Red Velvet Cookies

published Dec 13, 2023
Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

Inspired by the classic layer cake, these are impossibly soft and fudgy.

Makes22 (2.5-inch) cookies

Prep20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook8 minutes to 10 minutes

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Overhead shot of red velvet cookies stacked on a white platter.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

With its deep crimson layers and snowy-white cream cheese icing, red velvet cake is one of the most eye-catching desserts out there. But why wait for a special occasion to enjoy this stunning layer cake when you can treat yourself to red velvet cookies anytime?

Red velvet cookies have a mild cocoa flavor that is not quite chocolatey — just like the cake that inspires them. They have a slightly tangy flavor, but are mostly sweet and buttery. And because cookies should be simple and easy to make, there’s no mixer required for these ruby-red cookies.

What Ingredients Are in Red Velvet Cookies?

  • Unsalted butter: Melted butter makes this a no-mixer-required cookie and gives the cookies the perfect texture.
  • Sugar: Use a combination of light or dark brown sugar and granulated sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness and chew.
  • Egg: Helps provide structure for the cookies.
  • Milk: Adds moisture, which contributes to their velvety texture.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds a warm, sweet flavor to the cookie dough.
  • Red food coloring: Use either gel or liquid food coloring to give the cookies their vibrant red hue. 
  • Distilled white vinegar: This provides the signature tang and reacts with baking soda to aerate the cookie dough.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda works with the vinegar as leavening agents.
  • Kosher salt: Even sweets need a little bit of salt to bring out the best of their flavors.
  • All-purpose flour: Gives the cookies their structure. 
  • Unsweetened natural cocoa powder: Cocoa powder adds a hint of chocolate flavor. It can be quite lumpy, so make sure to whisk well or pass through a fine-mesh strainer before adding to the wet ingredients. 
  • White chocolate chips: In lieu of cream cheese frosting, mix white chocolate chips into the batter. Save a few white chocolate chips and add them to the top of the cookie dough balls just before baking for a professional look.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Kelli Foster

How to Make Red Velvet Cookies

  • Combine butter and sugar. Melted butter gives these cookies a fudgy texture and lets you mix the dough without the help of a mixer. Stir the sugars into the butter until well-combined.
  • Add egg, milk, vinegar, flavorings, and red food coloring. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients (and the salt) and stir well before adding the dry ingredients.
  • Combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Whisk to evenly distribute the cocoa powder and baking soda in the all-purpose flour and to break up any lumps. 
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until no dry spots remain. 
  • Chill. The dough is soft and fudgy, so refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour will help the cookies maintain their shape. 
  • Scoop and bake. Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough, then press a few extra white chocolate chips into the top of the dough balls. Bake until the edges are set and the center is puffed, about 8 minutes.

More Red Velvet Recipes to Love

Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

Inspired by the classic layer cake, these are impossibly soft and fudgy.

Prep time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes to 10 minutes

Makes 22 (2.5-inch) cookies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespooons (1 stick)

    unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 tablespoon

    whole or 2% milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    red liquid or gel food coloring

  • 1 teaspoon

    distilled white vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsweetened natural cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 3/4 cup

    white chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until almost completely melted in 20-second bursts, 40 seconds to 1 minute total. (Alternatively, heat butter in a small pan over medium heat until melted.) Add 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and stir with a flexible spatula until combined and no lumps remain.

  2. Add 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon whole or 2% milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 1/2 teaspoons red liquid or gel food coloring, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir until combined.

  3. Place 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine, making sure no lumps of cocoa powder remain. Add to the butter mixture and stir until no dry spots remain.

  4. Add 1/2 cup of the white chocolate chips and stir to combine. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  5. Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon portions. Place the dough balls at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets, 11 per sheet. Press the remaining 1/4 cup white chocolate chips into the tops of the dough balls (3 to 4 each).

  6. Bake for 4 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake until the cookies are set around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes more. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dough can be made, covered, and refrigerated overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or until easy to scoop before portioning. The dough balls (with the chocolate chips pressed into the top) can also be frozen until solid, then stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake straight from the refrigerator or freezer, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the first bake time.

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 3 days.