ube donuts glazed
glazed ube donuts

Ube donuts (also ube doughnuts) have gained prominence as international flavors became more sought after and gourmet doughnuts have become more mainstream.  With their vibrant purple hues, these donuts easily stand out from the crowd.  But it’s not just their looks that get people’s attention.  Their sweet and subtle nutty flavors combined with a creamy mouthfeel make for many a return customer. 

Fried dough has taken many forms in different cuisines, from Mexican churros to Italian zeppole. However, the classic round doughnut is one of the most popular forms of fried dough throughout the world. Due to this expansive demand for doughnuts (more commonly spelled “donuts” in America), a wider spectrum of flavors has arisen, particularly in the 2010s as the rainbow colored food trend took off.

To appease broadening palates, many gourmet donut shops have expanded their flavor offerings to include more flavors from different countries and their cuisines. Ube donuts, among other desserts containing the sweet purple yam, are some the largest beneficiaries of this global culinary movement.

How do they get that purple color?

These donuts have a unique purple hue because they are infused with (surprise) ube, purple yams or tubers originally grown in the Philippines. The color of purple yams (which come from the natural pigment anthocyanin) can range from a light lavender to a deep purple. These purple yam donuts are not to be confused with ube-filled bunwelos (or buñuelos), which are similar to large donut holes filled with ube jam and are the typical deep-fried golden brown color on the outside.

Where can I get Ube Donuts?

Ube donuts can usually be found in gourmet donut shops that specialize in international flavors and styles. Mochi donuts often come in ube or taro (which is different from ube). View the map below to find where you can try these vibrant purple donuts yourself.

How do I make ube donuts?

These are a couple different ways to make these purple yam-infused donuts. The video below shows an option to create an ube and coconut glaze for the donuts while the full recipe beneath provides an easy air-fried option using pre-made biscuits. Both versions are straightforward and easy-to-follow and simply depend on the kitchen equipment you have on hand.

ube donuts recipe

Ube Donuts

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ube donuts have gained prominence as international flavors became more sought after and gourmet donuts have become more mainstream.  With their vibrant purple hues, ube donuts easily stand out from the crowd.  But it’s not just their looks that get people’s attention.  Their sweet and subtle nutty flavors combined with a creamy mouthfeel make for many a return customer. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered pugar ½ cup extra – optional to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp ube extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can Grands!™ Flaky Layers Biscuits (16.3 oz)

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer for 1-2 minutes to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, milk, and ube and vanilla extracts. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Open can of biscuits and place individual biscuits on a cutting board. Use cookie cutter to create a hole in the middle of each of the donuts. (Save hole cut outs to make donut holes, if desired.)
  4. Grease the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Gently put donuts in basket. Make sure they are not touching each other or stacked. Air fry for 3 minutes. (Repeat for multiple batches, if necessary.)
  5. Flip each donut and and air fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove donuts from air fryer and place on a plate to cool for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Enjoy!

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