The best Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are perfectly soft-baked, thick, chewy, and so creamy thanks to the surprise ingredient – cream cheese! Topped with a sweet & simple powdered sugar frosting. Change up the sprinkles for all different Holidays!
PERFECT SUGAR COOKIES
I like to think of myself as a sugar cookie snob. Whenever I see sugar cookies I just have to try it…. you know for research purposes. Here are my must haves for the perfect sugar cookie.
The Best Sugar Cookies
- Sugar cookies have to be thick and super soft-baked. They’re should be no brown on the bottom or the sides of the cookie at all. If there is, then you probably overbaked them.
- Use salted butter! You want that flavor for the otherwise bland sugar cookie. Which is why I love this recipe because it uses cream cheese, salted butter, and almond extract which makes these sugar cookies taste amazing even without frosting.
Sugar Cookies with Almond Extract
- This is the secret to a great sugar cookie!
So if my must-haves are also yours then I know you will LOVE today’s recipe for sugar cookies. And if you want an easy easy sugar cookie recipe then try my cake mix sugar cookies. They start with a cake mix and require no rolling out. And if you prefer sugar cookies without cream cheese then try my recipe for our favorite sugar cookies.
And if you want sugar cookies that will serve a crowd and bake up on a cookie sheet then try this recipe for sugar cookie bars.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE BEST CREAM CHEESE SUGAR COOKIES
Cream Cheese – Use the real, full fat stuff please! The light cream cheese is thinner and does taste nearly as good.
Almond Extract & Vanilla Extract
Heavy Whipping Cream
Sprinkles & Food Dye – This is optional. I usually leave the frosting white and then change up the sprinkles to match whatever event or Holiday we’re making them for.
MY TIPS & HELFPUL HINTS
- Add the flour called for and DO NOT add anymore until you go to roll them out. As you blend in the flour to the creamed mixture it will seem very soft and sticky and you will be tempted to add more flour but don’t. When you roll out the cookies, you will end up using additional flour (I use about 1/3 cup) to prevent sticking and help the dough come together.
- If you don’t like almond extract then use vanilla extract in it’s place. Or you can use half vanilla & half almond extract in the recipe.
- All ovens are different so watch the time closely. You will know when they’re done because the cookies will look puffy and they should look dry in the middle. Not shiny and wet. The cookies should have no golden brown color on the sides or bottoms of the cookies.
- My oven heats super evenly and hot so my cookies are never in there longer than 8 minutes.
- Be sure and let them cool on the cookie sheet. This helps them cook slightly more and helps them come together.
- Use the heavy whipping cream in the frosting. It makes a difference!
- Do not try and use the low-fat cream cheese. Just don’t. These are sugar cookies so using low-fat cream cheese won’t do much good with all the other yumminess in these cookies.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE OTHER COOKIE RECIPES
Chocolate Reese’s Cookies – Puffy chocolate cookies loaded with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe – If you love puffy, thick, super soft-baked chocolate chip cookies then you will love this recipe.
S’mores Cookies – Tastes just like the campfire favorite with marshmallow bits, graham cracker crumbs, and milk chocolate Hershey pieces.
The Best Monster Cookies – Loaded with oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and mini m&m’s.
White Chocolate Funfetti Cookies – Pudding cookies with white chocolate chips, white chocolate pudding mix, and sprinkles.
Muddy Buddy Cookies – Soft peanut butter cookie with a fudge filled center and dusted with powdered sugar.
The Best Snickerdoodles – These are really the best! I’ve made this recipe several times and my kids can’t get enough of them.
Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
- 12 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 bar (8 oz) full-fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- sprinkles and food coloring
Heat oven to 375°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or use the bowl of stand mixer, add butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, egg, and almond extract. Blend together until it's pale in color and fluffy. About 1-2 minutes.
In a separate small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a whisk to break up the clumps.
Add half the flour into the creamed mixture and blend on low speed. Add the other half and blend on low speed just until combined. The dough will be really soft, and sticky, but should form a ball of dough in the bowl.
* Don't add more flour here if the dough seems sticky. When you roll out the dough in the next step you will add some additional flour.
Spray countertop with cooking spray and then sprinkle flour over it. This helps with clean-up and prevents the dough from sticking to the counter. Roll out dough and use whatever cookie cutter shape you want.
** Take care to not roll the dough too thin. You want it thick but not too thick. Use additional flour as needed to make the dough roll out and the cookies come off the counter easily. I use about 1/3 cup additional flour when I am rolling and cutting the cookie dough.
Place 12 cookies per cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
The cookies should still be very pale and should have no golden brown color on them. The middle of the cookies should look dry, not wet, and be puffy.
Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate with sprinkles once completely cooled.
Make the Frosting
Combine the butter, powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, and extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together until it’s combined. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick and/or add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin.
Heavy Whipping Cream : DO NOT substitute this. I mean, of course you can, but the frosting will not be as rich and creamy without the heavy whipping cream.
Butter : You can use unsalted butter if that’s what you have or what you’re used to baking with. I would maybe add some additional salt if using unsalted butter (like 1/4 teaspoon or so). 12 tablespoons butter is equal to 1 + 1/2 sticks of butter.