Soft and Rich Red Velvet Cookies with Hidden Beets

Your heart is going to beat for these beets! Whether you are a first time beet eater or a beet connoisseur, are going to love these red velvet cookies and the beets hiding inside of them.

I first developed this recipe years ago. I was in the mood for red velvet but was frustrated that I could only find recipes dependent upon food coloring for the rich red color. I knew there had to be a more natural way to get that beautiful red color. Viola, beets! Thanks to these delicious beets, there is no food coloring in these healthy cookies.

After developing this recipe, I was so excited about it that I told everyone I was going to start a food truck business and drive around the city selling my new vegan red velvet cookies with beets. That is how much I loved them. Unfortunately, that project never got off the ground (nor did my other great business idea, Pooper Towels, but that is another story). I am happy I get to share it with you now! If you only try one of my recipes, this should be the one (however you should try all of Lu’s; she is a wizard).

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What Makes these Soft and Rich Red Velvet Cookies so Special?

Each cookie is packed full of delicious, nutritious beets! Put that food coloring away. Or better yet, throw it away! This vegan, red velvet cookie recipe does not have food coloring. Wouldn’t you rather be 100% certain of what you are eating instead of mixing in some mystery dye? There is no food coloring in this red velvet cookie recipe.

Beets are low in calories but high in fiber, folate, and vitamin C. They can help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, and digestion. Check out the research on beets here:

The texture of these cookies is also one of a kind. They have the chewy, soft, fluffiness of cake, but they have the stability of a cookie. Dip it, dunk it, or juggle it (then give me a call and tell me how you learned to do that), because this cookie has stability.

We use maple syrup and all of its yummy extra nutrients. While that substitute doesn’t always work, we are happy it does for this recipe. Maple syrup is still a sugar, so it should still be consumed in moderation. Check out Healthline’s thoughts on maple syrup vs refined sugar here: However if you prefer granulated sugar, we included the notes for that option as well.

Vegan option. With a couple easy tweaks, this soft and rich red velvet cookie recipe is vegan friendly. The batch photographed in this blog are from the vegan track, but both options taste delicious. We included both variations in the recipe below.

A Few Notes:

  • Boil your beets! Submerge your beet in a pot of water and boil for 20-30 minutes. Once you can stick a fork in it, they are done (maybe beets are what inspired that expression).
  • The secret to the beets is blending them. The last thing you want to do is find chunks of beets in your cookies. I use a nutribullet when blending them (not an ad, just a fact), but you could probably also use a strong blender. Whichever method you choose, just make sure they are thoroughly blended.
  • The butter and the maple syrup like to try separating if you let it sit. So add the beets immediately after mixing.
  • Use a hand mixer. It does a better job mixing the butter and syrup than your kitchen aide (quick hello to my grandma who bought me this beautiful hand mixer, thank you!).
  • This dough is sticky and stable. Unlike other cookies, they will not expand or flatten significantly when baking. The shape you put in the oven is the shape you get out.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Beet Variations:

There are many different ways to make these cookies.

  1. Plain cookies. No special additions or cut outs, just follow the recipe to success. This is my husband’s preferred cookie option. He thinks they are perfectly sweet without any special additions.
  2. Powder sugar – lightly dust your cookies with powder sugar once your cookies have cooled.
  3. Cut outs! Sugar cookies aren’t the only cookie that you can bake into fun shapes. First bake this recipe is a 13x9in pan. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Then use cookie cutters to cut your cookies into fun shapes. We used hearts for Valentine’s Day (elementary, my dear).
  4. Add chocolate chips! After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, add 1 cup of chocolate chips. This is my preferred variation; I can never say no to chocolate chips. I use dark chocolate chips – but that is up to you!
  5. Frosting. We don’t have our own frosting recipe (yet), but we would recommend:, or, or
  6. COMBINATION – chocolate chips AND frosting. I recommend this option only for professional sugar eaters because it is sweeeeet. But I would be lying if I said I hadn’t done it myself once or five times.

Soft and Rich Red Velvet Cookies with Hidden Beets

4 from 6 votes
Recipe by Course: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time



Fluffy and delicious – these vegan red velvet cookies with hidden beets are always a crowd favorite. No one will believe there are beets tucked inside.


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose or wheat-white flour

  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup butter (vegan OR dairy) softened to room temperature

  • ½ cup maple syrup OR ½ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon milk (dairy, soy, OR almond)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 egg OR 1 flax seed egg (1 tbs flax mixed in 3 tbs water; wait 5 minutes)

  • 1 cup blended beet (~1 medium beet)

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

  • Sprinkle of powdered sugar (optional)


  • Bring pot of water to boil. Cut the stem off of the beet. Fully submerge beet and boil for 20-30 minutes. Once soft (can stick a fork in), dice into chunks so it is easier to blend. Let cool for 10 minutes. Once cool, add ½ cup of water to beet to help the blending process. You will need 1 cup of the final blended beet.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Set aside.
  • If using flax seed instead of an egg, mix 1 tablespoon of crushed flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir. Set aside for 5 minutes. If you are using an egg, you can skip this step.
  • Using a handheld mixer, beat butter until soft (~1 minute). Add maple syrup (or sugars). Mix until well combined. This will fall apart if you let sit, so quickly add next ingredients. Then mix in milk, vanilla, and flax seed mixture (or egg). Mix well. Add 1 cup of blended beets. Mix!
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet bowl. Dough will be soft, sticky, and beautifully red. If desired, add 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. If you are baking pan cookies to cut out, bake in a greased 13×9 pan for 14-16 minutes.
  • Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (if desired).


  • This dough is sticky – it will not expand or flatten much in the stove. Whatever shape you put in will be the shape you get out.
  • This recipe makes 18 small-medium sized cookies. Store in the refrigerator.

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If you love this vegan, sugar substituted, red velvet cookie without food coloring and are looking for another yummy snack, check out our Guilt Free, All-Natural, Healthy Banana Bread Bonanza:

<3 Meu


  1. Hi! I have a question about the Red Velvet with beets cookies… do you think I could substitute drained, canned beets? I love beets and the recipe sounds yummy, but I have canned beets on hand. Thanks!

  2. Hi I was wondering if I can substitute with Hersey unsweetened cocoa powder since I don’t have any cocoa powder and should I use baking powder or baking soda so the cookies will not turned brown but be red after the cookies are baked? Thanks

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