Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies with Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Well, just like that it’s fall, y’all! This is truly my favorite time of the year. I may have mentioned this a time or two somewhere in the previous posts on this blog.

It’s time to enjoy Halloween, Thanksgiving, falling leaves, the colors orange, gold and red, the warm scent of cinnamon everywhere, witches, black cats, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and last but not least…I love giddy anticipation all of us here feel over an impending drop in temperature.

Yep, we’re not sure when it’s coming exactly, but by golly you can bet your buttons that sweater weather is on it’s way!

The weather here has been a bit unpredictable, however, and we’ve had lots of rain, along with an exciting, teeny-tiny “cool snap” brought on by some large storm systems passing through our area. Those 70ยฐ days were glorious and it was a nice reprieve from the crazy heat, but it didn’t take long for the hot, muggy days to return and it doesn’t feel like fall here anymore… at all. It’s just hot. And humid.

But, thankfully the evidence of the season is all around us!

The big bins full of decorative gourds, pie pumpkins and jack-o-lantern pumpkins were just placed in the entrances of our local stores last week! Also, it makes my heart extra happy to notice more and more Halloween and pumpkin-themed decor as it pops up in the yards throughout in my neighborhood each day.

I don’t know about you guys, but all of the fall decor everywhere has me feeling just downright festive!

And I’m not sure there’s a better way to celebrate than with a batch of these soft, cream cheese sugar cookies… especially once they are all dressed up with colorful buttercream frosting and seasonal sprinkles!

For the record, these cream cheese sugar cookies are also delicious without buttercream frosting or sprinkles, but I’m not sure why you would skip either… I mean, come on y’all….you’ve got to love SPRINKLES!

I tend to make batches of these cookies in the fall/winter months when, in my opinion, the sprinkles are the cutest (some might say my mild hoard of Halloween sprinkles is down right scary! Pun totally intended…), but I’ll have to branch out and try making some for Easter or maybe even the Fourth of July next year! These versatile cookies are a definitely sweet treat worthy of all seasons.

In the instructions below, I list two preparation options for these cookies. The recipe works perfectly as both roll and slice refrigerator cookies (as pictured) and for cut-out cookies. These cream cheese sugar cookies hold their shape well when cut with cookie cutters and they are so fun for kids to decorate, especially at Christmastime, y’all.

Please tag me in pictures if you make some, I’d love to see how you decorate yours!

Here are links to purchase sprinkle mixes like the one I used in this post!

Adorable Halloween Sprinkles
Super Cute Autumn Sprinkles 
Festive Christmas Sprinkles

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies                            printable recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: appx. 2 dozen cookies (yield will vary depending on size and shapes cut from dough)

  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz regular cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1- 2 tablespoons water
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Easy Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows below)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Optional For Decorating

  • gel food coloring
  • seasonal sprinkles

Step 1: Make The Cookie Dough

1. Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix with the butter mixture until fluffy. Add in the vanilla, water, and egg and stir until well-combined.

2. Add in the flour in three portions, mixing just until a smooth cookie dough forms.

Prep Option 1– Roll and Slice Refrigerator Cookie

a. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and split the dough into two even portions. Shape the dough to form two even rolls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

b. Pre-heat the oven to 350ยฐ. Slice the chilled cookie dough into 1/3-inch thick pieces and place on baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat, 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sides and bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.

c. Place baking sheet on a rack to cool. Once cookies are completely cooled, top with buttercream frosting and sprinkles, if desired.

Prep Option 2 — Cookie Cut-Outs

a. Turn out the cookie dough on to a lightly floured surface.  Knead lightly, if necessary, and shape the dough into two or three small disks. Pre-heat the oven to 350.

b.   Working with one disk of cookie dough at at time, use small dowel rods to roll out the dough evenly and cut dough into shapes with cookie cutters. (Be sure to cover the disks of dough that aren’t being used with plastic wrap or cover in a large bowl to keep them from drying out) Evenly space the cookies onto a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

c. Place the baking sheet with the cookie cut outs on it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Place the chilled baking sheet in to the pre-heated oven and bake the cookies for 10 – 15 minutes or until they appear done and the sides are very lightly browned.

d.  Place baking sheet on a rack to cool. Once cookies are cooled completely, top with buttercream frosting and sprinkles, if desired.

Step 2: Make the Frosting

1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract, to taste. Add in the sifted, powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting reaches the consistency you prefer.

2. Add in food coloring, if using any and frost your cookies!

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  1. Thank you, David!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I envy your cookie-making talents! Cream cheese cookies are one of my favorites – I love the roll and slice method here!

  3. Hi Karen, thank you!

  4. Thanks so much, Susan!

  5. Thank you, Grace! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thank you, John!!

  7. Hi Liz, thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Your frosted cookies are cute, I only think of them for Easter and Christmas, thanks for the inspiration.

  9. These would make my grandsons very happy! Sounds like a delicious cookie recipe, Marcelle!

  10. perfectly festive and scrumptious!!

  11. These look great — bright and cheerful and I'll bet they're really, really tasty. Fun stuff — thanks.

  12. I love the slice and bake option! So easy and tasty—my family goes crazy for frosted cookies!!

  13. Thank you, Angie!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. These cookies look so beautiful and kind of make me happy with all the colours.

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