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These tempting red velvet cookies are soft, buttery, and packed with creamy white chocolate chips. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, they’re easy to make and even easier to eat!
Love is in the air. And in this house, love is the smell of freshly baked cookies! I’m sharing my favorite soft red velvet cookies just in time for Valentine’s Day, but after your first bite, you’ll be finding excuses to make these cookies year-round.
Rich, subtly flavored with cocoa and buttermilk, and colored bright red for the occasion, these red velvet cookies are a show-stopping treat. Fill them with melty white chocolate chips for extra indulgence!
- Red velvet flavor. The combination of vanilla extract, a touch of cocoa powder, and buttermilk gives this cookie an irresistible chocolatey, tangy flavor similar to red velvet cake.
- Soft and buttery. These cookies are softer than your typical chocolate chip cookie, thanks to the cornstarch. Leaving the cookies slightly underbaked gives them the perfect cookie texture (not cakey).
- Quick. Have your homemade cookies warm from the oven in just over 30 minutes from start to finish.
These red velvet chocolate chip cookies have a few key ingredients at work. I’ve included some notes below. You’ll find a printable ingredients list in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Butter – Unsalted butter, melted in the microwave before you start.
- Sugar – The combination of white and brown sugar contributes to these cookies’ soft, chewy texture, similar to chocolate chip cookies.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk contributes to the unique flavor and texture of red velvet cookies. If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s easy to make a homemade buttermilk substitute by combining ¼ teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice) with 1 tablespoon of milk.
- Food Coloring – I recommend a good-quality gel food dye, like AmeriColor Super Red, for the brightest, most vibrant red velvet cakes and cookies, see below.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch is a secret weapon for ultra-soft cookies! If you don’t have any, replace it with all-purpose flour but this not only changes the texture of the cookie but also results in a less soft cookie.
- Cocoa Powder – The best cocoa powder for red velvet recipes is natural unsweetened cocoa powder. See my guide on the different types of cocoa powders for details.
- Chocolate Chips – I love the contrast of bright red cookie dough with creamy white chocolate chips throughout. You can use milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate chips if you prefer.
How Do I Achieve the Perfect Red Color in Red Velvet Cookies?
Traditional red velvet gets its color from the reaction between acidic ingredients, like buttermilk, and the anthocyanins found in natural cocoa powder. Adding food coloring helps give these red velvet cookies a more vibrant red hue, as pictured.
When it comes to coloring these cookies, gel coloring is best. Gel colors, like the kind from AmeriColor (linked above), Wilton, or Chefmaster, are more concentrated and color the dough without altering the consistency.
These decadent red velvet cookies come together in just a few quick steps, detailed here. The printable instructions are available in the recipe card, so don’t forget to scroll!
- Combine the wet ingredients. First, cream together melted butter with both sugars, then add an egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat in the red food coloring.
- Add the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until the dough forms. Fold in the white chocolate chips by hand.
- Portion the cookie dough. Scoop the dough into balls and arrange the cookies on a lined baking sheet. I use a large cookie scoop.
- Bake. Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 9-12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a bit before moving them to a wire rack.
Follow these tips for the best cookies.
- Line the baking sheet. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. It helps with spreading and keeps the bottoms of the cookies from browning too quickly. Plus, it makes for easier clean-up!
- Leave the cookies slightly underbaked. Pull your cookies from the oven when they’re just set (but not gooey), and let them continue to set up on the baking sheet afterward. Underbaking is the secret to perfectly soft, chewy cookies.
- Garnish with extra chocolate chips after baking. Right when the cookies come out of the oven, gently press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies for a “photo-worthy” look. Putting them on top before baking could result in burned chips
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make red velvet cookies without using food coloring?
Yes, you can skip the food coloring. The cookies will still have a chocolatey flavor from the cocoa powder. Try experimenting with natural gel colors if you prefer.
Can I make red velvet cookies without buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a key ingredient in red velvet recipes. If you don’t have any in the fridge, you can make an easy buttermilk substitute with regular milk and vinegar (see the Ingredients section above and the recipe card notes). Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes before using it in the recipe. This mimics the acidity of buttermilk and gives these cookies that signature red velvet taste.
Why do I need cornstarch?
It might sound weird, but cornstarch is the key to thick, soft cookies. It’s a game-changer! If you don’t have any, it’s best to replace it with all-purpose flour, but it really changes the texture.
Change up this recipe with the following ideas:
- Different baking chips. In place of white chocolate chips, use your preferred kind of chocolate chips or baking chips. Cream cheese-flavored baking chips would also taste amazing!
- Garnish with white chocolate. Give your cookies a drizzle of melted white chocolate or white chocolate ganache.
- Frosting. Frost these red velvet cookies with cream cheese frosting or vanilla frosting.
- Sprinkles. Top these cookies with festive sprinkles, or stir seasonal sprinkles right into the cookie dough. I recommend using jimmies (rods) instead of nonpareils, which tend to leak color into the dough.
How to Store
- To Store. Store red velvet cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Want to keep these cookies extra soft? Stash a slice of white bread in the container alongside the cookies.
- Freeze. Once the cookies are completely cooled, store them in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw the cookies at room temperature or zap them in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.
More Red Velvet Recipes
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
- Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
- Red Velvet Brownie Poke Cake
- Red Velvet Bundt Cake
These soft and buttery red velvet cookies are packed with creamy white chocolate chips. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, these cookies are easy to make and even easier to eat!
- 1/2 cup (113g) Unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (110g) Light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup (48g) Granulated sugar
- 1 Large egg
- 1 tablespoon Buttermilk (see notes for homemade option)
- 2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Red food gel
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) All-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (24g) Corn Starch
- 1 tablespoon (15g) Cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 cup (112g) White chocolate chips, plus additional for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Melt and cool the butter for a few minutes. Combine the melted butter with the brown and granulated sugar, and beat on medium speed until well combined. Next, add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and red gel and continue beating until well incorporated.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Stir to combine and add the dry ingredients into the dough, mixing on low speed until the dough starts to form. Before the dough thickens, add the chocolate chips and finish mixing with a spatula.
- Scoop the dough using a large cookie scoop and place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes. The center of the cookies should be slightly under-baked but not too gooey.
- Right when the cookies come out of the oven, please a few chocolate chips on top. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Homemade Buttermilk can be made by combining ¼ teaspoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon milk.
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American