4.22 from 23 votes

Cream Cheese Cookies

If you can’t get enough of shortbread cookies, then you’ll adore these mouthwatering cream cheese cookies. They taste almost exactly like a perfectly whipped shortbread cookie, but they’re seriously creamy and have an amazing cream cheese flavor that takes them to new heights.

Cream cheese cookies on a plate.

I adore this recipe as it makes up to 5 dozen cookies. So, it’s ideal for a holiday cookie exchange, holiday tables, gifting, and everything in between! 

To make things even sweeter, you can easily place them in the freezer to enjoy way past Christmas. Hey, there’s nothing like reviving a bit of Christmas cheer after a New Year’s Eve blowout!

And if you really want to jazz things up, it’s easy to whip up some colored frosting and let the kids go to town with decorating. If you’d rather keep them simple, just add a few red or green sprinkles to your cookies before popping them in the oven.

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    Regardless of whether you’re planning a gift exchange or not, these fluffy and tangy cream cheese cookies are bound to be snatched up in minutes. 

    Oh, and they’re not too sweet, so you can get away with having quite a few without feeling sick to your stomach!

    Why You’ll Love These Cream Cheese Cookies

    • They’re the perfect flavor balance of sweetness and tang!
    • Super easy to make.
    • Ready in minutes.
    • Ideal for holiday gift exchanges or a cookie exchange.
    • Promise to spice up any holiday dessert table (without much effort!).
    Cream cheese cookies on a plate.


    • Unsalted butter
    • Cream cheese
    • Vanilla extract
    • Granulated sugar
    • Egg yolks
    • Salt
    • All-purpose flour
    • Baking powder
    Cream cheese cookies ingredients.

    How to Make Cream Cheese Cookies

    • Step One: Preheat oven to 350F.
    • Step Two: In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.
    • Step Three: Add sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks. Then, beat to combine.
    • Step Four: In another bowl, stir together salt, flour, and baking powder.
    • Step Five: Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
    Steps to make cream cheese cookies.
    • Step Six: Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
    • Step Seven: Bake for 13 minutes.
    Steps to make cream cheese cookies.
    • Step Eight: Let cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!
    A pile of cream cheese cookies on a plate.

    Equipment Needed

    I love that this cream cheese cookie recipe requires just a few pieces of equipment to work. 

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    What to Serve with Cream Cheese Cookies

    A stack of cream cheese cookies.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • You need to measure your flour accurately or you might end up with overly dense cookies.
    • Don’t overbeat your mixture. It’s a great idea to gently fold in the dry ingredients to keep the air in the cookies. Avoid food processors or electric beaters if you can!
    • Once you’ve rolled your dough, shape the cookies by hand and weigh each cookie dough ball to get similar sizes. It’s time-consuming but will give you perfectly even cookies every time!
    • Pay careful attention to your cookies as they’re baking. You’ll know they’re done when the edges start turning golden brown.
    • It’s a good idea to bake these cookies on parchment paper to minimize spreading and sticking.
    christmas planner image

    Variations and Substitutions

    • If you don’t feel like covering your cookies with frosting or sprinkles, a light dusting of powdered sugar is a great alternative. Otherwise, try melted chocolate!
    • You can use low-fat cream cheese if you want to reduce the calories, but full-fat versions will give you the most glorious results. For a festive touch, add a bit of orange zest or a sprinkle of cinnamon to your cookies!

    Storage Instructions

    You can store these cream cheese cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 or 4 days.

    If you decide to add any frosting, make sure they’re kept in the fridge instead! 

    Before eating, just bring them to room temperature for the ultimate soft bite.

    Can I Freeze?

    You sure can!

    If you want to freeze these cookies, put them in airtight containers or freezer-safe bags for up to 3 months.

    When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them in the fridge overnight.

    Three cream cheese cookies on a plate.
    • Fudge Cookies – these unbelievable fudge cookies are rich, chewy, and immensely chocolatey. They’re amazing with a glass of cold milk (or a milkshake) if you’re hanging out by the fire.
    • Whipped Shortbread Cookies – these whipped shortbread cookies are similar to these cream cheese cookies and are light, buttery, and super easy to make.
    • Thumbprint Cookies – if you’re looking for something different for your holiday dessert table, try these fruity thumbprint cookies.
    • Cinnamon Roll Cookies – if you adore cinnamon rolls but need something creative for a cookie gift exchange, these cinnamon roll cookies are perfect. They have strong flavors and a wonderful, sweet glaze that’ll make your giftee super happy!
    • Christmas Cake Mix Cookies – if you want to make the easiest cookies around this year, simply grab a box of cake mix and whip up these Christmas cake mix cookies. Top them with sprinkles and leave them out for Santa – you won’t have any complaints!

    Try Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!

    4.22 from 23 votes

    Cream Cheese Cookies

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 40
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 13 minutes
    Total Time 23 minutes
    This creamy cookie recipe makes a big batch perfect for holiday gifting. Easy and delicious! If you like shortbread cookies, try this recipe.


    • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter softened
    • 1 package cream cheese 8oz/250g package, softened
    • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
    • 3 egg yolks
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
    • ¼ tsp baking powder


    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla and egg yolks. Beat to combine.
    • In another bowl, stir together salt, flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to combine.
    • Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack.



    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 34mg | Sugar: 7g

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course Desserts
    Cuisine American
    Keyword christmas cookies, cookies, cream cheese cookie recipe, cream cheese cookies

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    4.22 from 23 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Mmmm I love cream cheese.. Gonna try these this weekend – thank you for sharing!

    2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

      Another great recipe, I don’t know how you come up with all these delicious recipes.

    3. I love cream cheese so much, I’m amazed I never heard of cookies like this before. Oh boy, I can’t wait to make these. They look so good!

    4. We love shortbread cookies so the cream cheese would make them taste even better.

    5. Yummy! i am a big fan of shortbread cookies so i will definitely be pinning this awesome recipe. I can’t wait to try these…

    6. Kristi Friesen says:

      Cream cheese is so good in baked goods, I’m sure these are really tasty.

    7. Dana Rodriguez says:

      These look so good. Thanks for the recipe!

    8. Ohmigosh I LOVE this recipe!! We tried it last night and it was perfection. Thank you so much for sharing!

      Katie Drane

    9. need to try these rather soon I love shortbread cookies and I have never had cream cheese cookies but I will soon

    10. Oh wow, these look so so yummy. I do love a creamy cookie. Thanks for sharing. #fridayfavorites


    11. How many ounces is a 250 g pkg of cream cheese?  Cookies look so good — don’t want to use too little or too much cream cheese.

    12. Cream cheese cookies are so delicious. The cheese flavour is mild and just adds a little bit of extra flavour to the cookie.

    13. I love cream cheese anything so I will definitely be making these!

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