Red Velvet Hugs & Kisses Blossom Cookies

Soft and fluffy red velvet cookies with Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses on top. These pillowy cookies will steal your heart!

Soft and fluffy Red Velvet cookies topped with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.

I think one of the most misunderstood ingredients in the baking world is cake mix. No matter what it does, how good it is, how moist and deliciously fluffy it makes our treats, people insist on giving it a bad rap (by the way, I just looked up bad rap vs. bad rep, and it’s totally okay to say bad rap… according to the urban dictionary ????).

Any time I use a cake mix in a recipe, I always love how it turns out. Always soft, always fluffy, always a great tasting product. Really, always. It consistently makes good dessert.

Now, I’m not saying from-scratch recipes aren’t worth their weight in gold. I love cakes from scratch! Even though I’ve never met a homemade chocolate cake equal to this doctored up cake mix, I adore homemade funfetti, red velvet, and coconut! I’m just saying, I don’t think cake mix gets a fair shake these days.

Maybe I’ll devote an entire post to this one day, but for today… just for fun, I did some research on one of the “scary” ingredients in a cake mix.

Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids.

That’s the second ingredient in Duncan Hines’ yellow cake mix. Does it freak you out?

My guess is that it seems scary, because we don’t understand two of the words. And the other two words are “fatty” and “acids,” neither of which we want to be eating in general. Right? I’m no scientist, and this explanation will probably be far too simple. But here’s the breakdown that I managed to come up with using Google as my guide…

Glycerol is a sweetener/thickener very common in baking ingredients. It’s not toxic. And it can be synthetic or made from plants and/or animals. Poly just means there are multiple glycerols.

Esters is a fancy word for compound. So… multiple glycerols compounded together. Which we would expect since there are multiples, right?

Fatty acids are just that… fat. Like it or not, yummy cake has to have fat in it. End of story.

NORMAL fat has a combination of glycerol and fatty acids. But in baking products, additional glycerol is added (remember, polyglycerol). So….Polyglycerol (sweetener/thickener) Esters (combined with) Fatty Acids (fat).

I know it’s pretty removed from coming straight outta the ground, but really. Is it that scary?
Soft and fluffy Red Velvet cookies topped with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.



Raise your hand if you want me to stop ranting about cake mix science and tell you all about these Red Velvet Cookies that do, in fact, begin with a mix. ✋

Okay, me too.

So. Everyone stop thinking about Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids.

Did you stop?


Soft and fluffy Red Velvet cookies topped with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.

Because these cookies are too good for us to still be obsessing over that.

These red velvet cookies so soft and thick and even a little bit fudgy in the middle. The flavor is spot on, thanks to the cake mix,  and the chewy texture is heaven on a plate. Or in your hand. Or whatever.

It’s a simple one-bowl recipe, and it’s basically fool proof. If you want out of this world red velvet cookies, make this recipe. You seriously cannot mess it up.

Once you’ve got the dough mixed together, it’s time to scoop! That’s right, no chill time required. Although, please note that this is a somewhat wet dough. You could chill it if you wanted to firm it up a bit, but it’s not necessary for these cookies to bake up thick like you see pictured here.

If you want to keep your hands as neat as possible during the rolling, scoop the dough and plop it directly in the sugar. Use your fingers to roll it in the sugar before placing it on the cookie sheet. Messy hands averted!

Soft and fluffy Red Velvet cookies topped with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.

While they are fresh and warm out of the oven, press a Hershey Kiss or Hug into the tops! You can add a fun little white chocolate drizzle too if you want.

I always get impatient and eat these warm and melty. But if you wait for the Kiss to cool and harden, I love the texture contrast of having the hard chocolate on top of the soft cookie.


Yield: 18 cookies

Red Velvet Hugs & Kisses Cookies

Red Velvet Hugs & Kisses Cookies

Soft and fluffy red velvet cookies with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses on top. These pillowy cookies will steal your heart!


  • 18.25 ounce box red velvet cake mix (JUST the dry mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • sugar for coating dough
  • 18 Hershey Kisses and/or Hugs


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix all ingredients together until dough forms.

Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons into a small bowl of sugar and roll into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.

Press a Hershey Kiss or Hug into each of the cookies fresh out of the oven.

Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Soft and fluffy Red Velvet cookies topped with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses.


I love cake mix cookies! I think there is just so much fun to be had with all the different flavors and mix-ins you can put together. Be sure to check out my favorite cake mix cookie recipe, which was the base for these Red Velvet Blossoms!

I’ve used it to make these Funfetti cookies:

Cake Mix Cookie Recipe

And these chocolate covered strawberry cookies:

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cookies

And my all-time favorite Brownie Mix Cookies:

Brownie Mix Cookies



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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.