Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red velvet is definitely up there on my list of favorite flavors. It’s such an interesting concept, and as a flavor it’s very hard to describe. I’d say it tastes like a mixture between chocolate and vanilla, but at the same time has its own unique taste. How about this: a light vanilla-ey chocolate taste with extra richness from buttermilk. Does that make sense? Didn’t think so, but I tried!

You’ll just have to taste it for yourself in these cookies. Red velvet is typically a cake flavor, but nowadays the flavor has become so popular that you can find SO many different snacks and desserts labeled “red velvet flavor.”

Unfortunately, many of these supposedly “red velvet flavored” foods end up tasting downright strange. So in making these cookies I aimed to stay away from that strange taste, and really have the classic subtle red velvet flavor come through in each bite. To do this, I used many of the same ingredients as in a red velvet cake, including buttermilk and vinegar. However, since I was making a cookie, I didn’t want too much liquid to make the cookie too soft, so I reduced the ratio of buttermilk and vinegar to the dry ingredients.

Red Velvet Cookies

The first time I made these, they came out too large and flat, and very chewy. To fix this and make them slightly thicker and softer, I increased the amount of flour in the recipe and replaced 1/4 cup of granulated sugar with brown sugar.

I think one of the biggest reasons I love red velvet so much is the cream cheese frosting. I love carrot cake for the same reason. Seriously, I just can’t get enough of the stuff. In my opinion, any other type of frosting paired with red velvet just ruins the entire experience. I once bought a huge slice of red velvet cake in Grand Central Station. I had been looking forward to it all day and was so excited to dig in, but the second I placed a piece in my mouth, my taste buds said OH NO. It was just regular vanilla frosting, not cream cheese frosting! Never again. It’s just not the same.

You can use as much or as little red food coloring as you like in these cookies, depending on the shade of red you want your cookies to be. I used 1 tablespoon. The less you use, the more brown the cookies will be. You can increase the food coloring and the color will get more and more red up to a point, after which the red will darken. It’s all up to you!

I promise you these cookies won’t last long on your cookie platter!

Print Recipe
Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
These won't last long!
  1. Cream the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixture.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the milk and vinegar and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Add the red food coloring and mix until the color is evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
  7. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough into balls of about 1.5 tablespoons of dough.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
  12. Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a stand mixture and whip until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  13. Decorate the cooled cookies with frosting and sprinkles to your liking.
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33 Replies to “Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Yummy! I just made some red velvet cookies the other day. Never thought about red velvet cookies. These look amazing!

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Tanya!!

  2. I happen to love red velvet…cakes, cookies, anything. The cream cheese frosting sounds perfect for these cookies.

    1. says: Reply

      I love red velvet too!! Thanks Gloria!

  3. Love red velvet. It can only be delicious in cookie form! These would be great for Santa! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 🙂

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Zach!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  4. Love anything in red velvet..your cookies looks yummy!

    1. says: Reply

      Thanks so much!!

  5. These are so pretty! Perfect for festive gatherings. 🙂 Hope you have a great holiday season!

    1. says: Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth! Happy holidays!!

  6. These cookies look so christmassy! Lovely. Happy holidays and thank you for the recipe

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Katrin! Happy holidays to you too!

  7. I love the look of this.

    1. says: Reply

      Thanks Fred!

  8. I love making red velvet cake, but have not yet made RV cookies. These look very festive! (I generally use beets to colour my rv, instead of food colour)

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Jacquee! Yes beets make a good alternative!

  9. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen says: Reply

    Yum! Red velvet is such a classic flavor. Would love to try it in a cookie instead of a cupcake or cake. These looks delicious!

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Kimberly!!

  10. Wow this was my first successful attempt for a recipe! So glad for all the pix and tips on how to do that super important step. I absolutely could not believe the flavor difference and the immediate aroma saying Eat Me! ? So very happy with this recipe!

  11. I haven’t tried red velvet cookies but I love it in cake form! These are perfect for Christmas!

  12. Carrot cake is one of the hubby’s favorite cakes too. But I really have never tried to dissect down why. Perhaps it is really the cream cheese and not the actual cake. I think I detect and experiment in the making. ?

    As for these cookies. . .well they are absolutely stunning. And the red color. . .so, so appropriate for the holidays.

    1. says: Reply

      Thanks so much Lynn! And yes, I do think it might be the cream cheese frosting!! It’s irresistible ?

  13. Cream cheese frosting is always a win in our house! Love it!

    1. says: Reply

      Thanks Derek!

  14. These look so tasty! I love how generous you’ve been with the frosting – it looks incredible!

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you Sasha! Yes, you can never have too much cream cheese frosting!

  15. These look absolutely perfect! Probably one of the most insanely perfect COOKIES I have ever seen in my life. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe. May God bless you.

    1. says: Reply

      Thank you so much!

  16. Can I roll out the dough?

    1. says: Reply

      I don’t think the dough is the right consistency to roll out–I’ve always shaped it into balls of dough. Let me know if you try rolling it though!

  17. Recipe sounds delish but I’d like to know how many cookies your recipe makes as I don’t have time to test it out! Appreciate your help. Thanks!

    1. says: Reply

      Hi Terry! It depends on what size of cookies you make, but I get a little over 1.5 dozen rather large cookies. Sorry that information isn’t there, I’ll update it!

      1. Thanks! Our doubled recipe cookies were not as large but still tasty. They did not spread out to “large cookies” unfortunately. Will try single batch again to see if they turn out larger and softer. Appreciate your reply!

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