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Homemade Red Velvet Cookies: now you can have your red velvet cake in cookie form! They taste just like the classic cake and are so easy to make. They have that distinctive tangy red velvet flavor and are soft and chewy cookies – they will be a hit with the red velvet fans in your life.

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Overhead shot of red velvet cookies right out of the oven


Homemade Red Velvet Cookies

These cookies are what happens when you take the best of a red velvet cake and reimagine it in cookie form. These red velvet cookies are chocolaty and rich with that hint of tang, just like the cake. And, of course, they have the signature red color.

They are perfect any time of year but especially around the holidays or Valentine’s Day when you want a festive red cookie to share with friends and family.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • It’s an easy from-scratch recipe!
  • One bowl, a few steps, a short chill time, and they’re ready to go in the oven.
  • This is a well-tested recipe, and I can promise all of the flavors are perfectly balanced, and the cookies have the best texture. They’re soft and chewy – just the way a cookie should be.
Overhead shot of red food coloring, cocoa powder and white vinegar

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter: Start with melted unsalted butter. I love using melted butter in cookie recipes!
  • Sugar: This recipe has both packed brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  • Cocoa: Use unsweetened cocoa powder – not Dutch process! I love Hershey’s brand.
  • Egg: Be sure to buy large eggs.
  • Vanilla Extract: For flavoring
  • Baking Soda: This is what makes a soft and chewy cookie. Baking soda also helps with spread.
  • Salt: For flavor, required if using unsalted butter. Omit if using salted butter.
  • White Vinegar: Buttermilk is often what you’ll find used in Red Velvet Cake. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda and also helps the food coloring to be vibrant in color. Since we’re not adding milk, I just add some vinegar to the cookie dough. In a pinch you can use lemon juice.
  • All-Purpose Flour: These cookies have been tested with this regular flour – be sure to measure it correctly.
  • Red Food Coloring: This is what makes the cookies RED velvet! I prefer using regular grocery store (water based, i.e. McCormick) liquid food coloring for this. If using gel food coloring you’ll need to use less.
  • Chocolate Chips: Use a combination of your favorite kinds of chocolate chips or go all white or all milk/semi-sweet.
how to make red velvet cookies

How to Make Red Velvet Cookies

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. Combine both kinds of sugar with the melted butter in a large bowl. Mix in the cocoa powder, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour and stir to combine.
  3. Mix in the vinegar and red food coloring and then stir in the white and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop two tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls and place them two inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Chill the cookie dough balls for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the chilled baking sheet with the cookies in a preheated oven. Bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes at 350°F. When the cookies lose their glossy sheen, they are ready.
  6. Cool them on the sheet before serving. If desired, bake without chocolate chips and frost them with cream cheese frosting.
overhead shot of cookies with and without frosting

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

You can make these cookies TWO ways – with chocolate or white chocolate chips or with cream cheese frosting.

If you’re making them with frosting, leave out the chips and bake them. They’ll flatten and be perfect for adding cream cheese icing.

Expert Tips

  • Depending on the kind of red coloring food coloring you use, you will need a different amount. If you use regular grocery-store food coloring, you will need one teaspoon. However, a little goes a long way with gel food coloring, so you will only need ½ teaspoon if you use that.
  • The vinegar is added at the end, so it doesn’t immediately activate the baking soda. Remember the volcano school projects? You’ll have a little red velvet volcano on your hands if you add it too soon.
  • You can substitute lemon juice if you don’t have white vinegar. Be sure not to use balsamic or red vinegar!
Stack of red velvet cookies with more cookies around it

FAQ about Easy Red Velvet Cookies

Is it necessary to use vinegar when making red velvet?

It depends on the recipe, but most red velvet recipes do include vinegar. It helps create the tangy flavor, and it also activates the baking soda, which gives the red velvet its rise when it bakes.

Is red velvet just dyed red?

No, it’s not just a cake dyed red.Old-fashioned red velvet cakes don’t always have food coloring. When you mix an ingredient like buttermilk with cocoa powder and vinegar, a chemical reaction tints the cake a dark red or maroon, or reddish-brown color. Modern recipes often have red food coloring to create a more vibrant color. 

Do cookies need chilling?

These red velvet cookies need chilling, so they don’t spread too much when they bake. It’s always a good idea to double-check any cookie recipe for this step – some recipes require chilling, some don’t.

How to store red velvet cookies?

These cookies keep great at room temperature for up to three days as long as they are kept in an airtight container.

Can you freeze cookies?

Yes, these cookies freeze great! Keep them in a freezer-safe container, and they will keep well for up to three months.

You don’t need an excuse to make this red velvet cookie recipe, so don’t wait! They are seriously the best – I know you will love them!

Stack of red velvet cookies with more cookies around it

Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

4.99 from 64 votes
Make Red Velvet Cookies from scratch! These homemade cookies taste like red velvet cake but in cookie form.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Yield 19 cookies
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar
  • cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) unsweetened cocoa powder not dutch process
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ (186g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring see note
  • ¾ cup (128g) white chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup (128g) milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Cream Cheese Frosting optional

Instructions

  • Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Stir both sugars into the melted butter in a large bowl. Stir in cocoa powder, egg, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Slowly stir in flour.
  • Add the vinegar and red food coloring and stir, then stir in white and chocolate chips.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon size cookie dough balls onto cookie sheets 2-inches apart. Chill 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake chilled cookies 10-13 minutes or until they just lose their glossy sheen. Cool on cookie sheets before removing to eat.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • For gel food coloring, use 1/2 tsp.
  • Be sure to add the vinegar with the food coloring at the end so that it doesn’t activate the baking soda too early (think elementary school volcano project).
  • To frost with cream cheese frosting, omit chips and bake as directed. Frost after they’ve cooled; makes about 16 cookies.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

More Red Velvet Desserts You’ll Love

Make Red Velvet Cookies from scratch! These homemade cookies taste like red velvet cake but in cookie form.

Last Updated on January 13, 2023



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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31 Comments

  1. How long should I bake if I want to do 1 TBS size? And should I let it get to room temp if I make a day ahead? Or will it spread too much?

    1. They do need to be chilled so you can bake from the fridge, but if you notice them not falling in the oven just press them lightly with the back of a spatula. I would say 8-12 min bake time but all ovens bake differently.

  2. Can you make the dough ahead of time, and keep the dough chilled in fridge or freezer? If so can you bake it right away or let it warm up a bit?

    1. Yes – both. The dough needs to be chilled anyway – you can chill up to overnight. You may need to press them a bit flat to help them flatten if they’ve been chilled longer than 30 min. Freezing, you can freeze dough or baked cookies. I haven’t baked these right from frozen, so I’d let them thaw just a bit first and press them a little with your palm to flatten.

    2. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. By the time I incorporate the flour it’s more like bread dough (stiff and hard to turn) than cookie dough. Makes incorporating the remaining ingredients next to impossible. Any thoughts or advice?

      1. What kind of butter are you using? As long as you don’t let the mixture sit for a long time before stirring, if the butter is liquid, it should come together.

  3. I made these cookies for a birthday at work. The birthday girl was not here that day but the cookies are gone LOL. Needless to say I will be making more this weekend and doubling the recipe. The only thing I added was I rolled the balls in powdered sugar before putting them in the freezer for 30 minutes. Thank you for a great cookie recipe!

  4. Okay, so I misread the recipe and used softened butter instead of melted butter. I am guessing that this is why I ended up with cookies that didn’t spread a whole lot and wound up as little mounds. Like some of the other reviewers, I used cream cheese chips. They were very well received at my local baking club’s monthly meeting. Will make these again, but I’ll be sure to melt the butter next time.

  5. These are so good!!! I’ve made them multiple times. I skip the chilling now after the first time because i didn’t chill them the second time due to time but i didn’t notice any difference. It was also a little too much chocolate chips to cookie ratio so i do 1/2 cup of each instead of 3/4. Definitely a keeper! Also! My grocery store just started carrying cream cheese chips! Can’t wait to try this recipe with them!