Head to your local Asian food store, get hold of some purple yams and let's prepare a delicious vegan ube butter together. It's easier to make than you'd think, not to mention cheaper and healthier than a store-bought ube spread.
Ube butter is a sweet and creamy spread with a strikingly purple colour. Also known as ube halaya, "purple yam jam", it's a classic Filipino dessert made from boiled and mashed purple yams. Closer to a custard than to a jam, ube butter usually includes milk, butter, and sugar.
Compared to the classic recipe, our ube butter is lower in sugars and fats, dairy-free and vegan. Yet, it's super silky, creamy, and just as spreadable as butter. It combines the sweet and nutty notes of purple yams with the richness and freshness of coconut. A real delight!
Preparing purple yam spread from scratch is as easy as cooking and blending some yams. Then, simply follow our recipe below to get the perfect buttery consistency by adding a few simple ingredients. In no time, you'll get a wonderful ube butter that's as tasty as pretty.
Once ready, you can savour this purple butter spread on toast, waffles, or pancakes. You can also use it instead of dairy butter to prepare sweet bakes, like cakes, cookies, or doughnuts. In the Philippines, ube halaya is widely used as a base for pastries, ice creams, and other desserts, giving them a gorgeous, vibrant purple hue.
We're sure that once you try it, you'll start using this purple yam spread everywhere, just like we did! And as our recipe yields one generous jar, you'll have plenty to keep you going for all your sweet creations!
- Peeled Purple Yam (Ube)
- Coconut Milk Drink
- Maple Syrup (or sugar)
- Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
Peel the purple yam (ube), dice it into small chunks and add it to a pot.
Pour in the coconut milk drink, maple syrup, and mix well.
Bring to a simmer and cook covered over low heat for 10 minutes until the yam is soft.
Transfer the yam, along with its cooking liquid, into a blender and add coconut oil.
Blitz all until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the ube spread into a jar or container, seal it, and place it in the fridge to harden (1).
As the ube spread sets, some of the coconut oil may separate and accumulate at the bottom or in the corners of the container.
To prevent this, mix thoroughly the ube spread a couple of times while it cools down.
After 1-2 hours in the fridge, the ube halaya should be creamy and scoopable.
But if you keep it in the fridge for longer, you can get a harder, butter-like consistency, perfect for spreading and baking (2).
Enjoy your homemade vegan ube butter spread on toast or pancakes, or use it to prepare colourful bakes like these ube doughnuts or ube cookies.
Sweetener: you can use any sweetener of your choice, like maple syrup, golden syrup, white sugar, raw coconut sugar or sugar-free erythritol.
Storage: this homemade ube butter will keep for 5 days when stored in the fridge in a tight-seal container or jar.
Alternatively, you can freeze the ube spread for 3 months. To use it, let it defrost in the fridge overnight or for a few hours on the kitchen counter. It will get soft and spreadable again.