Chocolate Cake with a Twist


The 8th challenge for The Sweetest Kitchen Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge is: chocolate cake – with a twist.  Unfortunately I missed the deadline, but still created the cupcake just for fun…. 

Anyways, chocolate Cake – with a twist…sounds simple enough.  Chocolate cake with the addition of another “interesting” ingredient.  So what to add?  When you really think about it,  the ideas of what to add to chocolate are limitless.

In the end I reached all the way back to my childhood…and thoughts of ube came to mind.  What is ube, you ask?  Well simply it’s purple yam.  When I was a kid my favourite colour was purple – so what is more fantastic to a 6-year-old than to eat something purple, than that?  Okay, okay – not a lot of kids are like me and are willing to eat yam (in any colour for that matter), but I did. 

And now here I am wanting to add it into a cupcake! 

Part of this challenge was to add the mystery ingredient into a chocolate cake.  With that said, I didn’t want to add the ube to a dark or milk chocolate, should the flavour of the yam completely be masked by the chocolate…so the white chocolate cake route I go.  Then off to the nearest asian food market I go in search of ube jam…..if you’ve never been to an asian food market, I totally recommend it if only once in your life.  I am one of those types of people who enjoys noise and chaos and crowds (to a point) and there is a type of hustle and bustle confined within the tightly packed walls of this grocery store – something I don’t exactly feel in the grocery store down the street from my house.   

As I turn an aisle looking for ube jam – I eventually come across it on shelves upon shelves of brightly coloured exotic fruits and beans packed in syrups.

I also pick up some pandan extract – I wanted something more “exotic” than vanilla.  *NOTE: Pandan is GREEN – like GREEN GREEN.  Adding in purple food colour to mask the green is a good idea at this point.

Creating my white chocolate cake base is the easy part.  Like I’ve said before, I’m a busy mommy of two, and if I can take the easy route sometimes in baking, I’ll take it.  After adding the ube jam and a teaspoon of purple food colouring (I really wanted this to look purple!), the batter looks like this…

Scoop the batter into lined cupcake tins.

When it comes out of the oven, it should look like these yummy little purple morsels.

Not to overshadow the ube’s delicate flavour, I opted with a simple vanilla buttercream icing.  I think it compliments it fairly nicely.

And there you have it, my childhood baked into a warm and delicious cupcake.  Enjoy.

White Chocolate & Ube Cupcakes


  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 jar Ube – purple yam spread
  • 1 tsp pandan extract or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 tsp Wilton purple colour gel

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix the first four ingredients together.  Add the Ube jam, extract and food colour and mix until well incorporated.  Scoop into pre-lined cupcake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.  Cool and top with vanilla buttercream or preferred icing.


About Leah

Hello, I'm Maria Leah. I'm a pretty average novice baker & most recently cake designer. The funny thing is I haven't taken a cake decorating class - yet. Instead I watch way too much "Ace of Cakes", "Cake Boss" & anything really off Food Network, that one day I thought to myself, "why don't I make a cake"? And so I did...One cake, turned into 2, which turned into 3...which turned into cake and cupcake orders for my family, friends and now people who are really taking an interest in my work. Photos of my progress followed, my skills started to sharpen...and my supportive friends insisted on more cakes and what you have now is me blogging about all my baking and designing adventures - the failures and the sweet success. Enjoy. ML

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