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These Red Velvet Cookies with cream cheese frosting are thick, chewy and soft. They have all the flavor of red velvet cake with the delightful chewiness of chocolate chip cookies! The sugar coating keeps the outsides crispy for the perfect bite!

Stacked red velvet cookies deep red in color.

Look no further for the perfect chewy red velvet cookies! The interior texture is soft and moist with a hint of chocolate. I’ve rolled the outside in granulated sugar for crunch and a little extra sweetness! Plus, the sparkle makes it feel extra festive!

Look beyond the usual Red Velvet Layer Cake or even my perfect Red Velvet Pound Cake and make red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting for cookies instead! They are one of my easiest Valentine’s Day Desserts, a great gift for your favorite Galentine along side these Valentine’s Day Cookies, or could even be joined by their friend linzer cookies to star in a Christmas Cookie platter!

What are red velvet cookies made of?

Red velvet cookies have many of the same ingredients as thick chocolate chip cookies. The addition of a little cocoa powder and red food dye gives them the flavor of old fashioned red velvet cake like these red velvet white chocolate cupcakes!

Ingredients

  • Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar is here for sweetness, but if you add too much in proportion to the butter and flour, the cookies will spread rather than stay tall and chewy.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Using dark brown sugar adds sweetness along with a little moisture. 
  • Whole Egg: The egg is here to add fat, moisture and leavening. The fat from the yolk adds richness and helps keep the cookies chewy. 
  • McCormick Food Color: I used red food dye, but the choice is yours!
  • All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to make soft chewy cookies.
  • Cocoa Powder: I use Dutch processed cocoa powder because it has a rich, deep flavor; however, traditional red velvet cake didn’t use food dye. Instead, the combination of unprocessed cocoa powder and an acid like white vinegar created the red color and slightly tangy flavor. In these cookies you can use either type of unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Baking Powder: Double acting baking powder will react instantly when it is mixed with an acid and then again when it is heated.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is less salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking in general, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. 
  • Cream Cheese: I use original Philadelphia Cream Cheese for all my baked goods including frostings. 
  • Confectioner’s Sugar: Confectioner’s sugar is used in American buttercreams because its fine powder allows it to create a smooth buttercream without having to be heated.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself, and together with the heavy cream in the frosting is reminiscent of ice cream.
  • Heavy Cream: I like to use full fat heavy cream, which is sometimes called heavy whipping cream.
Red velvet cookies grouped on a beige backdrop.
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies melty chocolate
The Ultimate Pastry Chef's Guide to Perfect Cookies
Get all professional tips you need whether you want to bake thick, thin, chewy or crunchy cookies!

Variations

  • Red Velvet Chocolate Chip: These soft and chewy cookies are delightful with mix ins! Throw in a cup of chocolate chips or even white chocolate chips for a fun, easy variation.
  • Glaze: These cookies have beautiful cracked, sparkly tops and are gorgeous when drizzled with a glaze. Use the cream cheese glaze from my Carrot Cake Scones for a specifically elegant take. But really, as long as you have some powdered sugar and vanilla you can make a magical glaze to complement the red velvet flavor!
  • Colored Frosting: Use a few drops of food dye to liven up the tops, or make a few colors and swirl them!

You could even get really crazy and pipe green cream cheese frosting for cookies in the shape of a wreath for Christmas!

  • Frosting Flavors: Add dehydrated strawberry powder to make the frosting naturally pink and strawberry flavored, or add cocoa powder for an easy chocolate frosting variation.

Substitutions

  • Light Brown Sugar: If you don’t have dark brown sugar on hand, you can absolutely substitute light brown sugar in equal amounts. The flavor will be a bit less robust but you will still get all the benefits of the added moisture and caramel notes.
  • Red Food Dye: You can omit the Red Food Coloring if desired, however you will not get as bright of a red color.

How to Make

Use these instructions to make the perfect red velvet cookies every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

Make the red velvet cookie dough:

Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and kosher salt. Set aside.

Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar until a smooth paste forms. Just like with chocolate chip cookies, we don’t want to aerate the mixture too much. This keeps the cookies thick and chewy.

Step 3: Beat in the egg. Turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla and red food dye. Once it incorporates, beat it well.

Step 4: Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture in several additions. Let each one almost completely incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl several times.

It is a delicate balance of timing. Add the dry ingredients too quickly and it will take longer to mix in and gluten will develop, but add them too slowly and the flour will be worked and gluten will develop anyway! Watch the video to see how I add my dry ingredients.

Step 5: Scoop or spoon out golf ball sized portions of the cookie dough. Roll into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Bake:

Step 1: When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F convection or 350°F standard.

Step 2: Pour about ¼ cup granulated sugar in a bowl and roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar before placing back on the lined baking sheet. Space the cookies 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Step 3: Bake in a preheated oven for 9-10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies will spread and look matte on top. The tops will begin to have little cracks and will no longer look shiny.

If baking from frozen, they will need an additional 2-3 minutes. You do not need to adjust the baking temperature or thaw the dough prior to baking. When they are done, they will still have tiny cracks on the tops and they will no longer look shiny.

Step 4: Allow to cool on the sheet pan completely before frosting or enjoying. Ideally the cooling allows the crumb to set, but I am not a baking tyrant and I won’t even give a second glance if one or two disappears before cooling! Taste testing is the cook’s prerogative.

Make the frosting & assemble:

Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, vanilla bean seeds until light and smooth. Switch to whisk attachment and add cream. For more detailed instructions and tips, visit my Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies post!

Step 2: Frost your cooled cookies and enjoy!

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

Allow to cool on the sheet pan completely before frosting or enjoying. Ideally the cooling allows the crumb to set, but I am not a baking tyrant and I won’t even give a second glance if one or two disappears before cooling! Taste testing is the cook’s prerogative.

A red velvet cookie's interior crumb complete with white frosting on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store red velvet cookies?

Once iced, cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to three days before the buttercream spoils. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator or store unfrosted.
Store unfrosted cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen. Unfrosted, they will keep up to 10 days at room temperature or several months frozen.
You can freeze the baked cookies (unfrosted) for up to 2 months, or freeze the cookie dough rolled in balls. Bake them fresh at any time by following the recipe in the recipe card below.

Will this red velvet cookies recipe multiply?

You can make as large a batch of these cookies as you would like, depending on your mixer.

Can you bake this cookie dough from frozen?

Roll the frozen cookie dough balls in granulated sugar right before baking. Bake at 350°F on parchment paper for 10-14 minutes straight from frozen! Bake until the edges have begun to brown, the centers are puffed and the outside has begun to crack. The center should look matte rather than shiny.

Will red velvet cookies ship well?

These cookies ship wonderfully. Package in a decorative tin or just place in a zip-top bag in a mailer box. They keep for 10 days and they stay chewy for almost as long.

Do I need to chill red velvet cookie dough?

Chilling this cookie dough before baking will create thicker, chewier cookies.

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

The inside of a red velvet cookie stacked on top of another red velvet cookie.
5 from 42 ratings

Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Red Velvet Cookies with cream cheese frosting are thick, chewy and soft. They have all the flavor of red velvet cake with the delightful chewiness of chocolate chip cookies! The sugar coating keeps the outsides crispy for the perfect bite!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 15 cookies

Ingredients 
 

For the cookies:

For the frosting:

Instructions 

Make the red velvet cookies:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and kosher salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar until a smooth paste forms. Just like with chocolate chip cookies, we don’t want to aerate the mixture too much. This keeps the cookies thick and chewy.
  • Beat in the egg. Turn mixer to low and add the vanilla and red food dye. Once it incorporates, beat it well.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture in several additions. Let each one almost completely incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl several times. It is a delicate balance of timing. Add the dry ingredients too quickly and it will take longer to mix in and gluten will develop, but add them too slowly and the flour will be worked and gluten will develop anyway! Watch the video to see how I add my dry ingredients.
  • Scoop or spoon out golf ball sized portions of the cookie dough. Roll into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325°F convection or 350°F standard.
  • Pour about ¼ cup granulated sugar in a bowl and roll each cookie dough ball in the sugar before placing back on the lined baking sheet. Space the cookies 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
  • Bake in preheated oven 9-10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies will spread and look matte on top. The tops will begin to have little cracks and will no longer look shiny.
  • If baking from frozen, they will need an additional 2-3 minutes. You do not need to adjust the baking temperature or thaw the dough prior to baking. When they are done, they will still have tiny cracks on the tops and they will no longer look shiny.
  • Allow to cool on the sheet pan completely before frosting or enjoying. Ideally the cooling allows the crumb to set, but I am not a baking tyrant and I won’t even give a second glance if one or two disappears before cooling! Taste testing is the cook’s prerogative.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, vanilla bean seeds until light and smooth. Switch to whisk attachment and add cream. For more detailed instructions and tips, visit my Cream Cheese Frosting for Cookies post!

Video

Notes

Flavor Tips   Oftentimes the most predominant flavor is the cream cheese buttercream, which is sweet simultaneously with a slight tang from the cream cheese so be sure you’re making a buttercream you enjoy!
Variations – These cookies are delightful with mix-ins! Throw in a cup of chocolate chips or even white chocolate chips for a fun, easy variation.
Storage – Once iced, cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to three days before the buttercream spoils. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 15 cookies
Note: This cream cheese frosting recipe is for 24 cookies, so you will have leftover frosting or can go extra with your frosting!

Nutrition

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 501IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 297
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Before You Go!

Check out our other delicious, chef-developed Cookie Recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These tasted just like my childhood, but in cookie form! We absolutely loved them. I’m so excited to make them again! I loved that they’re way easier than making a whole cake. Thanks a ton.

    1. Hi Erin! They are definitely easier than a whole cake, but with all the deliciousness! Thanks for commenting!

  2. 5 stars
    My daughter made these for her class party the other day and they were a big hit. She said they were the first thing to go from the food table!

    She made the whole recipe herself with very little guidance from me, it was so well written and explained that she was really confident making them.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH

    1. Hi Claire! I’m so thrilled to hear your daughter had such an easy time and they were such a hit, thank you for coming back and letting me know!

  3. 5 stars
    Topped these red velvet cookies with cream cheese glaze and they were soooo good! Kids love to bring them to school and always share them to friends. Impressive!

  4. 5 stars
    My favorite cookies!! Soft, chewy, and rich in flavor. I am thank you for all your insight and suggestions. I needed to bring cookies to a party, your red velvet cookies were perfect and thanks to your suggestions, I made them the day before and put the frosting on before leaving the house. Everyone loved them.

    1. Hi Giangi! So happy to hear these are your favorites and that they worked out beautifully for your party!

  5. certainly like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will certainly come back again.