Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

Delicious red velvet thumbprint cookies filled with vanilla buttercream frosting! Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

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Day 2 of Christmas Cookie Week has arrived! I’ve had a love affair with red velvet ever since this cake was created! Christmas is the perfect holiday to break out all the red velvet treats. The brilliant red is so pretty for the holidays, especially when dusted with powdered sugar to look like snow! Oh so pretty and delicious.

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

So Day 2 brings these Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies with a vanilla buttercream frosting! I absolutely ADORE these cookies. They’re not only delicious but oh so pretty. These would be a great addition to a “cookie board” aka create a charcuterie board but swap the charcuterie for all sweet treats. These cookies will be a showstopper addition!

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

You may be wondering how I got this vibrant red color? You can use red food coloring from the traditional dropper style food coloring, but let me let you in on a little secret. Gel food coloring. You don’t have to use a lot and the colors are much more brilliant. You can find gel food coloring at any baking store (I bought Wilton brand from Michaels). Here is a great starter set of 8 colors on Amazon!

I filled these thumbprint cookies with a vanilla buttercream frosting, but you could absolutely use a cream cheese frosting, melted white chocolate, or a ganache made with white or dark chocolate. Lots of options!

These red velvet cookies would be beautiful served for Christmas (or Valentine’s Day) or gifted up for friends or neighbors.

A close up of red velvet thumbprint cookies

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

A delicious buttery, sweet cookie with a gorgeous red coloring! 
SERVINGS 32 cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 teaspoons red food coloring - (I used gel food color)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream - (or milk)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). 
  • Add sour cream, egg, and food coloring. Mix to combine. 
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. 
  • Mix in dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. 
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Press your thumb into the center of each ball to leave an indention. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to fully cool. 
  • To make frosting, using an electric mixer, beat butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Use a piping tip to add a swirl of frosting to the center of each thumbprint cookie. 


If frosting is too loose, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more cream (or milk). 


Calories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 25mgPotassium: 32mgSugar: 13gVitamin A: 305IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

I hope you love these red velvet thumbprint cookies as much as my family does!

More Christmas Cookie Ideas:

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  1. WDPs favorite cake! I need to make these for him this weekend- yum!!! Great idea :-)

  2. Patricia Freeman says:

    I really wanted these to be good, but even after chilling the dough for an hour, it was just so sticky and hard to roll into balls. I’m putting them in the freezer and icing them next month, so i hope they at least taste good.

3 from 1 vote

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