Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Cream cheese sugar cookies are a perfectly soft, melt-in-your-mouth cutout cookie! They are easy to make and fun to decorate.

The cream cheese gives them a great flavor and they really hold their shape. These pillowy soft cookies will make you question why you’ve ever made any other type of sugar cookie. Try topping this beauties with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, or Royal Icing.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies cut into circles and stars

They’re So Soft!

We love a good sugar cookie at our house. They are so fun to make, and even more fun to eat. Cream cheese sugar cookies are soft, tender, and chewy with incredible flavor.

The kids will really enjoy cutting these to fun shapes as they really hold their form. We love to decorate cookies for all of the special occasions, and this recipe is a fave.

You can even make these cookies several days ahead. They stayed really fresh and soft stored in an airtight container. Just whip up some royal icing when you are ready to decorate!

Cream cheese sugar cookie dough in a mixing bowl

How to Make Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

DOUGH. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until well blended. Add the almond extract, vanilla extract, and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt, and mix to form a soft dough.

SHAPE & REFRIGERATE. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

PREP. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

ROLL & CUT. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, placing one inch apart on prepared baking sheets.

BAKE. Bake 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before frosting.

  • Why chill the dough? There are some sugar cookie recipes that do not require chilling. However, due to the butter and cream cheese in this recipe it is a must. Chilling the dough allows all the flavors to meld together. Chilled dough dries out a little bit creating the perfect sugar cookie texture. Chilled dough will roll out easier and make cleaner cookie cutouts that will hold their shape better in the oven

Sugar cookie dough wrapped in plastic wrap

Cookie Tips

Just a few things to keep in mind in making these sugar cookies with cream cheese:

  • Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften a bit before mixing them. They will mix together much easier. Be careful that you do not let them soften too much otherwise the cookies will be too oily.
  • Don’t over mix: This is especially important with sugar cookies since you will be further working the dough as you roll it out. When you add the dry ingredients, mix until it is just incorporated. 
  • Do not let sugar cookies brown in the oven. Pull them out just as they are setting, then allow them to cool on the baking pan. The heat from the pan will further cook them before they begin to cool off. 

Favorite Frosting Recipes: Leave them plain or dress them up with some frosting! Here are a few of our favorites:

Cutting out heart shaped cookies

Cream cheese sugar cookies on a baking sheet

Making Ahead, Storing + Freezing

Ahead of time: Since this dough needs chilling you are already preparing the dough the day before. If you want to keep it in the fridge for longer, a tightly wrapped ball of dough can last for 4-5 days before baking it. To further extend storage you’ll want to wrap it a second time with foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Storage: Store sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 dyas. To help keep the cookies softer longer, place a piece of white bread into the container as well. If you are storing frosted sugar cookies, be sure that the frosting has set before you stack them. Also, use wax paper to separate layers when stacking.

Freezer: Unfrosted cookies hold up better than those with frosting, but both can be stored in the freezer. Wrap them individually, or separate layers with wax paper, and place them into a freezer safe storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Close up of different shaped cream cheese sugar cookies

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Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Recipe

5 from 19 votes
Cream cheese sugar cookies are a perfectly soft, melt-in-your-mouth cutout cookie! They are easy to make and fun to decorate.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 18 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 105 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until well blended. Add the almond extract, vanilla extract, and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt, and mix to form a soft dough. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, placing one inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely before frosting.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

    1. Hello there! Could I omit the almond extract (due to kids nuts allergies)? And if I can, do I put in 1 and a half tsp of vanilla extract?

      Thanks! I’d really like to try this recipe🤗

      MB

    1. Ingredients
      1 cup sugar
      1 cup butter softened
      3 ounces cream cheese softened
      1 teaspoon almond extract
      1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      1 egg yolk
      2 1/4 cups flour
      1/2 teaspoon salt….. Everything is there & I just made them!

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks for putting in a list of how much of each ingredient to use AGAIN! Amazing how actually reading a recipe before cooking works out everytime! 😉 Happy Holidays & Happy Baking!

    1. 5 stars
      I don’t think people realize how time consuming it is to create & maintain a recipe & cooking website/blog. Especially a beautifully detailed & thorough one like yours. You’ve been so helpful & inspiring on numerous occasions & are a gift to many I’m sure. Taking the time to share your talent is very much appreciated! Keep up the hard work Ma’am! Can’t wait to try this recipe with my sweet girl! ❤️🍪❤️

  1. 5 stars
    The cream cheese makes these sugar cookies extra soft and the flavor is AMAZING. The texture is perfect and they really do melt in your mouth!

  2. 5 stars
    First sugar cookie recipe I’ve tried with cream cheese – they’re quite tasty and held their shape very well! Requires some planning due to the chill time, but well worth it. Make sure you make extra – we ate quite a few before getting around to frosting them!

  3. 5 stars
    Kid pleaser! I’ve made a lot of sugar cookies and this one is great for cutout designs. Good flavor and perfect to hold the layers of decor the kids add.