Cookies Holidays Winter

Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies

red velvet cookies on white parchment
pan-banging red velvet cookies on white parchment paper

These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique.

They also mimic the famous red velvet cake (like my Red Velvet Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies), with both red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder in the dough to create the beautiful burgundy hue, and a partial dip in cream cheese icing to complete the classic “red velvet” flavor combination.

These cookies are perfect for the holidays, and have made it onto my Top 24 Holiday Cookie recipes list.

What Are Pan-Banging Cookies?

Bakers tapping their cookie pans in the oven isn’t new, of course, but the pan-banging technique I use here is unique in that the pan is tapped in the oven every few minutes, creating ripples on the edge of the cookie. This creates two textures in the cookie: a crisp outer edge, and a soft, gooey center. I have a whole chapter of these recipes in my 100 Cookies cookbook.

Just like the Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies, the center needs to be under baked. The cookies will still cook on the pan after you take them out of the oven, so the centers won’t be raw.

Ingredients for Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies:

Red food coloring and cocoa powder are really the only two extra ingredients that elevate these cookies to “red velvet”. A gel based food coloring will create a brighter color than a liquid one, and I like to use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder; it mixes with the red to make a lovely, Merlot-esque shade.

Measuring Flour for Baking Cookies:

*Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. Weighing your flour instead of using cup measurements is the surest way to get the result I intended when developing the recipe.

Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast.

Do I have to bang the pan outside the oven? 

No, you don’t! As stated in the recipe, I lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 in [10 cm] and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down.

red velvet cookies with glaze on parchment paper
red velvet cookies on white parchment

Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies

Servings: 10 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
These delicious red velvet cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique. They mimic the famous red velvet cake with both red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder in the dough to create the beautiful burgundy hue, and a partial dip in cream cheese icing to complete the classic "red velvet" flavor combination.
Sarah Kieffer
4.70 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup [2 sticks or 227 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups [300 g] granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring (I prefer gel-based)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the icing

  • 3 oz [85 g] cream cheese, soft
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups [120 to 180 g] confectioners' sugar
  • Holly sprinkles


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper (see note).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix on low speed to combine. Add the cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla, and mix again on low until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed and completely combine the food coloring into the batter. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until completely combined.
  • Form the dough into 3 oz [85 g] balls [1/4 cup]. Place 4 cookies an equal distance apart on the sheet pans. Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have spread out but are puffed slightly in the center, 8 minutes. Lift one side of the sheet pan up about 4 in [10 cm] and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the center falls back down. After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are set and golden but the centers are not fully cooked.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely before icing them.

For the icing

  • Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of water, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add 1 cup [120 g] of the confectioners' sugar and mix with a spatula to combine. Add more sugar as needed, until the desire consistency is reached. You want the icing to be thick but not too thick – it should be thin enough to cling to the surface when you dip the cookie into it. If your icing is too thick, you can add more water as needed to thin it out.
  • To assemble: dip half of a cooled cookie into the icing. Decorate with holly sprinkles or other decoration if desired. Let the icing set before serving.


I find that aluminum foil helps the cookies spread a bit more and creates a slightly crisper bottom. But parchment paper will work just as well, too. 
  • Reply
    Saturday, January 13, 2024 at 4:56 am

    5 stars
    SOOOOOOO good! I’ve made so many of cookies and all have been amazing. These did not disappoint at all!

  • Reply
    Friday, December 22, 2023 at 11:36 pm

    Hi! How would you store these?

  • Reply
    Friday, December 22, 2023 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    I had an issue with my glaze and I’m wondering what I did wrong. The glaze isn’t as white as the glaze on your cookie. Mine is more transparent and has taken on the brown hue of the vanilla extract. I tripled the recipe to share at a holiday party so I was wondering if I should just omit the vanilla altogether or just work in batches instead of making 1 large batch? Any advise on how to make the pretty white glaze shown on your cookie?

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    2 stars
    Hi. I made these and for me, it’s just too much food coloring. I used gel based. Did you put white food coloring in your glaze? Mine was pretty transparent.

  • Reply
    Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 8:57 am

    Hi! Am I able to make the dough a day ahead of when I need them? Trying to save myself some time the day of my party!

  • Reply
    Allegra Fried
    Monday, December 18, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    Hi!! These look amazing. Any suggestions for putting these into a holiday cookie box? I want to make them but I’m worried about the icing when adding them to the box (stacking and with other cookies)? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 7:59 am

      Hi! I wouldn’t recommend stacking; leaning is the best option.

  • Reply
    Monday, December 18, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Do these freeze well?

  • Reply
    Meg D'Incecco
    Monday, December 18, 2023 at 10:53 am

    5 stars
    These were a huge hit at the cookie exchange I went to last night. I made them much smaller – .5 oz – and doubled the recipe so I would have plenty to share and they turned out super delicious. I made a few full-sized ones for my family and both were fantastic. If you want to transport them, give yourself a few hours for the icing to set and don’t stack them too aggressively.

    So delicious and festive, thanks Sarah!

  • Reply
    Friday, December 15, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    5 stars
    I rarely make chocolate desserts bc my bf doesn’t like chocolate but he will eat red velvet (I haven’t told him it’s chocolate lol). These are such a delicious combo of crispy and chewy, I get to have my chocolate and he’s already had half the batch and is none the wiser. Also, I chilled the dough for about 30-45 min and used maybe half a tbsp of regular red food dye and the color is a lovely deep red

  • Reply
    Monday, December 11, 2023 at 11:13 pm

    5 stars
    These were crazy delicious! I made them gluten free and my (non GF) mom said they were the best cookies she’d ever had in her life.

    My frosting never really “set up” though — hours later it was still pretty gooey (not even in a thick layer). Did I do something wrong? I’d like to take these to Xmas dinner but they won’t travel well if they’re gooey.

    Love your recipes!!

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 8:34 am

      Hi Jen – I’m so glad you liked the cookies! As for the icing, it could have not set due to several factors. Your kitchen may be too humid, there may be too much water in the icing (which could happen if you made it really thin), or if you put them in the refrigerator before it was fully dried. Because of the butter and water in the icing, it will be slightly tender even when set, so I sort of “lean” them for traveling/serving (vs stacking) so that the icing part of the cookie is exposed.

  • Reply
    Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t have a stand mixer: will a hand mixer work the same??

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Monday, December 11, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Cassie – it should work just fine! It might take a little bit longer to cream the butter and sugar, and you may have to stir the flour in by hand towards the end.

  • Reply
    Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 10:34 pm

    5 stars
    These are delicious. Easy to make. My husband doesn’t really care for chocolate but loved these. They won’t last long.

  • Reply
    Friday, December 8, 2023 at 10:33 am

    Can you use the red emulsion?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Friday, December 8, 2023 at 10:47 am

      yes, this red velvet emulsion works great!

      • Reply
        Monday, December 11, 2023 at 12:26 am

        5 stars
        How much red velvet emulsion should we use? Also, do I need to adjust anything else if I do the emulsion instead of the food coloring? I love the pan banging sugar cookies and the chocolate chip version! Can’t wait to try these!

        • Reply
          Sarah Kieffer
          Monday, December 11, 2023 at 8:24 am

          Hi! Same amount of red velvet emulsion!

    • Reply
      Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 1:35 pm

      Could you bake these into a bar cookie? How would you adjust the recipe? Thank you!

  • Reply
    Friday, December 8, 2023 at 6:59 am

    Beautiful! I have 2 of your books and love the pan banging recipes. Where did you find your holly sprinkles? I saw some at Michael’s but the red ones were way too big.

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