Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This months “What’s Baking” theme of ‘Red Velvet’ was chosen by Kim of Just Baked.  Appropriate for Valentine’s Day treats don’t you think? 99% of the time red velvet is paired with cream cheese frosting so I wanted to do something different. While I love CC frosting it’s pretty heavy.

I love love love light airy frosting. The frosting here ended up being as light as fresh whipped cream and super-vanilly which means that it will be great on all kind of things-cookies, cakes etc…. So keep it to use any time of the year. Note: I only made half of the recipe below-you can see in the photo below how much frosting you’ll have on each piece with the recipe halved. If you want more make the full recipe.

Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting




  • 3 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp KAF Red Velvet Emulsion


  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, beans set aside


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking poweder. Whisk to evenly combine. Set aside.
  3. In theb owl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat until combined evenly.
  4. Little by little add the dry ingredients, just incorporating before adding more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat until a dough forms.
  5. Pour then press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the butter and 1/4 of the sugar.  Beat on low until combined. Continue to add the sugar in this way until it’s all combined.  Add the vanilla extract and beans and  beat on highest speed for about 8 minutes or until it won’t get any fluffier. It will have the consistancy of whipped cream.
  2. Frost the cookies using an offset spatula or backwards dinner knife.


Cookie recipe adapted from  The frosting’s mine.