Ube Crinkle Cookies are the ultimate purple delight, combining the nutty, vanilla essence of ube with the irresistible chewiness of a crinkle cookie. If you’re a fan of the original chocolate crinkles and looking for a twist, these purple crinkles will surely satisfy your cookie cravings!
Not only that, but this ube crinkle recipe is also incredibly easy to make. Make the drop cookies, coat them with powdered sugar, and bake them into those beautiful purple crinkle cookies.
What is ube?
Ube is a purple yam from the Philippines. It’s often used in desserts after being boiled and mashed. Or you can use ube-flavored condensed milk in these ube macaroons.
Many people get confused between yams and sweet potatoes, but they are totally unrelated. You can read about the difference between ube and purple sweet potatoes in this recipe post for purple sweet potato latkes.
The hardest part of this ube crinkle cookie recipe is finding the ube halaya and ube extract. Ube halaya is ube jam (see picture below). You can buy ube halaya by the jar or make it yourself.
Ube extract comes in small bottles, just like vanilla extract. Both are likely to be found in Asian specialty markets or on Amazon. My local market only had an artificial extract made by McCormick.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
If you want the whitest white of sugar dusting these ube crinkle cookies, the folks at Cooks Illustrated recommend first rolling crinkle cookies in granulated sugar and then in a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar. The confectioners’ sugar may be less likely to melt this way, but it’s too sweet for my taste.
Where do crinkle cookies come from?
It’s impossible to know who first created a crinkle cookie recipe, but the first published recipe for molasses crinkle cookies was in the Betty Crocker Cooky Carnival in 1957 and credited to a Mrs. Fredell from St. Paul, Minnesota. The recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies was published in the Betty Crocker Cooky Book in 1963.
Recipe tips and tricks
Most crinkle cookies recipes use the “creaming method,” beating softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy as you would when making a pound cake. This mechanical leavening creates a cake-like texture to the crinkle cookie. The use of melted butter in this ube crinkles recipe gives you a chewier texture.
Using melted butter also means you don’t have to wait for your butter to soften. And it makes it easier to use a hand mixer, if that’s what you have.
Step by step
Step 1: To make these ube crinkle cookies, first sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small to medium-sized bowl (Panel #1).
Step 2: Beat the egg and sugar in another medium bowl if you are using a hand mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer (Panel #2).
Step 3: Then add the melted butter and ube extract (Panel #3).
Step 4: Beat in the ube halaya (Panel #4).
Step 5: Fold in the dry ingredients or beat them in on low (Panel #5). Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes. This is a great time to heat the oven and clean up the mess that you’ve made!
Step 6: When you’re ready to bake, put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium-sized (#40) cookie scoop or two spoons to scoop out about two tablespoons of ube crinkle cookie dough. Drop the ball gently into your bowl of confectioners’ sugar and toss to coat (Panel #6).
Step 7: Bake for about 12 minutes in the middle of the oven. The crinkles will be slightly firm to touch but the inside will look soft. Let your ube crinkle cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a baking rack to cool completely.
Ube contains anthocyanins, the compounds that create the color in red cabbage and pickled red onions. Butterfly pea flower is what’s in Empress 1908 gin that gives the beautiful purple color to this Empress gin sour and this lavender gimlet.
You can store these ube cookies at room temperature for about a week. However, over time, the confectioners’ sugar will “melt” into crinkle cookies.
If you want to use the freezer, it’s best to freeze ube crinkle cookies before baking. You can freeze balls of cookie dough just like other drop cookies. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet, put them in the freezer overnight, then transfer to a freezer bag and squeeze out all of the air. To bake, let the balls of crinkle cookie dough come to room temperature on a lined cookie sheet before you roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. Bake as directed.
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Ube Crinkle Cookies
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 2 cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) bleached all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (150 grams or 5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 teaspoons ube extract
- ½ cup ube halaya (ube jam)
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
- Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small to medium-sized bowl.2 cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) bleached all purpose flour, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl if using a hand mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the sugar and egg together on medium speed until it is light in color, 1 to 2 minutes.¾ cup (150 grams or 5.3 ounces) granulated sugar, 1 large egg
- Add the melted butter and ube extract and mix together for 1 minute.8 tablespoons (113 grams or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, 2 teaspoons ube extract
- Add the ube halaya and mix.½ cup ube halaya (ube jam)
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low or stir in by hand just until they are fully incorporated.
- Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F and ready a small bowl of confectioners' sugar and two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats.½ cup confectioners' sugar, plus more if needed
- Use a medium (#40) cookie scoop or two spoons to scoop balls of dough into the confectioners' sugar, and toss to coat thickly. Place on the baking sheets an inch to two apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven. The cookies will be slightly firm to touch but the inside will look soft.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
- Crinkle cookies can be stored for a week at room temperature.
Looking for dinner inspiration, classic recipes and new seasonal favorites?
This recipe for ube crinkle cookies was this week’s submission to the reddit 52 weeks of baking (Week 42: Celebrity recipe or trend). The recipe starting point is the Chocolate Quakes recipe from the Essential New York Times Cookbook by Amanda Hesser. That book is one of my favorite cookbooks.