Ube bread rolls or ube buns have ube jam enveloped in soft, fluffy bread, served with toasted coconut. It’s one of the most delicious Filipino ube treats!
(Love ube? This ube cake recipe is very popular and for good reason — soft ube cake layers frosted with the most delightful ube Swiss meringue buttercream. Try it!)
Ube is one of my favourite things in the world because it is delicious.
Try my recipe for homemade ube ice cream and you’ll be hooked. You don’t even need an ice cream machine. Just heavy cream, condensed milk, ube extract. That’s it!
Or this recipe for ube bars (ube bread bars) to recreate your favourite ube treat from childhood.
I’ve also recently perfected my recipe for ube ube pandesal. So good!
This ube bread recipe is one of the first ube recipes I posted here on TUB all those years ago so I figured it was time to give it some TLC.
And as requested by many of you: I included step-by-step photos.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You know how delicious cinnamon bread rolls are? Especially when served warm and fresh from the oven? These rolls are the same. But with ube!
If you love to bake bread, you’ll find this one of the easier bread recipes to follow. And if you’re new to bread making, this is a great recipe to try on.
- It has simple, straightforward steps. I’ve also provided step-by-step photos to make it that much easier to follow.
- The bread is wonderfully soft and fluffy.
- They are packed with ube jam and complemented by toasted coconut. That’s a match made in flavor heaven.
How to make
The key to making the best ube bread is mis en place. Get everything ready, prep your ingredients, your tools and get baking!
You’ll need the usual ingredients like sugar, salt and butter. A few things to note:
- Warm water – you’ll want the water to be around 110F.
- Active dry yeast – I always use active dry yeast (vs. instant yeast) when baking bread because I’m always required to proof it. This way, I can ensure the yeast is still active before adding it to my dough.
- Milk – I usually use 2% skim milk
- Canola oil – I always use canola oil because that’s what’s always available at home. Vegetable oil or any flavourless oil will also work.
- Ube jam or ube halaya – you can buy or make your own. Here’s my recipe for homemade ube halaya.
You can, but I don’t use the hook attachment of my stand mixer when making ube bread. I prefer to mix everything by hand using a wooden spoon.
What makes this recipe easier for me to make are the following:
- Pastry mat — no slip and makes for easier clean up!
- French rolling pin — so much easier to use than a regular rolling pin, IMO
- Bench scraper — great for cutting the dough
- Kitchen scale — important for precise baking
- Instant read thermometer — so you don’t have to guess if your mixture is hot enough
- Oven thermometer — I have two hanging in my oven at all times to ensure I’m always baking at the correct temperature
Phase 1: Activate Yeast
(1) In a measuring cup, stir warm water (about 110F), active dry yeast and granulated sugar until dissolved.
(2) Set aside and let stand until bubbly (about 10 minutes).
Phase 2: Warm Milk
While you’re waiting for your yeast to activate, you can work on your milk.
(1) In a medium saucepan on medium heat, warm milk until you see bubbles forming at the edges (about 180F).
(2) Remove from heat and stir sugar, salt, and butter until the butter has completely melted. Set aside and let cool until lukewarm.
Phase 3: Prep Dough
(1) In a large bowl, combine your yeast mixture, your milk mixture, eggs and 1 ½ cups flour.
(2) Stir until combined.
(3) Proceed to add the rest of your flour ½ cup at a time combining well after each addition.
(4) Once the dough starts pulling and sticking together in a ball, transfer it into a lightly floured surface.
(5) Knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes).
(6) When in doubt, knead some more but be careful not to over-flour your dough.
(7) Oil a large bowl with canola oil. Place your dough in the bowl and turn to ensure the whole dough is coated.
(8) Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a dry warm place (about 90F) until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).
Phase 4: Assembly and Baking
(1) In a medium bowl combine melted butter, brown sugar and unsweetened shredded coconut.
(2) Mix until evenly blended.
(3) Transfer into a greased 9×13 inch glass baking dish and spread evenly on the bottom.
(4) When your dough is ready, transfer it into a lightly floured surface and roll into (roughly) a 12×14 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter.
(5) Then spread ube jam.
(6) Make sure to leave a half inch border around.
(7) Tightly roll the dough (long side up).
(8) Pinch the seams to seal.
(9) Brush with more melted butter.
(10) Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces and place cut side down on your baking dish. Space them out evenly to allow the dough space to rise. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
When your rolls are just about ready, preheat your oven to 375F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let the bread rolls cool slightly in the baking dish.
Enjoy with your favourite coffee, tea or tsokolate.
Easy, right? Check out these FAQs for more baking tips.
For the fluffiest ube bread, allow your dough to rise in a warm, dry place. I use my oven for this.
I preheat it to 100F then turn it off just when I’m about to knead my dough. This way, the temperature would have gone down to 90F when I put my dough in.
You can also use the keep warm feature of your oven if you have it.
For the second rise, I usually just leave the dough out on the counter covered by a damp tea towel.
Yes, you can use whatever baking or bread pan or dish you have available.
The baking dish you see in the photos is 9×13 inches. I’ve also baked these in a dish that’s 8×11 inches. Some readers have told me they’ve used round cake pans and that worked as well.
Just remember that:
– The size of pan you use will determine how many bread rolls you can make. For a 9×13 inch pan, the yield is 12 fairly large rolls. For 8×11, it’s 6 giant rolls. Of course, the size also depends on how thick or thin you cut your dough.
– The size of your rolls affects baking time. If altering the recipe, check at the halfway mark so you can assess how many more minutes your bread needs to bake.
– I always use a glass baking dish; if using a metal pan, lower the temperature to 350F and again, watch your baking time.
To make ube jam more spreadable, I leave it out on the counter for about an hour before I plan to use it. If it’s still too tough, I microwave it in increments of 10 seconds to soften it further.
Unlike ensaymada and pandesal where I can weigh each piece to ensure they all come out the same size, for ube bread rolls I measure the rolled dough with a ruler.
First I trim the edges, measure, divide that number by 12 (or by how many number of rolls you want to end up with) and try my very best to cut each piece that size.
Alas, I’m never 100% precise — I always end up with one or two pieces that are smaller or bigger than the others — but close enough.
You have 2 options.
(1) If you’re serving this to company, you can invert the whole baking dish into a serving platter and serve the bread like cake.
(2) We just like scooping the bread from the dish to serve. Just make sure to scoop out some of that delicious toasted coconut too.
Because of the jam, we like to store ube bread in an airtight container in the fridge to be safe. It should keep for up to 5 days.
Ube bread is best eaten warm so we just microwave it for 15-20 seconds before serving.
More ube recipes
Looking for more ube treats and baked goods? I got you.
Hope you enjoy this delicious ube treat. Make it for Christmas, Noche Buena, Thanksgiving or merienda tomorrow!
It’s soft and fluffy, packed with ube flavour, and it has pretty purple swirls. How can you say no to that?
If you love doing all kinds of bread rolls like I do, try this pizza rolls recipe. Perfect for a get-together. And try this cinnamon roll hack with milk for homemade cinnamon rolls without all the fuss!
Ube Bread Rolls Recipe
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- In a measuring cup, stir ½ cup warm water (about 110F), 1 package active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar until dissolved. Set aside and let stand until bubbly (about 10 minutes).
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, warm ½ cup milk until you see bubbles forming at the edges (about 180F). Remove from heat and stir ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup butter until the butter has completely melted.
- Set aside and let cool until lukewarm.
- In a large bowl, combine your yeast mixture, your milk mixture, eggs and 1 ½ cups flour. Stir until combined. Proceed to add the rest of your flour ½ cup at a time combining well after each addition.
- Once the dough starts pulling and sticking together in a ball, transfer it into a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). When in doubt, knead some more. Careful not to over-flour your dough. You want it elastic but still a little sticky.
- Oil a large bowl with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Place your dough in the bowl and turn to ensure the whole dough is coated. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a dry warm place (about 90F) until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).
- In a medium bowl combine ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup brown sugar and 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish (see notes) and spread evenly on the bottom.
- When your dough is ready, transfer it into a lightly floured surface and roll into (roughly) a 12×14 inch rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter then spread ube jam (see notes), leaving a half inch border around.
- Tightly roll the dough (long side up) and pinch the seams to seal. Brush with more melted butter. Cut the roll into 12 pieces (see notes) and place cut side down on your baking dish. Space them out evenly to allow the dough space to rise. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- When your rolls are just about ready, preheat your oven to 375F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the rolls cool slightly in the baking dish before you invert them onto a serving platter. You can also opt to scoop them out one by one. Top with more toasted coconut from the bottom of the dish.
- The baking dish you see in the photos is 9×13 inches. I’ve also baked these in an 8×11 inch dish. The size of pan you use will determine how many rolls you can make. For 8×11, I made 6 giant rolls.
- To make ube jam more spreadable, I leave it out on the counter for about an hour before I plan to use it. If it’s still too tough, I microwave it for 10 seconds or so to soften it further.
- See post for the complete step-by-step photos and more baking tips.
Nutritional information are estimates only.