Normally, I’m not a sugar cookie person. Most sugar cookies are sweet but don’t have much flavor; they’re at the party because they look pretty when decorated. This recipe, however, is for sugar cookies that are both decoration-worthy and delicious. Their namesake ingredient makes these cream cheese sugar cookies soft and tangy – but still strong enough to support whatever decorations you might care to add.Jump to Recipe
Out of all my Christmas cookie recipes, this one is my favorite, but you don’t have to limit these sugar cookies to the winter holiday season. I’ve made these cutout cookies for Easter, for birthdays, for baby showers, for bachelorette parties….really, for any celebration where you would like a pretty and portable dessert. Following is the recipe for the cream cheese sugar cookie base. If you would like to see what I use for icing, click here.
These cream cheese sugar cookies require your basic cookie ingredients – flour, sugar, and butter – plus just a couple of extra items to add all of that extra flavor.
- 2 blocks of cream cheese
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
My favorite cookie icing uses just powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and optional flavoring. If you want to get extra fancy with your decorations, you could pick up some meringue powder to make true royal icing.
How to make cream cheese sugar cookies
A few hours before you want to bake these cutout cookies, remove your butter and cream cheese from the refrigerator, and allow it to come to room temperature. Once these important base materials have softened, cream them together using your favorite mixer.
Slowly add the sugar and vanilla to your butter and cream cheese mixture. Mix these thoroughly, until the batter is smooth, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl.
Next, mix in the flour and salt. (I recommend adding about 1 cup of flour at a time, unless you want the flour making a huge mess in your kitchen.) Once the ingredients are completely combined, form the dough into a ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap (or your favorite eco-friendly alternative) and place in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for at least 1 hour; I often leave mine in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to bake your cream cheese sugar cookies, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take 1/3 of your dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface, until it is 1/8″ thick. (Err on the side of thicker cookies, though realize if they are too thick, they will require extra time in the oven. If the dough is transparent, you have rolled them too thin.)
Using your favorite cookie cutters (or the top of a drinking glass), cut out shapes until you have used all of the dough. There will be extra bits left over in between the cookies; this can be rolled out again, in combination with the dough that remains in the fridge, to make more cookies. Repeat this process until all of your cookies have been cut out.
Transfer your cut-out shapes onto a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Once they are baked, allow to cool completely before icing.
If you’d like to see the very simple “border and flood’ icing recipes I use every year, follow this link. Regardless of what icing you use, these cookies are sure to be a hit at your next holiday celebration!
I hope you and your family enjoy these Christmas cutout cookies – regardless of what holiday you bake them for. Feel free to leave a message in the comments below, or to tag your social media photos of your bakes with @WhiskAversebaking. You can also click “Pin Recipe” to save these sugar cookies for baking at a later date.
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- Cookie cutters
- 2 eight-ounce blocks cream cheese (16 oz. total)
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup total)
- 1 ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Using a mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Once combined, add sugar and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
- Add salt and flour, mixing in one cup of flour at a time.
- Once dough is formed, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate – at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- After dough has been chilled, roll it out into a generous 1/8" thick layer and cut into your favorite shapes. Place shaped cookies onto a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet.
- Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Wait until cookies are completely cool before frosting with your favorite icing.