These strawberry cheesecake cookies are bursting with fresh strawberries and white chocolate in a light yet cakey cream cheese cookie dough base. They are not too sweet and make the perfect Summer dessert recipe.
I have been making these sweet ruby dotted cookies for years and they are always a crowd favorite, especially at BBQs and parties. Whether you're grilling up some tasty burgers, or having a cozy night in with sloppy joes, you can't go wrong serving these cookies for dessert. They are more cake-like than regular cookies due to the addition of cream cheese in the dough.
I will warn you – they are labors of love. These strawberry cheesecake cookies require a few extra steps (and time!), like refrigerating the dough, to ensure you get a fluffy cookie rather than one that is too thin. But I promise, they are worth it! And I dare you not to eat a whole dozen when they are fresh from the oven!
Here is all you’ll need to make these fresh strawberry cheesecake cookies:
- fresh strawberries
- fresh lemon juice
- lemon zest
- baking powder
- plain cream cheese
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar, or your favorite sugar substitute
- vanilla extract
- white chocolate chips or chunks
The exact amounts are listed below in the recipe card.
How to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
You’ll need two large, rimmed cookie sheets for this whole process. Start by lining them both with parchment paper.
Next, you’ll chop the strawberries into small pieces, and combine them with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The lemon juice will help pull some of the moisture out of the strawberries and add a nice tang to the cookies. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
Using a stand mixer, or a large bowl and an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add remaining lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture in 3 parts. Combining well after each addition. Stir in the white chocolate.
By now the strawberries will have released some of their liquid. Drain and dry the strawberries as best you can, then toss them with 3 tablespoons of flour – this will prevent the cookies from turning pink and keep the strawberries floating in the batter rather than sinking to the bottom of your cookies. If the strawberries are still too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until they are coated and not wet.
Gently fold the strawberries into the cookie dough. Do not overmix.
Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto ONE of the prepared cookie sheets. Refrigerate the dough for 30 – 60 minutes to allow dough to firmly set.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
Using the other prepared pan, work in batches of 12. Evenly space out the cookie dough balls on your cookie sheet and bake for 15 – 18 minutes. The edges should be golden brown, but not burned. Keep the remaining dough in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
Allow the strawberry cheesecake cookies to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat each step until you’ve baked all of your dough.
Serve the cookies the same day. Do not store in the refrigerator.
Cooking is an art and baking is a science, which means that when we aren’t exact when we bake, the result can be drastically impacted. Here are common substitutions I get asked about while making these strawberry cheesecake cookies
To Make These Cookies Gluten Free
I often bake gluten free and the flour I use is a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour. I love the King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour because it yields nearly identical results and is not grainy or dry. Substitute this for the all-purpose flour if you’re looking to make these cookies gluten free.
To Make These Cookies Vegan
The recipe was not tested with vegan substitutes so I can’t guarantee the same outcome or flavor. They make vegan cream cheese now, vegan eggs, and vegan butter, but I can’t imagine the flavor being anywhere close. That being said, if you’re vegan, please let me know how they turn out!
To Lower the Sugar
I love to substitute Swerve brand granulated sugar in recipes when trying to lower the glycemic load. I have personally tried substituting Swerve and am happy with the result. It doesn’t taste exactly like cane sugar, but when using a sugar substitute, I find it to taste the best.
To Use Frozen or Freeze-dried Strawberries
I always recommend fresh, but if you only have frozen strawberries, make sure you thaw them completely and drain off as much liquid as possible before dicing.
Tossing them with the lemon juice will help pull out more moisture as well. Frozen and thawed strawberries might not keep their shape as well when dicing either.
I don’t recommend using freeze-dried strawberries. They will alter the flavor and texture, make your cookies pink, and obviously won't have the same bursts of fresh strawberries!
A stand mixer or hand mixer are helpful for when making cheesecake cookies to cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugar properly. You’ll want to ensure there is enough air whipped in and the best way to do that is with an electric mixer.
Here are some of my favorite general cookie tools that I use whenever I make homemade cookies.
My Top Tips for Success
Make sure that your cream cheese, butter, and eggs are all room temperature prior to starting, this will help them combine fully into the batter.
Don’t skip draining the strawberries and coating them in flour. You don’t want to add that extra moisture to the dough…plus your cookies will be pink!
Keep the extra dough refrigerated between batches. You want to bake the strawberry cheesecake cookies from cold, so they don’t spread too much while baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend refrigerating strawberry cheesecake cookies. Because they are cakier, refrigerating them will make them stiff and crumbly. Generally, cookies made with cream cheese do not need to be refrigerated.
When working with fruit in any kind of dough or batter, tossing it with a little flour helps suspend the fruit in the dough and will help prevent it from sinking to the bottom.