Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft sugar cookies with added cocoa powder and red food coloring, frosted in the very best cream cheese frosting. If you love frosted sugar cookies, be sure to try my Sugar Cookie Recipe {Swig Copycat}, too!

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Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

There is something so lovely about red velvet desserts. The vibrant red color makes these cookies as striking in appearance as delicious in taste! The added cocoa powder gives the sugar cookies a slight hint of a cocoa taste and the contrast of the red coloring and white cream cheese frosting makes for a delightful presentation, too!

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Ingredients

Confectioners’ Sugar: I used confectioners’ sugar in both the cookie dough and the frosting, so be sure to have plenty on hand! Confectioners’ sugar is not the most common type of sugar in cookie dough, but do not leave it out! It adds some texture and softness to the cookies.

Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is not a cream at all, but a powdery acid. It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices at your local grocery store. If you don’t have any on hand, you can replace cream of tartar with fresh lemon juice in a pinch. One teaspoon of cream of tartar equals 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. (Flavor may be affected.)

Food Coloring: I used gel food coloring, which is more concentrated. This means you will not need as much. You could use liquid food coloring if that is all you have on hand.

Cream Cheese Frosting: The cream cheese frosting from my Zucchini Cupcakes perfectly complements the red velvet cookies. After all, cream cheese frosting is commonly added to red velvet cakes.

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Can I Make these Cookies Without Food Coloring?

Sure! Although these cookies are intended to be red velvet cookies, they could still be enjoyed without the food coloring. Or, use a different color to coordinate with your special event!

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Can I Make These Cookies Ahead of Time?

Yes! You can get the cookie dough made, and then freeze it for up to three months. Drop the balls of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Then, place the sheet of dough balls into the freezer to freeze until solid (about an hour). Once frozen, store in freezer-safe containers until ready to bake. Wait to make the frosting until the cookies have been baked.

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How to Store Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you have already frosted the red velvet sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If you have not yet frosted the cookies, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days.

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Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 23 mins
Red Velvet Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft sugar cookies with added cocoa powder and red food coloring, frosted in cream cheese buttercream.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (94 g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ cup (168 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cups (656 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (29.5 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • red gel food coloring** (4-10 drops)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar

Instructions

Sugar Cookie

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar. Mix on medium speed until just combined.
  • Drizzle in oil and add eggs. Mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Allow the mixer to combine until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl.
  • Gently stir in food coloring until well mixed and a dark red color is achieved.
  • Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop the golf-ball size portions of dough onto a lined baking sheet.
  • Roll each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round.
  • Using the bottom of a wet kitchen glass that has been pressed into granulated sugar, press down on each cookie dough ball until the center of the cookie is pressed flatter than the edges. Repeat this on all cookies.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the center no longer appears wet. Allow the cookies to cool as you make the frosting.
  • NOTE: It is important to NOT over-bake the cookies. Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes. Every oven is different and over-baking can result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie. Let your first batch be a test batch so you can ensure the remaining cookies are perfect and soft!

Cream Cheese Frosting*

  • Place room-temperature cream cheese, butter, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until fully incorporated. (You can also use a hand-held mixer.)
  • Add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and creamy. Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled cookies. (I used 2-3 tablespoons of frosting per cookie.)

Notes

*Depending on how much frosting you use for each cookie, you may have some left over.
**If you are using liquid red food coloring you will use 1-2 ounces depending on how deep you want the red. 

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

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