Girls Who Bake: Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies

This summer, my hilariously awesome office mate was celebrating a birthday. Given that I have become the defacto office-birthday-baker, I asked her what she wanted me to make. She suggested red velvet cupcakes, carrot cake, or macaroons. The only hiccup: she’s allergic to gluten. Normally I wouldn’t bat an eye at her requests, but given that I haven’t figured out how gluten free flours work yet, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would do. I stumbled upon this recipe for Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies on Two Peas & Their Pod, and then through more googling, figured out a way that I was hoping I could make them deliciously gluten free. Luckily, it worked! These cookies are so ridiculously amazing, you won’t say, “These cookies are so good — for gluten free.” All of my coworkers were drooling over them as word spread around the office. Gluten-free often gets the shaft on taste, but these dense cookies will leave everyone wanting more. These are now my favorite cookies – hands down. So if you have someone in your life with Celiac, surprise them with this delicious treat this holiday season.



Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert, Gluten Free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 9 or 10

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 3.9 oz box of Jello Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons red food coloring
  • For the cheesecake filling:
  • 2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the white chocolate drizzle:
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips, melted

  1. To make cookies, in a large bowl combine cake mix, chocolate instant pudding, and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. Pour this mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, then add eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and red food dye. Mix until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The dough will be oily. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling, using a mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Using a teaspoon, scoop out cheesecake filling and place on a plate. Continue scooping out cheesecake filling into teaspoon balls until you have 10. Place plate in the freezer and freeze for at least two hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. To assemble the cookies, take about ¼ cup of red velvet cookie dough and flatten in your hands. Place a teaspoon of cheesecake filling in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the filling. Gently roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Scoop onto lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheets. These cookies are very dense and do not spread very much, so depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may be able to do all of them. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until the edges become harder. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and cool completely. If cookies break apart when being moved from the baking sheet, they aren’t completely done and should return to the oven.
  4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or over a double-boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let the cookies set until the chocolate hardens (sometimes this involves putting them on a plate in the fridge). Serve and enjoy!

You want to make sure you completely wrap the cookie dough around the filling before baking-so it doesn’t leak. If there is a part that you can’t get to come together, make sure that part is on top. That way, when it break apart, the filling won’t ooze out the bottom. I used McCormicks Red Food Coloring because I know for sure it is gluten-free. There are other gluten-free brands, so feel free to explore.