and whisk with a stand mixer or hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time and mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides after you add each egg to ensure it mixes thoroughly.
  • Lastly, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, ube extract, and ube halaya. Mix until until combined (1-2 minutes). Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so all of the batter is evenly mixed.
  • Add the dry ingredients from step 3 into the batter and mix until just combined. I would recommend mixing until a little bit of flour is not incorporated and finish mixing with a spatula. This reduces the likelihood of over mixing which causes a tough texture.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Wet a knife with water and pull it through the center of the batter. This will ensure the pound cake cracks down the middle of the pound cake.
  • Bake for 65-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. It should be nice golden brown all over.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

Notes

  • Why is it important to have room temperature ingredients? – It’s important ingredients are at room temperature because all these ingredients don’t want to go together. The best way to get them to mix well or emulsify is to make sure they are all at room temperature.
  • Do not over mix the batter – Every time you mix the batter, more gluten forms. Overmixing the batter will produce an excess of gluten and will cause your cake to be tough instead of tender. I play it safe by mixing the flour by hand at the end, so I reduce the likelihood of over mixing.
  • Why do you score the batter down the middle? – Your pound cake will crack as it bakes and scoring it down the middle ensures it has a nice center crack instead of it cracking in random places.
  • What if I want to reduce the amount of sugar used? – If you want to reduce the sugar content by 1/4 cup I would recommend adding an egg yolk to balance our the wet to dry ingredients.
Calories: 443kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 151mg, Sodium: 139mg, Potassium: 130mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 926IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 1mg
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