Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies


Cream cheese sugar cookies are a delightful twist on the classic sugar cookie recipe, known for their tender crumb and slightly tangy flavor.

Incorporating cream cheese into the dough enriches the taste and lends an incredibly soft texture that sets these cookies apart from their traditional counterparts.

Whether adorned with a simple sprinkle of sugar or intricately decorated with royal icing, these cookies will impress at any gathering.

Adding cream cheese softens the dough, making it more pliable and easy to work with.

Now, let’s explore the recipe right away.

You will be amazed because it is easy and does not take much time to prepare.

Ingredients In Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Before introducing the ingredients of these cream cheese sugar cookies, let’s learn more about this type of cookie and where it originates from, shall we?

Cream cheese sugar cookies are a unique and delightful variation of the classic sugar cookies, where cream cheese is added to the cookie dough to achieve a softer texture and a subtle tangy flavor.

This addition enriches the dough, making it incredibly tender and offering delightful complexity to the cookies’ taste profile. 

To create a delicious and fragrant cream cheese sugar cookie, we cannot miss the following vital ingredients:

1. Cream cheese: As mentioned earlier, cream cheese is added to these sugar cookies to enhance their texture and add a tangy note to the taste. It also contributes to the softness of the cookies.

2. Almond and Vanilla extract: These extracts impart flavor to the cookies. Almond extract adds a subtle nuttiness, while vanilla extract provides a warm, sweet taste.

3. Butter: This is a crucial ingredient in most cookie recipes, as it adds rich flavor and helps create a tender crumb. In cream cheese sugar cookies, butter also acts as the primary binding agent for the dough.

4. Sugar: Like any other sugar cookie recipe, granulated sugar is used to add sweetness and help with browning during baking.

5. Egg: Eggs not only act as a binding agent but also contribute to the richness and structure of the dough. They also aid in achieving a tender texture in these cream cheese sugar cookies.

6. Salt: Just a pinch of salt is added to balance the sweetness and enhance the overall flavor of the cookies.

7. Flour: All-purpose flour is used in this recipe to provide structure and stability to the cookie dough.

8. Baking powder: This leavening agent helps the cookies rise and provides a soft, cake-like texture.

9. Frosting: While not an essential ingredient in cream cheese sugar cookies, frosting can add sweetness and decorate the cookies for special occasions. Royal icing or cream cheese frosting are popular choices for these cookies.

How To Make Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies?

Creating the ideal batch of cream cheese sugar cookies requires meticulous execution of steps to ensure each cookie emerges soft, tangy, and delicious.

Here’s a comprehensive guide:

Step 1: Cream Together Ingredients

Begin with softened cream cheese, room-temperature butter, and sugar, and beat them in a large mixing bowl.

Use an electric mixer set at medium speed to make the mixture light and fluffy.

This process incorporates air into the batter, giving the cookies a soft texture.

Step 2: Incorporate Egg and Extracts

Next, add an egg to the mixture, ensuring it’s fully integrated.

Then, pour in the almond and vanilla extracts for a fragrant depth of flavor.

Mix at a lower speed to avoid over-beating, which can result in a denser cookie texture.

Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl.

Gradually add these dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

Mix on low until a soft dough forms.

Be cautious not to overmix, stopping once you see no traces of flour.

Step 4: Form The Dough

Divide the dough evenly onto two pieces of parchment paper or cling film.

Use your hands to flatten each portion into a disc shape, making the rolling process easier after chilling.

Step 5: Chill The Dough

Tightly wrap each dough disc and place them in the refrigerator.

Leaving the dough to rest overnight helps firm the butter and cream cheese, making the dough easier to roll out and enhancing the cookie flavors.

Step 6: Preparing To Bake

After chilling, work with one disc at a time, leaving the other in the fridge to stay calm.

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness on a lightly floured surface, typically around 1/4-inch, for that perfect blend of crispness and softness.

Step 7: Cutting Out Shapes

Using cookie cutters of your choice, press down through the rolled dough to create shapes.

Gently transfer the cut cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing them about an inch apart to allow for slight spreading.

Step 8: Bake To Perfection

Preheat your oven, and bake the cookies at the temperature specified in your recipe, typically around 375°F (190°C), until the edges are slightly golden.

This usually takes between 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness.

Step 9: Cooling and Decorating

Allow the baked cookies to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, the cookies can be decorated with frosting or icing as desired.

Royal icing or a simple cream cheese frosting pairs perfectly, enhancing their creamy, tangy flavor.

Enjoy crafting these delightful cream cheese sugar cookies, indulging in their unique taste and soft, tender texture that sets them apart from the traditional sugar cookie.

How To Customize Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies To Suit Any Taste?

To make the flavor of cream cheese sugar cookies more suitable to your taste, you can use the following substitutions and variations:

1. Spicing It Up: Adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the dough introduces a warm and comforting flavor profile, perfect for the holiday season.

2. Citrus Zest: Incorporate a lemon or an orange zest into your dough for a bright, tangy twist. This adds a vibrant aroma and a subtle citrusy flavor that complements the cream cheese beautifully.

3. Extracts: If almond isn’t your preferred flavor, use all vanilla extract, or get adventurous with other extracts like lemon, orange, or peppermint for a festive touch.

4. Nuts: Before refrigerating for a crunchy texture and nutty flavor, consider kneading sliced almonds or chopped pecans into the dough. It lends an enjoyable bite to the soft and tender cookies.

5. Cocoa Powder: Chocolate lovers can add unsweetened cocoa powder, transforming the base dough into a chocolate cream cheese delight. Be mindful of the balance, as cocoa can dry the dough, requiring more cream cheese or butter to maintain moisture.

6. Chocolate Ganache Dip: Elevate your cookies by dipping them in chocolate ganache once they’ve cooled. This adds a luxurious, glossy finish and a rich chocolatey flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the tangy cream cheese base.

7. Berry Jam: Adding a dollop of raspberry or strawberry jam atop or sandwiched between two baked cookies introduces a fruity sweetness that cuts through the richness, offering a balance of flavors.

Each substitution and variation allows you to tailor the cream cheese sugar cookies to personal preferences or seasonal themes, creating an array of possibilities for this versatile dessert.


Crafting the perfect batch of cream cheese sugar cookies is an art form that blends traditional baking techniques with personal touches to create a memorable dessert.

The unique addition of cream cheese elevates these cookies, offering a soft, tender texture and a subtly tangy flavor that sets them apart.

By following the tips and experimenting with the variations mentioned, bakers of all levels can delight in making and customizing their cream cheese sugar cookies.

Whether it’s a holiday, a special occasion, or a simple treat, these cookies promise to bring joy and satisfaction to any table.

cream cheese sugar cookies

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Servings 36 cookies


  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans of store-bought frosting


  • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl for about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Gradually add sugar to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in an egg, followed by vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until combined.
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness.
  • Cut the dough into the appropriate shapes with cookie cutters and lay them on the baking sheets that have been prepared.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
  • Optional: decorate with frosting or sprinkles once the cookies have cooled.
  • Enjoy your delicious cream cheese sugar cookies! Store in an airtight container for up to one week if they last that long.
Keyword cream cheese sugar cookies


Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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