These Red Velvet Cookies are soft on the outside with a chewy center and tangy cream cheese glaze. They have the classic cocoa flavor of red velvet and are perfect for Christmas cookies, Valentine’s Day or anytime you have a craving for some delicious cookies!
Despite the color red velvet flavor is chocolate more like a cocoa flavor. The texture of these cookies is comparable to a snickerdoodle with deep chocolate flavor and cream cheese glaze. The cookie dough does not need to be chilled which saves on the preparation time too!
If you’ve tried to make red velvet cake mix cookies you may have found they can be extra gooey or too dry. This recipe is perfected for a dough that doesn’t need to be chilled, has a soft outside and a chewy center.
If you love the flavor in classic red velvet cake these chewy red velvet cookies need to be on your ‘must make’ list!
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Unsalted Buter. You’ll use 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) and be sure to start with room temperature butter for best results. If not room temperature the butter will not blend smoothly with the other ingredients.
Light brown sugar. The recipe uses 1/2 cup packed (meaning it’s scooped into the measuring cup and pressed down).
All purpose flour. Regular or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour can be used. For gluten-free baking we use and recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend.
Dutch process dark cocoa powder. Dutch process cocoa powder or Dutch cocoa has been treated with a chemical reaction to reduce the natural acidity in the cocoa leaving it with a darker color and less bitter in taste.
It’s marked on the package and found in the baking aisle of grocery stores with other baking supplies. If it is not available unsweetened cocoa powder can be substituted but you’ll have the best flavor results with Dutch processed.
Red food coloring. We used liquid food coloring for this recipe. See Expert Tips for more about food coloring.
Cream cheese. You’ll need 1 ounce of full fat cream cheese at room temperature for the glaze.
Milk. Only one tablespoon is used to then the glaze. We used full fat dairy milk but other types of milk should work too.
How to make Red Velvet cookies
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP 2. Make the cookie dough
In a large bowl, using an hand held electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated white sugar until light and fluffy (photo 1).
Add the egg and vanilla extract to the butter mixture; mix until combined (photo 2). Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt (photo 3).
Add flour mixture into the wet and mix until well combined (photo 4). Add food coloring (photo 5). Mix well.
STEP 3. Scoop and Bake
Using a medium cookie scoop (2 tablespoons in volume) drop balls of dough 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet (photos 6-7). Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.
STEP 4. Cool
Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack for cooling (photo 8). Cool completely before glazing.
STEP 5. Glaze
In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy (photo 9). Add vanilla extract and milk; mix until well combined (photo 10).
Scoop glaze into plastic bag, snip off the corner and glaze the cookies (photos 11-12). Allow the cookies to sit undisturbed on a cooling rack for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set (photo below).
Don’t soften butter in the microwave. Make sure butter is room temperature and not softened in the microwave. You don’t want the butter to be too soft.
Food coloring tips. This recipe is tested with regular food coloring, not red gel food coloring. A gel food coloring can be used, however when using gel it doesn’t require as much to get a red coloring. Go slow to control the deep red color.
The regular food coloring not only provides a red color, but it adds liquid to the recipe. My suggestion is using gel food coloring is to add the desired amount and then add 1 tablespoon milk to the batter.
Spoon the flour. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup overfilling then level with a dining knife. This method ensure the proper amount of flour versus scooping which can over fill the measuring cup and change the outcome of the recipe.
How to Store
Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! We recommend allowing them to fully cool and freezing them before glazing. Place them in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Glaze before serving.
More recipes you’ll love!
Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Glaze
Red Velvet Cookies
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- ¼ cup Dutch processed dark cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon red food coloring liquid (not gel)
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 1 ounce cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined and creamy.½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, ½ cup light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar
- Add egg and vanilla extract; mix until combined. Set aside.1 large egg, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture into the wet and mix until well combined. Add food coloring. Mix well.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ cup Dutch processed dark cocoa powder, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 ½ tablespoon red food coloring
- Using a medium cookie scoop, 2 tablespoons in volume, drop balls of dough 3 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack for cooling. Cool completely before glazing.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.1 ounce cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar
- Add vanilla extract and milk; mix until well combined.½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon milk
- Scoop glaze into plastic bag, snip off the corner and glaze the cookies. Allow the glazed cookies to sit undisturbed for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set.
- Make sure butter is room temperature and not softened in the microwave. If the butter is too soft the cookies can over spread.
- Use Dutch processed dark chocolate cocoa powder. If unavailable regular unsweeteened cocoa powder may be used.
- If you want to substitute gel food coloring add an extra one tablespoon of milk to the batter along with the gel coloring.