These fudgy Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are perfect for your holiday parties. Just look at that snowy white crinkle! Made in under 30 minutes for a delightfully festive sweet treat.
Let the Christmas Cookie Baking Season commence!
I LOVE Christmas; this has not always been true. In fact, there were many years that I disliked the holiday greatly. It felt like an overly commercialized holiday (which, it is) that ultimately led to disappointment and frustration. But then I had kids and slowly all that magic returned.
Among my favorite Christmas traditions is Christmas cookie baking. Whether it’s Orange Cranberry Scones, Gingerbread Bundt Cake, Almond Joy Fudge, or Christmas Cookies, I want to get my hands on it all!
We are starting this years Christmas bakeoff with an old favorite. This Red Velvet Cookie recipe has been on my blog for several years, but I figured it was time to give them a good old fashioned makeover.
It’s Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies, new and improved!
What is a Red Velvet Crinkle Cookie?
Red Velvet Cake is a chocolate cake that got popular during the great depression as people were trying to make use of their red dye. Food coloring and vinegar react together to make the vibrant red that we know and love about red velvet.
Crinkle Cookies are those incredibly delicious, fudgy, chewy, chocolatey cookies that are covered in powered sugar. When it’s baked it creates beautiful cracks in the sugar giving it the cookie’s name. Also, my FAVORITE kind of cookie.
These Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies are less chocolatey than normal crinkle cookies. They have the subtle cocoa flavors mixed with pieces of (vegan) white chocolate chunks.
How to make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
The good news is that these cookies are incredibly easy to make! First, the dry ingredients are combined in a small bowl. Next, the vegan butter and sugar get beat in a stand-up mixer.
Let’s pause for a moment and talk about Stand-up mixers.
If you don’t have a stand-up mixer in your kitchen, I highly recommend one. I have had mine for 15 years. I use in nearly weekly and it’s never once given me a problem. It makes baking SO much easier and it comes with so many attachments, I can make meringues, breads, and cakes by flipping a switch.
Because it’s almost Christmas, now might be the time to add a Stand-Up Mixer to your wishlist. This is the one I use and, like I said, I absolutely love it!
Back to the cookies…
With the sugar and butter whipped until they are thick and creamy, it’s time to add the apple sauce, vanilla extract, food coloring, and apple cider vinegar. The apple sauce acts as the binder (egg replacer). You can’t taste the apple sauce but if you would prefer a different kind of egg replacer, check out my complete guide on replacing eggs to get a few more ideas.
Once these are added, the dough will start to look curdled. Don’t worry about this. When the dry ingredients are added, the dough will sort itself out. So, let’s add those dries, mix until just combined, and cover it in plastic to chill it for 2 hours.
Getting the perfect crinkle on your cookie
Friends, I’m going to let you in on a VERY exciting secret.
A couple years ago I learned a great little trick, thanks Cook’s Illustrated. To get the PERFECT crinkle on your cookie, first coat the cookie in granulated sugar. This allow the cookie’s surface to dry out quickly before the interior sets, creating more of those beautiful crinkly cracks. The extra layer of sugar also prevents the powdered sugar from melting into the cookie for that stark white on black (or red, in this case) visual.
You can read about the science behind all that here. It’s pretty interesting stuff and I was thrilled to see the difference when I started making my crinkle cookies this way.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure to chill the dough for at least 2 hours before baking. This allows the dough to be more moldable.
- When rolling your crinkle cookies, roll them in granulated sugar first before rolling them in powered sugar for the PERFECT crinkle every time.
- Vegan white chocolate chips can be hard to find. You can buy them online or omit them altogether.
- Pull cookies out when they are slightly underdone. I found 11 minutes to be the perfect baking time. They will continue to harden as they cool, giving you a crispy outside with a deliciously fudgy and chewy center.
- Once cookies are completely cool, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Raw dough can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
There you have it! Beautiful, chewy cookies that make the perfect Christmas gift or sweet treat at your next holiday gatherings.
Ready to start baking. Let’s take a look at the recipe below.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup vegan butter, I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. red food coloring*
- 1 cup vegan white chocolate chips, optional
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for coating
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for coating
- In a bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand-up mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add applesauce 1/4 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until well combined. Beat in vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and red food coloring. The mixture will look curdled at this point.
With mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients to bowl, scraping sides as necessary until all the dries are combined. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and beat until just combined.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 2 hours until dough is firm enough to form balls.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place granulated sugar in a shallow dish. Place the powdered sugar in a second shallow dish. Roll cookie dough into balls about 1 heaping tablespoon in size. Generously coat them in granulated sugar first, and then powdered sugar until they are completely coated. Place them on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven when cookies are slightly underdone. This is key to keep them fudgy. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Want to make sure your sugar is vegan? Check out my comprehensive guide on sugar.
Vegan white chocolate chips can be hard to find. You can buy them online or omit them altogether.
Once cookies are completely cool, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Raw dough can also be frozen for up to 2 months.