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red velvet cookies recipe

Red Velvet Cookies Recipe

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  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These red velvet cookies have all the delicious flavor of your favorite red velvet cake but are much faster to make. With their soft and chewy texture and rich, fudgy flavor, it’s love at first bite!


Units Scale

For Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (110 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red gel food coloring
  • 1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted (I use Dutch-process or Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup red sanding sugar for rolling

For Red Sanding Sugar

  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated or course sugar
  • dollop of red gel food coloring (do not use liquid food coloring)


For Cookies

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can melt the butter in a microwave. Pour the butter onto a shallow bowl or plate and freeze for 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let it solidify.
  2. Add the butter to a medium mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and red gel food coloring. Whisk to combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and use a large spatula to fold the ingredients together. Do not over mix.
  4. Let the dough rest while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, divide the cookies the cookies into approximately 2-ounce portions. Roll the balls in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 2 to 3 inches between cookies.
  6. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and centers are still slightly puffed up and under baked. Do not over bake. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more sugar if desired. Cookies will deflate as they cool.

For Red Sanding Sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large plastic bag, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and a dollop of red gel food coloring. Shake the bag and use your hands to massage the food coloring into the sugar. Continue until all of the sugar is covered.
  3. Sift the colored sugar through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Discard any large bits of sugar. Repeat several times until the sugar looks uniform.
  4. Spread the sugar onto the prepared pan, using your hands to spread it evenly. Bake for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the sugar from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before using.


Store cookies tightly covered at room temperature for up to 5 days.

May be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and then place in a large plastic freezer bag. Defrost at room temperature before serving or warm in a 300°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes.