Red Velvet Roll-Out Cookies

I've been searching long and far for the perfect red velvet roll out recipe.... turns out, it didn't exist.  Well, until now... (as far as MY taste buds are concerned, anyway) 😂.  So here it is... my red velvet roll-out recipe.  It's got a hint of tartness from the cream cheese, a fudgy center thanks to my favorite cocoa powder (Genie's Dream Ultra Dark No 3) and it holds it shape beautifully for all your decorating needs.  This recipe really is a winner!

Red Velvet Roll-Out Recipe

1 lb Unsalted Butter

8 oz Cream Cheese

440 g Granulated Sugar

20 g Kosher Salt

Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste to taste

4 Large Egg Yolks

950 g Flour

70 g Corn Starch

50 g Genie's Dream Ultra Dark No 3 Cocoa Powder

10 g Baking Powder

Red Food Color (I use Red Americolor or Master Elite Red Powder)


Here's a few helpful hints before you get started:

*Take your butter out an hour or two before baking.  I like for it still to be a little cold but not too stiff.  Ideally, the butter and cream cheese will be about the same stiffness when you cream them together.

*Cocoa powders are not all created equal.  If you are using a lighter brand, like Hershey's, you may choose to increase the amount by 10-20% for more flavor.  You can also control the darkness of your cookie flavor by playing with your cocoa powder quantity. 

* Red food coloring can make a big impact on the flavor of your cookie.  Using too much red color will definitely leave an after taste.  That's why I prefer to either use Americolor Red Gel food coloring or Master Elite Red Powder by The Sugar Art.   If you are using the powder coloring, you can easily sift it into your dry ingredients to ensure even coloration throughout your dough. If you are using the gel coloring, I suggest adding it along with your wet ingredients.



1. Cream together your butter, cream cheese, sugar and salt with the paddle attachment on your mixer.  Don't over mix.

2.  With your mixer running on low, add your egg yolks, vanilla and red food coloring (if using a gel paste).   As soon as your ingredients are combined, turn off the mixer. Over-mixing can cause your cream cheese to separate and give your cookies a grainy texture.

3.  Sift together your dry ingredients (including the red food coloring if you are using the powdered variety). 

4.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add your dry ingredients.  As soon as the dough starts to come together, turn the mixer off and move your dough to a flour dusted counter top to finish the mix by hand. I always finish mixing my dough by hand to prevent overworking the gluten and having my cookies turn out too stiff.

5. Roll out your dough as usual to your preferred thickness.  I like mine to be a bit on the thicker side, but anywhere between 1/4" - 3/8" is pretty standard.

6. Bake at 350 for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of your cookie and the nature of your oven)


*This recipe does not require that the cookie be chilled before baking, however, for a fudgier center, it does help to chill the cut cookies 5-10 minutes. I just pop mine in the freezer while I'm waiting for a space to open in the oven. 

*I can't give you an exact bake time to work off of, because it's going to completely depend on the size/thickness of your cookies, the nature of your oven, and whether or not you chilled your dough.  As a good rule of thumb, for dark flavored cookies you can usually tell they are done when they are no longer shiny in the middle.  They should be fully risen but no longer shiny.  The worst thing you can do to this recipe is over bake.  If you end up with a stiff, dry or crunchy cookie, you over baked. They should be fudgy at the center with a lovely crust.  If you aren't experienced working with a chocolate dough, I suggest baking one or two cookies first, just to get your bake times figured out.  Here's how mine looked right before I took them out of the oven...

*Right after your cookies come out of the over, press on the tops gently with a large flat spatula or sheet pan.  This will help give you a perfectly flat canvas for your royal icing.


Finish your cookies with your preferred royal icing recipe.  For a true red velvet flavor profile, try adding some cream cheese extract to your icing. I have found Watkins brand to be my favorite, but to each their own.  


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