Cream Cheese Christmas Cookies Recipe

Traditional Christmas cookies generally involve a refrigerated sugar-cookie dough that gets rolled out, cut with a cookie cutter into holiday shapes, and then decorated with colorful toppings such as sprinkles and frosting. And, there's no question that both the cookies and the act of making them are an annual favorite for many.  But we find sometimes that these can also feel a bit fussy, a point on which recipe developer and wellness coach Miriam Hahn agrees with us wholeheartedly. "I go for a simpler version that gives you the same affect," Hahn explains.

In the case of her cream cheese Christmas cookies recipe, simplicity comes through with wonderfully soft and unstructured dough that incorporates with cream cheese, butter, and confectioner's sugar. "They give you the Christmas feel," says Hahn, "but they taste better than cookie cutter cookies" thanks to the wonderful creaminess imparted by the cream cheese and the lightness of the confectioner's sugar (you may know it as powdered sugar). Also, Hahn notes that they are quicker to make then store-bought cookie dough — what's not to love? So, let's get to some low-pressure, utterly delicious cookie-baking!

Gather your ingredients for cream cheese Christmas cookies

To make Hahn's recipe for cream cheese Christmas cookies, most of the ingredients that you will need are probably ingredients you already have around the house. This includes unsalted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, one large egg, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and water. You'll also need some red and green sugar sprinkles for both the dough itself and as garnish on the cookies. And that's it! Easy, tasty, and festive — what more could you ask for in a Christmas cookie?

Start making the cookie dough with the wet ingredients

If you have not yet taken the butter and cream cheese out of the refrigerator to allow them to soften to room temperature, you should do that now. Softening them first will make mixing them much easier, and help them blend together cohesively. Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together using an electric mixer (either hand or stand is fine). When the butter and cream cheese are smoothly and completely combined, add the powdered sugar. Use the electric mixer to combine until fluffy, for about one minute. Then fold in the egg and the vanilla, thus forming the cream cheese base for your dough.

Give the cookies their Christmas colors

They wouldn't be Christmas cookies without a little festivity, right? Set aside the mixture you just made, and grab a medium-sized bowl. Use the medium-sized bowl to whisk together the flour, baking powder, red sprinkles, and green sprinkles. Then, add this to the mixture you just set aside, and combine these thoroughly, using a wooden spoon. Cover the resulting dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for one hour, but set a timer for 30 minutes and move on to the next step.

Drop the dough by spoonfuls, and bake

When the 30-minute timer goes off, set it again for another 30 minutes, and go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then when the timer goes off again, take the dough out of the refrigerator, and divide it into 24 equal-sized balls. Set them on the baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Pop the sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, at which point, if the cookies are forming cracks on top, take them out of the oven and let them cool at room temperature, still on the baking sheet. If they aren't quite cracking yet, then give them another two minutes.

Glaze the cookies, and then serve

Mix the remaining cup of powdered sugar with the water to make a glaze, and spoon it over the cookies. Quickly sprinkle on more red and green sprinkles before the glaze dries. Hahn tells us that she likes to do the glazing and sprinkling right on the baking sheet, which helps contain the mess. Once you're finished, you can transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Give them about five more minutes to cool, and then they're ready to serve! They'll stay fresh in an airtight container for 10 days, according to Hahn, if, of course, you can manage to keep them around for that long!

Cream Cheese Christmas Cookies Recipe
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Not only are these cream cheese Christmas cookies easy to make, but they have a delicious softness with every bit.
Prep Time
Cook Time
christmas cookies on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon red sprinkles + more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon green sprinkles + more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Combine the softened butter and cream cheese using an electric mixer.
  2. Add in 1 ½ cups of the powdered sugar to the bowl, and beat for about 1 minute, until fluffy.
  3. Add the beaten egg and stir to combine. Add the vanilla, and stir again.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, red sprinkles, and green sprinkles.
  5. After mixing well, pour these ingredients into the bowl with the wet mixture, and combine.
  6. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerator for 1 hour.
  7. At 30 minutes into the 1 hour, when the fridge time is almost up, preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Shape the dough into 24 balls, roughly 2 inches in size, and place on baking sheet about 1-inch apart.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They are done when the top of each cookie is forming cracks.
  10. Mix the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar with the water to make a glaze, and spoon it over the cookies.
  11. Quickly sprinkle on more red and green sprinkles before the glaze dries.
  12. Cool for 5 more minutes, and serve.
Calories per Serving 139
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 3.4 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 22.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 13.5 g
Sodium 28.8 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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