You'll be hard pressed to find a more impressive cookie than these beautiful red velvet crinkle cookies!
These rich and fudgy cookies are coated in powdered sugar before baking, then expand and crack in the oven to create a gorgeous crinkle effect.
Crinkle Cookies Ingredients
- Canola oil: using oil instead of butter in these cookies is the trick for making a cookie which spreads and crinkles! It also gives the cookie a rich and fudgy texture. You can use any type of flavourless oil or cooking oil. Don't use olive oil or coconut oil (or other strongly flavoured oils) or the cookies will taste odd.
- Caster sugar / superfine sugar: finer grains of sugar helps give the cookie a soft and fudgy texture.
- Can I use white sugar instead? You can use white sugar but be aware that it may make the cookies a little bit cakier and crisp.
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla essence / extract
- Red gel food colouring: I use gel food colouring (Queen or Wilton brand) for greater intensity of colour. If you use liquid food colouring, make sure it is high quality to achieve vivid red colour. You may need more than ½ teaspoon if you use liquid food colouring.
- Plain flour / all-purpose flour
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: using just a little bit of cocoa powder is the secret to the unique red velvet flavour. This also enhances the rich red colour of the cookies. I use Hershey's (US) or Nestle (AUS/UK) brand. Do NOT use hot cocoa powder or raw 'cacao powder.'
- Baking powder: check that it is in date. Note: do NOT use baking soda or the cookies will be bitter.
- Can I use self-raising flour instead? Yes! Omit the baking powder and substitute the plain (all-purpose) flour with the same amount of self-raising flour.
- Icing sugar / powdered sugar
- Corn starch / cornflour: this helps the coating stay on the cookies and remain a vivid white colour.
- NOTE: powdered sugar in the US, UK and other countries often already contains corn starch. You can omit the corn starch if this is the case.
How To Make Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
1. Whisk together the oil, eggs, sugars and vanilla essence in a bowl.
2. Add red food colouring slowly until you reach a vivid red colour. Whisk until well combined.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder directly over the wet ingredients.
4. Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients together.
5. The dough will be very soft and tacky. Don't stress! This will make the final cookies super fudgy.
6. Cover the bowl with glad wrap or a clean tea towel and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls.
7. Cover the bowl with glad wrap or a clean tea towel and refrigerate for 1 hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls.
8. Whisk well together to combine (I use a fork).
9. Scoop out a tablespoon of the cold dough and roll in the palm of your hands to form a smooth ball. The dough may still be quite sticky and you might need to wash your hands a few times!
10. Roll the ball in the coating mixture.
11. Place coated cookies on the prepared baking tray and press down very slightly to flatten.
12. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are well spread out with crinkles. The cookies may appear puffed up at first but will sink down once cool.
FAQ + Top Tips
- Why are my crinkle cookies flat?
- You haven't refrigerated your dough long enough. You may have to refrigerate your dough a bit longer before rolling and baking. Make sure to refrigerate the dough for the full hour or longer if your fridge is very full or tends to be warmer.
- You're measuring your flour incorrectly. Too little flour will cause the cookies to be flat and spread. To properly measure your flour, you should spoon the flour into your measuring cup until it is piled up high, then level off the pile with the back of a flat-bladed butter knife.
- Are crinkle cookies soft?
- Crinkle cookies are soft and fudgy with a slightly crisp exterior. If your cookies are hard or crispy all the way through then it is likely you have overbaked them.
- How do you know when crinkle cookies are done?
- Look for even crinkles across the entire surface of the cookies. The cookies should puff up and spread out slightly. There should be no uncooked, shiny batter visible on the surface of the baked cookies.
- What is red velvet made of?
- Red velvet is traditionally the result of a chemical reaction which occurs between acidic buttermilk and Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Modern red velvet recipes typically add red food colouring for a more vivid colour (like in this recipe!).
How Do I Store Crinkle Cookies?
- Storage: you can keep the baked cookies un-refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
- Can I freeze crinkle cookies? It is best to freeze the cookie dough instead of the baked cookies. Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap (cling film) then place in a zip-loc or freezer bag. Keep dough frozen for up to six months. Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight before the roll, coat and bake as normal.
For the Cookies
- ½ cup (125 mL) canola oil (or any flavourless vegetable oil or cooking oil)
- 1 cup (240 g) caster sugar / superfine sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon (10 g) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) red gel food colouring OR high-quality liquid food colouring
- 2 ½ cups (375 g) plain flour / all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (25 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon (8 g) baking powder
For the Coating
- ½ cup (70 g) icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) corn starch / cornflour
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Whisk through food colouring, starting with just a couple of drops, until the mixture is a rich red colour (the amount of food colouring required will vary greatly between brands- you may need more than you think!).
Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir together until well combined and a soft dough forms. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour or until workable (it will still be reasonably soft).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C / 355°F (standard). Grease and line two large cookie trays with baking paper.
In a separate medium bowl, sift together the icing sugar and corn starch to make the coating. Whisk gently with a fork to combine.
Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball. Drop into the coating and gently turn over to coat both sides. Don't dust off the excess coating - you want a reasonably thick layer on the cookie to get a nice crinkle effect.
Place the coated cookies onto the prepared trays, leaving at least 3 cm (1 inch) between the cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 minutes or until well risen with distinct crinkles. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes (they will sink back down slightly) before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Please note that my recipes are measured in metric cups and spoons which are larger than US cups and spoons. Most recipes will be fine if measured in US cups and spoons, but please use the weight (grams) measurement for the most accurate result.
- You can keep the cookies stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Gently stack the cookies to make sure the coating stays intact.
Substitutions & Tips
- Oil: you can use any type of vegetable or cooking oil. Don't use olive oil or other strongly flavoured oils, or it will give the cookies an odd flavour.
- Caster sugar: you can substitute caster sugar with any white sugar, however you may get a 'cakier' texture in the cookies rather than fudgy.
- Can I use self-raising flour? Yes. You can omit the baking powder and substitute 2 cups of plain flour with 2 cups of self-raising flour.
- Corn starch / cornflour: corn starch helps the coating stay thick and white, creating better-looking crinkles. You can omit the corn starch if necessary.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 4.1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 17.3mgSodium: 38.3mgCarbohydrates: 19.2gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 11.6gProtein: 1.6g