Enjoying sweet treats shouldn’t mean compromising your dietary choices and that’s where these indulgent Vegan Red Velvet Cookies come in. A heavenly combination of rich cocoa, a hint of vanilla, and a vibrant red hue that’s sure to satisfy your sweet cravings. Using everyday vegan ingredients that take less than 30 minutes from prep to plate, this recipe is perfect when you need to make a small batch of quick treats for a special occasion.
Why I Made This Recipe
I love everything red velvet and I’ve been wanting to make a great cookie version for a while. This recipe is versatile in that you can adapt it easily to suit your decorating preferences and each option still tastes amazing. My kids were fighting over which one was the best and luckily they picked different ones so it was easy to split up the batch between all of us.
Why You Need To Make This Recipe
Quick and easy to make with simple everyday ingredients. Impress your family and friends by making 3 different cookie offerings from the same batch of cookie dough. The hardest part is deciding which one to eat first. These Vegan Red Velvet Cookies are a testament to the fact that allergy friendly treats can be indulgent and satisfying.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is a vegan recipe with an easy gluten free option. Read on for more information on the ingredients and substitutions and check out my FAQ section for some commonly asked questions and additional tips.
Sugar: the combination of brown sugar and white sugar elevates this cookie dough. Brown sugar adds a caramel undertone that works well with the cocoa powder while also adding to the chewy inside of the cookies. The white sugar enhances the crunchy exterior.
Plant Based Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter and add salt accordingly to my recipes. Omit the salt if you only have salted butter on hand. Use dairy butter if you are not dairy intolerant or vegan.
Apple Sauce: this is our binding agent. Sub with 1 medium or large egg if you are not egg intolerant or vegan.
Flavouring: I love adding vanilla bean paste to my cookies for a more intense flavour. Sub with vanilla extract if needed. The combination of baking soda (which helps the dough relax) and salt works well together to enhance the cookie flavour as well.
All Purpose Flour: sub with gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour if needed.
Cocoa Powder and Red Food Colouring: the two key ingredients for anything red velvet. The cocoa powder adds richness and depth of flavour, whereas the red food colouring helps with the colour of the dough.
How To Make Red Velvet Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and gather all of the ingredients and equipment. Line 2 Air Bake trays with parchment paper. See FAQ for different baking pan recommendations.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar and butter. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla bean paste. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and red food colouring to the mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Using a cookie scoop, add balls of dough to the trays (6 per tray).
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
To make red velvet crinkle cookies, roll the cookie balls in white sugar and then icing sugar before adding them back to the baking tray.
Red Velvet and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
For red velvet and white chocolate chip cookies, press chips into the cookie balls before adding them back on to the baking tray.
Bake at 350°F for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a further 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Common Recipe Questions
This recipe makes 12 cookies, using a large cookie scoop. If you prefer minis, you should get roughly 18-22 cookies with a small scoop. I usually make 4 of each type of cookie, although you can easily change this based on your own preference.
If you are not vegan and want to include an egg in the cookie for richness, sub the apple sauce for 1 medium/large egg.
These red velvet cookies are best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. You have more willpower than me if they last this long though!
If you don’t have air bake trays, you can use a regular cookie tray and will need to reduce the baking time by 2 minutes. I do highly recommend investing in Air Bake trays as cookies (and macarons) bake much more evenly on them due to improved air circulation and the light colour of the trays.
Let’s take one last look at these gorgeous cookies. Which would you eat first? I’d love to hear in the comments below once you’ve tried them.
More Red Velvet Recipes
If you love red velvet, why not try one of these recipes:
- Amazing Red Velvet Donuts – Vegan
- GBBO Inspired Red Velvet Layer Cake – Dairy Free
- Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes – Vegan
Indulgent Vegan Red Velvet Drop Cookies – 3 ways
- 100 grams Brown Sugar (1/2 US Cup)
- 50 grams White Sugar (1/4 US Cup)
- 145 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted) (10 tbsp)
- 50 grams Apple Sauce (1/4 US Cup – see note)
- 1.5 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 175 grams All Purpose Flour (1 1/2 US Cup)
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 30 grams Cocoa Powder (1/3 US Cup)
- 1 tsp Red Food Colouring
For Additional Flavours
- Small bowl of white sugar
- Small bowl of icing sugar
- Small bowl of white chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and gather all of the ingredients and equipment. Line 2 Air Bake trays with parchment paper.
To Make Red Velvet Cookies
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar and butter.100 grams Brown Sugar, 50 grams White Sugar, 145 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted)
- Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla bean paste.50 grams Apple Sauce, 1.5 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder and red food colouring to the mixing bowl and stir to combine.175 grams All Purpose Flour, 1/4 tsp Baking Soda, 1/4 tsp Salt, 30 grams Cocoa Powder, 1 tsp Red Food Colouring
- Using a cookie scoop, add balls of dough to the trays (6 per tray), shaping them to a soft peak (this helps prevent spread and gives depth to the cookies).
- Bake at 350°F for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a further 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Two More Options
- To make red velvet crinkle cookies, roll the cookie balls in white sugar and then icing sugar before adding to the baking tray. Bake as above.Small bowl of white sugar, Small bowl of icing sugar
- For red velvet and white chocolate chip cookies, press chips into the cookie balls before adding to the baking tray. Bake as above.Small bowl of white chocolate chips
- This recipe makes 12 large cookies. For mini cookies, use a smaller cookie scoop.
- If you are not vegan and want to include an egg in the cookie for richness, sub the apple sauce for 1 medium/large egg.
- These cookies are best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- I always weigh my ingredients rather than use cup measurements. This ensures accuracy for every recipe and perfect results every time. For convenience for those who prefer using cup measurements, I have converted this recipe myself. Please note that if you use the 2x or 3x ingredient feature in this recipe card, it will not increase the cup measurements. Please calculate those manually.