In the Chicago suburb of Gurnee, a family-run bakeshop called 'Gurnee Donuts' serves up brightly colored ube donuts to the delight of its customers. While the family who runs the shop is actually from Cambodia, their take on the popular Filipino ingredient has become one of the shop's best-selling flavors.
The ube donuts served at Gurnee Donuts were created by co-owner Kevin Lee after his friends encouraged him to try using the ingredient. Lee ultimately came up with a recipe that involves adding butter, sugar, ube-vanilla extract and condensed milk to the purple yams to bring out the sweet flavors. Once fried, the donuts are then dipped in a bright purple glaze to enhance the unique coloring. Lee has also experimented with toppings such as toasted coconut, Fruity Pebbles cereal and Oreo cookie crumbs to give the donuts an extra crunch.
The popularity of the Instagram-friendly purple donuts demonstrates that ube is quickly becoming a hit among American consumers.