Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies – like red velvet cake but in a palm-sized cookie, and without any butter, oil, refined white sugar, bleached flour and artificial food coloring!  And only 65 calories a cookie?  Go ahead, have another one, no guilt involved!

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

As a student majoring in Nutritional Sciences who spends way too much time at the library and on campus taking nutrition/dietetics classes, I usually find myself surrounded by people like me — people who try to live healthy lifestyles, eat nutritious food, stay active, have fun, be happy, etc.

But, every once in a while I get a little reminder that not everyone is on the same path as us, and sometimes, that they don’t even want to be.  Just the other day as I was standing at the checkout line at Costco, the checkout employee asked if I liked to eat healthy.

I guess my purchase stood out just a tad compared to the typical Costco customer’s purchase (maybe it was my pound of organic spinach, or the cage-free/organic eggs, organic chicken, grass-fed bison, Greek yogurt and vodka unsweetened almond milk that tipped him off?)

I replied with a simple, “Yes,” and we talked about how it’s important to eat healthy.  After a couple of minutes he said it’s hard for him to eat healthy because he doesn’t like “rabbit food.”

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

I was a little shocked.

Did he consider my Costco purchase to be rabbit food?

Do other people think I eat like a rabbit?

My initial shock turned into confusion (mostly because I didn’t even buy carrots, and I usually do, haha) because I don’t feel like I eat bunny chow.  I mean, as I unloaded the groceries into my car, I could see how boring and plain everything looked, but that’s because it hasn’t been prepared yet!  I don’t like buying pre-made food because it’s always super processed, artificial, overly salted, overly sweetened…  basically overly everything.  I wish I could show people (especially that Costco employee) that when prepared correctly, healthy food can taste good damn delicious.

OH WAIT, that’s why I made this blog!

*smacks self in head*

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

So make this rabbit food these chewy, chocolatey, rich and (secretly healthy) Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies.  Because dessert is for humans, carrots are for rabbits  😉

12 cookies

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies


  • 126g (½ cup) Roasted Beet Puree (see Directions)
  • 15oz can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed well!*
  • ¼ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp Stevia Extract
  • 144g (¾ cup) Granulated Erythritol (or dry sweetener of choice**)
  • 53g (⅔ cup) Unsweetened Regular Cocoa Powder
  • 34g (¼ cup) Sweet White Sorghum Flour
  • 2 tsp Double-Acting Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar


For the Roasted Beet Puree:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse and gently scrub 2 medium beets, then individually wrap them in foil.
  3. Place the beets on a jelly roll pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a fork pierces through the center of the beets with ease. Carefully unwrap the beets and let cool for 30 minutes.
  4. Scrape off the beet skins (they should peel off easily) and chop into chunks. Add the beet chunks to a food processor and purée until completely smooth.

For the Cookies:

  1. Add the kidney beans, roasted beet puree, almond milk and extracts to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the erythritol and puree again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and puree until everything is completely smooth (batter should be a bright fuchsia).
  3. Take the blender or food processor bowl off the machine, tightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 36 hours (I'm sure you can skip this, I just got really busy and couldn't bake for a while).
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two cookie sheets with Silpats.
  5. Scoop the fuschia batter out of the blender or food processor bowl and pour into a large bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sorghum flour, baking powder and salt. Dump this over the fuschia bean/beet batter and whisk together well.
  7. Whisk in the vinegar. The dough/batter should be as thick as a muffin batter, not thick like cookie dough or thin like cake batter.
  8. Scoop the cookie dough/batter and drop onto the prepared cookie sheets in neat circle "blobs." Tap the pan on the counter a few times to flatten/round out the cookies and bake for ~15-18 minutes, or until the cookies are no longer wet or shiny looking. To check the doneness, lightly tap the center of the cookies, if they are mushy in the middle then bake them for another minute or two.
  9. Let cookies cool ON THE PAN. Lay a sheet of tin foil over the cookies and do not disturb them until they have cooled. Don't leave the cookies out otherwise they will dry out. If not serving them immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap.


  • *After draining and rinsing, my beans weighed 240g
  • **Note that the color of the sweetener you use will affect the color of the cookies. I wouldn't recommend using dark-colored sweeteners like sucanat, date sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc. I would recommend erythritol, xylitol, or organic evaporated cane juice... NOT bleached/refined white sugar, because that defeats the purpose these healthy cookies ;)

The cookies will be extremely delicate when they’re hot out of the oven, so don’t man handle them…  yet  😉

Unhealthy Red Velvet Cookies - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits  Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies (fudgy, gluten free and vegan!) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Mmmmm!  Fudgy Red Velvet goodness  :)

28 comments on “Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

  1. Pingback: Desserts With Benefits: Healthy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies | Vegan Coyote

  2. Wow! These look amazing. I love the idea of using kidney beans! I’m definitely going to give these a try this weekend :)

  3. These look so good and excellent for sneaking in the good stuff! I wonder how they would turn out if I were to make them into brownies? I will try!


    If I were to leave out the beets, must I change the rest of the measurements? 😉

    • Rae-
      I totally understand wanting to leave the beets out… you gotta roast them, puree them, let them cool, etc 😉
      But I wouldn’t recommend omitting them. The beets add color, moisture and texture to the cookies. You can try replacing it with another puree, such as canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix). However, pumpkin might make the cookies taste a little… “off”
      I would recommend using a more neutral flavor puree, like carrot or sweet potato. You can just buy jarred baby food from the grocery store. I know that sounds REALLY strange but it’s the easiest. Of course, just make sure to read the ingredients, you don’t want baby formula or chicken or peas or anything! Just 100% carrot or 100% sweet potato.
      I hope this helps!

  5. Jess!! These look amazing. I’m super impatient and don’t want to wait for vitacost to ship me the sorghum flour I ordered :) would coconut flour work do you think?

    • Natalie-
      Haha, I totally understand your cookie impatience 😉
      However, I’m not sure coconut flour would work here… coconut flour tends to absorb a lot of liquid and it might make the dough too dry. You can try using 2 tbs at first, and if the dough is to wet, add another tablespoon or two if needed. I haven’t tried this but I sure hope it works!! :)

  6. Hey! I just made these, and they came out amazing. One question though – you have 1 tsp white vinegar listed in the ingredients, but you never say where to use it. I left it out and everything still tasted excellent. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Can I substitute with a different flour?

  8. Pingback: Monthly Musings - Mandie's Kitchen

  9. Hello,
    These look amazing but I am currently watching my carbs. Would you have an idea of how to reduce carbs in this recipe?

    • Anne Fossier-
      The carbs in this recipe are healthy carbs — they’re whole grain, complex carbs :)
      However, if you’d like to reduce it, you can try using a different flour instead of the sorghum flour. You can try using almond flour (you’ll probably need to increase the amount slightly though)? I haven’t tried this, but I hope it works! Good luck :)

  10. At my local Meijers store, you can buy canned no salt added beets. Is there any reason I couldn’t just puree those up and use them? After draining them.

    • Sadly, canned beets don’t provide the same vibrant red color as freshly roasted beets. I’ve tried it before (in cakes too), and it just turns brown… no hint of red at all, sadly :(

      • That would explain why when I tried it I did not get the right color. But flavor was good, they just looked like chocolate cookies. I will try it next time with the roasted beets that I made earlier this summer and then froze. They have more color.

  11. I assume the vanilla is added to the wet ingredients?

  12. Me again with more questions. Dark red or light red kidney beans?

    What is the purpose of the vinegar?

  13. I still can’t get the red color. Mine are brown. I am using nestle natural cocoa powder. It is when I add th cocoa powder that I get the brown color. What brand of cocoa powder are you using?

    • The kidney beans and beet puree should provide quite a bit of red color, and the vinegar should help maintain that color.
      Are you using a kitchen scale to measure out the ingredients? Because some readers made these cookies successfully… I’m not sure what’s going wrong! :/

      • They taste fine and the texture is good. I just can’t get a red color and I am weighing everything. I did add all the dry ingredients separately and It is the coca which turns everything to a very dark burgundy that becomes brown in the oven. That is why I asked about the brand of cocoa powder. Because different brand have different colors.

  14. I have one other question. I assume that the lemon juice mentioned in the beet puree instructions is just for the cake, or is it perhaps for the cookies as well? I have not been adding the lemon juice.

    i am still trying to get the color.

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