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Ube Cookies Recipe – Soft and Chewy

Ube cookies are delightfully soft and chewy, packed with real ube halaya, and studded with white chocolate chips for the perfect ube treat. It’s very easy to make too!

(Looking for ube crinkles? Check out this easy and very popular ube crinkle cookies recipe.)

Ube Cookies Recipe

Don’t you just love ube? 

When I started my blog all those years ago, I felt alone in my obsession with the humble Filipino purple yam but, happily, it’s gone mainstream since then that even Trader Joe’s sells ube sugar cookies and other treats.

And lemme tell you, I’ve been a busy bee all summer working on all kinds of ube recipe ideas. 

These are just some of my newest ones that are fast becoming reader favourites:

Today I have ube cookies for you.

Imagine your favourite chewy and fudgy favourite chocolate chip cookie, but ube. It’s so good!

And it’s hard to resist that lovely purple colour, which makes this perfect for celebrations like Christmas and Easter. Let’s get to it.

How are ube cookies different from ube crinkles

Ube Cookies Recipe

As much as I love my ube crinkles recipe, I’ve had requests to come up with an ube cookie recipe that’s not a crinkle. 

Crinkles are awesome, but I understand a lot of you want good old fashioned ube cookies. Hey, me too!

So this recipe is closer to ube chocolate chip cookies, but with white chocolates. So I suppose we can call it an ube white chocolate cookies recipe if we’re being all formal lol.

Regardless of what you end up calling them, these cookies have the same tender, chewy and fudgy consistency of a chocolate chip cookie but packed with that delicious ube flavour we love.

Why you’ll love this ube cookie recipe

Making ube cookies is the easiest thing ever. You’ll want to make them all the time.

  • No powdered sugar. Unlike crinkles, you don’t need to roll the cookie dough in powdered sugar.
  • Don’t need to crackle. And you don’t need to worry about whether they will properly crackle or not. Just place on your baking sheet, bake and enjoy.
  • Packed with ube flavour. Like all my ube recipes here on TUB, these cookies are packed with ube flavour not just from ube extract but from a generous amount of ube jam or ube halaya. 
  • Pretty purple. It’s seriously hard to ignore that purple colour. These will definitely stand out in your cookie tray, at bake sales, and will make for stunning holiday gifts. 
  • Keeps well. Plus, they keep well. You can leave the cookies in your cookie jar on your counter for up to five days or chill in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. They’ll disappear sooner than that though!
  • Delicious. Because they are very, very good cookies. Perfect with coffee, tea or, my personal favourite, milk. Even Santa will appreciate it.

How to make chewy ube cookies

Ube Cookies Recipe

Making ube cookies is easy. The cookie dough needs to chill  before baking so you’ll need to plan around that but otherwise, each step is simple and straightforward.

First you’ll want to gather your ingredients.

Ingredients

To make these pretty purple cookies with white chocolate chips, you’ll need:

  • All purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Ube jam or ube halaya
  • Eggs
  • Ube extract
  • White chocolate chips

Baking Tools

I like using my stand mixer when making these cookies but a handheld electric mixer will also work. Note that the batter is very thick and sticky so you might be in for a little arm workout if using a handheld mixer.

I also use:

  • A cookie sheet — I usually use a commercial-sized cookie sheet but a regular-sized one will work as well (see tips below)
  • Parchment paper or a Silpat mat
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Rubber spatula 
  • Cookie scoop — I use a medium-sized cookie scoop. You can also use a regular spoon or even your fingers; a cookie scoop just ensures your cookies are the same size.

I also always recommend using a kitchen scale and an oven thermometer when baking for better results.

Ube cookies recipe

1 DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium sized bowl, whisk all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2 BUTTER AND SUGAR. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat unsalted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on med-high speed until well blended.

3 UBE. Add ube jam and ube extract and continue beating until incorporated.

4 EGGS. Add eggs and beat until combined

5 FLOUR MIXTURE. Add your flour mixture to your ube mixture in thirds and beat until no more streaks of flour remain. Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl in every step.

6 WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Stir in white chocolate chips, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill the batter for at least 3 hours.

7 PREHEAT. When ready, preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8 ROLL. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls using your hands. Place on cookie sheet with about 2 inches of space around each cookie.

Scoop and roll cookie dough into balls

9 BAKE. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the cookies are just set. 

Bake cookies until set

10 COOL. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the pan. Optional but highly recommended step: as soon as you remove your cookies from the oven, gently press a few pieces of white chocolate chips on top of each cookie. This makes them prettier but note that this adds to their sweetness as well.

Gently press white chocolate chips on top of cookies

Tips for making perfect purple yam cookies every time

Easy, right? Here are tips to make this ube cookies recipe even easier.

  • Cookie dough is too sticky. If the dough is too sticky to scoop out, chill it some more. If you’re having difficulty rolling it because your hands are getting sticky, try rolling with damp hands.
  • Cookie dough is too hard. If the cookie batter is too tough to scoop out, leave it out on the counter for a few minutes before scooping. Watch that it doesn’t get too soft though.
  • Baking chewy cookies. For perfectly chewy cookies, don’t over bake them because they will continue to cook while cooling in the pan. My magic number is 11 minutes but since every oven is different, check at 10 minutes. And always use an oven thermometer to ensure you’re baking at the correct temperature.
  • I only have one baking pan. If you only have one baking pan or cookie sheet, no worries. You can use the same pan to bake the whole batch. Just make sure to keep the uncooked cookie dough in the fridge while each batch is cooking and that the pan has cooled completely before using again. Also watch that your oven temperature remains constant.
  • Is it necessary to chill the cookie dough? Yes, it is necessary to chill the cookie dough in this Philippine cookies recipe. It helps make the batter manageable to scoop and roll, allows the flavours to come together, and prevents the cookies from spreading too much.

What is ube and other FAQs

Ube Cookies Recipe

What is ube

Ube is purple yam. It’s often mistaken for purple sweet potato or taro but these are all different from one another.

Ube is not unique to the Philippines but it is definitely a national favourite. It’s made into all sorts of treats like ube ice cream, ube cake, and ube jam.

After all these years, I still find it challenging to describe how ube tastes like. 

It’s very unique and doesn’t taste similar to anything I can think of.  It’s really one of those things you have to taste for yourself.

Do I need to use ube jam

Ube jam is often the base of many ube recipes and this cookie recipe is no exception. You need the jam here for that real, earthy, bold ube flavour.

You can find ube jam or ube halaya in Asian supermarkets. You can also find some online. Frankly though, I’ve never been happy with the ones I’ve tried here. 

So I make my own ube halaya and couldn’t be happier. I use fresh ube but you can also use frozen ube if that’s what’s available. Check it out.

Do I need to use ube extract

You also need ube extract in this recipe. It intensifies the ube flavour and helps bring that vibrant violet to the cookies.

Without ube extract, your ube cookies won’t be as purple and the ube flavour will be lacking.

You can find ube extract in Asian supermarkets and Amazon. I use McCormick ube extract or flavouring in my ube recipes.

Ube Cookies Recipe

Can I use chocolate chips

You can definitely use chocolate chips instead of white chocolate chips in this recipe. 

Just note that chocolate chips aren’t as sweet as white chocolate chips so the flavour profile of your cookies will change.

Can I make ube cookies ahead of time

If you’re not planning to bake cookies today, you can chill the cookie dough overnight and bake them tomorrow.

Baked ube cookies will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You can serve them chilled or room temperature.

How to store purple yam cookies

You have two options for storage:

1. In your cookie jar on your counter. Cookies will last up to 5 days. I’ve found that they tend to get very soft and tender the longer they sit though. This is not a bad thing, I just prefer my cookies with a little more fudginess to them. So my recommendation is #2 below.

2. In an airtight container in the fridge. Kept in the fridge, these cookies will last up to 3 weeks. And they will acquire a nice fudgy texture to them, in addition to being soft and tender. Perfect!

Other ube dessert recipes

If you love this purple Filipino dessert as much as I do, you’ll love these other purple dessert recipes.

  • Ube chiffon cake is light, airy and melts-in-your-mouth. With its vibrant purple colour and delicious ube flavour, it’s perfect for special occasions. Easy to make, it’s great as an everyday cake too!
  • Ube cupcakes are little ube cakes packed with big ube flavour. Soft, dense and just the right amount of sweet. Top with ube whipped cream frosting and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut for the ultimate Filipino treat.
Ube Cookies Recipe

Ube Cookies Recipe – Soft and Chewy

Author: Jolina
Ube cookies are delightfully soft and chewy, packed with real ube halaya, and studded with white chocolate chips for the perfect ube treat. It’s very easy to make too!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 44 cookies
Calories 135 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  •  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat unsalted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on med-high speed until well blended.
    Beat butter and sugar
  • Add ube jam and ube extract and continue beating until incorporated.
    Add ube to butter mixture
  • Add eggs and beat until combined.
    Add eggs until well blended
  • Add your flour mixture to your ube mixture in thirds and beat until no more streaks of flour remain. Remember to scrape the bottom and sides of your bowl in every step.
    Add flour mixture to ube mixture
  • Stir in white chocolate chips, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill the batter for at least 3 hours.
    Add white chocolate chips to ube cookie dough
  • When ready, preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into balls using your hands. Place on cookie sheet with about 2 inches of space around each cookie.
    Scoop and roll cookie dough into balls
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the cookies are just set. 
    Bake cookies until set
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on the pan. Optional but highly recommended step: as soon as you remove your cookies from the oven, gently press a few pieces of white chocolate chips on top of each cookie. This makes them prettier but note that this adds to their sweetness as well.
    Gently press white chocolate chips on top of cookies

Video

Notes

  1. The total number of cookies will depend on how big or small you roll your cookie dough.
  2. Not all ube jams are made the same. I make my own ube halaya and if you use that to make your ube cookies, you don’t need to change anything in the recipe. If you use store-bought ube jam, taste your cookie dough before adding in the egg so you can decide if you need more sugar, ube or both. Make sure to add sugar or ube in small increments.
  3. See post for complete step-by-step photos, lots of baking tips, and FAQs.

Nutrition

Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 60mgPotassium: 137mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 144IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information are estimates only.

Keyword Christmas, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking, Ube Dessert, Ube Recipe
Tried this recipe?Tag @iamtheunlikelybaker I’d love to see your creations!

Happy baking!

Did you make ube cookies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

And let’s get social! Find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Rate the Recipe




Hanna

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

These were so good Jolina! They became very soft after cooling but after I put them in the refrigerator they firmed up a little and were perfect.

Jolina

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Glad you liked them Hanna! I prefer chilling these cookies as well.

Lynndee

Sunday 10th of October 2021

I love ube-flavored pastries, but I haven't tried baking these cookies, though. Bet they're good!

Cassie Tucker

Saturday 9th of October 2021

I have never had Ube before, I have seen ube cookies at local bakeries recently though. I will probably try your recipe before I go and spend money on a dozen at a bakery.

Ruth

Saturday 9th of October 2021

My mom likes ube desserts. I tried the ube crinkles before and it was delicious. I bet this is as yummy too!

Ana

Friday 8th of October 2021

I love the purple color of ube cookies and these look incredibly delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!