My cream cheese cookies have just the right touch of tanginess from the cream cheese, they’re soft, moist, and chewy, and they look beautiful wrapped up in a coating of pretty sprinkles! Recipe includes a how-to video!
An Easy Cookie Recipe with a Little Something Extra
Before I go to crazy with the pumpkin recipes (and I have quite a few more coming your way) I thought I’d refresh one of the oldest recipes on my blog: these soft and chewy cream cheese cookies! I’ll be honest, the recipe was in dire need of a refresh and the ingredient list needed a little tweaking, too (I used literally no salt in the original recipe… none!)!
I published it almost 7 years ago, I think it was my first ever cookie recipe so we’ve come quite a long way! I’ve carefully adjusted and improved upon the recipe (it’s amazing what a little salt can do! 😂) and I think it’s time they get a facelift and a chance to be re-shared.
They’re easy and can be easily customized for the holidays, so bookmark this recipe and save it (along with some red and green sprinkles) for Christmas cookie season! Let’s get to it!
What You Need
This recipe uses a bit more butter than
- Cream cheese. You’ll need a full 8 oz brick of cream cheese. Don’t substitute low-fat or the tub-style cream cheese or the cookies won’t turn out properly.
- Butter. We use a bit less butter than many of my cookie recipes and replace it with cream cheese (and quite a bit of cream cheese!)
- Sugar. Granulated and brown sugar are both used, the brown sugar adds a lovely depth of flavor to the cream cheese cookies!
- Egg. Just one! Large or extra large will work.
- Flour. Use all-purpose (plain) flour.
- Cornstarch. For soft and chewy cookies that don’t spread.
- Baking powder. Helps the cookies to both lift and spread properly.
- Vanilla extract and salt. for flavor.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I use them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
Tip: I recommend the cornstarch because it keeps your cookies soft and chewy while also keeping them from becoming too flat. If you don’t have it, you can substitute with additional flour (but your cookies won’t be quite as soft!)
You can leave these cream cheese cookies plain, but for the best flavor I recommend rolling them in one of the following toppings before baking:
- Cinnamon/sugar. This is my favorite topping and makes the cookies reminds me a lot of Snickerdoodles (but better, believe it or not!)
- Granulated sugar. Gives the cookies a pretty, crackly coating.
- Powdered sugar. I use this for my lemon cookies and crinkle cookies and it works well here, too (but again, I really recommend the cinnamon/sugar!)
- Sprinkles! These are a close second favorite! Use jimmies, which will show some cookie in the space between them, or nonpareils (like I used in the photos) which will cover the cookie entirely! Use black, purple, orange and white sprinkles for Halloween or red and green for Christmas!
Tip: Always roll your cookies through your chosen topping right after rolling them. The warmth of your palms will warm the surface of the dough, making it easier for the sprinkles or sugar to stick.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your cookies don’t spread properly and no substitutions were made (you used the proper cream cheese I mentioned above, right??), either your baking powder was bad or, most likely, the flour was accidentally over-measured. Please make sure you see my post on how to measure flour properly if you haven’t already!
Not chilling the cookies properly, not measuring the flour properly, using butter or cream cheese that is too soft, or placing cookie dough on a warm baking sheet can all cause the cream cheese cookies to become flat when baking.
Cookie dough can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before baking. After baking, cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. See below for notes on freezing.
Yes, they can be frozen before or after baking.
To freeze the cookie dough before baking: roll the dough into balls and roll through your preferred topping. Store these in an airtight container (sometimes I wrap the balls individually in plastic wrap so they don’t stick) in the freezer for several months, they will likely need a minute or two longer when baking from frozen and may not spread quite as much as they would otherwise.
To freeze after baking: store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
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Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Cream Cheese Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened (170g)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened (227g) (use regular, brick-style cream cheese, do not use low-fat or the spreadable kind sold in tubs)
- 1 cup light brown sugar firmly packed (200g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour¹ (312g)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Additional granulated sugar for rolling optional²
- In a large bowl using an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light, fluffy, and well-combined.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- With mixer on low-speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter/cream cheese mixture until completely combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed to ensure ingredients are well-combined.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours and up to 5 days.
- Once dough has chilled and you are about ready to bake your cookies, preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Scoop cookie dough by 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized scoop and roll between your palms to form a smooth ball. Roll through granulated sugar (or other topping, if using) and place cookies 2” apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) preheated oven and bake for 13-14 minutes. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published 03/01/2014. I have updated it to improve the recipe and have added better photos and a video. See one of the original photos below for a good laugh!