Cream Cheese Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies

stack of cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies showing the inside filling

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.

cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies

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 (!!!).

cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies

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 in a glass bowl

cream cheese filling:

cream cheese filling in a glass bowl

drop spoonfuls + freeze them:

spoonfuls of cream cheese filling on a parchment lined baking sheet

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

rolling cream cheese filling in between palms

assemble cookies:

collage of 4 images showing steps to making cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies including cookie dough, cream cheese ball on top of cookie dough, cookie dough on top of cream cheese ball, and hands enclosing the cream cheese stuffing with cookie dough

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.

hands rolling red velvet cookie dough ball into a bowl of sugar

Bake up some stuffed cookie success!

stacks of cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies

cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies on a black plate

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.

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stack of cream cheese stuffed red velvet cookies showing the inside filling

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 (flour mixture) 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.

cookie palooza logo image

185 Comments

  1. Hello Sally. Let me start by saying that I fall in love with this recipe. The moment I found it I did one batch and it was amazing. It made 15 cookies and lasted for about 2 hours (:D). The next day I want to make a big batch to keep in the freezer, so I tripled the recipe.
    Yesterday, I baked a few and I came across an issue. Once I take the cookies out they deflate in the middle so much that a hole is created and cream cheese comes out.
    I don’t know what went wrong, could it be that I tripled the recipe? Should I do one batch at a time? FYI when baking I bake as per your instructions and only 6 cookies per tray. I tried 17 cookies from the tripled batch and all had the same issue.

    1. Hi Dimosthenis, I’m so glad to read that you love this cookie recipe. Thank you! It’s one of my favorites. I’m concerned that there may have been an issue the 2nd time you made them, when tripling the recipe. Perhaps an error in measuring 3x the ingredients. I always recommend making separate batches. Doubling is typically fine for cookie recipes, but I would be careful when tripling a recipe or more. Sometimes our mixers can’t handle that amount of dough either. Try making separate batches of dough next time. Thanks again!

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer to me. From now one I will make a double batch at the most. Honestly, your recipes are by far the best I found. I already tried a few others and I am amazed. I want to also thank you for providing the ingredients in metric, very helpful.

  2. These are insanely delicious! I love the rolled sugar look, and the cream cheese in the middle is incredible. This recipe made 15 cookies for me, but as I was assembling them I realized I could have made some smaller, so I imagine I could have gotten 18 cookies out of this if I had made them smaller. Will definitely make again in the future. They would be perfect for a holiday cookie tin.

  3. Hi Sally!

    I made your recipe the today and they came out flat and not like how yours are pictured. Any advice? I follow all the steps to the T and chill in the fridge. When I bake, they puff up but when I allow them to rest on the rack they all deflate to a thin cookie and the cream cheese pops out like a sore pimple. Please help! I love your recipes.

    1. Hi Gia! I’m just seeing your question now. Add extra flour to the dough– this always helps when cookies seem to overspread. Another 2-4 Tbsp will help for next time. (It’ll soak up the fat, which are causing excess spread.) You might find my 10 Guaranteed Tips to Prevent Cookies from Spreading post helpful too!

  4. Hey Sally,
    I was hoping to bake cookies for my coworkers tomorrow on my day off and the resounding flavor combination everyone wanted was red velvet with white chocolate chips. These look so delicious but I’m tentative about adding white chocolate chips to this recipe in the event they might fall apart? Do you think they’d hold up fine or should I just make your Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies instead replacing the chips with white chocolate? Thanks in advanced!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephen, I recommend using the red velvet chocolate chip cookie recipe and using white chocolate chips instead. Enjoy!

  5. Hi Sally, I was wondering how long do these cookies last in the pantry? And if it’s possible to keep the cookies in the freezer?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, these cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week. See recipe note #1 for freezing instructions!

  6. Delicious and impressed everyone! Can’t wait to make them again

  7. Another winner, Sally! Just made these today (forgot to roll in sugar, but they were amazing anyhow!). The cream cheese didn’t melt, but they were ginormous cookies, lol. Will definitely add these to my Christmas cookie list!

  8. So excited to make these! Does this recipe make 18 stuffed cookies or just 18 rolled cookie doughs that you will still pair up to sandwich the filling?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maria, You will have 18 full cookies when you are finished. Enjoy!

  9. Absolutely amazing cookies. I definitely thought the filling would just melt into the cookies, but it didn’t at all!! Absolutely deserves more than five stars.

  10. These were great! I skipped the rolling in sugar step and they were perfect without it. The cookie stuffing strategy that worked best for me was flattening both balls of dough and moulding them around the ball of cream cheese icing. Definitely worth a try!! I don’t usually like red Velvet but these were

  11. Hi Sally! Just wanted to ask if this recipe would still work if I don’t stuff the cookies with the cream cheese frosting but instead, make them like whoopie pies?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Bettina, we actually have a separate red velvet whoopie pies recipe we’d recommend following instead. Would love to know if you give it a try!

  12. Hello sally, are these cookies safe to leave out in room temp even with the cream cheese filling?

  13. Making these cookies felt like a lot more work than most other cookies, but the result was a dream. Hands down these are some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Seriously obsessed with them. 2 things to note: the filling was enough for 2 batches of cookies (definitely wasn’t complaining about that— meant more cookies!) And my first batch spread a lot so the filling was just a little bump in the middle, but the flavors were all still there and we all still loved them. My second batch I used a silicone baking mat and a different pan and they didn’t spread. ‘
    I just can’t get over how good these are!!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy you loved these cookies, Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

  14. Hi Sally – thanks for the recipe. Please correct me if I’m wrong but the ingredient list shows 1 cup of sugar (200g), while the instruction list mentions to cream the butter with 1/2 cup of sugar. What do I do with the other half cup of sugar? Or am I supposed to cream all 200g? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ying, correct – the cup of granulated sugar is divided. 1/2 cup for creaming with the butter, the other 1/2 cup for rolling the cookies in step 8. Hope this helps!

  15. Hi Sally!

    Would I be able to make this as a cookie cake for valentines day in a 6 in springform pan? Please let me know!!

    1. Hi Sydney, unfortunately there is too much cookie dough for 1 6 inch pan. You could likely divide the dough between 3 6-inch pans. (or make some cookies and 1 6 inch cake) I’m unsure of the best bake time for a 6 inch cake.

  16. These cookies are delicious, thanks for the recipe. Will be cooking these over and over again, I’m sure. My only problem was the cream cheese filling was too runny, and so could not freeze the filling as a small ball like your recipe pics. Any tips to correct this issue?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Peter, we’re glad you enjoyed these! Did you use full-fat block cream cheese (not spreadable cream cheese)? You might also try adding a bit more confectioner’s sugar next time to help thicken it up a bit.

      1. I used the spreadable variety, low fat. Will make sure I use the full fat block cream cheese next time. Thanks for the tip!!!

  17. When I’m rolling the cookies I’m pretty sure I’m fully enclosing the filling but I’m still have issues with the filling oozing out from the bottom of the cookies once cooked. Do you know what else I could be doing wrong?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jocelyn! 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.

      1. Thanks for responding so fast! I will give that a try!

  18. If I were to freeze these should I bake them first?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Krystina, this recipe will freeze well for both baked and unbaked cookies. See “Make Ahead Instructions” in the recipes notes for more details. Enjoy!

  19. Hello, do you think its save for me to ship it nationwide which will take around 2-3 days? Will the cookie go bad? Please help

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  20. What will happen if I add cream cheese to the cookie dough? Is it okay?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lisa! We don’t recommend mixing in cream cheese to the cookie dough, it will change the consistency of the dough too much. Best to stick with the recipe as written for best results!

  21. Hi, may i know how much is 1 tsp baking soda in grams?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      About 5 grams. Happy baking!

  22. Hi Ms. Sally!
    I’m Grace and I saw this recipe and decided to make these for my parents on their anniversary next month (maybe I’m planning a little too early, I don’t know). But I was wondering, could I use salted butter instead of the unsalted butter? I can’t wait to make these cookies!
    Thank you so much !
    Have a nice day !

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Grace! You can use salted butter in place of unsalted butter in a pinch. We hope your parents enjoy these cookies for their anniversary!

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