Traditional crinkle cookies with a hint of ube or purple sweet potatoes is a HUGE hit in our house. The recipe can be made with egg or without egg. All the tips you need to know to get the perfect crinkles and to prevent the powdered sugar from melting.
Purple crinkle cookies
This amazingly soft ube or purple sweet potato crinkle cookies have become one of our family favorites every year. I like the crusty cookies on the outside but the inside is soooo soft, gooey and just melt in your mouth!! It has that hint of purple sweet potato that I love. Even if you don’t think you will like purple sweet potato or ube, you will not mind it in these cookies. For Real!
*Please note that I will mention both Ube or purple sweet potatoes in this post, but they are not the same thing. I tried the recipe with ube and two different types of purple sweet potatoes. The recipe can be made with any of the three*
Why we love these ube crinkle cookies
1. The recipe uses mashed ube or purple sweet potatoes and not only using extract. So I can actually taste some ube in the cookies
2. The cookies are not overly sweet. You can adjust by adding more if you have a sweet tooth.
3. Now you can make eggless ube crinkle cookies by replacing the egg with ground flax seeds
You can read about the different purple sweet potatoes and ube in this purple sweet potato chiffon cake.
Substitute for fresh ube yam
If you can’t find fresh ube (I couldn’t), here are options of what you can use:
1. Frozen grated ube
2. Ube halaya
3. Stokes or Okinawan sweet potatoes
Why the ube cookies turn green or blue after baking?
The acid-base balance is what causing the purple color to change color. Anything basic (alkaline) will turn the purple color greenish or bluish. Ingredients like egg whites and baking powder are more alkaline and causing the color to change. This doesn’t alter the taste of your cookies. It’s just the appearance.
How do you fix this? Anything acidic will prevent it from turning green or blue, however, I’m a bit hesitant about adding acid into this cookie dough. Not sure how much to add, etc. Something for me to experiment on in the future. In the meantime, please add ube extract or food coloring to make sure you get the nice vibrant purple color.
Why the ube crinkle cookies don’t crinkle?
1. Make sure you measure ingredients correctly
Too much flour will make your cookie tougher and won’t expand and give you that crinkle look
2. Don’t overbeat the butter and sugar
The butter and sugar in cookie don’t have to beat until fluffy like in making a cake. If you incorporate too much air into the cookie dough, the structure will be weak and it will deflate when you take them out from the oven, no fun!
3. The dough needs to be chilled for at least 4 hours
I have tried to chill for 2 hours but the result wasn’t good. I would recommend at least 4 hours or overnight if you have the time
4. Roll the cookie dough in sugar only after the oven is done preheating and ready for baking.
Once you coat with icing sugar, they need to go on the baking sheet and into the oven for baking
5. Avoid touching the cookie dough too much after coating with sugar
6. Oven temperature
Make sure your oven temperature is accurate. I used to bake crinkle cookies at 350 F, but I found that at 325 F, they allow the cookies enough time to spread to create those crinkle effect
How to get that perfect crinkles on crinkle cookies and prevent icing sugar from melting?
No matter how much icing sugar I coat the cookie dough with, it seems like they just get absorbed into the dough during baking and disappear. So I ended up with cookies that barely have any crinkle effect on top. Finally, after doing a bit of research, I learned from reviewers at King Arthur’s Baking that rolling the cookie dough in granulated sugar first and then heavily coat with icing sugar helps to prevent the icing sugar from melting or being absorbed by the cookie dough. You guys, this trick works like a charm!
The cookies have that light taste of ube or purple sweet potatoes in it, which is really nice! Kids really are digging these cookies. I have to actually hide these cookies away from them LOL!
These crinkle cookies are made with Stokes purple sweet potato (with brownish purple skin).
These crinkle cookies are made with ube.
How to freeze unbaked ube crinkle cookies
Prepare as directed in the recipe up to chilling the dough for at least 4 hours and then roll them into little balls. I place the balls on a baking sheet, not touching each other, and then place in the freezer for 1 hour. They will firm up and then I transfer to a freezer bag to save space. They can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight or in the counter for at least 30 minutes, then roll in granulated sugar, and then heavily coat with powdered sugar
How to freeze baked ube crinkle cookies
Let the baked cookies cool down completely. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, not touching each other and freeze for 1 hour and then transfer to a container in a single layer in between sheets of parchment paper. Simply thaw them in the fridge or at the kitchen counter before serving
Did you make this ube crinkle cookies recipe?
I love it when you guys snap a photo and tag to show me what you’ve made 🙂 Simply tag me @WhatToCookToday #WhatToCookToday on Instagram and I’ll be sure to stop by and take a peek for real!
You may also like this red velvet cream cheese crinkle cookies
You may also like these recipes using ube
*The recipe was first published in 2017 and the recipe has been updated on December 2, 2020 to improve the result and I’m also sharing tips on how to get that perfect crinkles and to prevent icing sugar from melting or get absorbed by the cookie dough*
For baking/ kueh making: I highly encourage to weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.GRAMS TO CUPS CONVERSION (UNSIFTED)
For eggless ube crinkle cookies:
- 2 Tbsp finely ground flax seeds
- 6 Tbsp water
To roll the cookie doughs:
- 120 grams confectioners’ sugar - 1 cup, for rolling & dusting cookies
- 50 grams granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
For eggless version:
- Mix ground flax seeds with water and let it sits for 10-15 minutes
Prepare ube or purple sweet potatoes:
- If using fresh ube, Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, or Stokes purple sweet potatoes, peel the skin and then cut into large chunks and steam for about 15 minutes or until easily mash with fork. You can also microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
- If using frozen grated ube, thaw and pour off any excess liquid. Steam for about 10-15 minutes or until easily mashable. Pour off any excess liquid if any
- Get about 125 grams of purple sweet potatoes or ube to make cookies, you can keep the rest for other use
Prepare cookie dough:
- Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside. Cream the softened butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes max, over medium speed. Don't over cream the butter and sugar too or cookies will collapse after cooling down. Add room temperature egg (for egg version) or soaked flax seeds (for eggless version). Stop halfway and scrape the side of the bowl. Add ube or purple sweet potatoes, food coloring or ube extract and beat until combined
- Turn the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture in 3 batches and let it mix until just combined. Don't overwork the dough. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Please don't be tempted to add more flour
Chill the cookie dough:
- Cover the mixing bowl and chill the dough in the fridge (not freezer) for at least 4 hours. It is best if you can do overnight. The longer you chill, the flavor will be more intense too
Shape the cookies:
- Preheat oven at 325 F (160 C). When the oven is done preheating, scoop about 1 Tbsp of the cookie dough out. The cookie dough is still sticky but easier to work with because it's cold. You can also spray your palms with non-stick cooking spray or lightly oil them. Roll it into a ball and place them on a lined cookie sheet
- Roll each one in granulated sugar first and then generously roll them in icing sugar. This step prevents the icing sugar from being absorbed by the dough and you won't get the crinkle effect. Roll them about 2-3 times in the icing sugar to make sure each ball is well-coated or the confectioners' sugar will not show much after baking
- Pop them into the oven, 3rd rack from the top. (Edited) Let them bake for 13 minutes for really soft cookies or 14-15 minutes if you want them crispier on the outside. They will still appear to be very soft when you pull them out from the oven. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. They will firm up a bit as they cool down. The inside is still so soft and super yum
- Let the cookies cool down completely and then keep in air-tight container. They can be kept at room temperature for about a week. If you want to keep the longer, freeze them