Easy Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies Recipe
Melt in your mouth Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are exactly what you need when your cookie craving kicks in. Soft and tender sugar cookies that are perfect for making cut out cookies for every occasion. So easy to make and the dough is freezer friendly!
Note: This recipe was originally published on December 15, 2013 and was updated with an improved recipe with new photos on December 5, 2018.
My mom used to make easy Christmas cut out cookies when I was small. She let me help and I remember it being a pretty simple process. Something I thought I would always do with my kids. I think Katie and I made sugar cookie cutouts one time. That was it.
Landon….this was always better as a nap time project for me. Now that he’s older, it’s so much more fun having an extra set of hands in the kitchen. He’s so eager to help and, this is the one thing he actually takes direction with quite well making me one proud mama!!!
This Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie recipe is my go to for all cutout cookie recipes. The dough for these cutout cookies holds it shape incredibly well when baked without chilling after they’ve been cut out with your cookie cutters.
How do you make Cream Cheese Cookies?
These easy Cream Cheese Sugar cookies are so easy to make and the dough is totally fool-proof to make.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until combined. Gradually add the flour and beat until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut out cookie shapes using cookie cutters. Place the cut out cookie dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Bake for 7-8 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. Cookies will be pale in color.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
My BEST TIPS for perfect cut out cookies!
This dough is fool proof….it rolls out beautifully but you do have to follow a few easy tips to ensure that your cookies bake up perfectly.
- Be sure your ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together without a lot of clumps in the cookie dough. This will ensure your cookie dough is silky smooth to begin with.
- Chill your cream cheese sugar cookie dough for about 2 hours before rolling it out or it will stick to everything. And I mean everything.
- Use lots of flour…on your counter, board, rolling pin, cookie cutters….anything that the dough will touch…flour, flour, flour. And then keep a little pile on the counter to dip your cutters in each time you cut a cookie. This step alone will help you create the best bakery cut out cookie recipe.
- Make sure your baking sheets are cooled before starting a new batch. Cool cookie sheets will ensure your cut out cookies don’t start to spread before you put them in the oven. A little lessons that I learned the hard way to ensure the BEST cut out cookies.
How do you make cut out sugar cookies that keep their shape?
A few simple steps will ensure that your cut out cookies keep their shape when they bake in the oven.
- As mentioned before, be sure your baking sheets are cool before placing the cut out cookie dough on them. Warm baking sheets will make the dough start to spread out before they even go into the oven. I like to keep three or four cookie sheets going at a time so I’m constantly rotating the pans giving them time to cool in between batches.
- Chill your dough before rolling out. I know some people roll then chill the cut out cookies before baking but I don’t think they cook evenly then. I like to chill my dough for a few hours, then roll, then cut, then bake.
- Move quickly and try not the handle the dough too much because the warmth from your hands will warm the dough.
- Because these sugar cookies are made with cream cheese and not butter, they tend to hold their shape much better than traditional sugar cookie recipes.
How long do cream cheese sugar cookies last?
Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, your cut out cookies will last up to three weeks.
If you need the cookies to last a bit longer, you can wrap them up and store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 12 months.
How do you make sugar cookie icing that hardens?
Let’s talk about the icing….I like to use this Royal Icing recipe because it’s seriously the best thing ever to decorate your Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies. Royal Icing is so easy to make from scratch and it pipes so beautifully. It’s even easy for the kids to use.
For my royal icing recipe, I use raw egg whites from a real egg but you can substitute with meringue powder if you feel uneasy about the eggs. You can read all about the Royal Icing dos and dont’s here.
The egg whites allow the icing to harden so it doesn’t smear all over your other cookies. This is the same icing you’d find at your favorite bakery.
If you don’t want to make the icing, you could just add sprinkles before you bake the cookies or frost them with commercially made frosting. See how flexible I am?
If you’re looking for even more easy cookie recipes, you have to try THESE family favorites:
- The BEST EVER Gingerbread Cookie recipe….for all those men you need in your life. 🙂
- Not a fan of the cream cheese cut out, try these butter Sugar Cookies….they’re melt in your mouth, amazing.
- Candy Cane Shortbread cookies are as festive as they get.
- These Witch Fingers are just the candy cane in disguise…like a cookie Halloween costume.
- Looking for a classic? Try these Chocolate Chip Cookies.…they’re massive and, basically, an urban legend.
- Like the Gooey Butter Cake? You’ll LOVE these Gooey Butter Cake Cookies!!!
- And these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are good anytime of year.
- Classic Pizzelle Cookies are always a win in my book!
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Cream Cheese Cutouts with Royal Icing
Easy Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies that won't spread during baking.
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup granulate sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour I use King Arthur
- For the icing:
- Adapted from Alton Brown
- 4 ounces pasteurized egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat until combined. Gradually add the flour and beat until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin to a 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the dough with cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place the cutouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for approximately 7-8 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Cool on the pan for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Gradually, add the sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated and the icing is shiny. Turn the mixer to med-high and beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in food coloring if desired.
- For immediate use, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a tip and pipe onto the cookies. (Or if you're using a zip top bag, clip corner and pipe onto cookies.)
- Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Cookie recipe adapted from Taste of Home.