Red Velvet Sugar Cookies


I know, I know, I get crazy with red velvet when Christmas or Valentines rolls around. I just can’t help it. It’s so festive and it tastes so good. My list of red velvet baked goods will be never ending. The one that I’ve yet to try making is red velvet ice cream. I’ve bought it before but haven’t made it at home yet. One of these days. There’s no rush though, now that I’ve added these Red Velvet Sugar Cookies to my list of red velvet treats.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe for this and tweaked it slightly to give it those traditional red velvet flavors we all love. It didn’t take much, all I did was swap out some of the cake flour with cocoa powder, replace the almond extract with lemon juice (to imitate the light tang of buttermilk in red velvet) then of course I added some red color and replaced the vanilla frosting with a cream cheese frosting.

These soft and decadent cookies should definitely make your holiday baking list this year. Enjoy!


Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy


Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Yield: About 16 cookies



  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetned cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • Red food coloring*

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz . cream cheese , softened
  • 1/4 cup butter , softened (I used salted)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until well blended, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip butter, shortening and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, then mix in egg white, vanilla, lemon juice and food coloring. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees during last 10 minutes of chilling.
  2. Shape dough into about 3 Tbsp balls and transfer to Silpat lined baking sheets. Evenly flatten balls with greased hands to about 1/2-inch. Bake in preheated oven 9 - 11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting.
  3. For the frosting:
  4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract followed by powdered sugar and blend until well combined and fluffy.
  5. *I used 1 tsp or red gel food coloring and 1 tsp red liquid food coloring.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: Jaclyn, your red velvet sugar cookies look incredible! I played around with red velvet today in the kitchen. Shooting red velvet is so hard for me! It always looks too pink or too brown. Oh well, at least they are delicious.

    Your red velvet cookies always look perfect. Pinning these holiday beauties! December 11, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Sally! December 11, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: You have so many gorgeous red cookie recipes! And each looks better than the next :) December 11, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Averie! December 11, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Liz @ Virtually Homemade: I love red velvet with cream cheese icing – so festive! December 11, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: Oh, my! These look absolutely lovely! One question i have is, given the cream cheese in the frosting, must the cookies be refrigerated, or can they be stored at room temperature? Thank you! December 11, 2013 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just stored mine at room temperature but the fridge might be the safest option, who knows :). December 11, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Vanessa Rivera: Well….looks like you did it to me again! I had my dessert list done for Thanksgiving and you posted the Mississippi Mud Pie, so I had to revise it. Now, I have my Christmas list done and now I MUST add these cookies to it! Haha! I am baking 19 desserts! I may not revise it and just add this to make 20! Thanks for the great recipes! December 11, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Courtney: Does the frosting harden? December 11, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: No this a soft and smooth frosting and because of the cream cheese it won’t harden much at all. December 11, 2013 at 5:21pm Reply

  • Vanessa Rivera: I left a comment earlier, but guess it did not go through. I cannot wait to make these! They are being added to the 19 desserts I am already making for Christmas. Looks like this will be #20! They are just too pretty not to make! I am also making your black forest cheesecake cupcakes =) I love your blog! December 11, 2013 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you love my blog Vanessa! I hope you love the desserts! December 11, 2013 at 6:47pm Reply

  • The Joy of Holiday Baking: Peppermint, Salted Caramel, Cranberry, Kahlua, Mint Chocolate, and Gingerbread | Hungry Meets Healthy: […] Red Velvet Sugar Cookies – how gorgeous are these? […] December 11, 2013 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Siunna: I’m a big red velvet fan as well- I made your Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies a few days ago and posted them on my blog! Thanks so much for the wonderful recipe; I adore your blog and I want to make all of the recipes- they all look so mouthwateringly fantastic! BTW, I have a recipe for red velvet ice cream on my blog, which is pretty terrific as well:) December 11, 2013 at 7:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I will have to check out your recipe Siunna! Thanks so much for your comment, I’m so glad you like my blog :)! December 11, 2013 at 8:42pm Reply

  • Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks: I’m loving all your red velvet recipes- keep them coming :) These look fabulous and are a must make for me! December 11, 2013 at 9:44pm Reply

  • Marina: Do you know if they will turn out ok without the shortening? Could it be substituted? Really want to try these beauties. Thank you! December 11, 2013 at 9:54pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Okay seriously, could your cookies look anymore perfect?! December 11, 2013 at 11:18pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Chung-Ah :), that’s so nice of you to say! December 12, 2013 at 10:44pm Reply

  • Jessica: I can’t what to try these!!! Two questions, how many does it make and could you roll it and cut out shapes?

    Also, what type of food coloring do you prefer?

    Thanks! December 12, 2013 at 2:01am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could definitely roll and cut them instead. I used McCormick drops and Wilton gel red but I think next time I will use the Wilton no taste red. December 15, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

  • Katrina @ In Katrina’s Kitchen: Seriously want to dive into my computer and eat up those gorgeous cookies! Love December 12, 2013 at 7:56am Reply

  • Rachel @ Bakerita: These look amazing!! And so cute with the icing and sprinkles :) December 13, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Lora Thaxton: Oh wow and how cute is this my boyfriend will really love me for this he loves red velvet anything. Ive got something for him this CHRISTmas. December 14, 2013 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Dana: Do you have to use shortening… Or can you just increase the butter? December 14, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You probably could but the texture will be slightly different and they might spread a little more. December 14, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Maureen: can you refrigerate the dough for a few days in advance or will it be too hard? December 17, 2013 at 9:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would probably be too firm but you might be able to then just let it rest at room temperature for a while. December 17, 2013 at 10:27am Reply

  • Beth: do I have to use that kind of mixer or can I just use a reg handheld mixer? December 17, 2013 at 10:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be fine, then once the dough starts to sound heavy I’d start mixing by hand so you don’t burn up the motor on your mixer. December 22, 2013 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Claire: Omg I can’t wait to bake these! Could I use my cookie cutters or are they just drop cookies? December 17, 2013 at 10:09pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can use cookies cutters just keep in mind they will puff up a bit. December 17, 2013 at 10:51pm Reply

      • Claire: Nothing wrong with that! December 18, 2013 at 10:02am Reply

  • tammie: Can you use reg a-p flour and adjust? December 18, 2013 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I actually tried it before and the cookies aren’t as fluffy. It definitely changes the texture so I’d recommend sticking with cake flour if possible. December 18, 2013 at 6:23pm Reply

  • AMANDA: I just have a standard mixer, no paddle attachment, how much difference do you feel it will make or is there an alternative method I can use? December 19, 2013 at 7:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Like a hand mixer? I would just blend it using that until the dough starts to sound heavy when adding the dry ingredients, then I would incorporate the rest by hand with a spoon and some good mixing :). Hope that helps! December 22, 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

  • laura: Hi, what substitutes would you reccomend for the veg. shorteningx December 23, 2013 at 10:20am Reply

    • Jaclyn: If you absolutely don’t want to use it I would sub butter, it will alter the texture a bit though and the cookies will spread a little bit more. December 23, 2013 at 10:36am Reply

      • laura: Thats exactly what i wanted to know. Thank you and happy holidays! December 24, 2013 at 7:38am Reply

        • Jaclyn: You’re welcome and Happy Holidays to your Laura! December 24, 2013 at 2:26pm Reply

  • Friday Finds « […] made these Red Velvet Sugar Cookies a couple weeks ago for some friends. They were a big hit. These things are GOOD. So good. You must […] December 27, 2013 at 7:07am Reply

  • Kyla: These cookies are delicious, the frosting was way too sweet though. I doubled the amount of cream cheese and they were perfect! Thanks for sharing this one. December 28, 2013 at 6:46am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Kyla, thanks for the tip too! December 28, 2013 at 11:01am Reply

  • Christmas cookies | Claremont Road: […] Red Velvet Sugar Cookies These were delicious and so rich — the cream cheese frosting is really what took them to a whole new level. I ended up needing to use all of the red gel food coloring I had to get the color right, so make sure you have plenty if you’re making these! […] January 22, 2014 at 4:02am Reply

  • White & Red Velvet Heart Cookies | Creating… Miranda: […] Red Velvet Cookie Recipe from Cooking Classy […] February 21, 2014 at 7:38am Reply

  • Soft Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting |: […] Source:  Cooking Classy […] February 24, 2014 at 8:02pm Reply

  • Kim @ Just Baked: These were awesome. The frosting is perfect. I added a splash of cream and piped the frosting. My family was crazy about them. Thank you for a great recipe. I couldn’t keep these to myself and just had to share, so I posted them. February 28, 2014 at 5:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad your family like these Kim! Thanks so much for your review! March 11, 2014 at 10:39am Reply

  • Mira: I’m so glad I found this recipe and I noticed you have some other red velvet stuff I must try! I love baking sugar cookies for the holidays, but will try there sooner! You have a wonderful blog Jaclyn! July 28, 2014 at 9:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Mira! August 13, 2014 at 8:55pm Reply

  • Sydney Sun: These look perfect, also pinned :)

    Sydney Sun November 4, 2014 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Danelle: Does this recipe double well? I think I am going to need more than 16. :) December 16, 2014 at 8:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It should double okay, you could also make smaller cookies and get more than 16 per batch. December 17, 2014 at 12:29am Reply

  • Triskele: Quick question, how do you get pure white icing like that when using butter?

    Made these last night for a cookie swap today. They are delicious! December 17, 2014 at 10:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Whip it for a fair amount of time and mine always gets pretty white. I’m so glad you liked them! December 17, 2014 at 5:48pm Reply

  • December Favorites |: […] someone says “Red Velvet,” they immediately have my attention. These cookies came out amazing. But, the real star of the show is the home-made cream cheese frosting. YUM. I […] December 21, 2014 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Angela Beaver: OK, I tried these today and I followed the recipe exactly. The dough was more like batter so I added more flour to get it to more of a dough consistency. After I baked them they had absolutely NO flavor. I won’t be making these again. December 22, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

  • Cynthia Harmel: These look amazing!! Can they be frozen after you bake them or will they not be as good? I make about 15-20 cookie trays as gifts and bake a good number of different types ahead of time and freeze them for a week or so before I put together and deliver. TIA :) December 3, 2015 at 9:03am Reply

  • Vanessa & maya: My daughter and I are going to make these tomorrow. Hope they come out like yours. December 4, 2015 at 1:55pm Reply

  • angie: How long do u bake? December 17, 2015 at 8:08am Reply

  • Cindy: Hello, Do the red velvet sugar cookies need to be refrigerated due to the cream cheese icing? December 5, 2016 at 7:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would recommend it then let them rest at room temp before serving. December 5, 2016 at 5:20pm Reply

  • HeatherAnn: Oh, I am SOOO making these to send in to my husband’s co-workers for Valentine’s Day! These little beauties are getting the roll-out treatment with a heart cookie cutter, because they’ll make the sweetest sandwich cookies when filled with the marshmallow cream frosting recipe I have. I can’t wait to try this out, thanks for sharing such a fantastic recipe! :) December 8, 2016 at 10:01am Reply

  • Sue Leroy: HI THERE
    and i made way more as I don’t like recipes that only make less than 2 dozen so much work! please let me know how they should be inside and if you made the cookies smaller to get more as well. December 10, 2016 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Sue Leroy: forgot my other question , as i just made them, i would like to try again to perfect.
    how should they feel or look when taken out of the oven?tnx again

    sue December 10, 2016 at 7:06pm Reply

  • Sue Leroy: can you freeze ? December 10, 2016 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Maria: Can u freeze them? And how long can i keep them in fridge? December 14, 2016 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Danielle: This is my second year in a row making these cookies for Christmas and they are a HIT. Seriously so good! Highly recommend you make them! January 24, 2017 at 11:08am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you love them Danielle! January 25, 2017 at 10:09am Reply

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