Chewy, chocolate-y, homemade red velvet crinkle cookies. These festive Christmas cookies are thick and fudgy with sugar-dusted, dramatic cracks on top. Perfect for holiday baking, cookie swaps, and gifting. No chill time or mixer required.

Red velvet crinkle cookies on white parchment paper.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Red velvet desserts aren’t something I typically bake throughout the year, but there’s something so festive about them at Christmas time!

With chewy, fudgy centers of vibrant red peeking through powdered sugar-dusted, crackly tops, these dramatic chocolate cookies are almost too pretty to eat.

But underneath those perfectly crinkled tops are soft and chewy, fudge centers full of flavor from melted dark chocolate, rich cocoa, brown sugar, and fragrant vanilla.

The red hue comes a bit from the natural cocoa …but mostly gel food coloring. You can go subtle, or add enough to make them glow. Either way, they’re sure to become a holiday favorite. Happy baking!!

Close up of different chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and chocolate wafers, layered on top of each other in a pile.

What You Need to Make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies:

If you bake often, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make these festive chocolate cookies in your pantry, right now:

  • dark chocolate: Look for a bittersweet chocolate baking bar in the 70-85% cacao range. Because these cookies are chocolate-focused, I like to use the good stuff.
  • butter: for rich flavor, we’ll melt it with bar chocolate into a beautifully glossy chocolate puddle.
  • flour: regular all-purpose flour forms the base of these cookies. You’ll want to measure by weight for the best results!
  • cocoa powder: for even more chocolate flavor, we add cocoa powder in addition to the melted chocolate. I like using natural unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s) because its lighter color makes the red hue of these cookies more vibrant.
  • baking powder and soda: combines for the perfect amount of both lift and spread. The cookies emerge from the oven gently puffed, with nice, round edges.
  • kosher salt: to intensify all of the flavors (I just about always use Diamond Crystal.)
  • eggs: Two eggs and an extra yolk add moisture, lift, and make for perfectly chewy, crackly cookies.
  • sugar: these cookies combine three types of sugar. Light brown sugar adds sweetness and complexity, and the cookie dough balls are rolled in both granulated and confectioners sugar before baking for super defined crackles on top.
  • vanilla: always and forever!

Find all the exact ingredients and measurements in the recipe card, below.

Red velvet crinkle cookies on a wire baking rack.
How to store:

Keep leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Which food coloring is best?

You’ll want to choose a really vibrant red food coloring for that classic, bright red velvet color. I like AmeriColor gel paste. For these cookies I used the color Super Red.

Which type of cocoa should I use?

For these crinkle cookies, you’ll want to use natural unsweetened cocoa instead of dutch-process cocoa powder.

A red velvet crinkle cookie with a bite out of it on white parchment paper.

If you make these red velvet crinkle cookies, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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Red velvet crinkle cookies on white parchment paper.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

  • Author: Laura Bolton – Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 22 Cookies 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Chewy, chocolate-y, homemade red velvet crinkle cookies. These festive Christmas cookies are thick and fudgy with sugar-dusted, dramatic cracks on top. Perfect for holiday baking, cookie swaps, and gifting. No chill time or mixer required.


  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate (70%-85%), chopped
  • 4 Tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 11/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (20g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 11/2 cups (300g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp (5g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp red gel food coloring ¹
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, for rolling
  • 1/2 cup (100g) confectioners (powdered) sugar, for rolling


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in either a double-boiler over gently simmering water, or in a heat-proof glass bowl in the microwave. If using a microwave, heat in bursts of 30 seconds on medium power, stirring well and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula after each increment, until completely smooth and glossy. Set aside
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs until well-combined.
  5. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and food coloring,¹ and continue whisking until smooth and creamy.
  6. Stir in the melted chocolate, and mix until smooth.
  7. Switch to a spatula, and fold in the flour mixture until just combined and no dry streaks remain. The dough will be thick and sticky.
  8. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes at room-temperature.
  9. Meanwhile, place the granulated and powdered sugars in two separate, shallow bowls.
  10. Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop (I used a #26) to scoop the dough into equal portions. Roll gently between your hands to form round balls. If the dough is too sticky, scoop it directly into the granulated sugar, about 4 at a time, and use the sugar to keep your fingers from sticking and to help form the balls.
  11. Roll each ball in granulated sugar, then powdered sugar, being sure to coat completely in each.
  12. Place on your prepared sheet pans, about 2 inches apart.
  13. Bake each sheet individually on the center oven rack for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are gently puffed, the edges look set, and the tops are crackled.
  14. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely. Enjoy!!


  • ¹ I used AmeriColor soft gel paste food coloring in “Super Red.” You may need to experiment a bit with the right amount of food coloring to get the cookies as red as you would like.
  • Note: this dough is sticky and a little soft. I like to use food-service gloves when I’m scooping and rolling the dough to keep my hands cleaner and from sticking as much.

Keywords: red velvet crinkle cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, red velvet cookies, christmas, holiday