Change up your traditional sugar cookie cut out recipe with homemade Red Velvet Sugar Cookies from scratch! Cut them into fun Valentine’s Day and Christmas shapes then decorate with a chocolate drizzle or an eggless royal icing.

One Red Velvet Sugar Cookie with chocolate drizzle

Red velvet. It’s one of those flavors you either love it or hate it.

I once had a really bad experience with red velvet coffee (please just say no), but fortunately I can handle my small red velvet cake, small batch red velvet cupcakes, red velvet oreo cheesecake, and these Red Velvet Sugar Cookies.

This red velvet sugar cookie recipe are cut out sugar cookies inspired by red velvet cake that you can cut out with fun cookie cutters and decorate with sprinkles.

Most people make red velvet sugar cookie cut outs as hearts for Valentine’s Day or add them to their best Christmas cookie tray as red Christmas cookies.

To decorate them, I used an easy chocolate drizzle but also included a recipe for an eggless royal icing so you don’t have to deal with egg whites or meringue powder.

And of course don’t forget the sprinkles!

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies decorated for Valentine's Day

Ingredients For Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

To make your red velvet sugar cookie recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Flour: Adds structure to your dough so you can roll and cut them out
  • Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder is what gives red velvet its subtle chocolate flavor.
  • Baking powder: Leavening agent that makes sure your cookies rise and aren’t rock hard.
  • Salt: You certainly don’t want bland cookie dough!
  • Sugar: Sweetens the dough
  • Butter: Gives flavor as well makes a tender dough
  • Egg: Use a standard large egg at room temperature.
  • Vanilla: Flavors the dough
  • Red food coloring: Use liquid food coloring, the kind you add by the drop. You can use gel or paste, but the amount will vary.

Decorated Red Velvet Cut Out Cookies

How many cookies does this red velvet sugar cookie recipe make?

It’s hard to give an exact yield for red velvet cut out cookies due to the size of your cookie cutters, but I got about 12 large hearts.

If you use small cookie cutters, you will get more cookies, a little more than small batch.

Different sizes also means different baking times. Smaller cookies are done around 8 minutes while the larger cookies are done around 10 minutes.

Check your cookies at 8 minutes then remove any that are done baking while you finish the rest.

Don’t want to cut out cookies? Make my Red Velvet Bars instead!

Making red velvet sugar cookies

How To Make Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Making your red velvet cut out cookies is fun! Here’s how to make them:

  1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until mixed together.
  2. Beat sugar and butter until light and creamy.
  3. Add egg, vanilla, and food coloring until incorporated then beat in flour until a dough forms.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  5. Roll and cut dough into shapes as desired.
  6. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm.
  7. Decorate as desired.

Store sugar cookies in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1-2 weeks. Because frosting is fragile, do not stack them.

Three red velvet sugar cookies with icing

How do you roll out cookie dough without sticking?

Nothing is more frustrating than having your cookie dough stick to everything before you can bake them.

The key to keep the dough from sticking is making sure it doesn’t get warm. One trick is to roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap before you chill it.

First: it’s much easier to roll out room temperature dough than cold dough. If you’re rolling out cold dough, you have to wait for the dough to warm up. Warm dough = unhappy baker.

Second: Pre-rolling the dough means less time working with the dough.

The more time you spend on the dough, the more likely it’ll get warm and stick to everything. You’re working against the clock, so the faster you can cut out cookies, the better.

If your dough is ready to cut straight from the fridge, you’ll waste no time cutting out your cookies with ease.

Red Velvet Cut Out Cookies

How do you keep sugar cookies from spreading in the oven?

Ever cut out beautifully shaped cookies, only to have them turn into blobs after baking? That’s because they spread too much when baking, losing their distinctive shapes.

The key to keep your red velvet sugar cookies from spreading is keeping the dough cold (notice the theme here?).

I highly recommend popping them into your freezer while your oven preheats, about 15-20 minutes.

By the time your oven is ready, they should be cold enough to prevent spreading.

Decorating red velvet sugar cookies with chocolate drizzle

How To Decorate Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

The easiest way to decorate your red velvet cookies is with a chocolate drizzle! Melt some semisweet chocolate, transfer to a sandwich bag with the tip cut off, then drizzle as desired.

You can also frost them with small batch cream cheese frosting or chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Red Christmas Cookies with eggless royal icing

How do you make royal icing without eggs?

You can also decorate your cookies with a royal icing without eggs!

Traditionally, royal icing is made with egg whites or meringue powder. However, I didn’t want to deal with raw egg whites nor buy an ingredient I’d only use 1-2 times a year.

That’s why I chose to make a small batch of eggless royal icing using powdered sugar, milk, and corn syrup.

The corn syrup adds a bit of a shine as well as makes the icing a little smoother to pipe.

However, if corn syrup isn’t available (or you don’t feel like buying a bottle for a tiny amount), you can leave it out.

The icing should be super thick. In fact, you’ll be really tempted to add more milk. Don’t.

If you do, the icing will spread while you’re trying to pipe details. Your dots and squiggles will become puddles.

If you do accidentally add too much liquid, add about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until the icing thickens up again.

Although the royal icing will harden, it is a bit fragile so you don’t want to stack the cookies. Otherwise, the icing will get squashed.

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies for Valentine's Day and Christmas

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies FAQ

Why are my cookies not turning red enough?

The color will bake out, so make your dough brighter than what you want.

Can I freeze red velvet cookies?

Yes, you can either freeze the dough (either as a disk or cut out shapes) or undecorated baked cookies.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes. You’ll likely need 2-3 cookie sheets depending on how big your cookies are.

Red Christmas Cookies with eggless royal icing

More Cut Out Cookie Recipes

Enjoyed your red velvet cut out cookies? Here are more cookies to decorate:

Decorated Red Velvet Cut Out Cookies

Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

Change up your traditional sugar cookie cut out recipe with homemade Red Velvet Sugar Cookies from scratch! Cut them into fun Valentine’s Day and Christmas shapes then decorate with a chocolate drizzle or an eggless royal icing.


  • 1 + 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweet­ened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bak­ing pow­der
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted but­ter, room tem­per­a­ture
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • Melted chocolate, for drizzling (optional if not using royal icing)

Royal Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large mixing bowl on medium-high speed (with the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), beat together the sugar and butter until light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the bowl then beat in egg, vanilla, and food coloring.
  4. Gradually beat in flour until dough forms.
  5. Divide the dough into two pieces. Place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll each dough flat until 1/4-inch thick. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Have 1 large or 2 small ungreased baking sheets ready (use parchment paper for easy clean up if desired).
  7. Working with one piece at a time, cut out shapes with a floured cookie cutter. Gather up the scraps and repeat until dough is gone. If the dough sticks too much, refrigerate until cold. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are firm. Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  9. Decorate as desired with chocolate drizzle, royal icing, or cream cheese frosting.

    Store in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

For the royal icing:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla until smooth. It should be on the thick side. If it's too runny, add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar at a time until thick again.


Did you make this recipe?

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First published February 10, 2012