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Red Velvet and Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

These red velvet thumbprint cookies are so rich and fluffy with the perfect amount of creamy cheesecake filling. They are perfectly festive and delicious!

Red Velvet and Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

Today in Utah we had nearly two feet of snow dumped on us, and we could hardly get out of our neighborhood without sliding off the road.

As a result, we had no choice but to hunker down, turn on Elf, and bake some Christmas cookies. Life was hard, you guys.

I wanted to go super festive since the snow was falling outside like a Christmas card and it was so cozy inside so I made these FABULOUS Red Velvet Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies

Let’s have a frank discussion about red velvet for a moment. A lot of people think it tastes like chocolate, but it doesn’t.

Red velvet cake is typically made with cocoa powder, vinegar, and buttermilk – the reaction of which gives the red (enhanced by food coloring).

We’re not making cake, so we just have cocoa powder in these cookies. But the flavor of these bad boys are not anything about the cookie, to be honest . . . it’s all about being a vehicle for the filling. I feel like anyone who doesn’t admit that about red velvet is a big ol’ liar!

These cookies are so rich and fluffy, making them the perfect vehicle with the perfect amount of creamy cheesecake filling.

Plus, they look so gorgeous that you almost don’t want to eat them (but I always eat them ALL because I’m not crazy).

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

Scooping red velvet cookie dough from a bowl

Here’s how you make these delicious thumbprint cookies:

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp red food coloring
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or sugar sprinkles

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour, food coloring, and cocoa powder until soft dough forms.
  3. Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoons and roll them in the sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheet (about 2 inches apart). Use the back of a round teaspoon to make a small indentation in the cookie dough.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling: using an electric mixer or small food processor, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. After the first 10 minutes of baking, use the back of a round teaspoon to deepen the indentation in the cookies. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into each indentation. Bake for an additional 12 minutes, until filling is set.
  7. Let cool completely before serving. Store covered and chilled.

Recipe adapted from Something Swanky

Red velvet cookie balls on a cookie sheet
red velvet thumbprint cookies
red velvet cookies with cream cheese filling
cream cheese thumbprint cookies

See? I told you they were gorgeous and believe me, they are even more delicious than they are pretty. The perfect Christmas cookie.

red velvet cookies filled with cream cheese
Yield: 30 cookies

Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

red velvet cookies filled with cream cheese

These red velvet thumbprint cookies are so rich and fluffy with the perfect amount of creamy cheesecake filling. They are perfectly festive and delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, (softened)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk(s)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons food coloring, (red)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar, (or sugar sprinkles)

For the Filling

  • 4 oz cream cheese, (softened)
  • 1 egg yolk(s)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg yolk, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour, food coloring, and cocoa powder until soft dough forms.
  3. Scoop out the dough by heaping tablespoons and roll them in the sugar before placing on the prepared baking sheet (about 2 inches apart). Use the back of a round teaspoon to make a small indentation in the cookie dough.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling: using an electric mixer or small food processor, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. After the first 10 minutes of baking, use the back of a round teaspoon to deepen the indentation in the cookies. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into each indentation. Bake for an additional 12 minutes, until filling is set.
  7. Let cool completely before serving. Store covered and chilled.

Notes

Recipe yields between 2 - 3 dozen. 30 cookies is approximate and used for nutritional information.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 15gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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red velvet cream cheese thumbprint cookies

What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe? Share away! And be sure to visit us as we blog about style, food, and the things we love over at the Pretty Life Girls.

For more delicious cookie recipes, visit these posts:

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Allison

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Tried this recipe but it did not work. Read it multiple times over. It seemed like way too much food coloring. Seems to be missing something??? They looked good, but taste was not good unfortunately.

Annie Sinelli

Friday 20th of December 2019

Yours look so beautiful. I just made them and they didn’t turn out so great. The cookie “cracked” around the edges and the sugar I used just looked dark against the red dough. I’ll give it another go though. I may have used too much red food coloring and should probably use lighter sugars. I made the dough in advance and had it in the fridge for a few days before making. I don’t know if that helped or hurt. Happy Holidays!

Marie Eichler

Tuesday 10th of December 2019

Want to make for Christmas ahead of time . Can I freeze them since they have cream cheese in them?

Amy

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Yes, they can be frozen for up to three months! They should be thawed at room temp :)

AJ

Tuesday 25th of December 2018

Tasty, but mine spread big time. Did you chill before baking?

Jen

Saturday 22nd of December 2018

If I wanted to avoid the red food coloring ... Think I could just add the same amount of water?

Amy

Saturday 22nd of December 2018

Absolutely!