Cream cheese spritz cookies are a holiday classic! No Christmas cookie spread is complete without a batch of festive spritz cookies with holiday shapes and sprinkles. Here’s how to make them.
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You’ve probably had spritz cookies before, or at the very least you’ve seen them on cookie trays! They’re a classic for Christmastime, but let’s be honest: the traditional recipe is a little ho-hum. These cream cheese spritz cookies are different, though—they have all the fun of the traditional version, but with a soft, delicate texture and richer flavor thanks to the addition of cream cheese.
The origin of spritz cookies is unknown, but they are thought to have originated in Germany or Scandinavia. The word “spritz” is German for “squirt” or “spray,” which refers to the way the dough is forced out of the cookie press.
Classic Cream Cheese Spritz Cookie Recipe
As mentioned above, spritz cookies are cookies that are made using a special cookie press—if you’ve ever used a Play-Doh extruder, it’s a similar idea!
The dough is forced out of the cookie press in different shapes, like flowers, wreaths, and Christmas trees. There are many variations of spritz cookies, with dough flavored with vanilla, almond, cinnamon, or citrus, and sometimes very small bits of chocolate or nuts may be added.
Because the dough for cream cheese spritz cookies contains cream cheese, it gives the cookies a richer flavor. The dough is also softer than regular spritz cookie dough, for a melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture.
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Unsalted butter
- Cream cheese – Use a block of full-fat cream cheese, not low-fat or the kind that comes in a tub.
- Granulated sugar
- Egg yolk – Here’s the best way to crack an egg.
- Orange zest – Use a microplane zester to get a fine grate.
- Vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- All-purpose flour
- Colored sanding sugar, sprinkles, and/or gel food coloring
- Use lemon zest instead of orange zest for a brighter flavor.
- Swap the vanilla extract for almond extract.
- Add green or red food coloring to the dough to give your cream cheese spritz cookies some festive flair.
Start with room temperature cream cheese and butter. This will make it easier to incorporate the ingredients into the dough, and it will also make it easier to use the cookie press.
How to Make Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 325ºF.
- Combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Alternatively, you can use a large mixing bowl and electric mixer.)
- Add the remaining wet ingredients: Beat in the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Finish the dough: Add half of the flour to the bowl, then mix on low speed. Add the remaining flour and mix again until just incorporated. If you plan on coloring the dough, add gel food coloring now.
- Form the cookies: Use a cookie press to pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least an inch between each cookie. Decorate with sugars or sprinkles.
- Bake: Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are set but not yet starting to brown. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
If you’re baking these cream cheese spritz cookies in batches, let the cookie sheets cool completely before piping the next batch to prevent spreading.
How to Store Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
The dough may have been too warm when it was piped onto the sheet pan, which caused it to spread too much. Using warm baking sheets will also cause spritz cookies to spread and flatten.
The trick to using a cookie press is to make sure that the dough is not too sticky. If the dough is too wet, it will be difficult to pipe out of the cookie press. The dough should be firm enough to hold its shape when piped; pop it in the refrigerator to chill if you need to.
If you don’t have a cookie press, you can use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip to pipe the dough onto the sheet pan. You can also use a spoon to drop the dough onto the pan, but the cookies won’t be as pretty!
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
Cutout Sugar Cookie Recipe
Christmas M&M Cookies
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
- 8 ounces unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Colored sugars, sprinkles, gel food coloring
- Preheat an oven to 325 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar at a medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix again to make sure they are thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla, and salt to the bowl, then mix for another minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add half the flour to the batter, then mix together at a slow speed to avoid sending flour into the air. Add the remaining flour and mix again until just incorporated. At this point, you can add gel food coloring to color the dough; add it all to mixing bowl, or divide the dough into separate bowls if you'd like to use a few different colors.
- Using a cookie press with your desired shape, pipe the batter onto a sheet pan, making sure to leave at least an inch between to allow for any spread. Decorate with sugars or sprinkles, as desired. If you don’t have a cookie press, a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip can also be used.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until cookies are set but not yet starting to brown. If baking in batches, let the sheet pans cool completely before piping the next batch, as this will cause them to spread too much.
- Let the cookies cool on the pans for 2 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to finish cooling.