Thick, chewy and deliciously rich – you’d never know that these Paleo Red Velvet Cookies are grain and dairy free! A simple combination of tapioca flour with a small amount of coconut flour make for a fantastic cookie texture. Use natural food color to color the cookies with a reddish brown tint to complete the red velvet look! | Refined Sugar Free + Vegan Option
Cookie Week – Day Three
What is Cookie Week? Inspired by Cookie Palooza over on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I’m sharing a new, gluten-free holiday cookie everyday for one full week.
Today’s cookie is actually a 2-for-1 special as I am sharing these cookies and a non paleo gluten free red velvet cookie as well!
What is Red Velvet (food)?
Red velvet cake is a type of chocolate cake known for its iconic scarlet, crimson color and its velvet-soft texture. Due to its popularity there is now a whole category of red velvet desserts ranging from cakes, brownies, muffins and of course – cookies!
Traditionally, the red color came from a compound that used to be found in cocoa powder. This compound (anthocyanin) would react to vinegar and buttermilk to produce a deep red color. Most cocoa powder today is processed differently without this compound which is why food coloring is often added to red velvet desserts.
Use Natural Food Color
Today, red velvet desserts often get the red color from added dyes and food gels. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural alternatives (like beet juice and pomegranate) that can add a reddish tinge without all the extra chemicals.
The color left behind in natural dyes aren’t quite as pigmented, but you’ll still end up with a lovely reddish brown color.
How to Make Paleo Red Velvet Cookies
This is a fairly simple and straight forward recipe, based off my Cardamom Spiced Ginger Cookies. You need a couple of bowls to pull it off – one large bowl for mixing the wet ingredients and another to mix the dry ingredients.
Much like regular cookie recipes these are made by mixing together the wet ingredients, then adding the dry ingredients to make the dough.
I recommend you whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl first. This ensures dry ingredients mix fully (no pockets of salt of baking soda left intact!). Once mixed, stir into the sugar and oil bowl and that’s it on the dough.
Give these cookies a bakehouse look: Just after baking I like to press a few additional chips in the cookies as seen in the bottom picture just below. This is completely optional but it does give your finished cookies a little more of a bakehouse kind of look to them.
- Make it Egg Free: You can use one flax egg in place of the regular egg if needed. To make: whisk together 2 tablespoons ground flax seed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Set the mixture aside for about 10 minutes until it thickens up into a gel. You can now use this as you would an egg.
- Add an extra 2 tablespoons of dairy free milk (like almond milk or coconut milk) to the dough. This will help keep the cookies from getting too dry.
- Use butter instead of coconut oil: Not paleo and it’s definitely not dairy free, but if you can – use it! Butter based cookies stay softer much longer than coconut oil based cookies.
- Use brown sugar instead of coconut sugar: Again, not paleo, but brown sugar makes a great substitute if you can’t get ahold of coconut sugar. It will also make for softer cookies.
FYI – check out this gluten free red velvet cookie recipe for a non paleo version!
More Cookie-Week Recipes:
- Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan Option)
- Rosemary Lemon Christmas Tree Cookies
- Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies
- Salted Honey Tahini Cookies (Vegan Option)
- Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms (Vegan Option)
- Buttered Pecan Meltaways (Vegan Option)
- Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan Option)
- 1/2 cup (113 g) coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup (135 g) coconut sugar
- 1 egg (or flax egg)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons natural red food colouring
- 1 1/4 cup (140 g) tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup (30 g) grams cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons (21 g) coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (85 g) dairy free dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C. Lightly grease or line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together the melted coconut oil (1/2 cup|104 g) and coconut sugar (3/4 cup | 135 g) together on a medium speed until combined. Add the egg (or flax egg) and vanilla extract (1 tsp).
- Stir in the red food colouring (2 tsp | 10 ml).
- In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: tapioca starch (1 1/4 cup | 140g), cocoa powder (1/4 cup | 30 g), coconut flour (3 tbsp | 21 g), baking soda (1/2 tsp) and salt (1/2 tsp).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together on a low speed until a thick dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips (1/2 cup | 85g) .
- Scoop out about the dough (about 1 1/2 tablespoons worth or 35 grams) and roll into little balls. Place the cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 9-10 minutes until the edges have set. The cookies will be slightly puffed up coming out of the oven and will slightly deflate after a few minutes out of the oven.
- Optional: Gently press a few extra chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies right after they come out of the oven to give your cookies a more appealing, bakehouse look.
- Let cool on the cookie sheets about 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to one week.
- Make it egg free: Flax Seed: Mix together 2 tablespoons ground flax seed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture gels up. You can then use this as your egg. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) dairy free milk to the dough when you add the egg.
- Use butter instead of coconut oil: It's not paleo/dairy free, but butter based cookies stay softer much longer than coconut oil based cookies.
- Brown sugar instead of coconut sugar.