The holidays are almost here, and nothing screams Christmas quite like these vibrant, chewy, scrumptious, and stunning red velvet crinkle cookies.
They taste fantastic and come together in a snap.
Is it cheating to use a box of cake mix for cookies? Absolutely not!
I like to think of it as more of a shortcut.
And you know what? When you’re making a million Christmas cookies for friends, family, and colleagues, sometimes a shortcut is the only way to get it all done.
And hey, nobody will know the difference, anyway! So make these red velvet crinkle cookies and call them “from scratch” if you like.
I won’t tell if you don’t!
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies With Cake Mix
Using a box of cake mix is a clever cookie hack that yields the most insanely tender and delicious cookies.
And these red velvet crinkle cookies have warm and gooey insides, like a red velvet cake, with a classic crinkle cookie crunch on top.
Did I mention you only need six ingredients?
So if you have a box of red velvet cake mix and a few pantry staples, you’re good to go!
The key is to ignore the directions on the box and roll the finished dough in powdered sugar before baking.
That way, as the cookie expands, you’ll see those signature cracks – which look all the more impressive over the vibrant red cookie.
These babies are the perfect Christmas cookie to fill out a holiday tray. And they make lovely gifts too!
- Red Velvet Cake Mix – Any red velvet cake mix will do, but I find Betty Crocker yields lighter cookies, thanks to the addition of pudding.
- Egg – You’ll want room-temperature eggs, so they incorporate well. Leave them out for 30 minutes or submerge them in lukewarm water.
- Oil – Oil ensures these cookies are impossibly moist and tender. Use something neutral tasting, like canola or sunflower.
- Corn Starch – You’ll mix cornstarch into the powdered sugar to help it stick to the dough.
- Powdered Sugar – No crinkle cookie is complete without a quick roll in powdered sugar!
- Lemon Zest – Though optional, a touch of acidic lemon zest is the secret ingredient here. It makes all those sweet flavors pop.
How to Make Red Velvet Cookies
If you have a mixing bowl and can hold a wooden spoon (or spatula), you have all the skills to make these mouth-watering red velvet cookies.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Add the melted butter, eggs, and lemon zest to a bowl, and mix well until thoroughly blended.
- Pour the dry cake mix into the bowl, stir until a dough forms, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Mix the powdered sugar with the cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Scoop 1-inch balls of cookie dough and roll them in the powdered sugar, coating every side well.
- Place the cookie dough on baking sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
How easy is that?
Tips for Making the Best Cookies
These delicious red velvet crinkle cookies are easy as pie. But there are a few tips to ensure they turn out spectacular!
- Coat the cookie dough generously with powdered sugar. Now’s not the time to be modest! Instead, you want every inch fully coated and white; otherwise, the crinkle effect won’t be as sharp.
- Use a small ice cream or cookie scoop to portion the dough. This is the best way to ensure your cookies are all the same size and that they bake evenly.
- Chill the dough before portioning. Once you combine the ingredients, the room-temperature dough will be sticky, making it tricky to handle. So, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to help it firm up.
- This also ensures the cookies don’t spread too far. If you bake super-soft cookie dough, it will spread out and be very thin. Plus, you won’t see the crinkle effect as well since the sugar will melt and absorb into the dough.
- Customize the recipe with fun additions. For example, add one cup of white chocolate chips for a truly decadent cookie. Or go for chopped walnuts or pecans for a beautiful added crunch.
Can I Make These Cookies Ahead of Time?
Do you want to get a jump-start on your holiday baking? Then, this recipe is just the ticket!
In fact, you can store most cookie dough in the freezer for up to two months. And they almost all bake right from frozen!
I suggest portioning the dough first; that way, you don’t need to thaw it before baking. Instead, just pull out as many portions as you need and bake.
The best method is to line a tray with cookie dough balls and freeze for a couple of hours. Then, put the dough into freezer bags for easier storage.
When you get a craving, line a baking sheet and add two to four minutes to the suggested baking time.
How to Store Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
So, how long will your cookies last once baked?
Well, if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature, they’ll remain fresh for up to five days.
If you want to squeeze a little extra life out of your cookies, store them in the refrigerator for a few additional days.
However, these cookies are so tasty that they may not live to see the light of the fifth day!
When storing crinkle cookies, place a sheet of wax or parchment paper between layers to prevent the powdered sugar from smearing.
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