Ube Pianono

Enjoy this Filipino style swiss roll, Ube Pianono, that are filled with softened butter, coated with sugar and cut into serving slices. 

Ube pianono slices, cut side up.

Ube has massively grown in popularity even more because of the recent and on going lock down.  With home bakers trying their hand at baking the trendy ube cheese pandesal and other ube things, the shortage of ube powder, bottled ube jam and liquid ube flavor was very much felt here in my city.

But lo and behold, last week my husband laid eyes on a shelf full of bottled ube liquid flavoring in our Oriental supermarket. So, this cake, this dream of mine finally happened. I bring you Ube Pianono.

Close up shot of ube pianono.

Ube Pianono

Pianono is a popular Filipino bakery item that is like a version of swiss rolls. The original pianono back home is plain chiffon or sponge cake. In this version, I flavored the chiffon cake with liquid ube flavor while all the rest of the elements (the filling and coating) remain the same as the traditional ones.

Ube pianono are sliced into serving sizes, about 1 inch thick rolls, filled with margarine or butter and coated in granulated sugar. 

Ube pianono on a serving plate.

How To Make Ube Pianono?

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is lighter in color. Stir in milk, canola oil and ube flavor. Combine flour and baking powder in another bowl and add it to the bowl with the ube mixture. Stir until smooth.

Ube cake batter in a bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually while the mixer is running. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Gradually fold the beaten egg white mixture into the ube batter in three additions. Use a rubber spatula and combine the two mixtures until they are uniform in color.

Mixing the ube pianono batter.

Pour and scrape the batter into a prepared 11 x 17 inch baking pan that is greased and lined with parchment paper. (Grease the parchment paper too). Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes or so, or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.

Once slightly cool, slide the parchment paper into a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Pouring the ube pianono batter into the pan and a photo of the baked cake on the right.

To start the cake assembly, we need to peel off the parchment paper backing off the cake. Here is how to do that:

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar all over the cake surface. Cover the cake with a piece of parchment paper and top that with another baking pan of the same size.

The ube cake topped with a parchment paper and a baking pan.
Peeling the parchment paper off the ube chiffon cake.

Invert everything over. Gently peel off the parchment backing from the cake. Reposition the parchment paper and another baking pan on top. Invert everything over so the cake is upright again. It should now be resting on top of an inverted pan.Spread softened butter or margarine across the cake surface using an angled spatula. Starting on the short edge close to you, lift the parchment paper and start to roll the cake forward, until you reach the other end. 

Rolling the ube pianono cake.

Wrap the cake in the parchment paper and press it along its body to reinforce the shape. Then, gently unwrap it and roll it in a plate of granulated sugar. Cut into the desired thickness and arrange on a serving plate.

Look at that 🙂 You know how I feel about naked, simple cake. This ube pianono is definitely one of those simple but delicious, unfrosted cake on my list. Viva naked cakes, viva bottled ube! 

Tips for Baking Success

Eggs

Eggs should be large-sized and at room temperature. Separate the whites from the yolks while they are cold and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before starting with the recipe.

Baking Time

Every oven is different so monitor the baking time closely. This is a thin cake so it bakes fast, around 8 minutes or so. You don’t want to overbake the cake as it will dry out. There should be no brown spot on the cake surface but it should spring back to the touch. This is important so that the cake is not too dry that it will crack upon rolling.

Rolling the Cake

If the cake cracks a bit as you roll, continue to roll it forward and when you get to the end, press the roll firmly with your hands to mend the crack parts. You can see here why it is important that the cake is not too dry.

Yield

When sliced into 1-inch thickness, the ube pianono roll will yield about 7-8 slices.

Storing leftovers

You can store the leftover pianono in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for longer storage.

Close up shot of ube pianono.

Ube Pianono

Yield: 7-10 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

Enjoy this Filipino style swiss roll, Ube Pianono that are filled with softened butter, coated with sugar and cut into serving slices.

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp liquid ube flavor
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 egg whites, from large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup  softened butter or margarine, for the filling
  • 1/4 cup sugar, for the coating

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 11x17 inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until the mixture is lighter in color. Add the milk, canola oil, and ube flavor. Stir well. In another bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Add this dry mixture to the yolk mixture and stir until the batter is smooth and lump-free.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, use medium-high speed to beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the meringue (beaten egg whites) into the yolk batter in three additions until the batter is uniform in color.
  4. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes (see notes), or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool slightly then slide the parchment paper into a wire rack to cool the cake completely.
  5. Once the cake is cool. Peel off the parchment paper backing. To do that, sprinkle about 1 tbsp of powdered sugar on top of the cake. Cover the cake with parchment paper and top it with another baking pan of the same size. Invert everything over. Remove the pan and parchment paper from the cake and peel off the parchment backing. Reposition the parchment paper and another baking pan over the cake and invert everything over. The cake should now be upright again and resting on top of an inverted pan.
  6. Spread softened butter or margarine across the cake surface using an angled spatula. Starting on the short edge close to you, lift the parchment paper and start to roll the cake forward until you get to the other end. Wrap the cake in the parchment paper and gently press its body to reinforce the shape. Unwrap the cake and gently roll in granulated sugar to coat.
  7. Slice the ube pianono into your desired thickness. (see note) and arrange on a serving platter.

Notes

  • Eggs should be large. Separate the whites from the yolks while they are cold and allow them to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before starting with the recipe.
  • This is a thin cake so it is done in around 8 minutes or so. Every oven is different so monitor the baking time closely. You don't want to overbake the cake as it will dry out. There should be no brown spot on the cake surface but it should spring back to the touch. This is important so that the cake is not too dry that it will crack upon rolling.
  • If the cake cracks a bit as you roll, continue to roll it forward and when you get to the end, press the roll firmly with your hands to mend the crack parts. You can see here why it is important that the cake is not too dry.
  • When sliced into 1-inch thickness, the ube pianono roll will yield about 7-8 slices.
  • You can store the leftover pianono in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Refrigerate for longer storage.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g

More Ube Goodness:

Enjoy this Filipino style swiss roll, Ube Pianono that are filled with softened butter, coated with sugar and cut into serving slices. #purple yam #bakery
Enjoy this Filipino style swiss roll, Ube Pianono that are filled with softened butter, coated with sugar and cut into serving slices. #purple yam #bakery

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18 Comments

  1. I baked this today because I have been eyeing this roll for quite a while now. It was almost perfect until I got stuck on the inverting part and how to cool it down. I tried to salvage it, but my roll ended up flat. I’m sorry for being a complainer; I just love most of your recipes. I really wish there were more pictures to guide me instead of just lengthy explanations.

    1. Hi Ana! I am so sorry you had trouble. There are step by step photos and a video in the the recipe to help. Rolling can be tricky but I hope you can try again next time.

  2. I used the recommended 7X11 pan and it seems very thick for a rolled cake. It also took much longer than 8 minutes for a tooth pick to come out clean, closer to 18. Is it possible that was a misprint and it’s meant to be a larger pan?

    1. Hi Sara! I am really sorry. you are correct it is a misprint. My apologies for the big inconvenience it has caused. Thank you for pointing it out. The pan should 11 x 17 inches. Again, I am so very sorry!

  3. Im super excited to try this recipe, I had the amazing opportunity to live in the Philippines for a couple of years, sadly covid ended that adventure sooner than planned but I was very lucky to meet my angel of a wife while I was there.
    During our time together, living in Palawan, we’d often take morning walks and pass by our local bakery on our way home, these were one of my favorite treats, I miss those days badly.
    I will soon try this recipe and remember my great days of past.

  4. Can you provide tips on the best milk to use and if it should be at room temperature similar to the eggs?

  5. For some reason I can’t give it a 5 star rating there’s no stars in the comment section. But I’m giving it 10 stars I substitute the ube flavoring to 2 tsp of vanilla extract and made classic piano no and it was heavenly. It remind me so much of my childhood memories. ❤ almost made me cry a little because I missed my parents so much especially my mom. She always buys this for me when I was a kid. Anyway, after I made classic pianono I made the ube piano no a week later. I’m not a big fan of ube but I still liked it. Thank you for the recipe Ms. Sanna more powers to you.

    1. I am so happy you love this! Thank you! Baked goods are a wonderful way to remember beautiful times. My wish is that you reminisce lots of memories through baking, and to make your own too for your kid/s to remember.

  6. Hi Ms. Sanna thank you for sharing your recipe with us. But I just have a few questions.
    I’m a big fan of pianono, growing up this is what my mom/dad always brings me home whenever they go to town. Si it became my most favorite bread. But, I’m not a big fan of ube, can I just remove the ube flavoring and make it like the original pianono? Will it still be okay? Will it affect the texture? Thank you so much for your answers. Godspeed

    1. Hi Syra! Yes, absolutely. You can just omit the ube flavoring for a plain version 🙂 just add about 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. I hope you enjoy this!

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