Ube Rolls

Ube Rolls

ah, ube.

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I didn’t grow up eating ube- I ate taro mostly (which is commonly confused with ube and actually a separate root vegetable) and unwillingly because it was gross. But I’ve grown to love this family of root vegetables, especially ube. Ube is a purple yam with a mild, sweet flavor and a bright purple color, found mainly in Southeast Asian foods.

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here’s a quick step-by-step, via photos.

here’s the filling: ube halaya jam, ube extract, and sour cream.

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set your dough onto a floured surface (peep the filling in the top left corner).

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roll the dough, spread the filling.

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roll and slice!

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place in a baking dish. cover and let rise again.

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bake till golden brown.

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then glaze it up!

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These ube rolls are a sweet cross between a cinnamon roll and a root vegetable, but I promise you- it’s much, much better than it sounds. I use two forms of ube in this recipe, with ube extract and ube halaya jam, both of which you can find in an Asian supermarket or online.

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These ube rolls are so soft and fluffy, delicious warm out of the oven and at room temperature. It’s mildly sweet from the ube filling and complements the slightly tart sour cream glaze. As with all rolls, it’ll take a couple hours to make (most of it is about waiting for dough to rise), but it’s definitely worth the wait and so, so addicting.

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baker’s notes: i used to be hesitant about using ube extract because it contains food coloring. i do think that aside from the coloring, it brings a separate layer to the ube flavor, so i would recommend using it if you don’t mind the food coloring piece. Otherwise, feel free to use vanilla extract, but know that your rolls won’t be as purple as the ones here.

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ube rolls

makes about 8-9 rolls
adapted from hummingbird high

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, warm
1 large egg, at room temp
1/4 cup vegetable oil

ube filling
1/4 cup ube halaya jam
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ube extract
pinch of salt

3 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy


make the dough: in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, instant yeast, baking soda, and salt. set aside.

in a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and oil. add this wet mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until a dough starts to form. knead the dough for at least 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. you can transfer to a floured surface if that’s easier for you. if the dough is too sticky, you can add up to 1/2 cup of extra flour as you go- i’d suggest adding 1 tablespoon at a time. if you’re using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.

transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours.

once the dough has double in size, transfer it to a lightly-floured work surface. knead the dough a couple times, then roll it into a rectangle about 12x20-inches.

make the filling: in a small bowl, stir together the ube halaya jam, sour cream, sugar, ube extract, and salt until combined. it’ll be a vibrant purple color if you’re using the extract!

assembly: spread the ube filling over the dough rectangle, making sure the filling is spread evenly and to the edges of the dough.

roll the dough lengthwise (hot dog style, remember?), and pinch the edges to seal the filling. cut the roll into 8-9 pieces, about 2-inches wide. place the sliced rolls, cut side down, in a parchment-lined baking dish. i like baking whatever remaining rolls in ramekins.

at this point, you can cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it rise overnight or for another hour in a warm place.

once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 350 f. bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges of the buns are golden brown.

make the glaze: as the rolls are cooling, mix together the greek yogurt/sour cream, milk, and vanilla extract. whisk in the powdered sugar until combined. if it’s too thick to drizzle, add a little milk to thin it out.

while the ube rolls are warm, drizzle the glaze over the rolls. enjoy!!!

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