Ube Coconut ‘Underwater’ Coral Cake

Hello everyone! I’ve been eating a lot of Filipino food recently, and that almost always ends with ube and coconut for dessert, so I decided to take those flavours and incorporate it into a cake. Yummmmmm.

If you don’t know what ube is, it’s a purple yam with a mildly sweet flavour. It’s similar to taro, and sweet potato, usually coming in a vibrant purple colour. It’s popular in filipino desserts, and is usually made into ice cream which is used to top halo-halo or eaten on it’s own. My mom always makes ‘ube halaya’ — which is a paste made from boiled and mashed ube, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. Since we had an abundance of ube halaya at home, I took some to put it into my cake. If you don’t want to go through the fuss of making your own ube paste, you can buy ube jam from any asian supermarket.

This cake has layers of moist ube cake, velvety ube buttercream, and smooth coconut pastry cream. Beware: I almost ate half the cake on my own.

[Piping] TIPS


Ateco petal tip 126
Ateco plain tip 801
Ateco star tip 821

If you can’t find the exact tips, any petal, star, and plain tip will do! Watch my video tutorial to see how I used each tip in detail, but feel free to go wild and create any kind of coral you like.

Ube Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe makes 2 x 6″ pans of cake.


121g (1/2 cup) soft butter
175g (7/8 cup) sugar
100g (1/2 cup) ube paste*
3g (1/2 tsp) ube extract
3 eggs at room temperature
157mL (2/3 cup) milk
220g (1 3/4 cup) flour
8g (1-1/2 tsp) baking powder
3g(1/2 tsp) salt

*You can use store-bought ube jam, or make your own ube halaya by boiling and mashing 2lb ube, then mixing 1 can evaporated milk and 1 can condensed milk, and boiling again, stirring constantly, until thick — makes a great dessert on it’s own!


  1. Grease your cake pans with butter and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F
  3. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream your butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add in your eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl between mixing. Beat on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add in your ube paste and mix until combined.
  5. Sift and whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  6. Combine milk and ube extract.
  7. Add in half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until some of the flour is absorbed into the butter (about 15 seconds)
  8. Add in all the wet ingredients, and mix on low speed for another 15 seconds.
  9. Add in all the remaining dry ingredients, first mixing on low speed until most of the dry ingredients have absorbed most of the wet ingredients. Turn your mixer on high speed for 15 seconds to quickly incorporate all the ingredients and create a smooth batter.
  10. Take the bowl off the stand mixer and hand-fold any remaining bits of butter at the bottom of the bowl.
  11. Divide the batter evenly between your cake pans and bake for 35-45 or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool and decorate using Swiss meringue buttercream mixed with ube paste to taste.
  13. enjoy!!!

Coconut Custard Cream

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


60g (1/3 cup) sugar
4 egg yolks
200mL (7/8 cup) half and half *
200mL (1/2 can)coconut milk
100g dessicated coconut
30g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
5mL (1 tsp) vanilla


  1. Place your milks and vanilla into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.
  2. Mix egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar in a separate bowl, stabilized on a damp towel or silicone mat.
  3. Once the milk is simmering, pour or ladle 1/3 of the milk into the egg yolk mixture while mixing, to temper the eggs.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring it to a boil and cook for 2 min or until thick. Take off heat and mix in the coconut.
  5. Immediately pour into a bowl or shallow dish and place plastic wrap directly on the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  6. Place in the fridge to chill until ready.

* You can use 400mL coconut milk and omit the half and half, or lessen the fat with 200mL 2% milk instead of half and half*

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