• Red velvet cookies. (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

They might look like colourful macarons, but these red velvet cookies are more kin to the ruby-hued cake of the same name. Filled with a salty-sweet cream cheese mixture, these dainty treats make ideal gifts, be it Christmas, Mother's Day or Valentines. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (39 votes)


  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 330 g (1 ½ cups) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) buttermilk
  • 3 tsp red gel food colouring
  • 340 g (2 ¼ cups) plain flour
  • 75 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch salt


Cream cheese filling

  • 125 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g (2 cups) icing sugar, sifted

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line 4-5 baking trays with baking paper.

Place butter, sugar and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and creamy, about 4-5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Add buttermilk and red food colouring and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa and salt together. Use a slow speed on mixer to blend dry ingredients into cookie mixture. Mix until well combined.

Working in batches, spoon cookie mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm plain nozzle. Pipe 4.5 cm rounds onto trays, (about 52 in total) allowing a little room for spreading. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until just firm to touch. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely on trays.

To make the cream cheese filling, place cream cheese, butter and vanilla into a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sifted icing sugar, beating until well combined. If the mixture is a little soft, refrigerate 5-10 minutes before filling cookies.

To assemble, spoon your cream cheese filling into a piping bag fitted with a 5 mm star nozzle. Pipe filling around the underside edge of one cookie, then sandwich together with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. These cookies are best eaten on the same day as making.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.


This recipe is from Cookie Scout, our weekend cookie project. Bake with us.