These White Chocolate Ube Sourdough Cookies are soft, chewy with an intense ube flavor. A twist on classic white chocolate, macadamia nut cookies, these cookies are irresistible and as addictive as they are eye catching.
Ube was one of my favorite desserts when I was growing up in the Philippines. Traditionally, we ate it during the holidays in the form of halaya, a delicious but labor-intensive dessert made with mashed purple yam cooked with milk, sugar and lots of butter.
Ube is such an integral part of Filipino cuisine. Ube was always present at special occasions in one form or another, whether it was ube rice cakes at family reunions or large ube sheet cakes at our birthday parties. We'd always have a tub of ube ice cream in the freezer for days when there was nothing to celebrate.
What is Ube?
Ube is a purple yam that originates from the Philippines. It’s often confused with purple sweet potatoes, however it’s a totally different species and is much sweeter with a more nutty and intense vanilla flavor. It also imparts a richer, darker color to baked goods.
In the last few years, ube has become the darling of the social media baking world because of its scroll-stopping violet hue. It works great as a natural food color that takes baked goods over the top. Ube has helped hundreds of home bakers go viral with desserts ranging from macarons to gourmet donuts. Even companies like Trader Joe’s are cashing in with their very own Ube Mochi Pancake Mix.
Where to Buy Ube
Since it has cemented its status as a cult favorite, ube has become more easily accessible, but you probably still can’t find it at your local grocery store. The purple sweet potatoes sold at specialty stores like Sprouts is not the same as ube and won’t impart the same flavor or deep purple color. In a previous version of this recipe I mistakenly used purple sweet potatoes, so my cookies were not as flavorful and had a bit of a pink-ish hue.
While purples yams may be difficult to find, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find the extract and powder you need for this recipe at your local Asian supermarket. You can also purchase both on Amazon, I used McCormick Ube Flavor Extract and Fil Choice Brand Powdered Purple Yam.
Baking with Sourdough Discard
Sourdough discard adds a great flavor to these cookies. Since you are not using it to make bread, your sourdough starter does not need to be activated or fed for it to work in this recipe. You can use your discard directly from the fridge. Older discard will have a tangier, acidic flavor than freshly-fed sourdough starter. Both will work for this recipe, you’ll get a slightly different result but your Ube White Chocolate Sourdough Cookies will still be delicious!
What You Need
Unsalted butter: Adds richness, substitute with coconut oil or your favorite plant-based alternative
Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar is the best choice for these cookies, when creamed with butter it aerates the dough and imparts a chewy texture to these cookies
Ube extract: The main flavor component for these cookies, it adds an intense ube flavor and purple color to these cookies
Sourdough discard: If you don’t have any sourdough discard add 37 grams of flour and 37 grams of water into the recipe
Egg yolk: Adds richness and binds the ingredients together
Ube powder: Intensifies the ube flavor in these cookies, if you can’t find any, simply leave this ingredient out
Baking powder: Helps these cookies rise and produces a light texture when baked
Baking soda: Helps with the chewy texture of these cookies
Salt: Use sea salt or kosher salt for the best results
All-purpose flour: Keeps these cookies soft and light, do not substitute another type of flour for these cookies
White chocolate chips: Milk or dark chocolate both work great as a substitute, feel free to use baking bars but your cookies may spread a bit more
Macadamia nuts: Pistachios and cashews would make a great flavor substitute in these cookies
1. Cream the butter, sugar and ube extract together until no lumps of butter remain, beat in the sourdough discard, egg yolk until the sourdough discard is completely dissolved
2. Add in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until there are no more traces of dry flour
3. Fold the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts in until evenly distributed
4. Portion out cookie dough and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes
Ube is sweet and has a milky flavor that’s a cross between pistachios and vanilla. It’s a little hard to put your finger on its exact flavor profile, but it’s delicious!
The most prominent flavor in these cookies is ube and not sourdough. Sourdough adds a little bit of tang and moisture that keeps these cookies tasting fresh for days longer.
It’s extremely important not to overbake these cookies, so you’ll pull them out of the oven before they are completely set. While they will be fully baked, your cookies will still be fragile so you need to let them cool and harden on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack.
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Ube White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Sourdough Cookies
- Kitchen scale
- 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- 226 grams unsalted butter softened
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 12 grams ube extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 75 grams sourdough discard
- 240 grams all-purpose flour
- 14 grams ube powder
- 3 grams salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 170 grams white chocolate chips plus more for topping
- 70 grams macadamia nuts roughly chopped
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the dough: Using a hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and ube extract together until no lumps of butter remain.
- Beat the sourdough discard and egg yolk in until the sourdough discard is completely dissolved.
- Switching to a spatula, stir in the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until no traces of dry flour remain.
- Fold the white chocolate and macadamia nuts in until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
- Portion out cookie dough: Using a small cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon) portion out the dough and position cookie dough on parchment-lined baking sheet with room to spread (about 2 inches apart). You should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet. Top each cookie with more chocolate chips (optional).
- Bake: Bake cookies at 350 for 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at leat 5 minutes. Move cooled cookies to a cooling rack.
- Enjoy and store: These cookies are best after they have cooled slightly. Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Ooh this sounds so good! Cookies and sourdough are a dream 🙂
Make It Dough says
These cookies are the best and a breeze to make!
I can't find I've anywhere but I have ube powder. What would the sub be?
Make It Dough says
You could try subbing sweet potato and adding 10 grams of ube powder for color!