Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to day 2 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza!

I’ve had a cookie like this on my mind for over a year now. Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting in cookie form. (While we’re on the subject of cakes as cookies… anyone try the carrot cake cookies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction?!)

It took me many failed attempts and horrific cream cheese disasters… but here it is. Cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies will be the talk of the town on every holiday cookie tray this year.

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The red velvet cookie dough is pretty straightforward. It’s basically the same cookie dough I use for my red velvet chocolate chip cookies, only I use a little extra cocoa powder in place of flour. The extra cocoa flavor definitely stands out. One of the main questions I receive regarding this red velvet cookie dough is… how is it red velvet? Isn’t it just chocolate chip cookie dough tinted red? Honestly, that’s a great question. But to me, red velvet is a blend of cocoa and vanilla paired with LOTS of buttery flavor. It’s a buttermilk-based cake, so you have a tangy flavor mixed in as well. And the chocolate flavor is toned down by only adding a small amount of cocoa. The cookies include all of it, though the buttermilk flavor isn’t as strong.

So what about today’s cookies?

I had a wonderful starting off point with my red velvet cookie dough, so the real issue was with the cream cheese filling. Man this stuff was annoying! It would either seep out the sides of the cookie, taste gross, or pull a disappearing act. Like, it would melt into the cookie dough itself. It simply wasn’t thick or sturdy enough. Like most cookie doughs, the cream cheese filling needs to be super cold going into the oven. And it needs to fit snugly inside the red velvet cookie dough. So how do we make it? The filling is basically an extremely thick cream cheese frosting.

Um, did you read that? These are cookies stuffed with frosting (!!!).

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’ll need cream cheese, obviously. Confectioners’ sugar to sweeten and thicken, a smidge of flour to also thicken, and a touch of vanilla extract for flavor. I always add butter to my cream cheese frosting, but butter caused the filling to melt. Once I (1) ditched the butter, (2) got the filling as cold and sturdy as possible, and (3) shaped the cookie dough completely around the filling… we were golden!!!

Let’s walk through the general process:

  1. prepare + chill red velvet cookie dough
  2. make the cream cheese filling
  3. drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet and freeze
  4. roll frozen spoonfuls of filling into balls
  5. assemble cookies
  6. bake cookies!

Here’s a video to show you exactly how to do each step:

After the cream cheese filling is mixed together, it’s pretty sticky. So that’s why we have to freeze it. I don’t recommend freezing the filling in the bowl; rather, freeze it as little spoonfuls. It will freeze faster and more evenly this way. Once the little spoonfuls are frozen/cold, it’s easier to roll into balls to fit inside the cookie dough. It’ll still be a little sticky, but much more manageable.

Step Photos

red velvet cookie dough:

Red velvet cookie dough on sallysbakingaddiction.com

cream cheese filling:

Cream cheese filling for red velvet cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

drop spoonfuls + freeze them:

Cream cheese filling for red velvet cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

roll frozen cream cheese filling into balls as best you can:

Cream cheese filling for red velvet cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

assemble cookies:

Assembling cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

That bottom right picture shows how to mold the cookie dough around the cream cheese filling. Just push the dough down the sides to completely enclose the filling. As you’re assembling the cookies, the cream cheese filling balls may get a little soft. So don’t be afraid to just pop them back in the fridge for a few minutes.

Roll the stuffed cookie dough balls in granulated sugar for some sparkle because sparkles are pretty.

Cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake up some stuffed cookie success!

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Red Velvet Cookie Conclusion

  • If you love red velvet, you’re going to obsess over these cookies.
  • If you don’t love red velvet, you’re going to obsess over these cookies.
  • I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love these cookies.
  • Even people who are all like “eh, I don’t really like dessert” (who even are you?) love these cookies.

See all cookie palooza recipes.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (185g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (26g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) milk*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon red food coloring (liquid, gel, or 2 tsp beet powder alternative)*

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 ounces (112g) full-fat block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Finally, beat in the food coloring. Add 1-2 teaspoons more for a brighter red, if desired. The cookie dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 and 1/2 hours and up to 2-3 days.
  4. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese filling: In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, flour, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Drop teaspoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Freeze for at least 1 and 1/2 hours and up to 2-3 days.
  5. Remove cream cheese spoonfuls from the freezer. Roll each into a ball as best you can. It will be a little sticky. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use in step 7. You want them as cold as possible!
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  7. Assemble the cookies: Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll. Roll cookie dough, 1 Tablespoon each, into balls. Using your thumb, make an indent into one cookie dough ball. Remove cream cheese balls from the refrigerator. Place one inside the indentation. Cover the cream cheese ball with another cookie dough ball and mold the two dough balls around the cream cheese, making sure it is completely covered and snug inside. Repeat with remaining cookie dough and cream cheese.
  8. Roll each stuffed cookie dough ball in remaining granulated sugar and arrange 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until edges appear set. Centers will look soft.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Make ahead tip: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. You can also make the cream cheese filling in step 4 and freeze for up to 2-3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls with cream cheese inside (that you assembled in step 7) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.

Recipe Notes:

*Any milk, dairy or non-dairy, works. I like to use buttermilk.

*I've successfully made these cookies using beet powder instead of red food coloring - this is a wonderful natural alternative to food coloring. Use 2 teaspoons for a slight red color.

*If the cream cheese filling or cookie dough become too soft as you assemble the cookies in step 7, simply place back into the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Americolor Super Red Food Coloring | Silpat Baking Mat | Cookie Sheet | Cooling Rack

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

How to make soft and chewy red velvet cookies stuffed with cream cheese frosting! Delicious Christmas cookie recipes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

85 Comments

Comments

  1. A Tea on November 30, 2017 at 2:57 am

    My boyfriend and I made these tonight- everyone *loved* them!! c: We had some trouble molding the dough balls together though, so here’s a suggestion: Try patting down the dough balls into circles and then wrapping them around the cream cheese. We had more success doing this, and our cookies all came out perfectly! Thanks for the awesome recipe~

    • Sally on November 30, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Thanks so much for reporting back!

    • Niki Daugherty on December 21, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      This is what I did too!! 

  2. Tanvi on November 30, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Omg… Sally, I have been waiting for a recipe of these from you.. Since.. Forever!!! Great job! I can’t wait to try them out. Thank you!

    • Sally on November 30, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Let me know how you like them!

  3. Megan on November 30, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I make your red velvet (the white chocolate dipped recipe) cookies every year for Christmas, but instead of dipping them, I make sandwich cookies with cream cheese frosting. They are a crowd favorite every year! I’ve quit eating artificial colors since last holiday season, and am going to try them with beet powder instead this year. Which brand do you use?

  4. Kristin on November 30, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    These look so yummy. I am absolutely in love with all your cookie recipes. Do you think these would survive in a care package to Hawaii? I want to make these and send them to a friend but wasn’t sure if they would keep for the two day mailing trip.

    • Sally on December 1, 2017 at 8:41 am

      They *should* be ok to ship if the route is only 2 days or so long.

  5. Holly on December 1, 2017 at 7:06 am

    These look like a stroke of genius Sally. I bake your recipes twice a week and always get excited to try new ones. Can’t wait to make these! Just making the zucchini bread recipe into muffins for a get together so hoping they are as amazing as the bread version! 

    • Sally on December 1, 2017 at 8:26 am

      I love that bread as muffins– in fact, I usually bake it as muffins!

  6. Gretchen on December 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Hi sally!

    I’m in the process of making these- I froze and chilled overnight- the frosting is still so gooey that I can’t make a legit ball- maybe it’s because I froze it on a silicone mat ?? Still going to try!!!

  7. Al on December 2, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Great tasting cookie! I found I needed more cookie dough to “cover” the cream cheese filling created from the recipe – actually doubled the prescribed amount of cookie dough ingredients and ended up with 18 perfect cookies.

  8. Pam on December 2, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Just baked some tonight! So so yummy! Mine ended up spreading quite a bit though. I baked a few straight from the freezer as I’m prepping for Christmas baking.
    The cream cheese filling was still there but my cookies look much flatter than your pics. I might add a touch more flour next time because my cookie dough was quite sticky. I probably just over fluffed my flour before scooping.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    • Betty on December 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      I just made these too and mine were super flat also! I measured my ingredients by weight too. Still tasted awesome though. I think next time I might leave out rolling them in sugar before baking though. It made it a smidge too sweet for me. Definitely a keeper though! 

  9. Kaela Glenn on December 3, 2017 at 1:36 am

    I made these cookies today, and they were amazing! They turned out exactly like your pictures. They’re probably my new favorite cookie! When shaping the dough, I pressed it into a thin circle which helped me fit it around the cream cheese, then I pinched the top and bottom pieces of dough together before rolling it into a nice ball. Thanks so much for sharing!

  10. LouAnn on December 3, 2017 at 9:29 am

    How long do these cookies keep, covered at room temperature?

  11. Dominique on December 3, 2017 at 10:50 am

    These are delicious! Quite the labor of love. I doubled the recipe (to use the full block of cream cheese), and while I got the expected 36 cookies, I had a lot of cream cheese balls left over. I followed the direction of “teaspoon” scoops of the cream cheese mixture quite literally, using a teaspoon measuring spoon, but I ended up with about 2x the number of cream cheese balls to red velvet. So next time, I will likely need to double that volume (2 tsps). For the red velvet, I used an OXO “small cookie” scoop for each half, which worked well.

    Despite this, the cookies turned out fantastic. From the exterior, they look exactly the same as Sally’s. The cream cheese part was, not surprisingly, much more runny/melty, instead of the thicker layer you see in Sally’s photos. It was still a distinct red velvet vs. cream cheese interior, so I wasn’t upset regarding the outcome.

    I froze the remaining cream cheese balls, so that I can remake just the red velvet cookie portion, assemble then bake.

  12. Tina on December 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    O. M. G. I don’t care for red velvet and don’t understand the hype. But these cookies? Wow! I only had 1/3 fat cream cheese and I think that’s why my cream cheese was runny. I just froze it best I could and spooned it into my cookie craters.  I froze them for a few days and then baked today. They will get made again this Christmas season! Thanks!

  13. Kelli on December 6, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Hi Sally!

    These were delicious!

    Did you find that the frosting made a lot more than you needed for 18 teaspoon sized balls? I ended up with way more frosting than I had cookie dough to wrap around it!

    • Sally on December 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

      I definitely had some leftover frosting, but not too much.

  14. Laura | Tutti Dolci on December 7, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    These cookies are so beautiful! The perfect holiday take on red velvet 🙂

  15. Jenny on December 9, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    I just made these and am excited to eat them, but I probably won’t be making them again anytime soon. Like someone said earlier, A LABOR OF LOVE. I also had a lot of extra frosting leftover and got about 16 cookies. I guess I just like my cookies to be less involved and ready without so much fuss. I do love the idea, here, though. I’m wondering if this recipe could somehow be modified to make cookie bars/brownies, and I also wondered how they’d turn out if made in a muffin tin. Thoughts for *next time* (If I am brave/stupid enough)! Ha ha ha. I love your recipes, Sally, but this one was just a lot of extra work for my tastes.

  16. Patty on December 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    These were a bit labor intensive. I won’t be using these in my Christmas platters because they are really flat. The family is happy with my decision though because they really, really like them!

  17. M.A. on December 9, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    I made these too but they spread like crazy and I pride myself as a very experienced baker – the flavor was ok but the frosting was drier due to the spreading . I can’t give them out on my cookie trays due to the looks so I’ll have to toss them. I can’t eat all these calories sadly . 

  18. Jackie H. on December 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe! I lost about half the cookies on the first tray, as I (obviously) didn’t pinch them together tight enough – lots of runny cream cheese filling. I paid more attention to the rest and only lost one or two. Some came out flatter than others, but I think those were the ones that maybe got a little warmer when shaping, so I refrigerated the cookies before baking. I also had a bit of cream cheese frosting left over, but I’ll use that for another recipe.

  19. EL on December 12, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I tried making these cookies today but both the dough and the frosting were way to runny and sticky to assemble the cookies. Even after refrigerating/freezing them overnight. For the dough I used a quite significant amount of flour to make make it less runny but I didn’t know what to do with the frosting. The second I finished (trying to) making balls of it, it would return to being a puddle of goo. Any tips on this?

    • Sally on December 12, 2017 at 5:38 am

      what type of cream cheese are you using, the block style? full-fat?

      • EL on December 12, 2017 at 6:16 am

        I don’t live in the US, so sometimes I have to make do with products that somewhat differ from the recipe. I don’t think block style cream cheese is a thing here, so I used the cream cheese I usually use for cheesecakes, cream cheese frostings etc. It’s comes in a plastic container and is 60% fat.



  20. Marilou Cajayon on December 13, 2017 at 4:20 am

    I made this and they were amazing! I used more than the required butter by mistake but it still turned great. I had it featured in my blog and I couldn’t be more happier with it. Thanks!

  21. Allison on December 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

    I made these last night and sadly they looked like flat pancakes after they cooled. I followed the instructions exactly, measured the ingredients using a scale, chilled the dough overnight, froze the cream cheese balls etc. so I’m not sure what went wrong. They puffed up beautifully after about 8 minutes in the oven (I turned on the oven light to check on them) and looked just like yours but then they began to deflate. After removing from the oven, they further deflated and spread as they cooled. On a positive note, they are delicious! Tonight I am going to bake your soft molasses cookies with hopefully better success. I made your Christmas sprinkle cookies the other night and they came out beautifully.

  22. Rica on December 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Sally! Can i omit rolling them in sugar or is this step necessary? What will happen if i don’t roll them in sugar? 

    • Sally on December 20, 2017 at 7:18 am

      Nothing at all. It’s just for looks 🙂

  23. Jam on December 23, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Hi! You’re cookies look amazing!!

    I live in a tropical country, so would I need to store the cookies in the fridge due to the cream cheese?

  24. Savannah on December 23, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Hey Sally! Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family are well. I just wanted to let you know that I am making your red velvet cookies right now. They are baking as I speak! I hope they turn out as good as yours did. I am making them for our family Christmas get together. Thank you for this recipe! 

  25. Grace on May 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

    These are a great idea, but I should have read the reviews – they were quite flat and too sweet. This was with precise measuring (by weight), chilling, etc. I think this recipe needs some tweaking and cannot recommend it. I ended up throwing them away.

  26. Camille Caballero on August 10, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Can I use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar for coating?

Reviews

  1. Grace on May 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

    These are a great idea, but I should have read the reviews – they were quite flat and too sweet. This was with precise measuring (by weight), chilling, etc. I think this recipe needs some tweaking and cannot recommend it. I ended up throwing them away.

Questions

  1. Camille Caballero on August 10, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Can I use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar for coating?

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