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Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

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Red Velvet Cookies

Red velvet cookies are a delightful treat featuring rich cocoa flavor, soft texture, and vibrant red color. You can make these cookies with cream cheese, chocolate chips, and your choice of food coloring to suit any occasion. Whether you’re baking them for Valentine’s Day or just because, red velvet cookies are sure to impress your friends and family.

These cookies are both simple to make and delicious. The combination of cocoa, buttermilk, and red food coloring gives them a unique flavor and look, making them stand out on any dessert table. Whip up a batch and enjoy the sweet, chewy goodness that everyone will love.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Making red velvet cookies requires specific ingredients to get the best flavor and texture. Below are the exact ingredients you’ll need and some possible substitutes if you’re out of certain items.

Exact Ingredients

  1. All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure to your cookies.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the dough.
  3. Brown Sugar: Adds moisture and a bit of caramel flavor.
  4. Unsalted Butter: Gives a rich taste and necessary fat.
  5. Egg: Binds ingredients together.
  6. Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor.
  7. Cocoa Powder: Gives the characteristic red velvet flavor.
  8. Baking Soda: Helps the dough rise.
  9. Salt: Enhances flavors.
  10. Red Food Coloring: Provides the distinct red color.
  11. White Chocolate Chips: Adds sweetness and texture.

+ Possible Substitutes

  1. Whole Wheat Flour: Can be used instead of all-purpose flour, but it will give a denser texture.
  2. Coconut Sugar: A substitute for granulated sugar, though it will add a slight coconut flavor.
  3. Maple Syrup or Honey: Instead of brown sugar, but reduce other liquid ingredients slightly.
  4. Margarine or Coconut Oil: Instead of unsalted butter; affects flavor and texture slightly.
  5. Flax Egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water): One flax egg can replace a regular egg, popular in vegan recipes.
  6. Almond Extract: You can use this instead of vanilla extract for a different flavor profile.
  7. Dark Chocolate Chips: Instead of white chocolate chips for a less sweet, richer flavor.

Adjusting ingredients can affect the final taste and texture of your cookies, so experiment carefully.


  1. Preheat Your Oven

    • Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare Baking Sheets

    • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients

    • In a medium bowl, whisk together:
      • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 1/2 tsp salt
  4. Cream Butter and Sugars

    • In a large mixing bowl, beat together:
      • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • Mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add Wet Ingredients

    • Mix in:
      • 1 large egg
      • 1 tbsp red food coloring
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • Beat until completely combined.
  6. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients

    • Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.
    • Continue mixing until just combined.
  7. Fold In Chocolate Chips

    • Gently fold in:
      • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  8. Chill the Dough

    • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
    • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  9. Scoop and Shape

    • Scoop 2-tablespoon portions of dough.
    • Roll into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
  10. Bake Cookies

    • Bake for 10-12 minutes until set.
    • Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes.
    • Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  11. Enjoy!

    • Let the cookies cool before enjoying.

Tips, Tricks & Storing

1. Use Quality Ingredients

Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Fresh baking soda and cocoa powder make a difference. Use good vanilla extract for a richer flavor.

2. Chill the Dough

Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. This helps keep the cookies from spreading too much. It also makes it easier to shape them.

3. Don’t Overmix

When combining the dry and wet ingredients, mix just until combined. Overmixing can make the cookies tough.

4. Parchment Paper

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. It helps prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier.

5. Watch the Oven

Keep a close eye on your cookies while they bake. They’re done when the edges are set but the centers are still soft. This usually takes about 7-9 minutes.

6. Cool Properly

Let the cookies cool on the sheet tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them set and prevents breaking.

7. Frosting

For an extra treat, add cream cheese frosting. Beat together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread on cooled cookies.

Storing Tips

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
You can also freeze the cookies. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. They’ll keep for up to three months.
For frosted cookies, freeze them on a baking sheet first, then transfer to a bag to prevent the frosting from getting smooshed.

Enjoy your red velvet cookies!

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

Recipe Variations

Red Velvet with White Chocolate Chips: Add in white chocolate chips for a sweet twist. They melt slightly during baking, adding a creamy texture.

Cream Cheese Frosting Sandwiches: Bake thinner cookies and pair them up with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting between two cookies. It’s like a red velvet cookie sandwich!

Gluten-Free: Substitute regular flour with gluten-free flour. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.

Vegan Option: Use plant-based butter and a flaxseed egg mixture (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water) instead of eggs. Ensure other ingredients like chocolate chips are vegan.

Serving Suggestions

With Ice Cream: Sandwich a scoop of your favorite ice cream between two cookies. Vanilla or cream cheese flavored ice cream works great.

Dipped in Milk or Coffee: Serve them with a glass of cold milk or a hot cup of coffee. It’s a match made in heaven!

Festive Touch: Decorate your cookies with red or white sprinkles for a festive look during holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

Party Platter: Arrange the cookies on a platter with small bowls of cream cheese frosting for dipping. It adds a DIY element that’s fun for parties.