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stack of red velvet chocolate chip cookies with a bite taken from the top cookie

Red velvet cake meets a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie today. A blissful marriage of two classic desserts!

red velvet chocolate chip cookies

I am stoked to tell you that… (I just said stoked)… this cookie recipe only took me one try to get right. Usually it takes me at least 3 tries and sometimes even 11 months to perfect a recipe. You learn through mistakes, right? All I did was play around with my go-to chocolate cookie dough and transformed it into a red velvet cookie dough.

There’s a little bit of cocoa powder, flour, egg, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and regular sugar. Typical chocolate cookie ingredients. However, I reduced the cocoa powder and replaced it with flour. I added a touch of milk to bring moisture to the dough, as well as used more brown sugar than white sugar. I also slightly increased the vanilla extract so the vanilla flavor is as prominent as the chocolate flavor. The chocolate chips make the cookies even chocolate-ier.

Is chocolate-ier a word? Today it is.

stack of red velvet chocolate chip cookies

The cookie dough needs to chill. Trust me on this. The cookie dough is much too sticky to bake right after mixing. Do you want thick cookies that don’t spread all over your cookie sheet? Chill your cookie dough. There’s no shortcut!

Once chilled, roll the cookie dough into balls. Make sure there aren’t a lot of chocolate chips right on top of your cookie dough balls. You’ll need to press the cookies down slightly after baking and you don’t want a chocolate mess everywhere. Here is what my cookie dough balls looked like before going into the oven:

red velvet chocolate chip cookie dough balls on a baking mat

The cookies will slightly spread in the oven. Mine sort of looked like cookie mounds after 10-11 minutes. So, I simply pressed them down with my fingers (or you can use a spoon) so they became a bit flatter and had crinkle tops. Then, after I pressed them down slightly, I stuck a few chocolate chips into the tops of each. The chocolate chips melted down into the warm cookie. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

The best part is that you have complete control over how red you want your cookies. I added about 1 Tablespoon of red food coloring to my cookie dough. If you want less, add less – if you want more, add more. If you’re not a fan of food coloring, leave it out. Skip the chocolate chips and give them a dunk in melted chocolate (or not!) like we do with White Chocolate Red Velvet Cookies. Again, you have all the control over it!

So this recipe sounds pretty easy, right? It is! Just your basic chocolate cookie recipe with a bit less cocoa, a bit more flour, some vanilla, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips. A quick cookie dough chill and boom! You’ll have red velvet cookies from scratch in only 90 minutes.

red velvet chocolate chip cookies

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stack of red velvet chocolate chip cookies with a bite taken from the top cookie

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These are soft-baked red velvet chocolate chip cookie recipe made from scratch.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon (196g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature*
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (I use buttermilk)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon gel red food coloring (or alternative)*
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus a few extra for after baking)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed. Beat in more food coloring if you’d like the dough to be brighter red. On low speed, beat in the chocolate chips. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow dough to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Scoop 1.5 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, as pictured above. Place 9 balls onto each baking sheet. Bake each batch for 13 minutes. The cookies may have only spread slightly, that’s ok. Simply press down on the warm cookies to slightly flatten, which helps form crinkles. If desired for looks, stick a few chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies.
  6. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (See step 3.) Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Egg: Room temperature egg is preferred. To bring egg to room temperature quickly, simply place in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes. I usually set out my egg when I set out my butter to soften about 1 hour before beginning.
  3. Red Coloring: I’ve successfully made these cookies using beet powder instead of red food coloring – this is a wonderful natural alternative to food coloring. Use 2 teaspoons for a slight red color to your cookies. You can also use liquid food coloring, but you need quite a bit more of it. Use closer to 1 Tablespoon. I use and recommend gel food coloring.
  4. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: red velvet chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. We highly recommend sticking to real butter for baking.

  1. Actually the best cookies I’ve ever made.
    I think I added a little too much milk but hey, they were so good.

    1. I’ve found using 1/4th cup more of flour makes it so it’s not sticky and immediately able to bake(for those who aren’t patient like me) overall pretty good

    1. Hi Jane, We haven’t tested it so can’t say exactly how much you will need, but it should work just fine!

  2. Cookies are delicious. But we used beet powder and didn’t get the red colour as hoped. Does it make a difference if we used dark or yellow brown sugar? Or maybe stick to food colouring? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lianne! We don’t have much experience, but it is more difficult to get a true red without food coloring. Maybe you could try some of each? Granulated sugar is best for this recipe as well – a darker color will make the cookies more brown.

  3. I love this recipe Sally! I love all your recipes. Quick question, have you ever added espresso powder to it? If so how much do you suggest

    1. Hi Rontez, We haven’t tried it in these cookies but you certainly can. We love adding it to chocolate cookies like these brownie cookies! If you try it here, start with half of a teaspoon and adjust according to your taste. Enjoy!

  4. Hi Sally!

    Just wondering if you can roll the balls out before setting to chill?

    Thx!

    1. We find it easier to roll after the dough has firmed up a bit, but you can certainly roll them before chilling if you prefer!

      1. Ohh haha that makes a lot of sense.

  5. Hi Sally! Is it possible to make them without a handheld/stand mixer? If so, what would be the best option?

    1. Hi Fergus, you can certainly mix it by hand if necessary, but it will take quite a bit of arm muscle! Particularly when it comes to properly creaming the butter and sugars. We find a sturdy wooden spoon works best. Let us know how they turn out for you.

    1. Hi Amanda! The dough will be sticky right after mixing. Have you chilled it? That will help the dough firm up.

      1. How long do I need to chill for? Can I chill it for 1 day?

      2. Hi Amanda! See step three for cookie dough chilling instructions.

  6. Is it possible to press them down a bit before baking (as instructed in your pumpkin cookies) as opposed to pressing them down after?

    1. Hi Shae, If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can make a DIY soured milk. For every 1 cup of buttermilk, add 1 or 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Fill with enough regular milk to yield 1 cup. Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best, but you can use any fat or nondairy milk. The lower the fat, the less “rich” the baked good will taste.

  7. Amazing recipe!! But if you’re like me and love soft, chewy cookies then I definitely recommend baking for less time. I did mine for 7-8 mins and it comes out really puffy, but will flatten and hold it’s shape. I used white chocolate chips instead and also had to use more food coloring to get a rich red color.

    1. Hi Lydia! No, we don’t recommend adding a packet of chocolate pudding – that would require additional testing. You may want to search for a pudding-specific cookie recipe if that’s what you’re looking for!

  8. Hi Sally, Thank you for this amazing recipe! I made eggless version of it by substituting eggs with flax seeds. The cookies turned out great and my kids absolutely loved them.

  9. Where did you purchase your beet powder? These look amazing! My daughter had a red velvet cookie and now wants us to make them at home. 🙂

    1. Hi Hayley, Amazon would be a great place to look or even many grocers have it. Hope you love the cookies!

    2. Can you use this dough to roll out and shape with cookie cutters? Would you need to add more flour?

      1. Hi Carolyn, this dough won’t hold a shape with a cookie cutter before you bake it. You can cut the shaped cookies or here are even more ideas for Valentine’s Day Recipes!

  10. In your description of the cookies pictured and methods you used you state you used 1 tablespoon of red food coloring. Was that gel or liquid? (I ask because the recipe calls for just 1/2 tsp of gel coloring. It’s a big leap from 1/2 tsp to 1 full tbs of gel, so want to be sure and we want to get the color right this time!) Thank you!

    1. Hi Rachele, we use and recommend gel food coloring. It provides a brighter color than liquid food coloring and also impacts the texture less than adding more liquid. The amount you’d like to use is really up to you — the more food coloring, the more vibrant the red will be, but you can also leave it out completely and still have an equally delicious cookie!

    1. Hi Amy! It’s such a small amount that heavy cream should be OK, but you could try watering it down a bit so it’s not so thick. Enjoy!

  11. This is the best cookie recipe! They are chewy, and soft! The flavor and texture are amazing. I didn’t use any food coloring but they still look and taste great!

  12. Wonderful chewy yet soft texture similar to a brownie . I drizzled Sally’s Cream cheese frosting ( from red velvet cake recipe) across each cookie multiple times & they are so festive looking but more importantly delicious! Definitely a chocolate lovers cookie & great for the Christmas holidays gift baskets! Thank you for another great recipe!

    1. Hi Melody, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  13. Hello sally it is right? I just wanted to say I loved how they turned out and I love how you explained everything I just wanted to say that I kinda messed up, I mixed it too much but they still where delicious my family loved it thank you!✨☻ from: 9 yr old Emilie thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try, Emilie! So glad you enjoyed them.

  14. Hi Sally. I am obsessed with your cookie cakes, they taste amazing. Can i use this recipe to make a cookie cake?

  15. These lovely cookies turned out exactly as I’d hoped. I followed the recipe as written. Only change was white chocolate chips because its Christmas and always make Tollhouse cookies for the holidays. I only wish I could share my pics of these beauties. Thanks so much Sally, another keeper.

  16. I made this cookie as an afterthought for a family celebration, and was blown away by the feedback! My family fought over them and requested more ASAP! Thanks for another stellar recipe!

  17. Hi I was wondering if I could make these cookies thick and giant like your giant chocolate chip cookie recipe. Any recommendations for the cooking time? Or how many cookies it would make?

    1. Hi Sofia, Yes, you can make these larger. The exact yield and bake time will depend on how much larger you make them. Use a relatively lower oven temperature, 325°F, to ensure the larger cookies cook evenly instead of over-browning on the edges and tops. Let us know if you try it!

    1. Hi Pearse, We use and recommend gel food coloring. It provides a brighter color than liquid food coloring and also impacts the texture less than adding more liquid. We are fans of this AmeriColor gel.

  18. This looks so yummy, also Caicos you please recommend how much buttermilk powder to use instead of buttermilk and what amount of red velvet emulsion can be used instead of red color?

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