Red Velvet Roll-Outs {Recipe}

I guess it would be kinda blasphemous as a Southern girl to admit that I don’t really like red velvet cake.  In my defense, I don’t really like ANY cake.  But if I were going to pick one, this one would be a little lower on my list than my mother would like.

Still, I cannot deny my southern roots.  I grew up watching Steel Magnolias and have it memorized word for word.   It may very well be the infamous red velvet armadillo cake that sealed the deal, but like it or not, red velvet holds a place in my heart and needed to be cookie-fied.

When I first got the idea to make red velvet cookies I searched online for a recipe, but the reviews were so iffy that I didn’t waste the butter.  I wanted to create my own recipe with all of the traditional ingredients found in red velvet cake.  It took a few tries, but I finally came up with the perfect combination.

The secret to these cookies is this.  Do you know what it is?

It’s POWDERED BUTTERMILK!  And we all know, red velvet cake MUST have buttermilk.

If it weren’t for my mother-in-law, I’d never even had known that such a thing existed.  It’s the perfect way to add buttermilk flavor without softening the dough with extra liquid.

The second secret ingredient is THIS AWESOME RED VELVET EMULSION from Lorann Oils.  When I picked it up, I had no idea it would come in so handy.  The emulsion has such a deep red color that I didn’t have to add any additional food coloring to the dough, which is good for my conscience, especially since I have mixed feelings about adding a load of red dye to my baked goods.

Combined with cocoa powder, it created the perfect red velvet hue!

This is red velvet at it’s finest…in COOKIE form.

They are wonderful WITH or WITHOUT frosting but it’s been said by some that red velvet cake is nothing more than a vehicle for another Southern specialty, cream cheese frosting.  I found great recipes via i am baker, Annie’s Eats, and Glorious Treats.

For those of you who agree, these are AMAZING topped with exactly that.  However, if you plan on decorating these babies, try flavoring simple royal icing with a combination butter vanilla, buttery sweet dough {or creme bouquet}, and a splash of almond extract.  The texture is a little different, of course, but it compliments the red velvet cookie nicely.

Red Velvet Roll-Outs

Red Velvet Roll-Outs

Makes about 3 dozen 3 1/2 inch cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste {or extract}
  • 1 tbsp Lorann red velvet emulsion
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • splash {about 1/2 a tsp} apple cider vinegar


  1. Cream together butter and confectioners sugar.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla, red velvet emulsion, and milk and mix well.
  3. Start with 2 tablespoons of milk, then add the rest if the dough is a little dry after adding the flour mixture.
  4. Sift together the cocoa, buttermilk powder, flour, baking powder and salt and add to the wet ingredients.
  5. As the dough begins to form add a splash of apple cider vinegar. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  6. After mixing, let it rest for five to ten minutes, then roll out on parchment paper to 1/4 inch thickness dusting lightly with flour if needed.
  7. Cut into desired shapes and bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes.


A few tips to help you along the way:

1. You can mix flour and cocoa powder together for rolling. It doesn’t show up as badly as white flour and adds a little extra flavor.

2. If you can’t get Lorann emulsion, use a teaspoon or two of plain red gel paste, depending on how deep of a color you’d like. Just make sure to keep the amount of liquid the same, meaning you’d need to add a tbsp. of vanilla bean paste rather than 2 tsp.

3. I am not sure what the pint of the vinegar is, especially since there is no baking soda in this recipe, but it didn’t feel right leaving it out, so it’s there.

4. Watch the baking time on these cookies. when the tips are smooth and not shiny, they are done.

5. For tips on baking the perfect cookie click HERE.

So, I have to ask.  Red velvet…love it, or hate it?!

Join The Discussion



  1. 111
    Vanessa says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made these for a Valentine’s themed Favorite Things party. They were a big hit. I served them on a plate with a bowl of creme cheese frosting. It saved me time and people could have as much or as little frosting as they wanted. I made the dough in the morning and refrigerated it while I did some errands. The dough rolled out beautifully and was easy to work with. They baked up great – I have a convection oven. I had ordered the red velvet oil and powdered buttermilk from King Arthur Flour’s website. Next, I want to try them with your chocolate royal icing.

  2. 112
    Summer says:

    You’ve got it in one. Conudl’t have put it better.

  3. 113
    Abby Alejandro says:

    I absolutely am soooo EXCITED to try these out for Christmas ????

  4. 114
    Sarah says:

    I made these this weekend for a holiday get-together. I have a few friends that love Red Velvet cake so I thought these would be fun to make… they loved the cookies! They were such a big hit that people took home to-go bags when they left the party! Thank you for this wonderful recipe and for making me look good!

  5. 115
    Colleen says:

    What am I doing wrong – my cookies are more chocolate and darker – first time I used dark cocoa and red food color – wrong!!! So I spent 6$ for the emulsion and got regular cocoa and they are still darker and more chocolate flavored !!! Help!!!!!

  6. 116
    Ya says:

    Hi, I cannot find buttermilk powder. Can I use something else? tks

  7. 117
    Monica says:

    I live in the UK and is unable to find powdered buttermilk. Is there a substitute? I would love to try this recipe

  8. 118

    Hi there, i came across with your delicious recipe and can not wait to try it. Just wondering, if I make them thicker than 1/4inch like 1inch, they will bake as good as thiner ones or not?

  9. 119
    Dinette de Jesus says:

    Thanks for sharing this receipt. You can substitute buttermilk for some other product.


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