Nutella lovers, unite! These cream cheese cut-out cookies with Nutella glaze are the softest, thickest, and creamiest sugar cookies to ever come out of my oven. They stack and store for easy transport, so you can bring them to cookie exchanges, parties, or any gathering. (Or pack them in your own personal lunchbox!)
Like my original sugar cookies, this new recipe for cream cheese cut-out sugar cookie dough is extra soft, while still holding its shape for cutting out with cookie cutters. Whenever I need a flavor upgrade from plain sugar cookies, this is the recipe I choose!
Here’s a handful of reasons why I know you’ll love them too:
- The dough is so easy to work with
- The cookies hold their shape beautifully
- They include almond extract, which is fantastic paired with Nutella
- Each bite is soft, smooth, and creamy
- No fussy piping tips or decoration required
Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies Details
- Texture: Super soft + smooth + thick + creamy = PERFECT.
- Flavor: Enjoy a little tang, a little sweet, and a whole lot of nutty Nutella icing on top. They’re like regular sugar cookies but with a flavorful flair!
- Ease: The dough and glaze are easy to prepare, but you’ll need a couple special tools like cookie cutters and a rolling pin. Plus, Nutella is super sticky and thick, so it’s easiest to use a mixer to beat all the icing ingredients together.
- Time: Though this recipe does take a few hours to complete, most of the time is spent waiting for the dough to chill. I promise they’re worth the wait!
Key Ingredients in These Cookies
- Block-Style Cream Cheese: Follow my #1 cream cheese rule: choose the right cream cheese for baking. Don’t reach for cream cheese spread sold in a tub. You know the stuff you schmear on bagels? Not that. Cream cheese in the tub is much thinner because it’s meant for spreading. You want the more solid blocks/bricks of cream cheese. The 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese are perfect for cooking and baking. You’ll need 4 ounces, or half of an 8-ounce block, for these soft cut-out cream cheese cookies.
- Almond Extract: I love using almond extract in recipes like sugar cookies and butter cookies because it adds a little something extra. A little bit can go a long way, so stick with 1 teaspoon in this dough. And feel free to reduce down to 1/2 teaspoon or you can skip it entirely if you aren’t a fan.
- Nutella: Sweet, chocolatey, and nutty, this easy Nutella glaze is lick-the-spoon DELICIOUS. And it’s made from just 5 ingredients including Nutella, heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and a little salt.
And one other thing to note, this recipe makes a good amount of cookies so if you’re looking for 3 dozen cookie cutter cookies, this recipe can be your prime choice!
How to Make These Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos so you have a clear idea what to expect. These cream cheese cut-out cookies are pretty simple, but be mindful of the order of steps.
Combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately per the recipe instructions below and then bring it all together. The dough will be soft and creamy.
Time to roll out and chill. Divide the dough in half because smaller sections of dough are easier to manage. Roll out each portion of dough and then chill them in the refrigerator. Since this is a very soft cookie dough, make sure you flour your hands, rolling pin, and work surface. Here’s half of the dough rolled out:
Cut the chilled dough into shapes and bake.
Let cool completely before decorating.
Rolling Out Cookie Dough: The Trick Is the Order of Steps
Notice how I roll out the dough BEFORE chilling it in the refrigerator? That’s the trick to the cookies holding their shape, and let me explain why it works.
To prevent the cookies from over-spreading, the cookie dough must be refrigerated first. Right after you prepare the dough, it’s too soft to cut into shapes but it’s not too soft to simply roll out. (Don’t chill the cookie dough and then try to roll it out because it will be too cold and stiff to roll.) I divide the dough in half before rolling it out because smaller sections of dough are easier to handle.
Another trick! Roll out the cookie dough directly on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper so you can easily transfer it to the refrigerator. Pick it up, put it on a baking sheet, and place it in the refrigerator. If you don’t have enough room for two baking sheets in your refrigerator, stack the pieces of rolled out dough on top of each other, with a layer of parchment paper in between. (That’s what I do.)
You need a mixer for the Nutella glaze. After preparing it, spread it on the cooled cookies. No piping tips or complicated decoration required! And if you’re feeling extra nutty (I can relate), you could sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts on top.
- Does This Nutella Glaze Set? Like royal icing, this Nutella glaze sets on top of the cookies. It doesn’t dry super hard, but it will set enough to make for easy stacking + storing + transport.
- Where Else Could I Use this Glaze? Oh the Nutella possibilities! This Nutella glaze would also be delicious on muffins, donuts, shortbread, waffles, chocolate pop tarts, or even drizzled on chocolate chip scones.
- Do You Have a Nut-free Option? Yes, instead of Nutella glaze, you could decorate these cream cheese cut out cookies with easy cookie icing, chocolate buttercream, or traditional royal icing. This dough would be perfect for decorating Valentine’s Day cookies, too!
If you end up loving these tangy and soft cream cheese cut-out cookies, you may enjoy these raspberry sugar cookies too. I actually used today’s recipe as the base for that raspberry flavored dough!
Other Sugar Cookie Recipes
- Raspberry Sugar Cookies
- My Favorite Regular Sugar Cookies
- Drop Sugar Cookies
- Brown Butter Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Soft Cream Cheese Cookies with Nutella Glaze
- Prep Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
- Yield: 36 3-inch cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Extremely soft and thick sugar cookies made with cream cheese and almond extract and topped with creamy Nutella glaze.
- 3 cups + 2 Tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 ounces (112g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup (100g) Nutella
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- optional: 1/2 cup (60g) chopped hazelnuts for garnish
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy and combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Dough will be very soft and creamy.
- Generously flour your hands and rolling pin. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat to about 1/4-inch thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
- Lightly dust one of the rolled-out doughs with flour. Place a piece of parchment on top. (This prevents sticking.) Place the 2nd rolled-out dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Carefully remove the top dough piece from the refrigerator. If it’s sticking to the bottom, run your hand under it to help remove it. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. (I like these heart cookie cutters.) Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd piece of dough. Note: It doesn’t seem like a lot of dough, but you get a lot of cookies from the dough scraps you re-roll.
- Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-13 minutes until very lightly browned around the edges. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. I like to decorate the cookies directly on baking sheets so I can stick the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator to help set the Nutella glaze. If you’d like to do it that way, place the cooled cookies back on baking sheets.
- Make the glaze: In a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the ingredients together on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste. Add another pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Spread on each cooled cookie then decorate with hazelnuts, if desired. Nutella glaze will set at room temperature after 3-4 hours and even quicker in the refrigerator, about 1 hour.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Plain or decorated sugar cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Wait for the icing to set completely before layering between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container. To thaw, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months before rolling it out. Prepare the dough through step 3, divide in half, flatten both halves into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap each in plastic wrap, then freeze. To thaw, thaw the disks in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature for about 1 hour. Roll out the dough as directed in step 4, then chill rolled out dough in the refrigerator for 45 minutes – 1 hour before cutting into shapes and baking.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Rolling Pin | Cookie Cutters
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: soft cream cheese cookie with Nutella galze
Reader Comments & Reviews
What type of salt? Morton’s iodized ? Mortons kosher, Diamond kosher? Thank you.
Hi Rob, we use table salt in all of our recipes unless otherwise stated.
Hi, this looks like a great recipe! Can’t wait to try it! Couple of questions- one, would you suggest doubling this all at once, or making separate batches? Two, what icing toppings do you think would be best if we don’t want to use chocolate? Also, what cookie base do you recommend more for sugar cookies, your original sugar cookie recipe or this one? Is there a difference? Can’t wait to hear back 🙂
Hi Ellie! It’s likely best to make two separate batches of the dough, unless your mixer can handle the added volume of a double batch without becoming overwhelmed. See blog post section titled “Nutella Glaze” for a few different topping options. As for which sugar cookies to use, it really depends! This dough has a wonderful slight tang from the cream cheese, where as these sugar cookies are a classic cut out sugar cookie. We’d love to know what you decide!
Can you use less sugar? 1 Cup is a lot?
I love this recipe! I had extra dough that I already rolled and made the cutouts. I kept the unbaked cutouts covered on a tray in the freezer. How long should I bake the frozen cookies or do I need to defrost them first?
Hi Cristina, you can bake the cookies from frozen. Bake time will be about the same, maybe just a minute or two longer. Keep a close eye on them!
I have made the cookie part of this recipe SO many times and they are perfect every time. I find I can double the recipe in my stand mixer. I have not done the Nutella glaze due to a tree nut allergy in this house but have dipped/decorated with plain melted white chocolate and they disappear fast. Also just tried SBA Easy Icing for Decorating Cookies with these, and it was also fantastic.
can I do the dough in round balls instead of using a cookie cutter? Love all your recipes
Yes! That’s exactly what we do with our Christmas sparkle cookies.
I LOVE this recipe! Cream cheese makes such a big difference in the flavor and texture! My question is about the block versus bagel cream cheese. I understand it is preferred to use the block. However, what do you do when you’re well intentioned husband comes home with a Costco size of spreadable cream cheese? It’s not whipped. It’s the thicker one but it’s still in the tub. My question is what will really happen if I use it instead of the block? Will it ruin the cookie batch or just not be as thick or flavorful? Please advise.
Hi Mindy! Unfortunately, spreadable cream cheese from a tub is too thin, and the cookies will overspread / not hold their shape well. Glad this recipe is a favorite for you!
Can you half this cookie recipe?
Hi Terry, sure! Or you could freeze half for later! Enjoy.
I don’t know why it’s taken my this long to write a review. This is a MUST HAVE sugar cookie recipe. I use nothing else since I discovered it. I honestly didn’t even enjoy sugar cookies until I tried this recipe. What a game changer! Thank you Sally!!
Would this dough work in a cookie press?
Hi Christine, this dough would not be ideal for a cookie press. We recommend using our spritz cookie recipe instead.
Delicious cookies! Is it possible to use salted butter? If so, are they any other adjustments to make?
Hi Paula! You can use salted butter and skip the added salt. You can read more about using salted vs. unsalted butter in baking!
I am dying to try this recipe! I’m wondering if It would be OK to substitute lemon for the almond extract. I usually put lemon extract in my regular sugar cookies and I’m wondering if it would go well with vanilla and the cream cheese in this recipe. I always make your vanilla cupcakes. Love your stuff. Thank you!
Hi Gina, you can certainly add lemon extract in place of the almond if you prefer the flavor. It will be delicious with the cream cheese cookies, but maybe a little dissonant with the Nutella frosting — but it could be great! You can always use a different icing like our royal icing or vanilla buttercream instead. Let us know what you try.
Thank you! I am going to use your royal icing.