red velvet cookies on a surface covered with powdered sugar

What’s red and white and stuffed with yummy cheesecake? These red velvet crinkle cookies, obviously! Soft and chewy chocolate cookies are filled with a creamy, cheesecake-like center for a holiday cookie that will blow you away with its deliciousness. This recipe makes 12 very large cookies, but prepare yourself to make a double-batch.

I know, I know — when it comes to Christmas cookies, you’ve heard it all. You’ve read about how THESE cookies are the best ones; that THESE cookies will steal the show; or how THESE cookies are the only cookies you need all season long. Even I’ve waxed poetic about a lot of cookie recipes on this very site (though really, you should make them all ;)).

But these Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies? These are the official mic drop of all Christmas cookies. If you’re really only planning on putting out the energy needed to make one batch of cookies this year (and, I get it — 2020 has really sucked enough energy out of us), let it be these cookies. There will be absolutely no regrets.

overhead shot of red velvet crinkle cookies

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

There are two major components to this recipe: the cheesecake filling, and the cookie itself. Thankfully, both come together using easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s whatcha need:

  • Cream cheese (and let’s use the full-fat variety here for maximum flavor)
  • Sugar
  • Sour cream (for extra “cheesecake”-like tanginess in the filling)
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder (for that classic red velvet chocolate flavor)
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk (see Recipe Notes for how you can make your own!)
  • Red food coloring (optional, but recommended if you want that bright-red color to shine through)
  • Eggs
  • Powdered sugar, for shaping the cookies and for rolling them before baking (so you get that telltale crinkle look!)

Thankfully, none of these ingredients are too obscure or expensive, meaning you can go to the store last-minute and you’ll probably find everything you need in stock on the shelves (here’s hoping!). Basically, there is almost nothing in the way of you and these cookies, and that is a Christmas gift.

overhead shot of red velvet crinkle cookie broken in half

How to Make Cheesecake-Stuffed Cookies

Lest you be intimidated by these cookies, rest assured that they are, in fact, extremely easy to make! So don’t ever let the idea of a stuffed cookie scare you away. If you follow the directions precisely, you’ll have no trouble baking these delectable treats. Here’s the basic how-to:

Time needed: 3 hours and 25 minutes.

  1. Step One: Make the cream cheese filling.

    Beat together the cheesecake filling ingredients until smooth. Spoon onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in dollops; freeze until solid.

  2. Step Two: Make the cookie dough.

    Sift together the dry ingredients for the cookie dough, then whisk together the wet ingredients. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until a smooth, batter-like dough forms. Refrigerate the dough until it becomes more pliable (but still soft).

  3. Step Three: Assemble the cookies.

    Using powdered sugar-coated hands and a cookie scoop, scoop a generous tablespoon of dough from the bowl. Top with a frozen dollop of the cream cheese mixture. Scoop another generous tablespoon of dough and enclose the mixture with dough, rolling the entire thing into a ball. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough and cream cheese dollops, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart.

  4. Step Four: Roll and bake.

    Roll each cookie dough ball in powdered sugar. Bake cookies 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies have spread and edges are set. Cool cookies 10 minutes on baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

The end results are one dozen large, soft, chewy, chocolaty and creamy cookies that you won’t be able to stop eating (trust me, I’ve tried).

stacked red velvet crinkle cookies on a plate

Tips for the Best Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

All right, we are almost ready to bake these bbs! But let’s cover some quick and simple tips so you can have the holliest, jolliest holiday moment with these decadent cookies, shall we? We shall:

  • To quickly soften the cream cheese for the filling, you can place a refrigerated block of cream cheese on a plate and microwave on High for about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Try to get the cream cheese mixture to freeze in even-sized dollops. I used the same cookie scoop (a 1.5-tbsp size scoop) that I used for the cookie dough to shape the dollops so they all were about the same size and shape.
  • The cookie dough, after refrigeration, will not be super-firm. That’s normal! Make sure your hands are well-coated in powdered sugar when you handle the dough so it doesn’t get too sticky.
  • Be generous with rolling the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar, so you can get a dramatic crinkle look once baked.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you love these cookies as much as I do. They really are one of my favorite recipes of the year, and with the cluster that is/was 2020, we could all use a good cookie. This is most definitely it. Merry merry!

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red velvet cookies on a surface covered with powdered sugar

Cheesecake-Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft and chewy red velvet crinkle cookies are stuffed with a creamy, cheesecake-like filling for a sweet-and-special surprise! 


Ingredients

Scale

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 package (8 oz) full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cookies:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring, if desired**
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating hands 

Instructions

  1. First, make the filling: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Spoon filling, one tablespoon at a time, onto lined baking sheet (you should end up with 12 scoops/dollops). Freeze dollops 2 hours or until solid.
  2. Meanwhile, make the cookies: In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, melted butter, buttermilk, red food coloring (if using), 1 teaspoon vanilla and eggs until smooth. Use a spatula to fold flour mixture into sugar mixture until just combined. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes to firm up (dough will still be soft, but more pliable).
  3. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl; cover hands with extra powdered sugar. Scoop 1 generous tablespoon of cookie dough and flatten into a circle. Place 1 dollop of frozen cream cheese mixture in center, then top with another 1 generous tablespoon of dough. Use powdered sugar-covered hands to enclose dough around dollop and shape into a ball. Roll ball in powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and cream cheese dollops, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets (6 cookies per sheet). Continue to coat hands in powdered sugar as you go to keep dough from sticking.
  4. Place baking sheets in the oven; bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies have spread and edges are set, rotating baking sheets halfway through bake time. Cool cookies 10 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • Adapted from The Food Network.
  • *If you don’t want to buy buttermilk just for this recipe, you can add a small squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of white vinegar to milk to give it the acidity it needs to act like buttermilk in this recipe!
  • **The red food coloring is optional in this recipe, but it does give the cookies their signature red color.

Keywords: red velvet cookies, cheesecake filling, cream cheese filling, chocolate crinkle cookie dough, red velvet cookie dough

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