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Easy Cheesecake Cookies

Easy Cheesecake Cookies

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

I don’t know about you, but I’ll choose cookies over cake if I’m given a choice. Unless that cake is, in fact, cheesecake. To be fair, though, a cheesecake isn’t really a cake in the traditional sense, is it? It doesn’t matter at all, though, since cheesecake cookies are the best of everything. The end.

Cheesecake Cookies have all the gorgeous decadence of cheesecake. They’re pillow-soft, smooth and rich, but they still have all the fun of a cookie. And they are, seriously, ready to eat in 20 minutes flat. How’s that for easy?

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

I’ve been making these ridiculously easy cookies since at least 2010, when I developed the recipe for my second cookbook, Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick and Easy. In that cookbook, there’s an entire chapter (Chapter 8) on make-your-own dessert mixes. One of those mixes is for a make-your-own vanilla cake mix, which I’ve since shared here on the blog.

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

Cake mixes

Cake mixes are the sort of thing that I never really understood until I wrote that cookbook. I mean, what’s so hard about throwing together a few basic dry cake ingredients like flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar? And then I finally realized that cake mixes offered certainty. Everything was measured precisely. So when you add the eggs, maybe some oil and some water, you’ll get the same cake every single time.

If you’d like to make this recipe with a boxed vanilla cake mix (gluten free or not!), it will work. And I will not judge you! But if you’d like to make your own cake mix, you can do that too. You just need a simple digital food scale (you can find a link to one in my online shop), and my cake mix recipe.

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

Watch how to make these Easy Cheesecake Cookies (45 Second Video)

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!

Ingredients and Substitutions

As always, unless I specifically indicate otherwise, I haven’t tried this recipe with any of these substitutions. They’re simply my best-educated guesses, designed to help those of you who have other dietary restrictions still enjoy some amazing recipes.

Dairy-Free: I’m not gonna lie—there’s a whole lot of dairy in these cheesecake cookies. Replacing the butter is easy enough (I think Spectrum nonhydrogenated butter-flavored vegetable shortening would work great), but then there’s the matter of the cream cheese.

There are plenty of nondairy cream cheeses on the market, but none taste just like the “real thing” to me. My make-your-own vanilla cake mix also contains dairy in the form of buttermilk powder, but in that recipe, you can replace the buttermilk powder with an equal amount, by weight, of coconut milk powder or blanched finely ground almond flour.

Egg-Free: My standard substitute recommendation for eggs is a “chia egg” (mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and allow it to gel) for each actual egg. Since this recipe is so super simple, I’m honestly not sure how it would work here, though.

These soft and chewy cheesecake cookies are made by dressing up a vanilla cake mix with cream cheese and eggs. The chocolate chips are optional, but highly recommended!
Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 24 cookies, depending upon size

Ingredients

8 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 (16-ounce) box gluten-free yellow cake mix, or 1 recipe Make-Your-Own Vanilla Cake Mix (page 193 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick and Easy—Reprinted here on the blog)

3 to 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the mascarpone or cream cheese, butter, eggs, and vanilla, and beat well with a mixer or by hand. Add the vanilla cake mix and mix by hand until just combined. The dough will be thick. Add the optional chocolate chips and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

  • Divide the dough into portions of about 1 1/2 tablespoons each (or about 2 teaspoonsful for smaller cookies) onto the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Flatten the mounds of dough into disks with wet hands. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are just beginning to brown on the underside and the edges. For larger cookies, that takes about 14 minutes. For smaller cookies, about 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool until set on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • These cookies freeze amazingly well, so they can easily be made ahead of time. Just freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before piling them into a freezer-safe container. They don’t even freeze solid, so they barely have to thaw before you can eat them. Not that I’ve ever done that. 😬

  • Adapted from the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes For the Food You Love—Fast! by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012. Originally posted on the blog in 2012. Photos and video all new.

Love,
Nicole

If you liked this recipe, you'll love this book!

People who follow a gluten-free diet don’t always have the quick and cheap food options that their friends do…until now.

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy contains 100 new quick-prep and make-ahead recipes for dinners, yeast-free breads, baked goods, snacks, breakfasts, and more. These unique timesaving recipes take advantage of readily available gluten-free ingredients and kitchen shortcuts.

Learn More

  • Rosemary
    October 22, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    I have ground almonds but Is this the same as almond flour and could I use it in your cake mix? Hope so as I really must make these, they look lovely.

  • Natividad I
    October 18, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Can dried fruit be used in place of chocolate chips? Or freeze dried fruit?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 18, 2017 at 12:06 PM

      Sure, Natividad. I’d do dried fruit, not freeze-dried fruit depending upon being dry, and baking in the cookies will make the fruit chewy in an unpleasant way.

  • Lsandste
    December 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Every year the teachers make cookie trays for the support staff. Last year was my first year GF and I had a miserable time baking anything. I am so excited this year because I have a year of baking successes (and disatasters, lol) under my belt. I was going to make a variety of cookies. My son saw this recipe and has decided that we should make three batches… one and a half for the cookie trays and one and a half for him. He loves cheesecake and thinks these look divine! :-)

  • AllieBoBallie
    December 9, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    These were great! Quick and easy and tasty! But the recipe made a solid 3 dozen cookies for me. Perhaps my scoops were too small. Dunno. 

  • AllieBoBallie
    December 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    These were great! Quick and easy and tasty! But the recipe made a solid 3 dozen cookies for me. Perhaps my scoops were too small. Dunno. 

  • December 8, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    ooh.. so gonna make these.. will have to check to see if i have a cake mix in the pantry or not.. we’re all just getting over a nasty stomach bug, so we’re behind in the whole holiday baking thing… but, i think these are totally getting added to the list.. 

  • Toni
    December 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Absolutely delicious cookies and so easy to make.  I recently purchase your cookbook Gluten Free Shoestring Quick and Easy, a great book.

  • Toni
    December 7, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Absolutely delicious cookies and so easy to make.  I recently purchase your cookbook Gluten Free Shoestring Quick and Easy, a great book.

  • Anneke
    December 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    I made these yesterday for a cookie exchange.  They are 1) easy, 2) quick, and 3) delicious.  Mission accomplished!!

    • gfshoestring
      December 7, 2012 at 8:29 AM

      I know, right, Anneke?! Since I’ve never in my life been invited to a cookie exchange (wrong part of the country?), without you, my friend, I’d never be able to represent. ;)
      xoxo xoxo Nicole

    • December 7, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      I know, right, Anneke?! Since I’ve never in my life been invited to a cookie exchange (wrong part of the country?), without you, my friend, I’d never be able to represent. ;)
      xoxo xoxo Nicole

  • kdf116
    December 6, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    These look so easy! Can’t wait to try it! 

  • kdf116
    December 6, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I love cheesecake so I can’t wait to see how these taste! I’m sure they taste great!

  • December 5, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    These are in the oven now.  Smelling yummy!

  • Teri Herzog
    December 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Nicole thanks very much. I love this one can’t wait to make. I just recently bought on amazon,I was thrilled
     I received the within a week. I wished I had seen all this sooner, mt new experience of Gluten eating could have have much simpler.
    Thanks, Teri

  • Thodges1970
    December 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I have been making Cheesecake cookies every CHRISTmas for the last 5 or so years. Kids have requested that I don’t try something new unless I still make these.

  • Suzanne M Morris
    December 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Sorry for the dumb question… but when you list extra large eggs and give the measurement in  grams also (btw I LOVE that you do this) 120 gram… is that 120 gram with the shell on?  Or just the egg itself, no shell.

    • gfshoestring
      December 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Not dumb at all, Suzanne! No shell. Just the beaten eggs in the measurement. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Thodges1970
      December 5, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      I have been making Cheesecake cookies every CHRISTmas for the last 5 or so years. Kids have requested that I don’t try something new unless I still make these.

    • December 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      Not dumb at all, Suzanne! No shell. Just the beaten eggs in the measurement. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Moon9
    December 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Hi stranger how are you and the family doing and are you already for Christmas??? How is your son feeling I have been sick and am waiting to get into see My Neuro Surgent….

    Love your,
    Friend Michelle xxxxx

  • Twodaisiesbakery
    December 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    these look so delicious, can’t wait to try them!

  • December 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Yup, I’m totally going to be trying these. Cheesecake is my favorite food in the entire world, and cookies are much better than cake. Yum. I can’t wait!

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