Ube Cheesecake

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 09/07/2023 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 20 minutes
This sweet, earthy, and nutty ube cheesecake is the ultimate luxurious ube dessert. Instantly elevate your classic cheesecake recipe with a coconut graham cracker crust and ube halaya and ube extract.
Ube Cheesecake

This lightly sweet, earthy, and nutty ube cheesecake is the ultimate luxurious ube dessert. Instantly elevate your classic cheesecake recipe with a coconut graham cracker crust and ube halaya and ube extract.

An ube cheesecake on a serving plater with forks nearby.

This ube cheesecake recipe is made with a coconut graham cracker crust and packed with a sweet, earthy, and nutty ube flavor that is just the right amount of sweetness. This ube cheesecake has a rich, velvety melt-in-your-mouth texture that is as delicious as it is captivating.

This purple cheesecake is one of my favorite ways to incorporate Asian flavors into traditional American desserts. If you are looking for more ube inspiration, check out my ube ice cream, ube Lofthouse cookies, ube swirl milk bread, and iced ube latte!

Someone lifting a slice of ube cheesecake from a whole cheesecake.
A slice of ube cheesecake on a plate.

What is Ube?

Ube, also known as purple yam, is a root vegetable that originates from Southeast Asia and most commonly the Philippines. It is known for its vibrant purple color, distinct earthy vanilla flavor, and versatility in sweet and savory dishes.

Ube is most commonly found in grocery stores as Ube halaya or purple yam jam or as a concentrated extract. These ingredients are popular to use for making ube dessert recipes because they are readily accessible.

Ube extract and ube jam sitting next to each other.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This brilliantly purple cheesecake is ultra smooth, velvety, and packed with ube flavor!
  • Following this ube cheesecake recipe is really easy! The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to cool and set in the refrigerator.
  • My ube dessert recipe has very detailed instructions with step-by-step photos and tips and tricks to help you make an ultra-smooth cheesecake with a perfectly level top and no cracks.
A slice of ube cheesecake with a bite out of it.

Kitchen Equipment

Here are all the key kitchen tools you will need for this ube cheesecake recipe.

  • Kitchen Scale: for the best ube halaya cheesecake, use a kitchen scale to measure each ingredient for the most precise measurements.
  • Mixing Bowls: whenever I bake, I like to measure out all of the ingredients in different-sized mixing bowls first to ensure I have the correct measurements for each ingredient.
  • Food Processor: you can use a food processor to pulverize the graham cracker crumbs or alternatively, you can place the graham crackers in a large ziplock back and crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin.
  • Electric Mixer: for best results use an electric stand mixer or electric hand mixer for an even, silky smooth ube cheesecake batter.
  • 9-inch Springform Pan: this ube cheesecake recipe yields just enough for a 9-inch springform pan. A springform pan is necessary to easily remove the cheesecake.
  • 10-inch round baking pan: I recommend using a regular 10-inch baking pan that isn’t a springform pan to place the 9-inch springform pan in so the water bath doesn’t seep into the cake pan.
  • Large Cake Pan or Roasting Pan: You will need a large cake pan or roasting pan that can fit the 10-inch baking pan for the water bath.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this ube dessert recipe at your local grocery store and online.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Graham Crackers: is the base of the cheesecake crust. Honeymaid graham crackers are my favorite, but you can use any brand. You will need to pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs to make the crust.
  • Unsalted Butter: binds the graham cracker crumbs together.
  • Shredded Coconut Flakes: coconut + ube are a match made in heaven. The shredded coconut flakes add a delicious balance of flavors to the crust.
  • Light Brown Sugar: light brown sugar sweetens the crust and adds a touch of molasses flavor.
  • Salt: a touch of salt brings out the other flavors of the crust.

Cheesecake

  • Cream Cheese: make sure to use full-fat brick cream cheese at room temperature for the best texture. Do not use whipped cream cheese. I always use the Philadelphia brand because it is tangier and more delicious than other store brands.
  • Granulated Sugar: granulated sugar sweetens the purple cheesecake and balances out the tartness from the cream cheese and sour cream.
  • Sour Cream: adds a touch of acidity to break through the dense cream cheese flavor. Make sure the sour cream is full fat and at room temperature for the best texture and flavor.
  • Salt: salt balances out all the rich flavors from the other ingredients.
  • Vanilla Extract: a touch of vanilla extract enhances the natural vanilla flavors in the ube.
  • Ube Halaya: ube halaya or purple yam jam is a mixture of purple yam puree and sugar. They are typically found in the canned sections of Asian or Filipino grocery stores.
  • Ube Extract: ube extract is a condensed form of ube artificial flavoring and coloring. A little goes a long way! This is essential in creating the rich vibrant purple color and flavor.
  • Large Eggs: eggs give this purple cheesecake recipe its smooth and rich texture. Make sure to use room temperature eggs before adding them into your batter for a silky smooth texture.
All the ingredients to make an ube cheesecake.

Ube Whipped Cream

  • Heavy Cream: heavy whipping cream is the base for all whipped cream. Make sure the heavy whipping is cold before you begin whipping.
  • Ube Extract: a dash of ube extract is used to flavor the whipped cream.
  • Powder Sugar: powder sugar helps stabilize the whipped cream and gently sweetens the heavy cream.

Substitutions and Additions

Think of this as your ube dessert recipe. That means you can personalize this purple cheesecake recipe based on your preferences. I’ve listed some substitutions and additions ideas below.

  • Crust: instead of a graham cracker crust, you can opt for biscoff cookies, vanilla wafers, oreo cookies, pretzels, ice cream cones, or even frosted flakes!
  • Vanilla Bean: instead of using vanilla extract, you can add 1 whole vanilla bean instead.
  • Greek yogurt: instead of sour cream, you can opt for the healthier version with Greek yogurt.
  • Coconut whipped cream: instead of an ube whipped cream, you can make a coconut whipped cream instead by using cold full-fat coconut milk that is refrigerated overnight.
  • Toppings: you can make decorate your ube cheesecake with fun fruit pairings like coconut flakes or mango pieces.

How to Make Ube Cheesecake

This ube cheesecake recipe is the best cheesecake recipe on the internet! It is easy to make and will yield the most beautiful purple, perfectly creamy results.

Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Prep. Lightly grease the inside of your 9-inch springform cake pan.
  2. Pulverize the graham crackers. Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the graham crackers into a large ziplock bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.
Graham crackers after being pulverized in a food processor.
  1. Whisk in spices. In a large mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut flakes, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk until combined
Whisking graham crackers with spices and shredded coconut.
  1. Add in melted butter. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. Pour in the graham cracker mixture and thoroughly mix until combined.
  2. Create the crust. Scoop the mix into a greased cake pan. Press firmly for a flat, even layer. Use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to make an even flat layer.
Pressing the crust into the bottom of a cake pan.

Cheesecake

  1. Prepare the oven. Set the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C.) Set a kettle of water to boil. Carefully wrap your springform pan with 4-5 layers of aluminum foil or alternatively use a 10-inch pan to protect the springform pan from getting wet.
  2. Cream the cream cheese. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters, beat the room-temperature cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. About 1 minute.
Creaming cream cheese in a stand mixer.
  1. Slowly add the sugar. Turn the mixer to low speed. While the mixer is beating, slowly the sugar in three increments until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to evenly combine.
Slowly adding sugar into a stand mixer.
  1. Add sour cream, ube halaya, ube extract, vanilla, and salt. While the mixer is beating on low, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, ube halaya, ube extract, and salt and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Adding ube extract into a stand mixer creaming cream cheese.
  1. Mix the eggs. In a measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs until just combined. While the mixer is slowly beating on low speed, add the lightly whisked eggs about one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to fully combine. The batter should be silky smooth. Do not over-mix.
  1. Assemble. Pour the ube cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release any air bubbles.
  1. Bake. Place your cake pan into a large roasting pan or large sheet cake pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come up about 1 inch along the side of the cake pan. Place the cake and water bath in the center rack of your oven. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour or until the cake has a slight wobble in the center 2-3 inches of the cake. The edges will have likely puffed and turned a very pale golden brown.
Pouring hot water into a water bath for a cheesecake in an oven.
  1. Cool. Turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven and water bath for 10 minutes with the oven door cracked. Then run a thin knife around the edge of the cake to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the sides of the cake and crack when it cools. Next, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and aluminum foil and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. Chill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight to set before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
An ube cheesecake on a serving plater with forks nearby.

Ube Whipped Cream

  1. Make the ube whipped cream. Combine the cream, sugar, and ube extract in a large bowl and whisk with your electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag with a star tip and decorate the edges of the cake.

Tips for the Best Ube Cheesecake

Tips for the Batter

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Using room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs will allow you to mix a very smooth and creamy batter that has no lumps. It also aids in an even rise when you bake the purple cheesecake.
  • Cream the cream cheese. Make sure to cream the
  • Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl. After every step, I recommend scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • Do not overbeat your eggs. Make sure to lightly scramble the eggs before adding them incrementally to your batter and keep your mixer on LOW speed when adding the eggs. Over-mixing the eggs can be the quickest way to ruin a cheesecake and cause it to crack.

Tips for Baking

  • Protect the springform pan. This is the one step that may ruin your cheesecake if water seeps into the pan. You have 2 options. 1) Wrap a plastic bag around the bottom of the pan and use at least 5-6 layers of aluminum foil to protect the base of the springform pan or 2) a 10-inch regular cake pan that is not springform to prevent any water leakage into the cake pan.
  • Do not open the oven while baking. Do not open the oven door until the cheesecake has been in the oven for a minimum of 60 minutes. Opening the oven door can cause the cheesecake to deflate and shrink.
  • The ube cheesecake may seem underdone when you remove it from the oven. The ube cheesecake may seem underdone but it should be slightly wobbly in the center and slightly puffed on the outside. Do not worry! It will firm up when it cools and chills in the refrigerator.
  • Run a knife around the edges of the pan after cooling. After you cool the ube cheesecake on the counter run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to prevent it from sticking and cracking.
  • Chill the cheesecake: You MUST chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. If you cut the cheesecake immediately after it cools, it may be soft and soupy in the center and fall apart.

Storage Instructions

You can store this ube halaya cheesecake wrapped in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Alternatively, you can freeze this ube dessert in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

How do I prevent my cheesecake from cracking?

There are three different reasons why your ube cheesecake may crack:

  1. A cheesecake without any cracks needs moisture in the oven. The key to preventing the cheesecake from cracking is baking it low and slow in a water bath.
  2. Cheesecakes also tend to crack when they are overbaked so carefully watch the oven around the 60-minute mark to see if your cheesecake is done baking.
  3. Cheesecakes shrink as they cool, so to prevent any cracks, along the edges run a knife around the edges of the baking pan to separate the cheesecake from the pan.

What does a water bath do for a cheesecake?

A water bath provides moisture from the steam which protects the top of the cake from cracking. The steam also aids in a gentle even rise with minimal shrinkage. A water bath makes baking easier because it is more forgiving and you will less likely to bake the cheesecake. The end result yields an ultra-creamy cheesecake.

How can I tell when the ube cheesecake is done baking?

The ube cheesecake is done baking when the outside is slightly puffed and lightly golden brown and the center 3 inches has a slightly wobbly almost like jello.

Can I freeze this ube cheesecake?

Yes! You can definitely freeze this ube cheesecake. First, you must let the cheesecake set for about 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Then place the cheesecake in the freezer on a sheet pan to freeze for 2 hours before transferring it to a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

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An ube cheesecake on a serving plater with forks nearby.

Ube Cheesecake

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
This sweet, earthy, and nutty ube cheesecake is the ultimate luxurious ube dessert. Instantly elevate your classic cheesecake recipe with a coconut graham cracker crust and ube halaya and ube extract.
Servings: 10 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

Cheesecake

Ube Whipped Cream

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Prep. Lightly grease the inside of your 9-inch springform cake pan.
  • Pulverize the graham crackers. Using a food processor, pulverize the graham crackers into crumbs. Alternatively, you can place the graham crackers into a large ziplock bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.
  • Whisk in spices. In a large mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut flakes, brown sugar, and salt. Whisk until combined
  • Add in melted butter. Melt the butter in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds. Pour in the graham cracker mixture and thoroughly mix until combined.
  • Create the crust. Scoop the mix into a greased cake pan. Press firmly for a flat, even layer. Use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to make an even flat layer.

Ube Cheesecake

  • Prepare the oven. Set the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C.) Set a kettle of water to boil. Carefully wrap your springform pan with 4-5 layers of aluminum foil or alternatively use a 10-inch pan to protect the springform pan from getting wet.
  • Cream the cream cheese. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or beaters, beat the room-temperature cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. About 1 minute.
  • Slowly add the sugar. Turn the mixer to low speed. While mixer is beating, slowly the sugar in three increments until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to evenly combine.
  • Add sour cream, ube halaya, ube extract, vanilla, and salt. While the mixer is beating on low, add the sour cream, vanilla extract, ube halaya, ube extract, and salt and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Mix the eggs. In a measuring cup with a spout, lightly whisk the eggs until just combined. While the mixer is slowly beating on low speed, add the lightly whisked eggs about one at a time making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to fully combine. The batter should be silky smooth. Do not over-mix.
  • Assemble. Pour the ube cheesecake batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Tap the pan on your work surface a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake. Place your cake pan into a large roasting pan or large sheet cake pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come up about 1 inch along the side of the cake pan. Place the cake and water bath in the center rack of your oven. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour or until the cake has a slight wobble in the center 2-3 inches of the cake. The edges will have likely puffed and turned a very pale golden brown.
  • Cool. Turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven and water bath for 10 minutes with the oven door cracked. Then run a thin knife around the edge of the cake to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to the sides of the cake and crack when it cools. Next, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and aluminum foil and set it on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Chill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours but preferably overnight to set before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Ube Whipped Cream

  • Make the ube whipped cream. Combine the cream, sugar, and ube extract in a large bowl and whisk with your electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag with a star tip and decorate the edges of the cake.

Notes

Tips for the Batter

  • Use room temperature ingredients. Using room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs will allow you to mix a very smooth and creamy batter that has no lumps. It also aids in an even rise when you bake the purple cheesecake.
  • Cream the cream cheese. Make sure to cream the
  • Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl. After every step, I recommend scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  • Do not overbeat your eggs. Make sure to lightly scramble the eggs before adding them incrementally to your batter and keep your mixer on LOW speed when adding the eggs. Over-mixing the eggs can be the quickest way to ruin a cheesecake and cause it to crack.

Tips for Baking

  • Protect the springform pan. This is the one step that may ruin your cheesecake if water seeps into the pan. You have 2 options. 1) Wrap a plastic bag around the bottom of the pan and use at least 5-6 layers of aluminum foil to protect the base of the springform pan or 2) a 10-inch regular cake pan that is not springform to prevent any water leakage into the cake pan.
  • Do not open the oven while baking. Do not open the oven door until the cheesecake has been in the oven for a minimum of 60 minutes. Opening the oven door can cause the cheesecake to deflate and shrink.
  • The ube cheesecake may seem underdone when you remove it from the oven. The ube cheesecake may seem underdone but it should be slightly wobbly in the center and slightly puffed on the outside. Do not worry! It will firm up when it cools and chills in the refrigerator.
  • Run a knife around the edges of the pan after cooling. After you cool the ube cheesecake on the counter run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to prevent it from sticking and cracking.
  • Chill the cheesecake: You MUST chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a minimum of 6 hours. If you cut the cheesecake immediately after it cools, it may be soft and soupy in the center and fall apart.
  • Storage Instructions: You can store this ube halaya cheesecake wrapped in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

Nutrition:

Calories: 702kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 2007IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg

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