March 3, 2023

Rich Black Velvet Cookies

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I had so much fun playing around with this recipe. These cookies are rich and smooth in a deep shade of black. A hint of almond and vanilla extract adds a little something that is quite delightful. Enjoy them with your favourite beverage. I love them with a glass of milk or sparkling wine, depending on the time of day 😉
Rich Black Velvet Cookies Featured

What you’ll need to make this recipe

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Instant coffee
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Black food colouring gel
  • My favourite Almond extract
  • Vanilla Extract
  • White and or dark chocolate chips
  • Dried cranberries

A good cookie bakes on a good baking sheet! My favourite one to use is the Wilton 2105-966 Recipe Right Baking Sheet. It’s so easy to clean and the perfect size for smaller ovens!

Fun Fact

The History of Velvet and How the Name Became Associated with Baked Goods

The origin of velvet was likely in China thousands of years ago. Velvet was made using silk during the Renaissance and this ultra soft fabric has seduced aristocrats for centuries. It showed a display of wealth and prosperity. Take a closer look at the history of the renowned textile family, Bevilacqua. Their expertise in creating magnificent pieces dates back to 1499 and continues today.

For more information please read The Bevilacqua history
and The Bevilacqua soprarizzo and cesellato velvets. I would like to say a big thank you to the Bevilacqua company for allowing me to reference their steadfast history in this recipe’s fun fact. I greatly appreciate it.

The correlation with velvet desserts was introduced during the 1800’s. These luxurious cakes were made with the addition of cocoa powder which enhanced the chocolatey flavour and added to the “velvety” texture. This highly desired dessert was usually served at formal parties and is now what we refer to as devil’s food cake.

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Rich Black Velvet Cookies Featured

Rich Black Velvet Cookies

  • Author: Jordana Eloise
  • Total Time: 2 Hours + 10 Minutes–24 Hours + 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 1719 Cookies 1x


Indulge in cookies that are rich and smooth in a deep shade of black. A hint of almond and vanilla extract adds a little something that’s quite delightful. Enjoy them with your favourite beverage. I love them with a glass of milk or sparkling wine, depending on the time of day 😉


Units Scale
  • 1 1/4 cup (150g) all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder (For more information, read Dutch Process vs Natural Cocoa)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (82g) 1/2 stick unsalted butter *melted
  • 1/4 cup (46g) 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening *melted
  • 1 tablespoon milk *dairy or non-dairy
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (120g) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 3/8 teaspoon black food colouring gel
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85g) white and or dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (44g) dried cranberries *coarsely chopped

For more help with culinary conversion’s, see King Arthur Baking’s Ingredient Weight Chart


  1. Start by measuring or weighing the unsalted butter and vegetable shortening. Then put them in a small pot or pan and place it on the stove.
    Butter and vegetable shortening in separate square bowls and a small frying pan in the centre.
  2. Next, melt the butter and vegetable shortening on a low heat setting. When the ingredients are just melted, remove the pan from the burner and set it aside.
    Butter and vegetable shortening melting in a pan on the stove.Melted butter and vegetable shortening in a pan on the stove.
    *If browning and or evaporation starts with the melted butter and shortening in the pot or pan, the texture in these cookies will be altered. As delicious as browned butter is, we don’t want the butter and shortening to reach a toasted stage. Let’s save that for another recipe.
    *Alternatively, you can melt the butter and vegetable shortening in the microwave. Place the butter and vegetable shortening in a microwaveable bowl that is large enough to hold the measured ingredients. Next, melt the butter and vegetable shortening on a low setting for 30 to 40 seconds as per the instructions for your microwave. As soon as the ingredients have melted, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave then set it aside.
    Melted butter and vegetable shortening in a small glass bowl.
  3. In the meantime, measure 1 tablespoon of milk and pour it into a microwavable bowl. Place it in the microwave for 10 seconds then carefully swirl the bowl around. Place the bowl back into the microwave and warm the milk for another 10 seconds. Carefully take the bowl out of the microwave.
    Instant coffee granules in a small glass bowl and milk in another small glass bowl.
  4. Next, add 1 teaspoon of instant coffee (I use decaffeinated coffee) and dissolve it in the warmed milk. Stir to combine.
    Instant coffee and milk combined in a small glass bowl.
    *Check out my Fun Fact on decaf coffee from the Mocha Date Bites recipe on Jem’s Take (read Mocha Bites)
  5. Then add the coffee and milk mixture to the melted butter and vegetable shortening. Stir to combine and place the mixture in a large bowl. Then set the bowl aside. At this point the ingredients will look slightly curdled. Not to worry. When I was testing this recipe I was a little concerned about the appearance of the combined ingredients. This will not hinder the final result of the cookies.
    Melted butter, vegetable shortening, coffee, milk in a pan on the stove.
    *Milk adds moisture to these cookies and the coffee enhances the chocolate flavour. Both ingredients are a perfect pair in these scrumptious treats.
  6. Next, measure and add the all purpose flour to a medium sized bowl. The best way to measure flour is to weigh it or spoon it into a measuring cup then level it with a knife.
    Dry ingredients in a large red bowl 
  7. Next, measure the baking powder, baking soda and salt and add them to the bowl with the all purpose flour and stir for 30 seconds to fully combine. Set the bowl aside.
    Dry unblended ingredients in a red medium bowl.
  8. Next, add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the large bowl with the wet ingredients *melted butter, vegetable shortening, milk and coffee mixture.
    Wet ingredients and sugars in a large red bow
  9. Then combine the ingredients with a whisk or hand mixer. About 1 minute.
  10. Next add the cocoa powder to the large bowl and mix the ingredients until they are fully combined. About 1 minute.
    Wet ingredients and cocoa powder in a large red bowl and an egg in a small bowl on the side.

    *Note: The best method to use that fully incorporates cocoa powder into the dough is to blend it with the wet ingredients instead of with the dry ingredients. I found a huge difference with even distribution of cocoa by switching to this method. It’s a simple yet very effective adjustment.

  11. Next, add the egg to the large bowl with the melted butter, shortening, sugars, coffee mixture and cocoa powder then stir or whisk until the ingredients are silky and fully combined. About 30 seconds.
    Wet ingredients with an uncombined egg in a large red bowl.
  12. Next, add the black food colouring gel to the wet ingredients.
    *You may be tempted to add more food colouring than the recommended amount for this recipe however, there is a fine line between delicious cookies and ones that end up tasting bitter because there is too much food colouring in it. I recommend that when you add the food colouring to the wet ingredients to wait a couple of minutes because the colour will darken. This way you will get a better idea of what the finished cookies will look like. The flavour may be altered to the cookies if you add more food colouring gel to the dough.
    Wet ingredients in a large red bowl with black food colouring gel on the side.
  13. Next, add the almond extract and vanilla extract to the wet ingredients and continue whisking until the mixture is fully blended.
    Wet ingredients in a large red bowl with almond extract and vanilla extract on the side.
  14. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. At this point, switch to a sturdy spatula or spoon and gently fold the ingredients together until they are almost combined.
    Wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
  15. Then measure and add the chocolate chips and dried cranberries to the large bowl and continue to gently fold until everything is just combined.
    Wet and dry ingredients partially combined in a large red bow and chocolate chips and dried cranberries in separate bowls on the side.Wet and dry ingredients partially combined with dried cranberries and chocolate chips in a large red bowl.
    Rich Black Velvet Cookie dough in a large red bowl

    *The cookie dough will be sticky so you will need to chill it in a covered bowl in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Let’s bake some cookies:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325°F.
  2. Next, prepare two cookie sheet pans by lining them with parchment paper or a reusable sheet.
    *I always use clips on the sides of the cookie sheets. This is to ensure that the paper doesn’t blow all over when the cookies are baking in the oven. I learned this helpful tip from an episode of The Martha Stewart Show. This method has completely transformed the final results with my cookie and quick bread recipes.  
  3. Then take the dough out of the fridge.
  4. Next, roll the dough into balls. *I used a #100 (1 1/8) cookie scoop for this recipe which will give you roughly 17 cookies. If you are using a larger cookie scoop, increase the baking time by 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can place the cookie sheets in the oven immediately after the balls have been formed or chill them in the fridge for 10 minutes or freezer for about 5 minutes if you find that the dough has gotten too soft. This will prevent the cookies from becoming too flat when baking.
    Unbaked cookies on a cookie sheet.
  5. Then place the cookie sheets on the middle and lower racks in the oven for 5 minutes. *The best practice is to set a timer. This will result in delicious cookies that are tender, moist and perfectly baked. Every time I forget to set my timer, the baked goods are usually well done and disappointing.
  6. Next, switch and rotate the cookie sheets and continue baking for 2–3 minutes.
  7. Then take the baked cookies out of the oven and place the cookie sheets on cooling racks for about 10 minutes to rest and settle.
  8. Finally, place the baked cookies on the cooling rack to cool completely.
    Baked cookies on a cooling rack.
    Rich Black Velvet Cookies on a white patterned plate with chocolate shavings as garnish and irises in the background.




If you like these Rich Black Velvet Cookies, give these a try:
Triple Chip Rye Cookies
Ruby Red Velvet Cookies
Ooey–Gooey No Chill Chocolate Chip Cookies *coming soon 


If you don’t have or like dried cranberries, substitute with up to 1/3 cup of another variety of dried fruit. Try currants, raisins, blueberries or cherries.

Q: No veg shortening in the pantry? No problem. Then this will be an all butter cookie. That sounds pretty tasty too.
A: The total unsalted butter needed will be a 1/2 cup–1 stick (113g).
*The substitution of all vegetable shortening or another plant based/ vegan butter will be delicious as well. Just measure out 1/2 cup (92g) of veg shortening or 1/2 cup (113g) vegan butter. If you are using a non–dairy ingredient such as vegan butter, omit the required salt in this cookie recipe because most vegan butter products have sodium in the mixture.

Q: Is the texture of cookies with dried fruit altered when they are stored in the freezer?
A: Not at all. Just place the cookies in an air–tight freezer container before putting them in the freezer. I usually layer the cookies with parchment paper in a freezer–friendly container before freezing them. When properly sealed, these cookies will stay fresh and enjoyable for up to 1 week in the fridge and up to 2 months in the freezer. Place the frozen cookies on the counter to thaw out then savour your creation. 

If you have one cookie sheet, roll the dough out into balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Place the bowl with the cookie dough back into the fridge. This will ensure that the dough does not become too soft. Next, bake the cookies on the middle rack of your oven and rotate the sheet after 5 minutes. Then take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Roll out the next set of balls and bake as per the instructions in this recipe.

  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 6–7 Minutes
  • Category: Sweet Treats


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