Red Velvet Cookies

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Now you can have your red velvet cake in cookie form! These homemade Red Velvet Cookies taste just like the classic cake and are so easy to make. They have a distinctive tangy 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

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.

Homemade Red Velvet Cookies

We’re going the homemade route for these cookies, but 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. Even though they’re based on a cake, they aren’t cakey cookies. Instead, 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) food coloring for this. If using gel food coloring you’ll need to use less.

Chips: Use a combination of your favorite kinds of chocolate chips or go all white or all milk/semi-sweet.

Stack of red velvet cookies with more cookies around it

How to Make Red Velvet Cookies

  1. Line 2 cookie 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.
Close up shot of one red velvet cookie split in half to show inisde with more cookies all around it

Tips

  • Depending on the kind of red coloring food coloring you use, you will need a different amount. For example, 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

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!

More Red Velvet Desserts You’ll Love

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Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

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
  • 1/3⅓ 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

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 Notes

  • For gel food coloring, use ½ 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).

Nutrition Information

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
Keyword apple cookies, red velvet, red velvet cookies, valentines day
Stack of red velvet cookies with more cookies around it and recipe title on top of image

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

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