Thick and chewy crinkle cookies with a deep red velvet flavor, a bright, festive color, and coated with sweet powdered sugar. Perfect for holidays for snacking!

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Baked red velvet crinkle cookies on a plate.

About Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

When it comes to decadent holiday treats, nothing hits the mark quite like red velvet, and these red velvet crinkle cookies are no exception.

I found this recipe in Holiday Cookies by Elisabet der Nederlanden, and what attracted me to it was the use of cocoa powder (fairly common) but also melted chocolate (ultra decadent). I have another recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies that bakes a very think, almost round cookie, but that wasn’t the case with these red velvet crinkles. The melted chocolate adds density to the batter, so these cookies bake a tad flatter than their chocolate brethren and have a slightly chewy consistency.

Overall, it was a delicious changeup from what I normally expect with a classic crinkle cookie – and totally worth it.

And another great part about these cookies?

They have the “true” taste of red velvet, and it’s done using a special emulsion.

but wait, what is red velvet?

Now, I know many people may tell you that red velvet either doesn’t have a taste or that it tastes like chocolate cake. And, honestly, they’re not “wrong.” Red velvet originally started out as a chocolate cake with vinegar and buttermilk, and through a chemical reaction, the cake would turn a red brick color once baked. Fast forward a few decades and we typically see red velvet recipes that are essentially chocolate cake with a healthy dose of red food coloring.

And while there’s nothing wrong with those recipes, it does mean there’s usually a crucial piece that’s missing: the taste combination of buttermilk, vinegar, and cocoa. True red velvet will taste like chocolate, but a “muted” version with a more delicate taste.

There are still plenty of recipes that use classic red velvet ingredients, but like all things in life, there’s a time and place for everything. If you’re going for a certain consistency or texture, using buttermilk or vinegar just might not work.

And that, my friends, is why this red velvet emulsion is the savior that all your red velvet recipes need.

It adds the missing flavor combination that comes from baking vinegar, buttermilk, and cocoa together, giving you the real red velvet experience.

Plus, it also serves as the red food coloring, making it easy to substitute in any red velvet recipe.

So red velvet fans, rejoice! It’s true that red velvet does indeed have a flavor (you can tell your friends it’s “light” chocolate). And you can get that flavor without having to craft or adjust a recipe by using a red velvet emulsion.

Closeup of a stack of red velvet crinkle cookies on a plate.

How long does the powdered sugar coating last?

These cookies have a soft, chewy texture, so the iconic powdered sugar coating may be absorbed by the cookie over time. This won’t negatively impact the taste of the cookie, but it will change their pretty presentation.

To avoid this, you could try any of the following:

  • Store the cookies in the refrigerator or the freezer until ready to eat.
  • Coat the cookies in a thin layer of granulated sugar, then coat in a thick layer of powdered sugar before baking.
  • Use a “non dissolving” powdered sugar coating instead of standard powdered sugar. I’ve personally never used a product like this, so I don’t have first hand knowledge on whether this will impact taste or texture, but I have heard good things from others who have tried it. King Arthor makes a brand of powdered sugar that does this.

Do you have to chill the dough?

This particular recipe calls for chilling the cookie dough for a minimum of one hour (or ideally up to eight hours). The primary reason for this is because there’s butter in the dough and to make the dough more manageable for rolling and coating in powdered sugar.

If you’re curious about the purpose (and benefits!) of doing this, check out this article: Chilling Cookie Dough: Does it Make a Difference?

Can you freeze red velvet crinkle cookies?

If you’d like to always have a batch of these cookies on hand, the easiest way is to freeze them for later. There are two ways you can do this.

To freeze the raw dough: 

  • Mix all ingredients, then use a cookie scoop to scoop out about one tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball (the same way you would before baking). Coat the cookie dough ball with powdered sugar.
  • Place cookie dough balls on a tray and freeze for at least two hours or until the outside is no longer tacky. Once firm, transfer to a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
  • Cookie dough can be stored for up to six months. When ready to bake, arrange the frozen cookie balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place the baking sheet to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bake as directed.

To freeze the baked cookies:

  • Bake and allow to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in a single layer in a freezer bag or storage container. If you need to stack the cookies, separate each layer with a sheet of wax paper.
  • Baked cookies and be frozen for up to three months.

How long are red velvet crinkle cookies good for?

Once prepared, these cookies can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to four or five days.

Holding up a single red velvet crinkle cookie.

Notes & tips for these red velvet cookies

  • If you’re doing a lot of holiday baking, I highly recommend having some silicone baking mats on hand. Baking cookies takes enough time without having to cut or measure parchment paper.
  • Plus, some quality baking sheets are a must for a cookie baking extravaganza!
  • For this recipe, I highly recommend using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. This recipe would be difficult to make by hand with a whisk.
  • If you follow this recipe as it’s written, it says to remove the dough from the mixing bowl and wrap it in plastic wrap. I’ve found this to be the best for chilling dough, and if you’re baking a lot of cookies, it also helps you save valuable space in your refrigerator. However, if you really don’t want to deal with the plastic wrap, you can just cover your mixing bowl and chill it that way.

Other lovely red velvet recipes

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How to make red velvet crinkle cookies

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, whisk together the following ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set the bowl aside.

Step 2 – In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate until nice and smooth, then set it aside to cool.

Step 3 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the light brown sugar and butter until smooth.

Step 4 – Add the egg, red velvet emulsion, and vanilla to the bowl, then mix until combined.

Step 5 – Quickly mix in the dry ingredients until the dough is smooth.

Step 6 – Pour in the cooled melted chocolate, then mix until combined.

Step 7 – Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and transfer the dough to it, then wrap it up tight.

Step 8 – Chill the dough!

Step 9 – When ready to bake, pinch off a small piece of dough, roll it between your hands, then coat it with powdered sugar. Place the prepared cookie ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this step until all the dough is used.

Step 10 – Bake!

Step 11 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Baked red velvet crinkle cookies on a plate.
4.41 from 5 votes

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

30 mins prep + 14 mins cook + 1 hr Chilling Time
108 kcal
Yields: 36 cookies
Thick and chewy crinkle cookies with a deep red velvet flavor, a bright, festive color, and coated with sweet powdered sugar. Perfect for holidays for snacking!

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, melt chocolate per package instructions, then set aside to cool.
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together butter and brown sugar on medium high speed until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce speed to low and add both eggs, red velvet emulsion, and vanilla, mixing thoroughly until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Keeping speed on low, quickly add dry ingredients to mixer, scooping in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time. Stop mixing once dough looks smooth and uniform. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Keeping speed on low, pour in cooled melted chocolate. Continue to mix until just combined.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Firmly wrap dough and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and keep it handy for the next step.
  • Unwrap dough and use your fingers to pinch off 1-2 tablespoons, then roll dough into a ball. Drop ball in powdered sugar and toss to coat completely. Place sugar coated cookie ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all the cookie dough batter is used, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies for 14 minutes or until tops of cookies are lined with cracks (as pictured).
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Store cookies in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 85mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.7mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy