With Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s always an overwhelming (and maybe even nauseating) amount of pink and red everywhere. And while I’m not a huge fan of stores draping every last aisle with hearts, confetti and lace, I will make an exception for food. Specifically, these cookies. Because not only do they make a great Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other, but they’ll help make your Valentine’s Day special, even if there is nobody else.

The “secret ingredient”? Instant pudding mix! It’s cheap and accessible, and when you add it into a cookie batter, it ends up making the cookies soft and chewy.


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2 dozen


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.

Red Velvet Cookies 3

Photo by Jenny Shen

3. Crack in the egg and add in vinegar. Stir to combine.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, instant pudding mix, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.

Red Velvet Cookies 1

Photo by Jenny Shen

5. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined. Add in chocolate chips, if desired.
6. Add in the red food color and mix. Feel free to add more if the color is not deep enough. Remember that after baking, the food coloring tends to fade a bit.

Red Velvet Cookies 4

Photo by Jenny Shen

7. On a baking tray covered in parchment paper, place heaping tablespoons of dough at least 2 inches apart.

Red Velvet Cookies 5

Photo by Jenny Shen

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until most of the cookie (except for the very center) has set. Do not overbake! The cookies will continue to get the heat from the baking tray after you’ve taken it out of the oven.

Red Velvet Cookies 9

Photo by Jenny Shen