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.

Print

Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies are like a chewy and dense slice of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting.


Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (185g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Americolor Super Red Food Coloring | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet | Cooling Rack
  3. Milk: Any milk, dairy or non-dairy, works. I like to use buttermilk.
  4. Red Food Coloring: 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.
  5. Keep Everything Cold: 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.
  6. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

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

138 Comments

  1. Okay, first off I have to say in the past two weeks I have made about five of your recipes and not a single one has disappointed me. Your recipes are ALL absolutely fantastic!! I recently made these because our teacher cookie appreciation day was yesterday(well actually it’s next week but I messed up and made them a week early, whoops! My family just ended up devouring all of these). These cookies were sooo good! I have to make them again this week for the real cookie day, but when I made them, they only made about 14. Do you think I could make smaller cookies and shorten the baking time?

    1. Hi Lilly! I’m so glad you enjoyed these red velvet cookies. Thanks for sharing! You can roll the balls a little smaller so the yield is higher. Bake time may be a minute less.

  2. I made these today and they are delicious! Some learnings – Be more generous with the cream cheese mixture than you might think. Wouldn’t hurt to flatten out your balls a little bit (but not too thin!) and then flatten out your cream cheese mixture to come not quite to the edges of that – that teaspoon is good, maybe a tad less, you’re going to roll it all back into a ball anyway. First bake I put about 11 on the sheet – that was too many. They do spread, so try 6 to 8 and see what you think. I chilled the dough in the fridge prior to baking, for about 3 hours, cream cheese mixture in the freezer about that same amount of time. No room temp when you’re ready to roll (ha! pun intended!). I put everything back (dough in fridge and cream cheese in freezer) while the first batch baked. Edges were crispy at 13 minutes and 5 minute cookie sheet cool – They were absolutely perfect! Thank you for a fantastic recipe, Sally. I will definitely keep these in the line-up, but only for those extra special people on my list as they are a little work. Try these, you won’t be disappointed!

  3. Hi Sally,

    I’m in the UK and cannot get hold of block cream cheese. I’ve always used full fat tubs of Philadelphia for any cheesecake recipes and never had trouble, but the filling does not solidify in the freezer. Is there anything I could use instead (maybe mascarpone?)?

  4. I’m looking to freeze the dough/filling for these so I can pop them in the oven on Xmas day! I’ve read your tips for freezing dough, but it didn’t mention anything about cookies with filling. Can you tell me if there’s anything special I should be sure to do when freezing these/reheating them?

    1. Hi Kate! Nothing special needs to be done– just assemble the cookies with the filling inside and freeze the cookie dough balls. 🙂

      1. Hi sally! Just wanted to let you know I just thawed the unassembled (frozen 3 months ago) dough and filling for 20 mins on the counter, assembled then baked and they’re just as delicious as when I made them fresh in December

  5. Kallie Rinker says:

    Hi Sally. I am 12. My mom told me that I should bake cookies the whole month of December because it is Christmas time. I usually do it every day after school. (I am homeschooled.) I made these cookies and they are delish. 😉 These or the butterscotch toffee fudge cookies are her favorite. You are amazing.

    1. So very sweet, thank you for saying hi!

  6. Kallie Rinker says:

    Also, I love your cookie dough. I eat like 3 (at least) cookies worth.

  7. I made these with my nieces today. I was sort of looking for something with some assembly and this was perfect. The cream cheese filling was kind of messy, but that made it even more fun. We all had a blast hanging out and the cookies came out delicious (and huge! Which my nieces loved!)

  8. LOVE these cookies! I’ve made them many times and what I’ve started doing is making only 1/2 the amount of cream cheese filling (or doubling the cookie dough). Without that adjustment I always ended up with way, way too much cream cheese filling for the amount of cookie dough. They do spread a little bit more than I would prefer but never so badly that I felt I couldn’t serve them. Next time I make them I will try adding a few more tablespoons of flour to the dough and see if that helps. Besides those small adjustments, these cookies taste incredible and they do come out looking pretty close to how they look in Sally’s photos. I bake A LOT and my husband has declared these as his favorite cookie that I make!

    1. I agree with this! I always end up with a ton of extra cream cheese mixture. These are also in highest demand. I’m making them upon special request for my husband’s birthday!

  9. Natalie Jimenez says:

    i’m going to try and recreate these on thursday but i had a quick question… do you think it’d be a good idea to add white chocolate chips ? or would it be too much sweetness?

    1. Hi Natalie! They would be extra sweet with white chocolate chips, but delicious without a doubt!

  10. Could I coat this in powdered sugar too? To come out like crinkles? Thanks!

    1. Absolutely!

  11. Maria Kathrina Carla Doria says:

    Hi! Can I used Dutch Cocoa instead of natural unsweetened? Hope for your response.

    1. Hi! You’ll need unsweetened natural cocoa powder for these.

  12. Hi Sally,

    I made these and they look nothing like yours. They really spread out and the cream cheese oozed out. They taste good, just not the same beautiful presentation as yours! Any tips? Thanks

    1. Hi Amy! If you chill the assembled cookie dough balls (or even freeze them!) for at least 30 minutes prior to baking, the cookies are bound to hold their shape better. I have a post that will be helpful for you, too: 10 Tips to Prevent Cookies from Over-Spreading

      1. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful for all the tips you provide!!

  13. I don’t have any sugar, and I am wondering if it would be ok to use honey in making the cookies? And if I were to use honey would there be a big difference in the taste? Thank you! 🙂

  14. Hi Sally, just a quick question. Do these need to be refrigerated after baking? I’m planning to give these as gifts and was just wondering how much time in advance i can make them.

    1. Hi Margarita, Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week. For longer storage see my make ahead tips in the recipe notes!

  15. I made way too much cream cheese filling what else can I use it for?!

    1. Hi Jenn! Other cookie recipes would be tasty with this inside. You can try stuffing into double chocolate crinkle cookies or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

  16. My 16 year old son quadrupled the recipe to make them for his Gourmet Foods class. These cookies are festive and full of flavor. Thank you for sharing. The photos were especially helpful for the stuffing process.

  17. Just wondering if I could freeze the cookie dough and cream cheese filling for about a week? Or would that ruin the texture?

    1. Hi Ella, 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.

  18. My brother keeps begging me to bake these again! He likes them even better than our family favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe : )

  19. Hi Sally, i’m skipping food coloring and will be using beet root powder instead. Question though, do i mix it together with the dry ingredients? Thanks in advance! Loving all your cookie recipes btw!

    1. Hi Cindy, You can certainly do that. I’ve added it at the end with no issues.

    2. Great recipe! I didn’t have vanilla extract so I omitted it but still tastes amazing!
      The only downside for me was the sweetness of this recipe. I have halved all the sugars required but it’s still too sweet for me and my husband.
      I shall try to omit the sugar completely in the cream cheese in my next batch and try to see if it works!
      Do you know if I can completely omit out the sugar or will it affect the texture?

  20. Delicious! I did these with a friend of mine today while we’re stuck inside. We played with the colors and made the cookies black and colored the cream cheese a pinkish-orange. They ended up looking like lava! And they taste amazing, especially right out of the oven. Great recipe!

  21. Mallory Dadivas says:

    So when I made these cookies, they spread so huge, but still tasted amazing! I kept trying to chill everything but nothing worked and it was a giant mess to roll which was very confusing? I have a ton of cream cheese left, and not enough cocoa to make another batch. What is another cookie suggestion that I could use to stuff the extra cream cheese balls in?

    1. Hi Mallory! If you decide to make the red velvet cookies again, try adding another 2 Tbsp of flour to help bulk up the dough. The cream cheese would taste wonderful in my regular chocolate chip cookies.

  22. I just tried to make this and had a few issues with it, Sally I hope you’re able to help me out here!

    1. The 1-3/4 cups of confectioners sugar is too much! I only added 1-1/4 cups and already felt that it’s insanely sweet, I don’t know how you guys can stand the sweetness level with the extra 1/2 cup added. Can I reduce the amount of sugar and add on some corn starch/flour to get the consistency that the confectioners sugar is suppose to do?

    2. The cookie dough basically melted in my hands while I was trying to form it into balls. I even tried to put it in the fridge before forming them (leaving out the “sit at room temperature” step, and even so it just turned out to be one entire sticky mess. Should I have added more all purpose flour to the batter?

    1. Hi Sam, these cookies are meant to be sweet including that cream cheese filling. Feel free to thicken with cornstarch or flour, though I haven’t tested the recipe this way. You can also add more flour to the cookie dough if it’s much too sticky. The colder the dough, however, the easier it is to handle. Also, make sure your butter isn’t too soft. If the butter is too soft, the cookie dough will be too sticky. My room temperature butter post may be helpful if you’re interested.

  23. Question: could these be made as cookie cups (baked in a cupcake tin) and could one substitute the cream cheese frosting for cheesecake filling? I find cream cheese frosting to be too sugary sweet but adore pairing cheesecake with red velvet.

    1. Hi Liz, I suggest using my recipe for Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes 🙂

  24. Ohoho, I am in love with that cream cheese filling! I just made the dough and the filling balls and I’m going to make the cookies tomorrow with my little cousin, but man… the leftover cream cheese frosting was so good, I might just make it again to just eat it like it is lol. It reminds me of Pillsbury cream cheese frosting and is soooooo good!!

  25. I’m currently in the middle of assembling the cookies, and they started melting in my hands within two minutes. I chilled everything longer than the minimum requirement, but it got really messy very quickly. I stuck everything back in the fridge/freezer, but I’m hoping I can get through these. I doubled the recipe for my office.

    1. The cookies turned out well! However, the filling tasted more like powdered sugar than cream cheese, so I would use a lot less powdered sugar next time. Other than that, it’s good.

  26. Cookie insides spread everywhere, kinda exploded out actually. Turned into a bit of a messy looking cookie.

    Really difficult to work with.

    I would suggest freezing the cream cheese balls, but keeping cookie dough at room temperature so that it’s easy to mold around the frozen cream cheese ball.

    Wish I could post a photo.

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