Red Velvet Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

This Red Velvet Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies recipe was originally published in December 2015
and updated as of December 2021.

Last week 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. These babies are so rich and fluffy 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 Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies


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



  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 

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

What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe? Share away!

Happy Baking!

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  • Rachel // Maybe MatildaDecember 21, 2015 - 10:52 pm

    Hold me. These look amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Paige FlammDecember 22, 2015 - 8:25 pm

    These cookies look incredible! I'm dying to try them!


  • DebbieDecember 6, 2018 - 9:55 pm

    Can you freeze these cookies?ReplyCancel

  • NikkiDecember 7, 2020 - 4:54 am

    I just made these today. I’m a bit disappointed about the flavor. Very bland dough and I had to add a little more vanilla and almond to give it some added umpff…that still didn’t help them along. The final taste testing of these and I have to be honest..these will not be going in my Christmas cookie exchange this year.ReplyCancel