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These Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies have that classic buttery-sweet, light cocoa flavor of red velvet cake, but in cookie form and studded with white chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips! Perfect for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, the 4th of July, or just because!
Soft & Chewy Red Velvet Cookies
We are a house divided when it comes to all things red velvet. The division mostly lies with my husband, who turns up his nose at most things red velvet because it “wants to be chocolate, but it’s not.”
But our girls love red velvet desserts! And I do too, when done right.
Make no mistake, the deep red hue of these cookies comes from food coloring , not a chemical reaction between cocoa powder and buttermilk or some other substance.
But the classic red velvet flavor is there in full effect! It can be difficult to put into words, but I think of it as sweet and buttery with a hint of cocoa that that doesn’t need to live up to the reputation of “chocolate” in order to be delicious and uniquely it’s own flavor.
However, I will say that if you add semisweet chocolate chips to these red velvet cookies, it definitely will tip the scale in the chocolate direction and really up the ante. I most often make them with white chocolate chips though, partially because I love the flavor of white chocolate, but also largely because they make such a pretty visual impact that works well for lots of festive occasions and holidays!
Red Velvet Cookie Ingredients
- Flour: Like most of my cookie recipes, this one uses all-purpose flour.
- Cocoa powder: I use regular unsweetened cocoa powder to make these cookies. Ghiradelli makes one of my favorite cocoa powders, but Hershey’s works just fine too and is widely available. The amount should be enough for a noticeable, but light cocoa flavor.
- Butter: I always use salted butter in my baking, unless otherwise noted.
- Sugar: Equal parts light brown sugar and granulated sugar give a great balance of flavor and just the right amount of sweetness to these cookies.
- Eggs: These are for binding and help keep the cookies chewy.
- Vanilla extract: I have been using my homemade vanilla extract in my baking and it gives great results! If you haven’t tried making your own vanilla, I highly recommend it!
- Baking Soda: For leavening so the cookies puff up a bit while baking.
- Salt: For flavor, because nobody likes bland cookies!
- Red food coloring : You can really use however much you like depending on how vibrant you want the red color to be. I tend to use gel food coloring because it’s more potent and you need less of it than the liquid kind.
- Chocolate chips: You can see in the pictures that I used white chocolate chips, but semisweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips will all work just as well and give a different flavor. Choose whichever you like best!
How to Make Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cream butter and sugars: Beating the butter and sugars together until light is an important step in making cookies! If your butter isn’t completely softened, just beat it a little longer and it will soften up.
- Add eggs, vanilla, and food coloring : Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then go ahead and add the food coloring to get the color you like. I do this before adding the flour and cocoa powder because we don’t want to overwork the cookie dough once we add the dry ingredients and it’s difficult to get even coloring otherwise.
- Mix in dry ingredients: Go ahead and add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, pulsing the mixer on low speed to combine. Once the dough is mostly coming together, go ahead and stir in the chocolate chips until they are evenly dispersed.
- Chill the dough: Chilling cookie dough is one of my pet peeves, but this particular dough does benefit from at least a short 1 hour chill in the fridge. They bake up a bit better and the dough is easier to work with, although if you really must, you could bake the cookies right away and skip the chilling. They just might flatten out a bit more.
- Bake: Scoop the cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F until set around the edges and just starting to lose the glossy sheen on top. I always prefer to underbake cookies so they stay soft, but it can be difficult to tell with these cookies because you can’t see them brown as well on top to know when they are done.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Like most chocolate chip cookies, these red velvet cookies keep best at room temperature on the counter in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Red velvet chocolate chip cookies freeze really well! Store them in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 2-3 months in the freezer and thaw on the counter before enjoying. I like to pop mine in the microwave for 10 seconds to reheat just a bit.
You can also freeze the dough itself before baking. Just scoop individual balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them in the freezer. Once the balls are frozen (after just a couple hours), you can transfer them to a freezer-safe silicon bag for longer term storage. Then when a cookie craving hits you, you can bake straight from frozen just by adding an extra minute or two to your bake time!
Decorating Red Velvet Cookies
I always press a few extra white chocolate chips into the hot cookies right as they come out of the oven for a pretty presentation.
But another idea would be to leave off the chips, let the cookies cool completely, then frost them with cream cheese icing on top and sprinkle with festive sprinkles!
More Cookie Recipes
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
- Double Lemon Glazed Cookies
- Chewy Brownie Cookies
- Rocky Road Cookies
- Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Andes Mint Cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon red liquid food coloring (or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring)
- 1 cup semisweet, milk, or white chocolate chips
- Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until creamy and light, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring, then beat again, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, mixing just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- I highly recommend you cover and chill the dough for 1 hour, as it has a tendency to be stickier than other doughs, thanks to the food coloring.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop balls of cookie dough onto the parchment lined baking sheets, spacing them a couple inches apart so the cookies have room to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set around the edges and the cookies are just starting to lose their glossy shine in the centers.
- Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven, press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie for effect. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You can freeze individual balls of cookie dough and bake straight from frozen. Just add an extra minute or two to the bake time.