Christmas Cheesecake Cookies

These Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls are sure to make them Santa’s favorite cookie and the star of your Christmas cookie exchange!

Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!

Hey guys! Sam back from The Culinary Compass! I love a festive cookie and couldn’t resist to recreate these Patriotic Cheesecake Cookies with Christmas colors! It was a no-brainer to create these Christmas Cheesecake Cookies with red, white, and green! The best part is the hint of peppermint that really brings in the holiday season.

How to Make Christmas Cheesecake Cookies

The recipe is based off of the viral Cheesecake Cookies that Kristin made, and they’re SO easy to throw together and incredibly delicious. The cream cheese makes them light and fluffy. I’m always excited to make a batch of these yummy Christmas cookies, but never want to share!

The dough comes together quite easy, using just a few ingredients:

  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • flour
  • baking powder

Once combined, I recommend refrigerating the dough for 30 minutes or so because it can get a bit sticky. Then comes the fun part – adding color to the Christmas cookies!

Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!

Tips for Making Cheesecake Christmas Cookies

  • The key to getting the dough to swirl easily without muddying the colors is to chill the dough. I can’t stress that enough! The dough will be sticky and turn brown as soon as you mix colors together if you allow it to come to room temperature. So if you find yourself getting frustrated with how sticky the dough is, throw the dough into the freezer for 5-10 minutes and it’ll be a lot easier to work with!
  • I also didn’t want to overwhelm the cookies with too much peppermint so I only included peppermint extract in the green dough. It’s enough to give a hint of peppermint while still allowing the cheesecake flavor to shine through.
  • They would probably be delicious dipped in chocolate too if you like that combination! I wanted to leave the swirls showing so I didn’t powder them with powdered sugar, though, that is definitely an option too!
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!

More Festive Christmas Cookies

Tools used to make these Christmas cookies:

Silicone Spatula – Perfect for scraping the sides of the bowl.

AirBake Cookie Sheets – Air insulation prevents top sheet from overheating which prevents burning.

Silicone Baking Mat – Your cookies will slide right off of this perfect baking mat, no sticking!

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These Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect, festive cookie to feed to Santa!

Christmas Cheesecake Cookies

These Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect, festive cookie to feed to Santa!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 44 cookies
Calories 88kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Red and green food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Optional: powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter together at high speed until fluffy and smooth; 1-2 minutes. Add sugar to the butter mixture and beat until fully incorporated and fluffy; 1-2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla; 1 minute.
  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  • Separate the dough into three small bowls. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. 
  • Once chilled, add in food coloring and incorporate into the dough until your desired color is reached. Add the peppermint extract to the dough you’ll be adding the green food coloring to. Dough will still be sticky, but easier to work with! If you find it’s hard to work with, put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
  • To create a cookie, take ½ tbsp of each color dough into your hands and roll together between the palms of your hands to create the marbling effect of your choice. Be careful to not over incorporate to avoid mixing the colors too much. Repeat for the rest of the dough and place on prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes. Cookies should be light in color, not browned, and just starting to brown on the bottom. *Length of baking time may vary from oven to oven.
  • Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Optional: Dust with powdered sugar!

Notes

  • Store in a tightly sealed container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • The vanilla smooths out the flavor, but for a more tart, cheesey flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon juice or no extracts at all. The peppermint can also be left out or replaced.
  • Do not overbake. This can cause the cookies to come out more dry and biscuit like. 

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 82mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 144IUCalcium: 19mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cheesecake cookies, cream cheese cookies

Be sure to try our original Cheesecake Cookie recipe! They are light and fluffy, creamy and tender! Be sure to read through all the tips and tricks to make the perfect Cheesecake Cookie!

Stack of cheesecake cookies
Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are creamy and tender, with just a hint of peppermint. The red, white and green swirls make them Santa's favorite cookie, too!

Sam

Sam is the blogger behind The Culinary Compass where she loves to try new dishes and ingredients from around the world. She hopes to bring experiences of new cultures to her readers without having to leave their home!

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Comments

  1. These cookies are delicious. My whole family loves them. They are almost all gone before I can serve them for our Christmas party.

  2. These are seriously one of my favorite cookie recipes for the holidays!! They taste AMAZING and I get so many compliments from family and coworkers. Thanks for sharing this!!

  3. I wasted so many ingredients on these 🙁 high quality cream cheese, eggs which are currently a small fortune. The white cooked up fine, red and green this nasty mushy mess. My husband wondered if he should be eating them, and was surprised there was cream cheese in them!

    1. Hi Georgia, I’m sorry they didn’t turn out for you. My best guess is the dough was too warm so the colors blended together.

  4. So bad. Worst cookies I have tried. Mushy garbagio do not make unless you want weird mushy cookies and waste all your cream cheese on a nasty.

  5. Seriously adorable cookies! Very festive, dough was a tad temperamental. I’m curious – our yield was a lot less than 44 by using 1/2 tbsp of each colour for each cookie, did we do something wrong?

    1. Hi Emily, the amount really can vary based on how much dough you had to begin with, and the size you make them.

  6. I made a few batches of these last year after getting some at a Christmas cookie exchange. They were such a hit they are the number 1 request for this year! Even my mom asked for the recipe! They are delicious. Slightly finicky to make but not bad and worth it I think. If the dough gets sticky just pop it back into the fridge between batches. I made them both with and without the peppermint extra. Both great! And they are so pretty on a plate. Thank you for the great recipe!

  7. Hi can I add a little bit more of cream cheese I made them once before came out good but just thought it needed more cream cheese.

    1. Add a little bit of lemon extract instead of vanilla if you’re looking for a more intense flavor. Adding more cream cheese would make the dough too sticky.

  8. I made these last night and they were a hit!! I’m making two more batches now. It wasn’t real easy to blend the colors by rolling in my palm but I could pull some from each color and just drop them on the cookie sheet and they came out fine. And we tasted the cream cheese unlike another post I saw. They were even better warm!! I left the peppermint out completely.

  9. Just made these! I’m not much of a baker but I think they were a success! Bringing them to an event tomorrow, hope everyone else likes them! ?

  10. These cookies were pretty. But they were dry and bland. No cream cheese taste at all . I’m very disappointed

    1. A silicone mat works. But a nonstick cookie sheet is fine on it’s own. The parchment paper just makes it easier for the cookies to slide off.

  11. I might have missed it but are the different bowls reserved for the different colors of the cookies? I didn’t see it in the recipe.

    1. I’m making them with almond extract. The dough is delicious. I’ll let you know how they are once I get them finished.

  12. I made them and they are very sticky you can’t even roll them let me know what to do I did put back in frig I was going to add more flour but wasn’t sure

  13. Can this dough be made a few days ahead of time and stored in the fridge?? Looking forward to baking this weekend!

  14. I just waned to say GREAT recipe!!! One extra touch that you may or may not want to try is to dip just shy of 1/2 the cookie in melted chocolate and the sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Gives a bit of a crunch to those who like that and if not then always have some just beautiful on their own. Either way I love love love both. Thanks again and now I shall brows around and look at other recipes you have!!

  15. They turned out great! We rolled each color into balls and placed them into paper plates. We then placed them into the freezer for a few minutes. Then, we sprayed our hands with non-stick cooking spray and rolled the cookies in our hands. Worked great! We also adjusted the temperature to 375 for 15 minutes as they were not cooking as well at 350. They are so pretty and puffy!

  16. Just finished my first batch… Pros & Cons:

    Pros:
    Fun Christmas cookie
    Hint of mint is awesome
    soft and actually taste good

    Cons:
    My hands hurt from manipulating the dough
    I had to keep putting the dough in the freezer for about 7-10 min every 6 cookies just so it wouldn’t be a muddled mess

    Would I make them again? Yes
    Would I make them with kids? No

    I left them in the oven for about 15 min and they came out perfect.

    Thanks for an awesome cookie recipe that I will keep in my Christmas Cookie rotation.

  17. The dough was a huge pain to work with. Kept in fridge 20+ mins then after still being sticky I put in freezer about 10 mins. This was after I put in food coloring. When combining dough colors the food coloring bled everywhere and I felt like I was rinsing my hands after every cookie. How can I prevent this next time? Also the consistency seems okay, a little soft in middle, but tastes nothing like cheesecake.

  18. I would love to dip these in chocolate but I don’t know how to make the chocolate dip..could you please tell me how?

    1. Try using the Wilton Candy Melts. The instructions on right on the package. Melt, dip, and place the cookies on wax paper so the chocolate can harden. Comes out delish!

  19. I’m just finishing up my last batch of these cookies. Based on some of the prior reviews, I decided to make a few adjustments to avoid potentially bland cookies. I chopped about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and added these to the white dough. I tend to like peppermint, and divided the 1/2 tsp between the red and green to make sure the flavor went throughout. I’m really glad that I did this because the dough was very sticky (especially the green for some reason), so I couldn’t get a swirl effect, and it’s more like the 3 colors are mashed together. The cookies still look good, and I think they would have been muddy if I tried making them more swirly. I kept the green dough in the freezer and put the white and red in the fridge when I didn’t have them out. I rolled 6 cookies at a time to keep the dough from getting warm. My family likes how they taste, and I’m going to freeze most of them to mix with other cookies as needed. I’m not sure if I’d make them again because I could only get about 30 cookies despite trying to make small portions of each color. With them so sticky, it was hard, and this is a little more time intensive than I had hoped.

  20. I usually make a few different cookies so I can give out a variety of cookies at Christmas, how do these hold up? Do you refrigerate them after baking? Or store in container?

    1. I would wrap them in wax paper or parchment before adding them to a cookie box, and make sure they are completely cooled.

  21. Overall these cookies were pretty good. I taste-tested them with my nephew and brother-in-law, and both liked them. To me, the cookies didn’t flatten and remained overall lumpy. I probably should have left the dough in the fridge longer than the recommended 15 minutes because it was very hard to swirl the three colors together. Perhaps I should have tried to shape and flatten the cookies before putting them in the oven. As for taste, I didn’t find the mint overpowering at all, but I did find the cookies to not be very sweet. They also have a “not quite baked” texture to them, and I kind of worry that my relatives will fear I’m giving them semi-raw cookie dough!

    If I make these again, I will try to flatten and shape the cookies and perhaps leave them in the oven longer than 11 minutes. They are SO soft and doughy.

  22. I made them and they were VERY sticky, so i couldn’t form a ball to mix them together. Tasted good, though.

  23. I had high hopes for these cookies. Refrigerated the dough overnight, but it was still extremely hard to work with. I cooked them for a few extra minutes because they appeared doughy. They are slightly burned on the bottom, but did cook nicely through the middle. They look festive, but don’t have much taste at all. They taste like slightly minty biscuits.

  24. I was so excited to try these cookies but although they look pretty, they definitely disappoint in flavor. Not worth the effort folks!

  25. I just make these for my work today for our Christmas party they don’t taste sweet so I don’t know what I did wrong they do taste doughy I had a sprinkle powdered sugar to give it a little sweetness And my colors were in that vibrant.

  26. I I am looking forward to trying these cookies. I have read the comments and think these maybe a challenge. I created a cheesecake recipe that everyone is nuts about. At work someone asks me when I am making it at least a 3-4 times a week. Gave my recipe out and the one person who made it didn’t follow the recipe correctly and no one likes it. Really made her mad. I don’t know where she went wrong and it made me feel bad.

  27. This recipe didn’t work out for me at all. I followed the recipe to the letter. They turned out dense, tasted like flour even with the mint and they puffed right up and they were supposed to be much flatter. We cooked them for 21 minutes before they seemed cooked enough. They’re just terrible. In the garbage they they went!

    1. 21 minutes is way too long to have baked these cookies, and would be the reason they came out dense. Always follow the recipe exactly, even the bake time, at least once before trying to switch anything up.

  28. Just finished baking these. They were a lot of work (due to the rolling 3 tiny balls, then rolling one big ball), but I would definitely make them again. They are super cute. Not a strong flavor to it, but it’s a good cookie if you have several other flavorful cookies on your cookie tray. I did not use peppermint extract, I used almond. Next year, I’m going to plan to bake this cookie when I have little helpers around to help me form the cookies. The baking time was right on…be sure to read that the cookies are to stay light, they will brown on the bottom. Overall, I’m very happy with this cookie. They are also great because you can always adjust the colors and the extract. Thank you!

  29. I guess there are a lot of terrible bakers here or just a lot of complainers because these cookies have become household name. I am actually getting request to get paid to make these cookie. I don’t use the peppermint or the granulated sugar. I have no problems. I have read that they come out sticky NEVER HAPPENED TO ME, I used my hands to mix the color and NEVER STAINED MY HANDS, I have never had the problems above. Preheated oven, used parchment paper, I have tried with both sugar on top and without. I’ve tried with him without food coloring and they come out great. The only thing I have never used as the peppermint. I’ve made them gluten free and regular and both are perfect. Of course, I have had trouble baking things that others bake well and I’m a good baker. I’m terrible at making pancakes. I’ve tried to make coconut cakes before and they come out terrible. I am currently making two batches of them for tomorrow’s WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA after party. Our American Legion Post has an attached cemetery. Every year this event grows larger. We place Christmas Wreaths on the headstone of our Sons of the American Legion veterans cemetery. Usually I bring cream cheese brownies, but since our even has grown, I’m having to step up on my game. I will be sizing down the cookies and doubling the recipe. I’m confident that they will turn out perfect again. I think the key to this is having patience. Maybe you don’t want to be stressed out and rushing to make these last minute. Also I’ve been stressed out and rushing making these last minute and they still turn out perfectly.

    1. Hi Tiffy! Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing your suggestions. And thank you for what you do for our service men and women.

  30. I just made these. They need at least 25 minutes to bake. The dough was very sticky so used rubber gloves & floured them for each cookie.

    1. I suppose it depends on your oven, but I wouldn’t bake them that long. The cookies can end up dry and more biscuit like.

  31. Made these today. Had issues with sticky dough while balling them like some others. I put the 2 colors together in a bowl and slightly swirled them. I used a cookie scoop dipped in water instead of balling them by hand. Did work better. I did get mixed colors but not like the pictures. I had to increase baking time by at least 4 minutes.

  32. I need help!! My dough isn’t becoming “workable” I left in fridge for 18 min already. Please help need for tomorrow.

    1. Hi Cyd, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble. I would suggest leaving the dough in the fridge longer, up to even an hour or two.

  33. Hello, I made these cookies for my annual Christmas party next weekend. I have to tell you, I was underwhelmed. They just didn’t have any flavor and were time consuming. Now that I have them made and stored, do you have any suggestions as to how I could go about “kicking them up a notch”.
    Sprinkle something on them, dip in white chocolate ganach, spritz rum on them. Got any ideas?
    They did turn out looking EXACTLY like yours. p.s. not bad cookies, just meh……
    Thought you needed to know.

  34. Oh my my! Was not a fan of this cookies. My dough was cold I refrigerated it as I went. It was so sticky. And I make different cookies all the time. This dough had me beat. The only thing I can think of is to put powered sugar on ur hands and roll the dough that way. The taste was ok. I can say I tried.

  35. The recipe calls for 44 cookies but I only want to make 24 cookies (2 dozen). What ingredients would I need to adjust?

  36. Followed the directions Exact. They literally tasted like Nothing. My husband and mother tasted them as well and said the same. Please don’t waste your time with this, make an actual cheesecake recipe.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Bethany. You’re right, if you want cheesecake you should make a cheesecake. These however are cream cheese cookies, not actual cheesecake.

      1. I thought maybe there was too much flour cause if I had to try and guess a flavor for them I’d say flour. I tasted the mixture before adding the egg, it was really good. Then all that flour and whatever else happened along the way… sorry, it was horrible.

      2. Change the title? It literally says “Christmas CHEESECAKE cookies” but besides, there was zero cream cheese flavor ?

        1. They are obviously not going to be the same. And the millions of people (literally, millions) of people who have made the various cheesecake cookie recipes on this site have loved them. Maybe they just aren’t for you, and that’s totally fine. But for the record, you don’t have to be mean when leaving a critique.

  37. These cookies are beautiful, but the dough is extremely difficult to work with. I would double or even triple the chilling time. After the initial chill, roll each color separately into balls. I would then chill again at least 30 minutes or more. Next, I would take 1 of each color and create the swirl. The cookies are cakey, so not flat and chewy. I would add more mint extract, or substitute almond extract.

  38. Followed the recipe exactly, which I thought would be great for a Christmas cookie exchange. Unfortunately, I had the same result as several other commenters, which was that my cookies did not flatten while baking. Nor did they bake all the way through, so the bottoms were over done and the middle was doughy. Mixing in the food coloring was very difficult, even with keeping the dough refrigerated. It was also a much more time consuming recipe than I anticipated based on the ingredients and instructions. Now I have to go buy cookies to take 🙁

  39. I made these for Thanksgiving with gluten free flour and omitted the peppermint. They were fantastic. There were not enough. I should have doubled the recipe. I am going to make them again tonight and for Christmas but this time I’m going to use blue food coloring and the plain. These cookies were awesome. I didn’t put sugar on the top of them, but I’m going to put granulated sugar on them the next time. We’d also like to try these with macadamia nuts. This is a keeper of a recipe. These cookies did not last a day.

  40. Really loved these cookies. Not too sweet. Very easy to make. Substituted measure for measure gluten free flour and orange extract for the peppermint. They turned out great! Thanks!

  41. I made these tonight for our Christmas cookie day, they were so sticky & doughy. Tried freezing dough but as soon as I started balling it, too doughy. Also, they are more like pancakes than cookies. Will not make these again. ?

  42. These look great. Can’t wait to make them and share with friends at the Anderson Moose Lodge and my grandkids. If they get past my husband.lol

  43. I’m going to make the dough a few weeks ahead of baking, and freeze the dough. I’m going to defrost the dough before baking. I’m making these for a cookie swap and I’m having surgery a week before and won’t be able to do the prep work when I need it. I hope the dough holds in the freezer. I made the recipe asa trial run, delicious. I’m thinking of trying to add to food coloring with the wet ingredients, darker than I need as it will lighten with the dry added .

  44. These cookies taste delicious but I have food coloring all over my hands and mine don’t look near as pretty as the picture. I don’t think I’ll make them again. I did freeze the dough and that helped.

  45. Hi, I was wondering if the dough could be frozen just before the baking stage? I do a cookie bar and this would be a fantastic addition.

    1. I haven’t tried freezing the dough, but I think it would work. I would shape them into balls and then freeze them on a cookie sheet before putting them into a more permanent container. Then let them thaw before baking. You could always shape the colors into small balls and freeze like that too, but I’d worry about the colors running when you bring them together.

  46. Made these yesterday for Halloween.. they looked great but tasted horrible.. no cheesecake flavor to them at all.. they tasted like flour.. used ingredients correctly

    1. We can’t be the only ones… the people here saying they’re delicious Definitely did something else to them. They have no flavor at all

  47. Love this recipe and technique–I see so many beautiful color options–for Easter, birthday parties, baby showers, etc. etc. Thank you so much. They look yummy.

  48. Are you supposed to taste more of the peppermint then the cheesecake? I made these tonight and all I taste is the mint.

    1. Peppermint is definitely a stronger flavor. You can try just using 1/4 or even 1/8 of a teaspoon if it’s too strong for you.

  49. These are so cute! One place I’m not sure about; do I roll the doughs into a BALL between my hands? Do I place a BALL of dough on the cookie sheets? Does the dough get flattened at any point before baking?

  50. These look and sound delicious! I think I’m going to use the recipe this weekend to make them, but instead of plain, green and red I am going to do black, orange and purple for Halloween!

    1. Not being in the kitchen with you, it’s hard for me to say what went wrong. Did you make sure to use all of the ingredients?

  51. So I am thinking about having orange and white dough, and orange extract (or maybe peel?) in the orange dough. Dip finished cookies’ bottom in dark chocolate. Halloween cheesecake cookies! 🙂

  52. Can I on it peppermint substitute lemon and use yellow food coloring and swirl. Or swirl with flavor a portion of the dough with cocca powder and swirl.

    1. I do have a recipe for chocolate cheesecake cookies linked at the bottom of the post. But you can substitute any extract that you like.

  53. What would I do to make these gluten free? I know it requires gluten free all purpose flour, and probably xantham gum, but would you know the measurements?
    Thanks!! I can’t wait to try them!!!

    1. I recommend using a measure for measure flour like King Arthur or similar product. Made them today with King Arthur measure for measure GF flour and they turned out great!

    1. Absolutely! If you’re not a fan of peppermint, just leave it out. You can also add a bit of vanilla or almond in it’s place.

      1. Do you have the nutritional facts for these cookies? My daughter would love them she is a type 1 diabetic and I would need to know so she could do the right amount of insulin thanks!!

    1. I would not store anything mint flavored with other foods, or in a plastic container. Mint will over take the other foods.