These easy cream cheese sugar Cookies are so easy to make. Forget getting out the rolling pin and chilling your dough. This drop sugar cookie recipe made with cream cheese comes together super fast. Roll in sprinkles for a festive look!
I love that we have moved on from pumpkin season to cookie season. Except that maybe after this it’s “eating healthy” season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have so many cookie ideas floating around in my head right now it will take another year for them all to get made.
Every year I have to make the classic Christmas cookies– and of course one of them is sugar cookies. I wanted to try out a new sugar cookie recipe this year and I stumbled upon this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I kept mostly to the recipe except for a few small changes.
What’s great about these drop sugar cookies is they don’t require any chilling before and can be scooped right onto the cookie sheet. No chilling. No cookie cutters. Simple, soft, perfect sugar cookies.
There is nothing wrong with the roll out sugar cookies and using all the fun cookie cutters, but sometimes it’s just so much easier to have a drop sugar cookie you can scoop out and get to eating a whole lot faster, don’t you think?
What’s the difference between a drop cookie and a cut-out cookie?
The big difference is how they are prepared before baking. A drop cookie means the cookie dough is scooped directly from the bowl and dropped onto the cookie sheet. Hence the name “drop cookie”.
And a cut-out sugar cookie requires rolling out the dough first, and then using cookie cutters to cut out the desired shapes.
- Flour– This recipe uses 3 cups of flour, but if you feel like busting out the cookie cutters, then add in a 1/2 cup of flour. You will need to chill the dough however. Simply form the dough into a circle, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 1 hour. You will end up baking these roll out cookies for 8 minutes.
- Baking Powder And Baking Soda – You need both of these to help achieve the perfect texture and rise. But don’t mix them up as they don’t react the same! You can read more here about Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda.
- Salt – All sweets need a little salt to help balance the sweetness! I recommend kosher salt because it has a more pure salt taste.
- Cream Cheese– These cookies call for a 1/4 cup of cream cheese. It’s a small amount, but it makes the cookies so tender. Adding the cream cheese will result in a puffier cake like cookie. If you want a thinner, crispier cookie then leave it out.
- Unsalted Butter – I always recommend unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt. And make sure it’s softened properly. Here are How To Soften Butter Fast (3 ways!)
- Granulated Sugar – You need sugar to sweeten the cookies, but also to achieve the texture you want. The butter, cream cheese, and sugar will be creamed together and the sugar will basically “punch holes” into the butter creating pockets of air that will then fill up with carbon dioxide created by the leavening agents making a soft, tender cookie.
- Egg – You also need one egg to help bring the dough together. Make sure it’s room temperature otherwise it will seize up the butter and cream cheese. I place mine in a warm bowl of water for 10 minutes before using.
- Vanilla extract– No cookie would be complete without it, especially a sugar cookie. However, you could add in some almond extract or any other kind of flavoring you would like. If you do add in almond or any other start small with a 1/4 teaspoon. Almond extract, for example is strong so you don’t want to add a lot.
- Sprinkles– I don’t think I really need to explain why I included these do I? I didn’t think so. If you wanted you could also try rolling them in cinnamon sugar and call them a snickerdoodle.
How To Make These Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
To start, you want to make sure to preheat the oven to 375°F/190oC. And line two cookies with parchment paper, or you can use a silicone baking mat.
Then in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy – about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add in the vanilla and egg and scrape down the bowl as needed.
Add the flour mixture, and mix at low to medium speed until the last of the flour has been incorporated.
Place the 3/4 cup of sprinkles in a large plastic bag, or in a shallow pan. Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls into the sprinkles, rolling them in the pan or gently shaking them in the bag to coat them with the sprinkles.
Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them. Using a flat-bottomed glass, or the palm of your hand flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes — 10 minutes for softer cookies, 12 minutes for crunchier. The edges of the cookies will just barely begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a rack to finish cooling completely.
Heather’s From Scratch Baking Tips
- Make sure to not overmeasure your flour. You want to scoop the flour with a spoon and level off with a flat edge. For a complete tutorial, read this post.
- You want to make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature so they incorporate into a nice smooth dough. For your eggs, I place mine in a small bowl of warm water for 10 minutes prior to baking. To soften your butter, I like to cube mine and leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. For 3 more ways to soften your butter, you can read this post.
- Make sure to use a cookie scoop so you get cookies that are all the same size. This way they will bake evenly.
- Rotate the cookies halfway through baking so they bake evenly. Your oven will hot spots so by rotating the cookie sheet will ensure even baking.
- If using one cookie sheet, then make sure to allow the cookie sheet to cool before baking your second batch.
You don’t have to! These cream cheese sugar cookies are ready to be baked as soon as the cookie dough is ready. But you can chill the dough if you would like for up to 72 hours, covered in the fridge. You will just need to let the dough soften before you attempt to scoop it.
Yes you can freeze the cookies baked or unbaked! You can keep them frozen for up to 3 months.
To freeze unbaked: Scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet, and freeze solid. Then place into a sealable plastic bag. You can bake frozen, without thawing, but add on a few extra minutes of baking time.
To freeze baked: Allow the cookies to cool completely. Then when ready to eat, allow to thaw. I like to pop them into the microwave for about 20 seconds to bring them back to ooey gooey life.
Here is a complete post on How To Freeze Cookie Dough.
Flat drop cookies means they spread too much in the oven. This could be because your butter was too soft, or you overcreamed the butter and sugar incorporating too much air. Try chilling your next batch for better results. Cookie spreading is a bummer so here are 10 reasons that I can think of why your cookies go flat. (and how to fix them!)
You can keep these cookies for up to 3 days at room temperature, covered. Longer than that and I recommend freezing the cookies.
More Cookie Recipes
Once you’ve mastered these drop sugar cookies, try one of these cookie recipes next!
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour *spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 grams, 2 sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temperatuer
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces, 57 grams) cream cheese softened
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sprinkles for rolling in optional
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190oC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together on medium-high speed the softened butter, granulated sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in egg and beat to combine. Scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract.
- On low speed, beat in the flour mixture, until a soft cookie dough forms. Do not overmix.
- With a small cookie scoop, or two spoons, scoop cookie dough into about 1 tablespoon portions. Roll each cookie dough in your hands, then roll in sprinkles.
- Place on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand to about 1/4" thickness.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are set, and barely beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Freeze cookies, baked or unbaked, for up to 3 months. Bake cookies frozen, do no thaw and add on a few additional minutes of baking time.
- Cut-out sugar cookies: Add an additional 1/2 cup of flour (60 g). Wrap dough in plastic, and chill for 1 hour before rolling and cutting out cookies. Bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown at the edges.
- Cream cheese: You can always omit the cream cheese if you want a thinner, crispier sugar cookie.