Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan

For as long as I remember we have been making chocolate crinkle cookies at holiday time, but my family always called them Chocolate Pixies.  They are my oldest son, Jude’s favorite Christmas cookie so I had to start making them safe for Casey a few years ago.  I wanted to give them a spin this year and remembered a recipe I did a while ago.  I pulled it out and tweaked it for Top 8+ safe needs and now we have Red Velvet Crinkles!

These absolutely scream Christmas with their red hue and snowy powdered sugar crust, but have a nice, not overwhelming chocolatey flavor. They are made in the very traditional red velvet way with vinegar, oil, and cocoa powder. These ingredients react with each other and the chemical leaveners (baking soda and powder) to make the cookie rise, split, and get that great color.  It was tricky taking the eggs out of the recipe because they are such an important part of the texture, but I was able to strike a great balance with applesauce as eggs replacer.  Red food coloring is necessary so if that is a deterrent for anyone avoiding red dye, you can try beet extracts for coloring.

The Crinkle dough freezes fantastic, so they’re a great option when preparing for the holiday rush or even having a safe treat ready to be baked at any time, even from frozen.  The recipe yield will depend on the size of the scoop you use.  At this time of year, I prefer to use smaller scoops so I can get the most bang for my buck.

I hope you give these a try, they’re simple and such a crowd pleaser.  Be well and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely! 💙👩🏻‍🍳

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitutions


Safe Butter/Regular Butter – Either vegan or regular butter is fine to use here for the creaming.  Shortening can be used but ONLY as a combination of safe butter and shortening.  Coconut oil is not recommended as it makes the cookie melt out and not hold its shape.

Gluten Free or Regular Flour – This recipe can be made with either regular all-purpose flour or gluten free flour.  If using a gluten free flour blend, stick to the 140 g. per cup and use a blend that has xanthan gum.  Add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour if it does not have it.  Remember all gluten free blends are different with different densities there will have to be minor adjustments depending on the one you use, but they are minimal.  I use King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.

Egg/Applesauce – This is your safe option of choice.  If egg allergic I opt to use applesauce.

Red Food Color – I always prefer using gel color, and Americolor brand is my safe choice.  With gel color, less is needed, and it is absorbed by the fats and liquid much better than liquid.  If liquid food color is being used, I use McCormick or Cake Mate.  For those who avoid red dye, natural colors are available. 

Confectioner’s Sugar – Only a little is needed for rolling the crinkle dough in.  If you are corn allergic, Wholesome brand is corn free.  Regular confectioner’s sugar has cornstarch in it.

Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: 15 minutes


Chill Time: at least 2 hours


Cook Time: 12-15 minutes

Total Time: about 2-3 hours

Yield: Yield depends on scoop size – for 1 Tbls. scoop, about 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients & Method


  • I c. granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 4 Tbls. vegan or regular butter, room temperature but not soft
  • 3 Tbls. safe oil (canola, olive or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 egg OR a scant ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbls. red food color (gel preferred)
  • 1 Tbls. white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ c. all-purpose gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum OR 1 ¾ c. regular flour
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder, sifted in lumpy
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • Confectioner’s sugar for rolling (about 1/3 c. for the whole batch)
  • Method
    1. In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
    2. With a stand mixer or hand blender, cream the butter and sugar until light but not too soft. Slowly add the oil, egg OR applesauce, food color, vinegar and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined, scraping the bowl around the sides and bottom.
    3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Chill the dough AT LEAST 2 hours, up to overnight.  Don’t skip this step!  The dry ingredients will absorb moisture and help create the unusual texture of the crinkles.  Alternatively, the dough can be wrapped well and frozen for up to 2 months.  Defrost in the refrigerator.
    4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    5. In two separate bowls, add granulated sugar to one and the confectioner’s sugar to the other. Scoop the dough and roll the balls first in the granulated sugar, then the confectioner’s sugar and placed on a parchment lined sheet pan.  This is important step because it helps to make the sweet crust and makes a barrier, so the dough doesn’t completely absorb the confectioner’s sugar while baking.
    6. Bake 12-15 minutes depending on scoop size until set on the edges. Do not overbake!!!  The cookies will set the structure as they cook and will be hard if overbaked.
    7. Crinkles will keep at room temperature for a week in an airtight container.

Recipe Note

  • Don’t skip the steps of chilling the dough or rolling in both sugars.
  • Crinkle dough is perfect for freezing to get set up for holiday baking. Scoop and wrap before freezing.
  • It may seem like a lot of food color, but it must be disbursed through the whole dough and red requires a lot to get the intensity. It would be pink if not.



As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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