One of the most popular posts on Husbands That Cook is our Ube Cake with Vanilla Marshmallow Cream. We fell in love with ube the first time we tried it in the form of a creamy ube milkshake at a local restaurant here in Eagle Rock. As soon as we got home, we headed to the kitchen and figured out how to turn this vibrant root vegetable into a beautiful cake. Ube is a Filipino purple yam, and its sweet, nutty flavor is used in many desserts and traditional confections. Today we are featuring it in the form of these adorable ube whoopie pies. With their striking color and distinct ube flavor, your friends will be mesmerized when you set a platter of these tantalizing treats on the table. Let us show you how the magic happens…
Hopefully by now, you’ve made one of our famous whoopie pies. If you haven’t, it could be a wonderful New Year’s resolution to try a new whoopie pie recipe every month—just sayin’. They’re like biting into a cloud; a puffy purple cloud. In this recipe, two soft, cake-like ube cookies are sandwiched together with a smooth coconut marshmallow cream. These chewy “cookies” are bursting with classic ube flavor, complemented by the smoothest and silkiest coconut center. They’ll steal the show at your next socially distanced gathering, and they make the perfect homemade gift for anyone who loves the color purple.
You’re probably wondering, how do you get this dramatic color? Well, when you search online for “ube” you will find that this attractive yam naturally glows bright purple in its raw form. While our recipe doesn’t call for a fresh yam, we use both powdered ube and ube extract so its unique flavor can be enjoyed in every bite. These two ingredients are common at Filipino grocery stores and also available online. Ube Whoopie Pies are fun and easy to make, and in no time you’ll be a whoopie pie master—especially if they become part of your New Year’s resolution.
Ube Whoopie Pies
Makes 8 to 10 whoopie pies
For the ube cakes:
2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (90 g) ube powder (see note)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
4 teaspoons (20 ml) ube extract (see note)
1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk or kefir, at room temperature
For the coconut marshmallow filling:
1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (113 g) powdered sugar
7 ounces (198 g) Marshmallow Fluff or other marshmallow spread
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
To make the ube cakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C, and arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, and set aside.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl, and pour in the flour, ube powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sift the mixture into the bowl to remove any lumps, then whisk to combine until no streaks of flour remain, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and room temperature butter, and blend on medium speed until light, fluffy, and smooth. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add the ube extract and beat until combined. Next, you will alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in several stages: first, pour in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, and beat just until no streaks of flour remain. Then add half of the buttermilk, and beat until blended. Add half of the remaining flour mixture and beat until blended. Add all the remaining buttermilk, and beat until smooth. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture, and beat until there are a few streaks of flour remaining. Remove the beaters and stir by hand just until the streaks of flour disappear and the mixture is evenly blended, without over-stirring.
Scoop about 3 tablespoons of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets in a small mound, then repeat with the remaining batter, leaving a few inches of space between each scoop of batter. You should end up with about 8 scoops per baking sheet. Bake on the two center racks in the oven, swapping positions halfway through, until the edges are dry and the centers of the cakes are set but still appear wet, 10 to 12 minutes (If you have only one oven rack, the pans can be baked one at a time; the batter will be unaffected). Let the cakes cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
To make the coconut marshmallow filling:
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the room temperature butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the bowl, and sift in the powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Add the marshmallow fluff, and blend until creamy and evenly combined. Add the salt and coconut extract, and blend until smooth.
To assemble the whoopie pies:
Place one of the completely cooled cakes flat side up in the palm of your hand or on a plate, and spread or pipe a generous 1/2-inch layer of coconut marshmallow filling over the surface of the cake. Place another cake flat side down over the filling, creating a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cakes and filling. Serve, and enjoy!
— Ube extract and ube powder are available in Filipino markets and online. For the powder, be sure to purchase a brand that is finely ground, as some varieties have a more coarse texture that isn’t right for these cakes.
— When scooping the mounds of batter onto the baking sheets, a cookie dough scoop or an ice cream scoop with a release trigger work perfectly. Be sure to use a size that is approximately 3 tablespoons.
— If you’d like to pipe the filling onto the cakes but don’t own a piping bag, simply place the filling in a zip-top plastic bag and cut off one corner of the bag with scissors. Voilà: an instant piping bag!
— The finished whoopie pies look and taste best on the day they are baked, but will stay fresh in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Note that the cakes will stick together when stacked, so be sure to place a small square of parchment or wax paper between each one to prevent sticking.