These Ube bars or Ube Lamingtons are soft and fluffy baked rectangular cakes coated with a sweet purple yam (ube) glaze and rolled in desiccated coconut. Get a taste of this popular baker's treat right in your own kitchen.
Biting into these soft, ube-coated treats brings so many fond childhood memories! If you have been following me for some time now, you would know that we used to live right next door to a bakery. So we are fortunate to have access to freshly baked treats every day. I have made my share of some of my favorites like Spanish Bread, Cheese Rolls, Star Bread, and, of course, Pandesal. But when I wanted something sweet and cake-like, Ube bars are always my go-to afternoon snack!
What are Ube Bars?
The humble bakery confection that we know today as Ube Bars is a Filipino take on a centuries-old Australian baked treat called Lamingtons. It is actually a deviation from its original flavor, which is chocolate. This cake has layers of textures and flavors that make them so irresistible! They are chewy on the surface with a soft and moist center. This is achieved by allowing the cake to lightly absorb the creamy Ube glaze before dredging it in desiccated coconut.
What you'll need
- Cake base- A simple basic yellow cake is ideal to use because it is light and airy enough to absorb the ube glaze.
- Ube Glaze- There are canned ube-flavored sweetened condensed milk that you can buy now and this is what we used because it is practical, saves time and taste good as well. But if you want to make it from scratch, we also included that at the recipe notes below.
- Desiccated Coconut - for coating
- When making the cake batter, make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature. It should turn out thick, yet smooth and pale yellow in color.
- Do not overmix the batter or your will end up with a dense and tough cake instead of a light and fluffy one.
- To check if the cake is baked through, insert a toothpick at the center of the cake. If it comes out free of sticky batter, then it is good to go.
- Allow the cake to rest and cool down before slicing them into squares or rectangles.
- If the glaze it too thick, add more water. It should be syrup-like but still thin enough to be absorbed by the cake.
- Let the sliced cake soak in the glaze for a few seconds until fully coated. Do not soak them too long or they will turn very soggy.
How to Store Ube Bars
It is best to eat the bars after it has been tossed in the desiccated coconut. In case you made quite a few and have leftovers, place them in a sealed container or ziplock bags. It should stay good for one week. For longer storage, wrap them in plastic foil and freeze them for up to 3 months.
Ube Bars / Ube Lamingtons Recipe
- ¾ cups sugar
- ½ cup butter softened at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Ube Glaze :
- 1 can Ube Condensed Milk see notes to make it from scratch
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1-2 cups desiccated coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350° F/180°C. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- ¾ cups sugar, ½ cup butterIn a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
- ¾ cups sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ cup milk, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanillaAdd the rest of the cake ingredients and mix at medium speed just until well combined and blended. Do not over mix. (See Note 1)
- Pour the thick batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before completely removing it from the pan to a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled down enough, cut the cake into half then into smaller bars.
- 1 can Ube Condensed Milk, ¼ cup hot waterMeanwhile, prepare the glaze. Pour condensed milk in a pan then add water. Bring this to a simmer. Add the ube flavoring and mix just until well blended. Turn the heat off and transfer to a flat, deep plate.
- 1-2 cups desiccated coconutPlace the desiccated coconut on a plate or wide bowl.
- Take a piece of the cake bar and roll it with ube glaze. Then dredge it with desiccated coconut to cover completely.
- Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy
- 1 can (300ml) sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup water
- 1-2 tbsp liquid ube flavoring