These Frosted Red Velvet Cookies couldn’t be more delicious! The mild sugar cookie base pairs perfectly with the sweet buttercream frosting. And don’t forget those extra cookie crumbs on top that give the cookie some added texture and help balance out the frosting! Best part is, they’re gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be made dairy free (vegan).
I’ll let you in on a little secret.
These cookies are a dream!
Of course they’re perfect for any day but they really are extra pretty for Christmas, Valentine’s Day or even the 4th of July.
Whenever red is involved, these beauties would be the star of the show.
Let’s Chat About These Cookies
These cookies have a thumbprint-like sugar cookie base.
Not that sugar thumbprint cookies themselves aren’t delicious, but in my opinion, they definitely need something.
So with these, instead of making a thumbprint, I flatten them with a fork when they come out of the oven and then once they cool, I frost them with a vegan vanilla buttercream.
Traditionally red velvet and cream cheese frosting is the famous combo.
However there is a bakery by me that I went to prior to having children with celiac and food allergies and they make a red velvet cupcake with vanilla buttercream.
I realized I actually like this flavor combo much better.
The sweet buttercream offsets the tangy red velvet base and the match is just perfection.
Of course you could use cream cheese frosting for these, that’s totally fine, I just find the cream cheese adds even more tang and I prefer less.
Also if you want to make these vegan, if you use cream cheese you’d have to use a vegan cream cheese.
With the buttercream there really are no swaps aside from using vegan baking sticks instead of butter.
What about red food coloring? Is that safe?
Many food colorings are NOT safe for those with celiac and nut allergies.
It appears to me that McCormick is.
I checked their website and it said that any product that contains a gluten free label is produced on a dedicated gluten free line and has been validated as gluten free.
McCormick says if gluten appears in a product, they will always list it on a label.
They will never hide allergens under the term “natural flavors.”
I even called the company. The statement said, if a product ever contained an allergen it would be declared on the label. If it is not declared, this means the product does not contain it.
I feel very confident in using McCormick products due to these procedures they have in place.
I can buy it in my local grocery store, but you can also buy it on Amazon.
Tips for making Frosted Red Velvet Cookies
How to make the dough
Make the cornstarch water- Using a spoon, mix the cornstarch and the water until it is thin and watery because it will be thick and tacky at first.
Mix all your dry ingredients- In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine.
Cream the sugar- In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the softened butter or vegan baking stick and 1 cup granulated sugar until creamy. About 1-2 minutes.
Add in the wet ingredients- Then, beat in the cornstarch water mixture, milk of choice, red food coloring and vanilla until combined.
Mix in the flour mixture- Slowly add in the flour mixture a little at a time and beat until just combined.
Chill the dough- Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a round flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Is this step really needed? Yes. There is no egg in these cookies to hold everything together when it is heated in the oven.
If you don’t chill the cookies they will spread.
Roll the dough balls in granulated sugar- Remove dough from the fridge and roll into balls. You can use a small cookie scoop or your hands. Each ball should be about an inch. Then roll each ball into the ⅔ cup granulated sugar.
Baking time- Place on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 min.
Press the cookies down- As soon as they come out of the oven, press the cookies down gently with a fork so you have a flat top to frost. If they are already flat on top, skip this step.
Cool the cookies- After a few min, use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
Make the vegan buttercream for the Frosted Red Velvet Cookies
While the cookies are cooking, make the buttercream.
For the buttercream: Combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl using a sturdy spatula.
If you think you want lots of frosting, you could always double the frosting recipe.
For the cookie crumbs
Break one cooled cookie apart and rip or chop it into tiny crumbs.
Make sure you do this step when the cookie has cooled completely otherwise the crumbs won’t be dry they will be gummy and will not sprinkle well.
Sprinkle the crumbs on top of each cookie as you frost them.
How to make these Frosted Red Velvet Cookies Vegan
Follow these simple tips to make these vegan cookies:
- Use a Non Dairy GF Flour- Make sure to use a gluten free flour that is free from dairy.
- Make sure to use Vegan Baking Sticks- Instead of butter, use your favorite vegan baking stick.
- Use a Non Dairy Milk of Choice- Swap out the regular milk for non dairy.
These cookies are wonderful sweet little treats!
If you have a sweet tooth, this is the recipe for you!
Best part is, no one will ever guess they're gluten free, nut free, egg free and can easily be dairy free (vegan)! Enjoy!
Frosted Red Velvet Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 1 ¾ cup gluten free flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder Use Dutch or Natural Unsweetened
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick ½ cup unsalted butter or vegan baking stick, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus ⅔ cup for rolling
- 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring I use McCormick
- 1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Vanilla Buttercream:
- 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan baking stick softened
- 1 tablespoon room temperature water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
For the Topping:
- One cooled Red Velvet Cookie broken into tiny crumbs
- In a small bowl, using a spoon, mix together the cornstarch and water until it is thin and watery. It will be thick and tacky at first. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the softened butter or vegan baking stick and 1 cup granulated sugar until creamy. About 1-2 minutes.
- Then slowly beat in the cornstarch water mixture, milk of choice, red food coloring and vanilla until combined. It will look chunky and that’s normal.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture a little at a time and beat until just combined.
- Remove dough from bowl, shape into a round flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 min to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from the fridge and use a small cookie scoop or use your hands to roll dough into 1 inch balls.
- Roll each ball in the ⅔ cup granulated sugar.
- Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately press the cookies gently down with a fork if they are not flat. (See picture in blog post above).
- After a few min, transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.
- Make the Vanilla Buttercream while cookies are baking: Combine all the ingredients together in a medium bowl using a sturdy spatula. If the frosting is too thick, add more water ¼ teaspoon at a time. This frosting is on the thicker side but you still need to be able to spread it.
- Break or chop one cooled cookie into tiny crumbs. It must be cool otherwise the crumbs will be gummy and not sprinkle well.
- Begin to frost the cookies, after you frost each cookie, immediately sprinkle the cookie crumbs on top of each cookie.
- Serve and enjoy! Store any extras in an airtight container at room temperature.
The recipe for the cookie was adapted from Hershey's Red Velvet Chocolate Blossoms.