Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
February 1st, 2020
4.69 from 67 votes
4.69 from 67 votes

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are thick and fudgy with just a hint of cocoa flavor. They're the perfect easy and festive treat for Valentine's Day OR Christmas!

Yield: 18 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 14 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet with just a hint of cocoa!
Texture: Thick, fudgy, and soft.
Ease: Super easy! Though the dough does require a 30 minute chilling time.
Pros: Fun, colorful, and festive cookies everyone will adore.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Yes.

There’s nothing better than a little festive cookie to put everyone in the mood for a holiday.

These Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies will definitely make you everyone’s favorite person at the office or at school.

That is until everyone realizes they have powdered sugar all over their mouth / face / clothes.

Red Velvet Crinkle cookie broken up to reveal soft interior

This recipe is perfect for either Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or just when you’re craving Red Velvet.

Which really only has a hint of cocoa flavor but is full of nostalgia for those of us who grew up with it living in the U.S.

Easy red velvet crinkle cookies on a piece of parchment paper

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to leave a comment with a star rating at the bottom of this post! You have no idea how much that helps support us.

How to Make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

What’s the best food coloring for red velvet?

I personally love Americolor Super Red Gel Paste coloring. It provides a bold color with a small amount. You can order from Amazon or find it at cake supply stores.

You can also use Wilton gel food coloring, just make sure to use the kind in the little pots. NOT the squeeze tube coloring.

Add enough food coloring until the dough is a deep red.

How to make thick, soft & fudgy cookies

Number 1: be sure to measure your flour & cocoa powder properly. Check out my article on how to measure flour for baking success. Accidentally adding too much is super easy, and will dry out your cookies and make them crumbly.

Number 2: don’t overbake your cookies! They should still look slightly ‘wet’ inside the crinkle cracks when you pull them out of the oven. They will finish baking on the hot pan.

Number 3: try out a high-fat cocoa powder! Cocoa is a drying ingredient, meaning it can zap moisture. The less fat and the more starch a cocoa powder has, the drier your final baked good will be. I love to use Penzey’s high fat natural cocoa powder in this recipe. Check out this post on Serious Eats for more cocoa info.

What makes a cookie ‘crinkle?’

To get those distinctive cracks, we use both baking powder and baking soda in this recipe. Before a cookie sets while baking in the oven, the baking soda and powder produce CO2 bubbles that rise to the surface and burst, leaving those little sugary fault lines. If we used only baking soda in the recipe, the cookies would spread out and be thinner. Adding in baking powder helps make nice thick cookies that remain soft.

How to roll crinkle cookies in powdered sugar

red velvet crinkle cookie dough rolled into balls and being coated in powdered sugar
Don’t be afraid to really get in there with the powdered sugar! In fact, the directions call for rolling each ball of dough in the sugar twice. This helps achieve a nice thick coating of sugar that doesn’t dissolve into the cookie while baking.

For best results, avoid organic powdered sugar which will dissolve more. And if you can find it, 5x powdered sugar (as opposed to more finely ground 10x) will also make for a prettier snowy sugar coating.

How to store Red Velvet Crinkles

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

How to freeze Red Velvet Crinkles

You can also freeze the dough before rolling in the powdered sugar. Follow these instructions but allow the balls of dough to defrost before rolling in sugar and baking as the recipe instructs.

Red velvet crinkle cookies on parchment paper with a snowy coating of powdered sugar

More Valentine’s Day Recipes:

More Amazing Cookie Recipes:

February 2020 Baking Challenge!

This recipe is the selection for this month’s baking challenge! Make a batch of these cookies, snap a photo, and upload it for a chance to win one of two Amazon gift cards! Get the full details here, then submit your entry below.

February 2020 Baking Challenge

4.69 from 67 votes

How to make
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Yield: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time: 59 minutes
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are thick and fudgy with just a hint of cocoa flavor. They're the perfect easy and festive treat for Valentine's Day OR Christmas!


  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (22 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar, for coating


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Heat the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave until melted. Add the brown sugar and white sugar to the hot butter and stir until combined. Allow to cool to just warm before stirring in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and food coloring. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. Cover in plastic and refrigerate until firm enough to scoop without sticking, about 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the dough into 1 1/2-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl and roll the dough balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.
  5. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, valentine's day

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Ryoko Ernst-Hites — February 2, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    The cookies were good but I don’t get why they were super dark (like brown), maybe because of the cacao powder used? Because I followed the recipe to a tee.

  2. #
    Nicole Intriago — February 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I love the texture of these cookies!

  3. #
    Sevde kemaneci — February 3, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Love it as always

  4. #
    Carla Gimelli — February 3, 2020 at 11:42 am

    The cookies were quick and easy to make. Instructions great to follow. Baked some right away and froze some ahead of Valentine’s Day!

  5. #
    Elcie Bolding — February 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    These cookies were super easy to make and make a fairly low calorie sweet treat for when I have intense chocolate cravings! I subbed a white chocolate drizzle for the powdered sugar topping, and they turned out great!

  6. #
    Pascale Maes — February 3, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    It’s a great recipe! Super easy to make. I made a double batch, so my friends could take some cokkies with them. Everybody loves the cookies but i replaced the milk with sour cream

  7. #
    Jill E. Allen — February 3, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    I loved this recipe. They turned out awesome!

  8. #
    Hannie — February 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I like how the cookies weren’t super sweet. I didn’t use high fat cocoa as suggested and they came out drier as the recipe states. I will make these again with all the proper ingredients, next time.

  9. #
    Shweta — February 5, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    This recipe was easy to follow . It tasted delicious. A perfect treat for valentines. Thanks Tessa.

  10. #
    Juliana Alonso Dorola — February 5, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Amazing recipe! Already made it an love it ☺️

  11. #
    Vivi Hendry — February 5, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Made this today! Cookies are so good Everybody loves it ❤️

  12. #
    oven fresh — February 6, 2020 at 4:25 am

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  13. #
    Megan Hesler — February 6, 2020 at 6:48 am

    I don’t normally like powdered sugar, but it works perfectly on these!

  14. #
    Judy Hackert — February 6, 2020 at 10:48 am

    These red velvet cookies are perfectly soft and chewy. I love how beautiful the crinkles pop with the confectioners sugar coating. I couldn’t resist eating one right out of the oven! They will make a great treat for Valentine’s Day!

  15. #
    Andreia — February 6, 2020 at 11:33 am

    I’d love to make this! Just wondering which type of cocoa power you’d recommend, Dutch processed or not? Thank you!

  16. #
    Connie Attanasio — February 6, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    My family loves red velvet and these cookies are Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day! Super easy to make and so incredibly yummy! They’re thick and chewy with that unmistakable red velvet flavor. And I love the way they look! I think these cookies will not last long!

  17. #
    Sarah Carver — February 6, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    I love these pretty cookies! Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Just the right amount of cocoa too! Thanks Tessa!

  18. #
    Marguerite — February 6, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    They are so pretty! They are a soft mildly chocolate flavored cookie.

  19. #
    Naomi Ekas — February 7, 2020 at 5:53 am

    First time making crinkle cookies and they were a success!! Everyone at work loved them!

  20. #
    Alya — February 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    So yummm.. we love it ❤❤❤

  21. #
    Araceli Reyes — February 7, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Easy to make and Delicious! I have attempted to make red velvet cookies from different recipes before and they never turned out good until I came across this recipe, and I have to say I was not dissapointed. Really great recipe!

  22. #
    Debbie T — February 7, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Cookies were soft and chewy. My family loved them!

  23. #
    Ghada Abdel ghani — February 7, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    I love so much your recipes and l always make them thank a lot

  24. #
    Sandra D — February 8, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    These cookies are delicious. Just a hint of chocolate to make them divine. Recipe was easy to make and I was thrilled to see how well they crinkled. A definite holiday cookie.

  25. #
    Laura — February 9, 2020 at 9:30 am

    So delicious!

  26. #
    Erin — February 9, 2020 at 10:28 am

    These are, first of all, so festive! Flavor-wise, the cocoa was a bit too mild for me, but my dad thought it was just right—if you’re craving a richer chocolate flavor, I’d definitely add some espresso powder or adjust for more cocoa powder! The best part is the texture, though—like a perfectly fudgey brownie! I’ll make these again for sure.

  27. #
    Sarah Paradise — February 9, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    I loved this recipe! It came together very easily and is delicious. It’s hard to only eat a few! Just as a side note, I wasn’t sure if my cocoa was high-fat or not, so I melted two cocoa butter wafers and added that in with the wet ingredients. I’m not sure how much of a difference it made, but the end result was most and delicious so it certainly didn’t hurt!

  28. #
    Erhan uyar — February 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Great tasting soft cookies. Easy to make with just hand mixing. Very fudgy and soft

  29. #
    Miranda Crosley — February 9, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Easy and delicious! Whenever I make Tessa’s recipes, everyone loves how balanced the goodies turn out. Nothing is ever too sweet! These are perfect, even being rolled in powdered sugar.

  30. #
    angie beasley — February 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    I love red velvet! They turned out beautifully. Love your blogs and recipes! You are always my go to when I want to try something new!

  31. #
    Alexis Sharp — February 9, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    This is a great cookie recipe! It has the perfect balance of sweetness and chocolate flavor.

  32. #
    Emma — February 9, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    Good consistency but zero flavor. Tasted like a waste of calories. They are really easy and cute, but make a huge mess.

  33. #
    Jodie — February 10, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Perfect for a preValentine’s day tea. These cookies are cakey and easy to make. My dough was a bit sticky so I refrigerated it longer than the recipe specifies. I used a 1-1/2 T cookie scoop for my first batch but decided to use a 1-1/2 t cookie scoop and reduce the baking time for the next batch as the smaller cookies were better for tea. A good cookie if you like a cakey cookie with a very subtle mildly sweet taste.

  34. #
    Shanzeh tahir — February 11, 2020 at 3:33 am

    What can be used instead of brown sugar?

  35. #
    The Midnight Baker — February 11, 2020 at 9:26 am

    These cookies turned out really well. Very light and fluffy with a lovely flavor.

  36. #
    Abigail — February 12, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    These cookies are so easy to make, and I love the 30 minute chilling time. Definitely one of my favorite flavors!

  37. #
    Jaimie Hoffman — February 12, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    I have never made red velvet anything…so yummy!

  38. #
    Jennifer Wiseman — February 12, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    These came together easily and turned out great. So delicious. I didn’t have enough red food coloring left to make them the right color, but the taste makes up for it!

  39. #
    Maxine Lauer — February 12, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    DELICIOUS!!! This was an easy recipe with great results!!

  40. #
    Sally Johnson — February 12, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Instructions were clear and the cookies were easy to make. Very tasty!

  41. #
    Julie — February 12, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    Simply put, these were scrumptious!

  42. #
    Laura Beyer — February 12, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Super easy, and delicious, too! I am not normally drawn to red velvet, but I just had to try these. I can’t wait to take them to work to share with my coworkers for Valentine’s Day!

  43. #
    Dominique Fonseca — February 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    These taste great but my bake time was much different. This is probably due to my oven. I also skipped the food coloring and loved how they came out!

  44. #
    Cassie — February 13, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Love how easy these are! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  45. #
    Lori McKinnon — February 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Big hit with the office! Super popular and lasted no time at all.

  46. #
    Karen — February 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    These cookies were the perfect valentine surprise for my kids! Easy to make and delicious! What more could you ask! Thanks!

  47. #
    Judy White — February 13, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Such a soft delicious cookie. The powdered sugar adds such a yummy sweetness. My family loved these treats.

  48. #
    Loshanya Raviendiran — February 14, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Delicious cookies

  49. #
    Brittany Garrett — February 14, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Very easy, something different than my usual chocolate chip cookies. Festive in it’s red and white color. Tastes good!

  50. #
    Eva Lorenzo — February 14, 2020 at 8:26 am

    The recipe is perfect for Valentine’s day! Easy to make and delicious!

  51. #
    Veronica Riggs — February 14, 2020 at 8:55 am

    The cookies turned out beautiful, but to me the texture was too cakey/doughy without a strong enough flavor.

  52. #
    Marcela Manotas — February 14, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Amazing recipe! First crinkle cookies I’ve ever made!

  53. #
    David Burnett — February 14, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    So easy and fun to make. These are rich and not too sweet.

  54. #
    Kim K. — February 14, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Made these today for Valentine’s. So good! Crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. Great not too sweet treat!

  55. #
    Studio Tea Homecafe — February 14, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Made these for my friends and everyone loved them! I added some chocolate chips and used Cook’s Illustrated’s tip of rolling them in granulated sugar, then powdered sugar. I also used applesauce as an egg replacement

  56. #
    PJ Bibby — February 15, 2020 at 2:46 am

    You can never go wrong with red velvet!
    Will definitely make these cookies again.

  57. #
    Ronda — February 15, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Delicious and so easy! My niece and nephew had a blast helping me make and eat these cookies.

  58. #
    BarbR — February 15, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Used my 2tsp cookie scoop to make smaller cookies. They are so cute and kept a nice dome shape while baking. They are maybe not quite as fudgy as Crinkles I’ve made before using melted chocolate but they’re light in flavor, and in texture. I would totally bake these again!

  59. #
    Jaimie M Hoffman — February 15, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Delicious a many kudos from taste testers

  60. #
    Persis C. — February 15, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Love these amazing, fudgy delicious red velvet crinkle cookies!

  61. #
    Liana — February 15, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    The recipe was simple. I was surprise with the wet and dry mix Step. I have never had the cookie before so I didn’t know what to expect. It was like a cake cookie. Not bad. My daughter loved it, she lives everything red velvet.

  62. #
    Stef — February 16, 2020 at 2:57 am

    I made these today, so delicious!! Will definitely make them again, loved them!

  63. #
    Stefanie De Poi — February 16, 2020 at 3:10 am

    I made these today & loved them! Easy recipe and a delicious result, especially if you’re a red velvet fan like me!

  64. #
    Jamie — February 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    This recipe was perfect. Thick and chewy as promised. Visually very appealing ❤

  65. #
    Anna Krisha Santiago — February 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    I love this recipe! I’ve been waiting for a good red velvet crinkles recipe! Until, Tessa posted this for February challenge! My family loves it! Soft and crinkly! With a hint of cocoa! Totally love this! I will definitely make this red velvet crinkles recipe again and agaaaain! A must try and I promise you will do it again!

  66. #
    Sue H — February 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I made 6 batches of these cookies for Valentine’s day! Everyone loved them, even the picky eaters. Great taste and texture. I’ll keep these as a Valentines day favorite!

  67. #
    Emily — February 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    These were super soft and velvety cookies! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  68. #
    Sarah Mueller-Buehler — February 16, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    These look gorgeous, and taste good, but aren’t my favorite.

  69. #
    Myreen Leanca — February 16, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Don’t overbake them! Delicious nonetheless!

  70. #
    Joanne Johnsen — February 17, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    A little less sweet than I would have liked but very easy to make and a beautiful presentation.

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