Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies

Holiday Cookie Blog Hop

Welcome to the Holiday Cookie Blog Hop hosted by Sarah of Sugar Bananas.

This post is the first installment of my new series I’m calling “In the Kitchen with The Purple Hydrangea.”  My sister friend Sarah of 1915 House gets full credit for creating the title. I loved it from the moment she suggested it.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies

I have been mulling over the idea of adding recipes once a month for quite some time now. With the holidays quickly approaching, it seemed like the perfect time to jump in with both spoons.

Don’t worry, I am still and always will be your “sister in paint.”

In other words, I’m not quitting my day job.

Gluten- Free is the life for me.

If you dig deep into the archives, you will uncover about three gluten-free recipes.  I dabbled in these types of posts last year when I first started blogging seriously.

I removed all gluten from my diet four years ago for health reasons, and I have never looked back. For me, it’s a lifestyle choice, not a fad.

There’s only one small problem; it can be quite expensive. If you’ve ever priced a box of gluten-free cookies, you know exactly what I mean.

I have two teenage boys who devour everything in sight. There isn’t a cookie, cake, or pie that is safe in their presence. I have learned it is much more cost effective to bake my goodies whether it’s from scratch or a gluten-free mix.

So without further delay let’s chat about these cookies

I love cookies. In fact, they are probably my favorite year round treat. During the holidays I like to bake up something other than just a regular chocolate chip cookie. To me, there is nothing more festive looking than a red velvet cake, cookie, or brownie.

If you do a little research, you will quickly learn there is some debate as to what ingredients are used in a true red velvet recipe. In my neck of the woods, you use white vinegar, cocoa powder, red food coloring, and buttermilk.

For the record, I am not a fan of red food coloring, but I do make an exception for gluten free red velvet cookies.

Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies

My recipe is an adaptation of Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies. Nicole was the first gluten-free blogger I found four years ago. Her cookbooks and blog are full of fantastic budget friendly recipes. Here’s a link to her All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipes and Information.  If you are new to gluten-free baking, this is a must read.

You may notice a couple of things in the photos below.  First, yes, that is a grater I used for the butter. I saw this tip on a cooking show, and it has been such a time saver for softening butter. Who has time to wait on butter to soften on the counter anyway? I know you can use the microwave, but it never turns out quite right for me.

Second, I am not a huge fan of confectioners sugar. I chose to roll my dough in granulated sugar before rolling in powdered sugar.

The granulated sugar adds sweetness, and it prevents the powdered sugar from caking too thickly on the dough. I baked two batches, and both had a nice crackled look to them.

These gluten-free red velvet cookies taste as good as they look. No one has to know they are gluten-free unless you want them to.

I only used 4 or 5 drops of red food coloring, and I love the deep color they have. You could certainly add more if you prefer a brighter shade of red. Be careful because adding too much food coloring can result in a bitter taste.

Yes, I did take a bite of one cookie because I care about you, sweet readers. I certainly could not write about how delicious they are unless I had actually sampled one right?

These gluten-free red velvet cookies taste as good as they look. No one will ever know they are gluten-free unless you tell them.




(The following list contains affiliate links for your convenience. This simply means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you order products with the links provided) 

Ingredients Used

1 1/2 cups All purpose gluten free flour (I used Pillsbury which has Xantham Gum added)

3/4 t. Xantham Gum if your blend does not include it

1/4 C. cocoa powder

3/4 t. baking powder

1/8 t. baking soda

1/2 t. kosher salt

3/4 C. granulated sugar

8 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature or grated 🙂

2 large eggs

2 t. pure vanilla extract

Red food coloring use desired amount (you are in control)

1/2 t. white vinegar (optional)

1 T. buttermilk (optional)

Granulated sugar for coating

Confectioners sugar for coating

Parchment paper to line baking sheet


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line one large cookie sheet with parchment paper

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients

Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients

Add eggs, grated or softened butter, vanilla, vinegar, and buttermilk

Mix well using either a spoon or your hands (I use my hands)

Add desired amount of food coloring. I used 4 to 5 drops

Stir to distribute the color evenly

Place dough in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes

Divide dough into approximately 24 to 27 portions

Roll each portion into a ball

Coat in granulated sugar, press to flatten slightly, then roll in powdered sugar, coating both sides

Bake for 14 minutes or until middles appears set

Cool for 15 minutes before transferring from cookie sheet

I highly recommend eating the first one within 5 minutes of removing from the oven.  The flavor profile is so much more intense while still warm.

This step is entirely optional of course.

These gluten-free red velvet cookies taste as good as they look. No one will ever know they are gluten-free unless you tell them.

If you have a red velvet recipe you love, let me know if it includes vinegar and buttermilk, or just cocoa powder. Not only am I a paint nerd, but I am also a recipe nerd.

Right now, I am about to see what deliciousness my friends are sharing, and I hope you will too. Just click on the links below.

Until next time, I remain your gluten free red velvet cookie loving sister in paint.

Holiday Cookie Blog Hop Logo

The Purple Hydrangea

Life on Pearl Street

Savvy Apron

Small Home Soul

Farmhouse Made

Duct Tape and Denim

1915 House

My Thrifty House

Raggedy Bits

Happy Happy Nester

My Mom Made That

Sugar Bananas

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  1. Sarah says:

    These look SO yummy! 😀 Confession: I’ve never made anything “red velvet” in my life. I may need to give these a go! And thank you for sampling them for us…a baker who does not eat her own goods cannot be trusted. 😉 😀

  2. Toni | Small Home Soul says:

    Oh man those look so yummy! I’ve never heard of vinegar in cookies but hey, if the recipe calls for it i’m gonna use it 🙂 I also don’t like food coloring (behavioral and health controversy and all) but I did find some natural paste coloring that might work also. But like being GF, it’s a bit pricey comparatively speaking.

    Pinning these beauties to make this year 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Toni. I feel the same way about red food coloring. There are many alternatives available, but they are rather expensive. I don’t consume it on a regular basis, so I am not going to worry about it too much. 🙂

      As far as the vinegar goes, I was skeptical when I added it to my recipe. This is the main reason I baked two batches. I had to test this properly. LOL

  3. Melissa Hatcher says:

    OMG! Red Velvet is my favorite and I am also having to eat gluten free. I am so excited to try these amazing cookies. Until then, I will patiently await a personal delivery of 1 dozen to FMS in McKinney!

  4. skstewart12202016 says:

    I am with Sarah, I have never made anything red velvet either, I never knew it was red food coloring the made the velvet red, lol!! I also have no idea what I thought it was either…I am definitely making these this year, my family will be so impressed!!

    • Lisa says:

      Red velvet recipes at one time were considered to be a “southern thing.” Now, you can find mixes and other items in stores and restaurants.
      Red food coloring really has nothing to do with the flavor. 🙂

  5. sherry cole says:

    We love red velvet at our house and these look amazing. Both of my kids have stomach issues and I am trying hard to cut gluten from our diets. It is so hard for teenagers to do but this recipe sounds like something they would love! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Rachael says:

    Pinning this! I developed gluten intolerance after my daughter was born a year and a half ago, but didn’t discover what was going on until just before the holidays last year so I didn’t really have time to try many gluten free holiday recipes. I love making red velvet cake for Christmas, and love the idea of a cookie form!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for pinning! It has taken me a long time to finally get the hang of gluten-free baking. I had many “fails” the first year or so. Thank you for visiting Rachael.

  7. Sarah @ Sugar Bananas says:

    Mmm! They look great. You’d never know they’re gluten free, either. I love Sarah’s idea for “In The Kitchen…”. Judging by your beautiful cookies, I think it would be a lovely addition to your blog 🙂 …also…McCormick now makes all-natural food dyes. I can’t wait for them to show up in my store.
    Thank you for participating!

    • Lisa says:

      Sarah, you just made my day. I consider this such a compliment. I will be sure to look for the all-natural food dyes.

      Thanks for hosting such a fun cookie party.


  8. Janine |Happy Happy Nester| says:

    What a great post! I’ll have to try these cookies since they look amazing. So cool about the soften butter hint. And I was wondering if you could use a tiny bit of beet juice for the red color. That stuff is pretty intense as far as red dye goes. Lovely cookie post and I am happy you are cooking to your blog!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for stopping by Janine. I have tasted products with beet juice added for color and happily the beet flavor is absent. I seriously dislike beets. Honestly, I don’t worry about the red dye because I very seldom eat anything containing it.

      Have a great weekend.

  9. Kim says:

    Lisa, these looks delicious! Lilly is a huge fan of all the things red velvet, so we are going to make a batch! I hope she saves me one 😉

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