{Recipe} Ube Panna Cotta for #SundaySupper

It’s tropical week here on Sunday Supper, which means I get to showcase my absolute favorite ingredient from my motherland. Big words, I know, but I truly think ube does not get enough credit for it’s awesomeness. Creamy flavor, gorgeous color – what’s not to love? Oh, you’ve never heard of it? Exactly.

ube-panna-cotta-2Ube is a purple yam popular in the Philippines. I’d say it’s similar in starchiness to taro but sweeter – like a taro + Japanese purple sweet potato hybrid. It’s a mild, smooth flavor that lends itself well to creamy desserts like ice cream and cake. If I ever see anything with ube on a menu (this only happens at Filipino joints), I order it. It’s a given. If ube is there, I have to have it.


Which is why when my parents went to the Philippines I asked them to bring me back some ube. They came home with a jar of ube jam for me. As I excitedly clutched my jar of purple goodness, my brother asked me why I was so excited. “Can’t you get ube jam at the Asian market?”

Oh yeah….

Whatevs. I got my ube jam straight from the source…ish.


Since this jar of ube was sooo super special and hand carried thousands of miles just for me, I knew I had to do something more creative than stick it in a smoothie (which is delicious, by the way). Ube ice cream was my first thought, but it’s readily available in most Asian and Filipino markets. Then it hit me…panna cotta. Light and creamy, panna cotta would be the perfect way to highlight the mild sweetness of the ube. And IT IS. It so is.


The starchiness of the ube comes through in the texture of the panna cotta, making it a bit thicker and denser than the traditional.  I love the subtle lavender color from the jam. You just know you’re about to dig into something special.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Ube Panna Cotta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert, gluten free
Cuisine: Filipino, Italian
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup ube jam
  • 1 packet powdered gelatin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs cold water
  • Whipped cream and fresh berries for garnish (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the ube jam and cold water and mix well.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is starting to bubble at the sides.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
  5. Whisk in the ube/gelatin mixture until completely dissolved.
  6. (Optional) For a smoother panna cotta, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
  7. Divide the cream between your prepared serving vessels and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Garnish with whipped cream and berries (if desired) before serving.

Have you heard of ube? If not, what’s your favorite tropical ingredient?

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Checkout the rest of the Sunday Supper offering below for more tropical inspiration. Special thanks to Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings and Marlene of Nosh My Way for hosting this week!
Tidbits and Pupus



Condiments and Sauces


Main Event

Delectable Delights

Tropical Foods and Drinks Sunday Supper

Wine Pairings

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Feeling tropical? Check these other Filipino inspired dishes:

Cashew brittle with a light, crisp texture. Deliciously addicting!Paleo Filipino chicken adobo - gluten free, soy free, delicious!Slow cooked, peanut butter based beef stew inspired by the Filipino dish Kare Kare.Savory, lemon ginger oat porridge replaces the rice in traditional lugaw (Filipino rice porridge) with steel cut oats for a satisfying chew.Chocolate for breakfast. This Champorado is like chocolate rice pudding, only not quite as sweet and with a hint of coconut, making it the perfect hearty dish to start your day. #glutenfree #dairyfreeThese no-bake cookies are deliciously buttery and sandy. Grain free, gluten free and refined sugar free, they'd make an awesome protein-filled snack!

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  1. I have a new mission to find and taste Ube thanks to you. What a lovely panna cotta.
    Renee recently posted…Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • Yes! Happy to spread the ube news? love? curiosity? I don’t know what to call it, but I’m glad people are interested in trying ube. It’s seriously one of my favorite things.

  2. Ube is new to me but I’m already in love with the pretty purple color!!Love panacotta and these beauties are calling my name 🙂
    Soni recently posted…Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango and Cucumber topping #SundaySupperMy Profile

  3. I love how many fruits and vegetables there are that I’ve still to discover though it’s a shame we can’t get many of them here. This looks so pretty and I love the sound of the flavor.
    Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking recently posted…Larp (Laos chicken salad) #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • I feel the same way! There are so many fruits and vegetables and cuisines that I have yet to try, and some that really only grown in such small regions. I guess I’ll just have to figure out a way to travel the world so that I can taste them all. 🙂

  4. What a gorgeous panna cotta! The ube is such a unique addition—I’d love to give it a try!!!

    • Thanks so much! I admit I went out on a limb a bit since I had never seen ube used in a panna cotta before, but it really does work so well.

  5. I’m so curious about ube now! Your beautiful dessert has my mouth watering!
    Valerie Cathell Clark recently posted…Tropical Sunshine Cake for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  6. I love trying new foods now I’m going to have to be on the lookout for ube.
    Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm recently posted…A Wonderful Opportunity From Petoskey and PineMy Profile

    • Let me know if you ever come across it! I’m going to work on an online resource list for everyone else who is searching. 🙂

  7. I have never heard of ube before. It made the most gorgeous color panna cotta. I have to find some.
    Christie recently posted…Grilled Jerk Shrimp Roll with Tropical Fruit Slaw #SundaySupperMy Profile

  8. This dessert sounds incredible! Love the colors! I must seek out ube!
    Cindys Recipes and Writings recently posted…Shrimp Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing #SundaySupperMy Profile

    • It was definitely a hit with my taste testers. 🙂 I can find ube fairly easily in my local Asian markets, but I think maybe I’ll do some online searching to find resources for others on the hunt.

  9. Oh my gosh, I want this! It looks beautiful and tasty!
    Nichole recently posted…Pineapple SalsaMy Profile

  10. Sorry, I’d never heard of ube but it sounds delicious and is absolutely beautiful. Your panna cotta, as a result, is stunning. Thank you for sharing!
    Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook recently posted…SRC: Gnocchi with Sweet Potato in Garlic Cream SauceMy Profile

    • Thank you! It’s always stumped me why ube hasn’t gained popularity the way taro has (though that may just be in my area) since I find it to be sweeter and prettier. I guess that means more for me? 😉

  11. I have never heard of ube (until now) but this is so gorgeous I need to find some ASAP!!
    Bobbi from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen recently posted…30+ Recipes for Cinco de MayoMy Profile

    • I hope you’re able to find/try some! I feel like taro has gotten so popular, but I like ube so much more.

  12. I adore Ube Joy. I’ve mostly had it in ice cream, but your panna cotta looks fantastic!

    • Yes! I’m so happy to find a fellow lover of ube. I’ve never had it paired with wine, so I’m very excited by your suggestion! I’m on the lookout for the Rose Regale now. 🙂

  13. Panna Cotta is one of my favorites! Love this recipes!
    Teri@The Freshman Cook recently posted…Celebrate It! Blog Party!My Profile

    • Thank you! Panna cotta is such a simple but elegant dessert. I could eat it everyday…but I shouldn’t. 😉

  14. I had no idea what ube was either until you told me! I wonder if you can find it fresh over at the Monterey Market? Does it grow in these parts (or do you think maybe it’s imported?!) I’m going to keep my eye out and if I find it, I’m totally snagging a few for you! This panna cotta sounds magical and I love the light purple hue!
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen recently posted…Chamomile Honeycomb Ice CreamMy Profile

    • I have no idea if they import it here. I haven’t seen the actual tubers in markets when I’ve looked, but Wikipedia just told me that it grows in the South! Maybe it’s not popular enough to import/export? Let me know if you ever find any! And if I find some fresh ones, I’m totally calling you for an ube feast.

  15. I’m all about ube and LOVE the idea of an ube panna cotta. Perfectly purple. Looks amazing!!
    Alana recently posted…Mini Pistachio-Rose Olive Oil Cakes with Lemon-Chamomile Whipped Cream RecipeMy Profile

    • Yay ube lovers! It works so well in the panna cotta I wonder how I didn’t think to do it before. And thank you!! 🙂

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