Desserts / Snacks

Ube Cake Donuts with Coconut Glaze

I recently made ube crinkle cookies, inspired by Arsenic and Adobo by Mia Manansala, and they called for ube halaya, a Filipino dessert made with purple yams. It’s almost like a jam that you can then add to different types of desserts. Because most recipes make a lot at once, I had so much halaya leftover and had to find something to do with it!

So, I decided to attempt another cake donut recipe. This one is super similar to my Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake Donuts except flavored with ube. These have a beautiful deep purple color and a subtle but delicious ube flavor (plus they smell really really good). I decided to go with two glazes (because I like variety): coconut and ube flavored. The coconut glaze is my personal favorite, I think it perfectly compliments the donut itself.

The process of making these is the exact same as the Pumpkin Buttermilk Cake Donuts, which means they are easy. Basically mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and then frying them up! Make these slightly thicker than you would with the pumpkin variation, since you want more fluffliness in the middle.

This recipe makes a lot of donuts, so halve it if needed. The ube halaya recipe will make more than you need as well but, as I said earlier, you can always use it for different recipes (or just eat it on their own). These donuts are best fresh, but they’ll keep in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Ube Cake Donuts with Coconut Glaze

These ube cake donuts are crisp on the outside but soft and delicious on the inside. Top with a coconut or ube glaze for the ultimate treat!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 40 small donuts


For the ube halaya (will make over 1 cup):

  • 1/2 lb purple yam, grated
  • 5 fl oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)
  • 7 fl oz coconut milk (1/2 can)
  • 6 fl oz evaporated milk (1/2 can)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the donuts:

  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup ube halaya
  • 2 tbsp ube extract
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the coconut glaze:

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup water

For the ube glaze:

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ube extract
  • 1/4 cup water


Make the ube halaya:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Bring the heat to low and cook for another 20-40 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Cook until the mixture is thick and jammy. Pour into a container, like a mason jar, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Store in refrigerator until needed.

Make the donuts:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and sugar until smooth and well combined. Add the ube halaya and ube extract and mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. You can do this in a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or just with a whisk/wooden spoon. Your dough should be moist and slightly tacky. If it is too wet, just add more flour until your dough comes together.
  • Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer. Toward the end of chilling time, start to heat the vegetable oil in a large pot.

Make the glaze(s):

  • While the donut dough is chilling, prepare your glazes. The process is the same for both ube and coconut flavors, just repeat the steps for each.
  • In a small bowl, sift the powdered sugar.
  • Add the water and extract. Whisk until smooth. Add more water or powdered sugar until you achieve a pourable glaze.

Cook your donuts:

  • On a well-floured surface, roll out your donut dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a donut cutter, or different sized biscuit/cookie cutters, cut out your donuts and donut holes. Gather the scraps to roll out and cut again. Continue until you've used all your dough.
  • Score your donuts by cutting three slices on the top, in the rough shape of a triangle.
  • Check that your oil is ready for frying. Take a small piece of scrap dough and place it inside. It should bubble and eventually rise to the surface if it's ready.
  • Fry your donuts, scored side up, a couple at a time (depends on the size of your pot, but somewhere between 3-6 donuts at a time). Let the donuts rise to the surface and flip them until they are golden brown on each side (approximately 1 minute on each side). Test your oil every few batches to make sure it's still at an appropriate temperature.
  • Let donuts cool on a wire rack with something underneath, since excess oil may still drip off. Your donuts should be a deeper purple color and crisp on the outside. Cut into one to ensure that it's cooked all the way through and not doughy.
  • While donuts are still slightly warm, dip in the glaze of your choice. Return to the wire rack to let the glaze dry.
  • Repeat the process until you have fried and glazed all of your donuts. Let cool and enjoy!
Keyword cakedonut, coconut, coconutglaze, donut, ube, ube donut, ubedonut, ubeglaze

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