Ube crinkles are soft, fluffy and bursting with the ube flavour you love. They are like mini ube cakes and are perfect for the holidays!
(If you’re looking to bake something ube this holiday season, check out this ube cake that’s frosted with the most amazing Swiss meringue buttercream. Cupcakes more your thing? You will love these ube cupcakes topped with whipped ube frosting. And if you’re craving for cheesecake, this luxurious ube cheesecake is all that and more!)
There’s just something about Christmas and cookies. The holidays just make you want to bake (and eat!) more of them.
Ube crinkles are soft, moist and fluffy. They’re packed with that distinctive and delicious ube flavour. And they’re wonderfully purple!
Plus, they are easy to make (watch the video). Just a little chilling, a quick 10 minutes in the oven, and you’re done.
What is ube?
If this is your first time here (welcome to TUB!), you might be wondering what in the world is ube? Short answer: it’s Filipino purple yam.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to find fresh ube here in Canada. In fact I’ve never seen it. I’ve only ever seen the frozen, grated variety.
But if you do chance upon fresh ube (lucky you), it looks similar to a potato (but darker brown). When you cut it open though, it’s a fantastic, bright purple colour.
A lot of people mistake it for taro and sometimes for Okinawan sweet potato.
Taro is not very purple inside at all (the purple you see on your bubble teas is most likely food colouring) and they taste very different too.
What does ube taste like?
I guess the more important question is: what does ube taste like?
It’s always hard for me to answer this question. I always say it’s more sweet than savoury. But not overly sweet. It’s definitely earthy. And delicious.
I used to compare ube to sweet potatoes but that’s just me doing an awful job of describing it. Bottomline: ube has a very unique flavour that you just have to experience!
Some readers told me they’ve tried ube jam (the most common ube dessert you’ll find in stores in this part of the world) and didn’t care for it. However, remember that not all jams are created equal. And jams already have sugar and other flavours in it.
Want the real thing? Try incorporating ube extract or ube flavouring in your recipes for a more accurate ube taste.
How to make ube crinkles
Back to these delightful ube crinkles.
Like its chocolate counterpart, these ube cookies are soft, moist and fluffy. They have that distinctive crackle on top from confectioner’s sugar.
And they’re just as easy to make too.
1. COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS. First you want to combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. MAKE UBE MIXTURE. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, ube jam (or ube halaya) and oil until incorporated. It is important that you taste the mixture at this point (before you add eggs) so you can see if it needs more sugar. Like I mentioned, ube jams are different so you need to adjust according to taste.
3. ADD EGGS. Once you’re okay with the flavour, add eggs and ube extract. Stir until combined.
4. ADD DRY INGREDIENTS. Add your flour mixture in thirds and stir until combined.
5. CHILL. Cover your bowl with the cookie dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
7. SCOOP AND ROLL COOKIES. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of ube cookie dough and, using your hands, roll into a ball. Thoroughly coat each ball with confectioner’s sugar before placing it on the cookie sheet. Make sure to space your cookies about 1-2 inches apart.
8. BAKE AND COOL. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-13 minutes or until they crack on top and start looking matte. They will be soft coming out of the oven but don’t worry, they will continue to set as they cool so do not over bake. Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
Ingredients for ube crinkle cookies
For this ube crinkles recipe, you will need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Ube jam (it’s important that you bake with ube jam that you like, so taste before using)
- Oil (I use canola oil but you can use any flavourless oil, like vegetable oil)
- Ube extract (I usually buy ube extract from Asian supermarkets but you can also find them in Amazon)
- Confectioner’s sugar
Can I freeze the cookie dough for ube crinkles?
Like chocolate crinkles, this ube cookie batter freezes well. You can roll them into balls, place on a baking or cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Then you can transfer them into a freezer-friendly container or Ziploc bag.
When you’re ready to bake, simply get as many cookie balls as you like from the freezer, thaw for 15-20 minutes (watch that they don’t become too soft otherwise they will spread too thinly), roll in the confectioner’s sugar and bake as directed.
How long do ube crinkles last?
In our house, not very long lol!
But assuming we don’t eat it all, these cookies will last 2-3 days in an airtight container. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning to give these out as presents.
Hope you enjoy baking and eating these ube crinkles as much as we do. They are delicious and definitely unique; they will stand out in any cookie tray and will be the star of any holiday cookie swap.
Other Christmas cookie recipes
Looking for other Christmas cookie recipes? These are crowd-favourites:
- Double Chocolate Meringue Cookies. Crispy outside, chewy and chocolatey inside, light as a cloud.
- White Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies. Delightfully sweet and salty in one delicious bite.
- Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies. Sweet, indulgent and will make your house smell like Christmas.
- Chewy Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. These will satisfy your chocolate cravings — soft, succulent and chocolatey with huge chunks of dark chocolate.
Ube Crinkles Recipe (with video)
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 7 oz ube jam (or ube halaya) and 1/2 cup oil until incorporated. It is important that you taste the mixture at this point (before you add eggs) so you can see if it needs more sugar. Like I mentioned, ube jams are different so you need to adjust according to taste.
- Once you’re okay with the flavour, add 2 eggs (which you've already beaten) and 3 tsp ube extract. Stir until combined.
- Add your flour mixture to your ube mixture in thirds and gently stir on low speed until combined.
- Cover the bowl with your cookie dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- When you’re ready, preheat your oven to 350F. Prep a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats). Set aside.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of ube cookie dough and, using your hands, roll into a ball. Thoroughly coat each ball with confectioner's sugar before placing it on the cookie sheet. Make sure to space your cookies about 1-2 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-13 minutes or until they crack on top and start looking matte. They will be soft coming out of the oven but don’t worry, they will continue to set as they cool so do not over bake. Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- The yield depends on how big you make your cookies. I use a 1.5 tbsp cookie scoop.
- It is easier to work with room temperature ube jam vs one straight out of the fridge so make sure to leave it out on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you plan to use it.
- These cookies are going to look a tad under-baked but don’t be tempted to continue baking them because they will turn rock hard. As soon as they crackle, turn matte and start to firm up, you can bring them out of the oven. They will continue to set while on the hot pan.
Nutritional information are estimates only.
Did you make ube crinkles? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.