These red velvet crinkle cookies are made from scratch and are ready in under an hour. Best of all, the dough doesn’t have to be chilled before baking! 

Cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes — red velvet makes for a delicious dessert, no matter the form.  

These red velvet crinkle cookies are the latest in a long line of red velvet desserts I’ve created. The cookies are soft and chewy, with a decadent chocolatey flavor. 

Before being baked, the cookie dough balls are rolled in powdered sugar. As they bake, the cookies spread and cracks are formed in the sugar coating to create the classic crinkle appearance. 

This is a great recipe to make for birthdays, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. Red velvet is always a good choice, no matter the season! 

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make red velvet cookies.

Recipe Ingredients 

If you’ve never made a red velvet dessert before, rest assured that no special ingredients are necessary. Cocoa powder and vanilla extract delivers the red velvet flavor, and red food coloring gives the dough its signature color. 

Let’s go over a few ingredients needed to make the cookies: 

  • All-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour when measuring it to ensure you don’t add too much to the dough. Too much flour can lead to cookies that are cakey and don’t spread very well.
  • Cocoa powder: There are only 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder in these cookies, which gives them that classic red velvet flavor. Since this recipe uses baking powder (instead of baking soda), you can use either Dutch process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Sugar: There are three types of sugar in these cookies. Granulated and brown sugar sweeten the dough, and then the cookies are rolled in both granulated sugar and powdered sugar to create the crinkle effect. 
  • Red food coloring: There’s one tablespoon of red food coloring in these cookies to give them that beautiful red velvet color!

How to Make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

These are incredibly easy red velvet cookies to prepare, and I love that the dough can be baked immediately without having to chill in the fridge first. 

  • Prep the baking sheets: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. 
  • Combine the dry ingredients: I recommend sifting the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl before whisking in the baking powder and salt. This will ensure that you don’t have any lumps of flour or cocoa powder in your cookie dough.
  • Beat together the butter and sugars: Mix the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together for a minute or two until they’re well combined.
  • Mix in the remaining wet ingredients: To the butter mixture, add the egg and yolk, vanilla, and food coloring. 
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Mix just until the dough comes together.  You want to avoid over mixing your cookie dough as this can lead to tougher cookies.

A red velvet cookie dough ball being rolled in powdered sugar.

  • Scoop the cookie dough: I like to use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough into balls. Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets as you’re scooping. 
  • Roll the dough in sugar: The secret to getting the powdered sugar to stick to the outside of the cookies is to roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar first, then roll in powdered sugar. This gives the powdered sugar something to stick to and prevents it from dissolving into the cookies.
  • Bake the cookies: Bake the cookies just until the tops are set, but no further. Once baked, they’ll need to cool completely before being enjoyed. 

An overhead view of red velvet crinkle cookies piled on a baking sheet. A measuring cup of powdered sugar rests by the cookies.

What’s the Best Food Coloring for Red Velvet Cookies? 

I used a liquid food coloring from McCormick. If using liquid food coloring, you’ll need to add a full tablespoon to the cookie dough. 

You may also color the dough using a gel food coloring, but you’d need just a teaspoon or two to color the entire batch of cookies. 

Can the Dough Be Made in Advance? 

Yes, the red velvet cookie dough can be prepared in advance and then frozen (scooped into balls first) for up to three months. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge and then roll the balls in sugar as directed prior to baking. 

A close up view of a red velvet cookie that's been broken in half and stacked on itself, amidst a pile of cookies.

Can the Recipe Be Made with Boxed Cake Mix? 

If you’d like to make this recipe with cake mix to reduce the prep work, I recommend following my red velvet cake mix cookie recipe instead. You can scoop the dough, coat the cookie dough balls in granulated sugar and powdered sugar, then bake as directed.

Storage Instructions 

At room temperature: The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

In the freezer: They can also be sealed inside a freezer bag and frozen for up to three months. Thaw to room temperature before serving.

A close up, overhead view of red velvet crinkle cookies on parchment paper.

Baking Tips 

  • Bring the eggs and butter to room temperature before starting this recipe. If you forget to set your eggs out ahead of time, place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Don’t skimp on the powdered sugar! You want to generously coat each ball of cookie dough in powdered sugar.
  • Likewise, be sure to roll the cookie dough in granulated sugar and then powdered sugar. This prevents the powdered sugar from being absorbed into the cookie dough. 
  • If you want to add some chocolate chips to these cookies, you can mix 1 cup of white chocolate, dark chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough.

More Cookie Recipes to Make! 

A stack of four red velvet crinkle cookies. More cookies and a small jug of milk are in the background.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

5 from 3 ratings
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 37 mins
These red velvet crinkle cookies are made from scratch and are ready in under an hour. Best of all, the dough doesn't have to be chilled before baking! 

Ingredients

Servings: 24 cookies

For the red velvet cookies

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled (220 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder (16 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (115 grams)
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (150 grams)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring (15 ml)

For the coating

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (60 grams)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together, then whisk in the baking powder and salt until well combined.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Mix in the brown sugar and granulated sugar for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined.
  • Mix in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and red food coloring, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Roll each ball of cookie dough in the granulated sugar (this will help the powdered sugar stick to the cookies better), then generously coat in the powdered sugar.
  • Return to the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave 2-inches between each ball of cookie dough.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are set. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.

Notes

Freezing Instructions: Scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough to a large freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookie dough balls overnight in the refrigerator, coat in the granulated sugar and powdered sugar, and bake as directed.
Baked cookies will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving.
Author: Danielle
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