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Red velvet, while synonymous with Valentines Day and now popular for weddings, is just plain gorgeous to look at.  To be totally honest, red is my absolute favourite colour and any chance I get to wear it, look at it or eat it I do.  Not that many red foods around when you think about it… and I don’t really eat very much red meat.

Sooo let’s get busy and make some delicious red velvet cookies to be enjoyed and shared all year around.  But wait, just think how cute they would be for Christmas or Valentine’s Day as well!

This recipe calls for Dutch Processed Chocolate.   So what’s the difference between that and regular unsweetened cocoa powder you ask?   First off, Both types of cocoa powder are unsweetened and therefore bitter when tasted alone.

Dutch-Process Cocoa or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:

Has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Because it’s neutral and doesn’t react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids.

Hershey Dutch Processed Cocoa
Hershey’s Dutch Processed Cocoa


Ghirardelli Sweetened Cocoa
Ghirardelli Cocoa
Unsweetened Cocoa:

Has a complex chocolate flavor while the Dutch-process is darker and more mellow. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven.

Ok, on to our recipe:


3 1/4 cups (355 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons of Red Food Coloring.. I used the gel type

For Red Velvet Cookies:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and the food coloring then beat until combined.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookie Dough

Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough toroll.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.    Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired

Red Velvet Cookies by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookiesto the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure that the frosting on the cookies dries completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight

Red Velvet Cookies Iced by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Makes about 36 – 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

BEST frosted with a cream cheese frosting.  I use the recipe on my site here and thin it with some milk to make it more like a glaze if I don’t want heavy frosting.  Also, I have rolled out fondant into the same shape as the cookie and placed it on top of a thin layer of the frosting which gives a nice finish!

For a final finish on my fondant covered cookies I used an impression mat to make pretty patterns.. and then dusted with pearl dust.. there is no limit to what you can do with these or any other cookies!  Happy Baking!

(18) Comments   


what katie's baking on 9 April, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

i love red velvet and the fact that these are cookies makes them even better…. so yummy.

Deedeeq on 21 April, 2011 at 7:00 am #

OMG these are PERFECT! A loved one of mine will be having a bone marrow transplant in two months and I wanted to make him red velvet cookies (his favorite) before he goes in for procedures. And then I got the idea to make them bone-shaped, so that the cake part kinda looks like marrow. I know that sounds a little gross, but he’ll get a kick out of it.


Colleen on 21 April, 2011 at 7:21 am #

I had to laugh a bit at your bone shaped cookies and the red cookie part being the marrow… no laughing matter I’m sure but I come from a family who deals in a similar way. Wishing your loved one a complete recovery. Happy baking, Colleen

Amberly on 20 July, 2011 at 2:10 am #

It’s woendrful to have you on our side, haha!

[…] Red Velvet Cookies — Oh Yeah, You Heard ME! […]

Elke Royal on 13 December, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

Are this cookies firm enough to make cookies on a stick?

Colleen on 14 December, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

Hi Elke, I would think you could bake them a little longer if you wanted to put them on a stick. Its a fairly dense recipe overall. Good luck, always interested to see how they turn out!

Happy baking and happy holidays,


Tina C on 26 December, 2011 at 2:44 am #


Will this work as a drop cookie? Instead of having to chill and then roll out. Also, what is the texture of this cookie? Soft and chewy? Or crispy?

Thank you.

Trinette on 2 January, 2012 at 12:32 am #

Does your cream cheese icing harden like royal icing?

Colleen on 2 January, 2012 at 12:49 am #

Hi Trinette, no it isn’t as stiff as royal. It’s stays soft underneath with a drier crust on the outside. The dry crust is very thin so is quite easy to eat, but having said that it dies hold up well for decorating.

Happy New Year!

Mariea on 24 January, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

Thank You SO Much!!! I love the taste of it!!

Kiriel on 2 February, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

Can you decorate with the cream cheese icing the way you would royal icing? I have an order for red velvet cookies and would love to be able to decorate them all fancy for Valentines. Have you tried using RI on the red velvet cookies?

Colleen on 3 February, 2012 at 8:56 am #

Hello Kiriel, I have not used the cream cheese icing with a very fine tip but you sure could try it. Mine is usually fairly firm but you could add a tad of water or milk to make it a little thinner. I’d be interested to hear back from you or to see pics of your success. I do believe royal would work fine on these cookies!

Trinette on 5 February, 2012 at 10:32 am #

At what point do you add the coloring?

Camarah on 12 February, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

I want make these for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day since they’re his favorite. But I don’t want to make such a big batch. How much of the ingredients would I add to make like 20-24 cookies?

Colleen on 12 February, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

Hi Camarah, basically you need about 3/4 of the recipe but with baking you don’t always get a successful product when you half or similar the ingredients. When I cut down or increase a recipe I use the bakers percentage method whereby I work out what percentage of the recipe I need and then calculate each ingredient by that percentage to give me the correct weights. The easiest idea for you right now might be to make the entire amount of dough and either share it with someone else or cut out the number you want then double wrap the remainder in plastic wrap and freeze the dough for up to three months. I hope that helps. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

Colleen on 12 February, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

LOL.. whoops… so glad you asked… I put it in at the end when I add the vanilla essence. Sorry about that but as I said, glad you noticed. Thanks!

Colleen on 12 February, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

Tina, you could definitely take a spoonful of this dough and roll it into a ball then flatten with your hand or a fork… The rolling and cutting is mainly to be able to get the shapes we want. The wrapping and refrigerating though is to allow the moisture in the dough to fully soak into any dry areas which may have been missed during mixing. It gives a more consistent dough.

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