Ube Tiramisu

published Jun 21, 2023
Ube Tiramisu Recipe

Steal the show with this vibrant tiramisu, which gets its incredible texture and color from ube, or purple yams.

Serves8 to 10

Prep35 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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closeup shot of a slice of ube tiramisu on white textured plate thats on a marble surface and brownish tile background
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

One of my favorite no-bake desserts is tiramisu. I’ve always been a fan of the velvety-soft ladyfingers soaked in strong coffee, layered with creamy mascarpone, and dusted with cocoa powder. But recently, colorful and creative versions of this classic Italian dessert — from emerald-hued matcha tiramisu to sakura (cherry blossom) tiramisu — have been showing up all over my Instagram. 

So I decided to make ube tiramisu. The final result is exactly what I dreamed it would be: creamy, fluffy, and so flavorful with a pleasantly nutty, vanilla taste. Even though it has the classic structure of tiramisu, the taste is reminiscent of ube desserts and pastries I’ve had from Filipino bakeries. 

If you are looking for a relatively low-effort dessert with high rewards that everyone will fall in love with, this vibrant ube tiramisu will steal the show. I know I will be making (and eating!) this all summer long.

What Is Ube?

Ube is a purple yam commonly used in Filipino cuisine. It has a vividly purple flesh with a distinct vanilla, slightly earthy taste. Because of its pretty color, it’s often used in many desserts, such as halo-halo, a popular shaved ice dessert with different jellies, milk, and ube ice cream.  

Fresh ube is not always easy to find in America, but it’s accessible in many forms, including ube powder, ube extract, ube jam, and even frozen ube.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

How to Make Ube Tiramisu

  • Make the ube soak: Instead of the classic coffee, ube tiramisu uses ube-infused milk as the base. Combining coconut milk, sugar, ube powder, and instant espresso gives the tiramisu a slight coffee flavor while complementing coconut milk’s toasty, nutty flavors. The ube milk is so delicious by itself that I drink it as is (topped with whipped cream!).
  • Make the ube cream: Some tiramisu use a whipped cream base instead of mascarpone cream, but why not both? Here, the combination of mascarpone and heavy cream creates a thick, luscious, and flavorful cream layer. Egg yolks make for a rich base, while the whites get whipped and folded into the cream mixture, making it airy and light. I use ube extract instead of ube powder to add more flavor and color. Because the recipe uses raw eggs, I highly recommend using pasteurized eggs, which are safe to eat.  
  • Assemble the ube tiramisu: Once it’s assembled and chilled, it gets a final dusting of ube powder right before serving.

Ube Tiramisu Recipe

Steal the show with this vibrant tiramisu, which gets its incredible texture and color from ube, or purple yams.

Prep time 35 minutes

Serves 8 to 10

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the ube soak:

For the ube cream:

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 3/4 cup

    granulated sugar, divided

  • 16 ounces

    mascarpone cheese

  • 1 tablespoon

    ube extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    cold heavy cream

For assembly:

Instructions

Make the ube soak:

  1. Place 1 (about 13-ounce) can coconut milk, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons purple sweet potato (ube) powder, and 2 teaspoons instant espresso in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Make the ube cream:

  1. Separate 6 large eggs, placing the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer) and the yolks in a small bowl.

  2. Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar to the egg whites. Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until stiff peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, being sure to scrape the bowl clean.

  3. Place the egg yolks in the now-empty bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until the mixture is very pale yellow and doubled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes, while scraping the bottom in the middle.

  4. Place 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, 1 tablespoon ube extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the bowl. Beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer the egg yolk-ube mascarpone mixture into a large bowl, being sure to scrape the bowl clean.

  5. Place 1 cup cold heavy cream in the now-empty bowl and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, scraping down the bowl and attachment halfway through, 3 to 4 minutes total.

  6. Add the whipped cream to the egg yolk-ube mascarpone mixture and fold to combine. Gently fold in the whipped egg white mixture a little bit at a time until just combined.

Assemble the tiramisu:

  1. Working with 1 ladyfinger at a time, quickly dip in the ube soak and place in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Repeat, nestling them tightly together, until the bottom of the baking dish is covered, about 20 ladyfingers.

  2. Transfer half of the ube cream (about 3 cups) over the ladyfingers and spread into an even layer. Dust 1 tablespoon of the ube powder through a fine-mesh strainer to cover the layer. Repeat with a second layer of soaked ladyfingers. Drizzle any remaining ube soak over the ladyfingers. Top with the remaining ube cream and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 or up to 24 hours so the ladyfingers can soften and the cream mixture can firm up.

  3. Right before serving, place the remaining 1 tablespoon ube potato powder in a fine-mesh strainer and dust over the tiramisu until completely covered. Use a big serving spoon to scoop, or use a knife to cut into squares to serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover tiramisu can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The ladyfingers will continue to soften as the tiramisu sits.