Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been wanting to blog about these cookies for a couple weeks but didn’t want to post pink food too far in advance of Valentine’s Day.

But it’s almost here.

In a month.

However, it’s never to start thinking about pink food.  Plus, spring is right around the corner.

Right after that four feet of snow, for many of you, melts.

I made these cookies on Skylar’s first day of school at her new school.

I was such a wreck that day and didn’t know what to do with myself so I started baking and pink food.

If strawberry cookies with a thick layer of vanilla cream cheese frosting and red sanding sugar sprinkles don’t put a smile on your face, I’m convinced that nothing will.

These cookies and baking project helped to take my mind off the fact that my “baby” was at big girl school.

She asked me on the car ride home, “Mommy, what did you do today?”

When I told her I made pink cookies with sprinkles her eyes got as big as saucers and the smile on her face was enormous.

For my little princess, who’s favorite color is pink, these were a huge hit with her and a perfect treat after her first day at the new school.

The little cookies are moist and light and have the best strawberry flavor, which is balanced with the heavier, richer, and tangier cream cheese frosting.

And they are so soft, and so very, very moist.

Practically falling apart moist which is the only way I like baked goods.

I hope you try the strawberries cookies, which are so easy, and only use four ingredients.

I am all about taking a shortcut here or there and using a boxed mix if it’s going to give me great results.

Pillsbury already has the strawberry cake mix thing all figured out and I don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

I’d rather spend my time eating one of these.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting - Soft, easy cookies bursting with sweet strawberry flavor & a tangy cream cheese frosting! Perfect for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or Easter!

Print Print Recipe

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft, light, fluffy cookies that have rich strawberry flavor and are a cinch to make. Cake mix cookies always turn out so well, and they're always very soft and supple. Perfect for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Easter, bridal or baby showers, or any time you have a craving for strawberries. The tangy cream cheese frosting pairs perfectly with the sweet cookies.

Yield: 12-13 cookies; or double the recipe and use the full box of cake mix

Prep Time: about 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour, for cooling



1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of one stick), softened

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup + 1/8 cup strawberry cake mix (this is about 9 ounces, or half of an 18.25 ounce box of Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix)

Frosting - Makes about 1 cup of frosting (if you have extra, store it in the refrigerator for week(s) and/or freeze it for month(s) for future baking needs)

1/4 cup unsalted butter (half of one stick), softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar


Cookies -  Preheat oven to 350F.  In a mixing bowl combine the softened butter, egg, vanilla and stir by hand or with a mixer until combined.  Add  the cake mix and stir until smooth.  If the dough seems too wet to be cookie dough, add a bit more cake mix, one tablespoon at a time, until it’s less wet.  Conversely, if the dough seems dry and it’s not combining, add a tablespoon or two of water.

If time permits, I recommend chilling the dough by placing the mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.  Chilled dough spreads less during the baking process.

Form 1 inch balls on a Silpat-lined, parchment paper-lined, or cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Allow for adequate spacing because they do spread; which is why I recommend chilling the dough and do not exceed 1 rounded tablespoon-sized or 1 inch sized balls (I only placed 9 cookies on one cookie sheet and do not recommend trying to fit the batch on one cookie sheet).  Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are barely browned.  They make look a bit loose and jiggly after only 8 to 10 minutes but they will continue to cook on the sheets after you remove the from the oven and will firm up as they cool.  Do not overbake.  Allow the cookies to cool well (on the cookie sheets is fine) before attempting to move them.

While the cookies are baking, make the frosting.

Frosting -  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer or whisk by hand.  Add the vanilla extract and add two cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  If you like thick(er) frosting, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  I used nearly 4 cups of powdered sugar in mine because I like very thick frosting (shown in the photos).

After the cookies have cooled, frost them (I applied a thick layer). Finish with sprinkles, sanding sugar, or other garnishes such as coconut flakes or chocolate shavings, as desired.  Optionally, make sandwich cookies.

Because these cookies are frosted with cream cheese frosting, you may want store them in the refrigerator if they're going to be out more than a day or so; use common sense.

Related Recipes

Angelfood Cake with Berries and Cream is another favorite play on berry + creamy flavors that I enjoy.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Oatmeal Raisin

Cookie Butter Spread Ginger Molasses Cookies (No Bake, Vegan, with GF option)

Stuffed cookies score bonus points:

Snickers Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

And for Valentine’s Day, Dark Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate Covered Strawberries with the red surprise center would be fun.



156 Responses to “Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — January 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm (#

    I love these! I have to make them for Valentines Day!

  2. Heather (Where's the Beach) — January 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm (#

    Those absolutely scream V-day OR perfect pink princess party! They look gorgeous. I actually like a spice cake mix – just mix in a can of pumpkin and bake for easy cupcakes for a party.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm (#

      Thanks Heather and I have never made the famous dump a can of pumpkin puree into a boxed mix and make something…but I want to try.

  3. Angela / Canned Time — January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm (#

    Favorite flavor lately is anything caramel, these pink cookies are beautiful! You always make the ordinary look really special, thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Nikki — January 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm (#

    These look so good. I thinks it’s close enough to valentines day. Pink food is ok anytime in my book.

  5. Jolene ( — January 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm (#

    That is so sweet that you made cookies in her favourite colour for her first day at a new school :-) You are creating so many memories for Skylar that she will cherish forever. I distinctly remember getting off my school bus when I was very little walking up the front steps of my house and smelling the sweet smell of cookies baking – just in time for my after school snack! This was a regular occurrence when I was growing up, and my brother and I would always try to guess what our mom had made by the aroma outside of the house, coming through the open window.

    I haven’t made cookies with cake mix, but I use boxed cake mix for my cake pops, and they are fabulous!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm (#

      You’d love cake mix cookies like this even though I know you don’t have a huge sweet tooth :)

      That is so sweet to tell me that story of you remembering the smell of cookies your mom made. I hope Skylar remembers this but it’s a cumulative history; there’s always the next year and next batch of cookies :)

  6. Kristen @ Change of Pace — January 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm (#

    I love cake mix cookies! I did cherry chip cake mix cookies once and they were incredible. Delicious recipe and gorgeous pictures Averie!

  7. Aimee @ ShugarySweets — January 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm (#

    Ahhh, it’s about time some pink and sprinkles showed up! I’ve been waiting for others to join in the fun :) These cookies look great, and love that you used a box mix, and aren’t afraid to say so! Sometimes it’s necessary (and in my book, these cookies are totally necessary). Not only for your little girl, but the mommy who’s letting her grow up. Sniff sniff.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm (#

      You’ve already been on the pink food and sprinkles train this year which is awesome…glad Im on board now, too.

      And yes, boxed mixes…I mean for certain things like strawberry cake I just dont have the time or DESIRE to be pureeing down strawberries and then somehow playing with flour ratios, baking powder, etc. That’s why the cake mix companies have been in biz a century and make billions: they figured this all out for us already :)

  8. Amelia — January 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm (#

    I haven’t used cake mix much in general.. I have yet to find one in a story around me that’s vegan friendly. :(

    I figure although it’s less convenient, it’s generally cheaper to just go from scratch.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm (#

      the pillsbury mix was 1.79 and I used half of it…so for 90 cents there is no possible way I could ever have duplicated this! Not to mention,pureeing down strawberries and then somehow playing with flour ratios, baking powder, etc…my time is far more valuable and for 90 cents, you can’t beat it. That said, I do think brownies from scratch or certain cakes from scratch can be better and cheaper, but it’s a case-by-case basis, for sure. Hope you find a mix you like!

    • Amelia — January 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm (#

      Yeah, for a flavored mix if you don’t want the time consuming aspect, I can see why iit could be well worth it

  9. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — January 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm (#

    How cuuuuuute!! I love pink. And how convenient that I have some red sanding sugar in my cupboards right now :)

  10. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan — January 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm (#

    Gawd, V-Day is only a month away already? Sheesh!
    These cookies make me want to put on something frilly and hold a tea party. :P

  11. Anna @ the shady pine — January 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm (#

    Hi there, I have just come across your lovely blog and just wanted to add that these look delicious and perfect for v-day, a high tea or a little girl’s birthday party…so pretty!

  12. Brooke — January 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm (#

    Love me some pink! My engagement ring is pink :)


  13. Jenny — January 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm (#

    I LOVE strawberry cake and these look amazing!! We definitely share an insatiable sweet tooth!

  14. Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama — January 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm (#

    I had no idea you could make cookies from a cake mix! I generally stay away from cake mixes these days but those are some pretty cookies! :-)

  15. Julie @ Table for Two — January 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm (#

    AHHH NO WAY!! I have these on my calendar to post for Valentine’s day!! We’re totally on the same wavelength. I just bought the strawberry cake mix last week! I can’t wait to make them :) yours turned out amazing!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 11:02 pm (#

      I beat you to the punch I guess…LOL I could not help it. This post was BURNING a hole in my drafts. They are that good. Excited to see yours!

  16. Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — January 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm (#

    I always love how cake mix cookies turn out but have never used a strawberry mix! I bet they’re as delicious as they look, especially with the frosting.

  17. Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday — January 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm (#

    My kiddo was just asking for strawberry cupcakes, from the box mom! I don’t know, been there done that, but strawberry cake mix cookies on the other hand are something I might be able to sink my teeth into. I think the photos convinced me…I know what we’ll be baking tomorrow! YUM!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm (#

      you’ve got to try these, especially if you’re kiddo was asking. The Universe has spoken to you :)

  18. Colleen — January 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm (#

    That angel food cake picture took me by surprise, it’s positively gorgeous! and people don’t really put frosting on cookies very often anymore, it’s so good!

  19. vanillasugarblog — January 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm (#

    you know i have yet to use a cake mix for cookies.
    i can only imagine how many they must make.
    i did make a muffin once using the vanilla or butter cake mix? can’t remember but it was good.

  20. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm (#

    Yum! These look great! I never bought Strawberry cake mix, but next time I’m at the store I’ll have to check it out. This weekend was actually the first weekend I made cookies with cake mix. I’m actually having them on my blog tomorrow. There so good! Cake box cookies are going to be my newest thing. Easy, low calorie and tasty!! I can’t wait to play around with other flavors. I’m totally loving your strawberry ones, they are so perfect for V-day!! Yah, I’m going to copy you and make strawberry cookies!!

  21. Megan — January 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm (#

    I love cake mix cookies! The icing on these looks amazing! Definitely have to try these!

  22. Ilana — January 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm (#

    my favorite trick with boxed brownie mix:
    cook down 1/2 pint berries into a syrup and strain.
    prepare mix according to directions and pour into pan. drizzle 1/2 the berry syrup over the batter and fold/swirl in and then bake according to directions on box. you can also add chocolate chips if you’re in the mood, I recommend it.
    melt 3 oz chocolate and combine with remaining berry syrup.
    while brownies are cooling, but not cool all the way, carefully pour the berry chocolate mixture evenly over the top and smooth with a spatula/dull butter knife.
    gooey, insane, i also recommend going forkfirst into the pan and foregoing all decorum for these.

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm (#

      omg that sounds amazing. My dad loves choc covered cherries, raspberry sauces, all that kind of thing and he would love love love this…not that it sounds too shabby to me either :)

  23. Cassie — January 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm (#

    I love the texture of cake mix cookies. I love the pink, bring on Valentine’s day!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm (#

      Ohhh you’ve made them before or had them? I never had!

    • Cassie — January 16, 2012 at 9:17 am (#

      Yes, made them all the time growing up. Except we used canola oil instead of butter. I bet the butter adds extra flavor though!

  24. Michele Sparrow — January 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm (#

    My heart melted when you revealed Skylar’s sweet reaction. You are such a loving Mom! I love baking things for my precious boys and even though they are almost 14 and 16, I still bake things for them at least 2 times per week…and they ALWAYS appreciate it so much. I showed my youngest this recipe and asked how he felt about bringing a batch to school on Valentines Day and how would his friends who are girls would like pretty pink cookies…and a slow smile spread over his face and he said “YES Mom!” :-)

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm (#

      Awww, thanks for actually reading the post and her reaction. It takes another mom to really know how special those moments are…like honestly, I LIVE to just make her happy. If I can get a “this is good babe” out of Scott or a “thanks Mommy” out of her…it makes my week :)

  25. Katie — January 15, 2012 at 7:53 pm (#

    I was just thinking yesterday about making my pink cookies with chocolate frosting – I made them last year with beet puree. But I got lazy. Too bad they don’t have a GF strawberry cake. I bet I could add strawberry jam to the yellow cake mix or something. I have a ton still from this summer.

    Do you have any of those chocolate covered dried berries left? Those would be great in these cookies, if you are looking for how to use the rest of the box. ;)

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 15, 2012 at 10:55 pm (#

      Yes I still do have some of those choc covered strawberries left…I should try that! I have quite a few vday tricks up my sleeve yet…

      And yes, beet juice to white cake mix would give you the look but not the taste and dealing with strawberry puree to get the flavor is more than I personally would bite off but hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just depends how project-ey you’re feeling in all your spare time :)

  26. jojo — January 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm (#

    These cookies look wonderful!
    In fact.. all of the cookies you’ve listed look amazing.
    I’ve never done ‘no bake cookies’, may have to give that one a try.. :P

  27. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) — January 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm (#

    I love strawberry cake. Something about it is so special and exciting, lol. I haven’t had it in years, but it’s yummy! And of course cream cheese makes everything taste better. Everything. :D

  28. Ellen — January 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm (#

    Heh, I’m not big on strawberry flavored things but am known to order drinks or foods based solely on the pink factor. Love it:)

  29. vianney — January 16, 2012 at 12:40 am (#

    This is the sweetest post Averie! I love the pink tint with the white icing, perfect for Vday!

  30. Sarah @ — January 16, 2012 at 3:20 am (#

    I never would have thought to use cake mix for cookies. I love the festive pink color!

  31. Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous — January 16, 2012 at 4:10 am (#

    That angel food cake looks delicious! I love mile high desserts!

  32. Jen @ pretty plate — January 16, 2012 at 4:39 am (#

    I’ll be making these for an annual girls V-day brunch. Thank you for sharing!!

    : ))

  33. Skye @ Skye Loves... — January 16, 2012 at 5:12 am (#

    These look adorable. And delicious to boot.

  34. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 16, 2012 at 5:15 am (#

    Oh, I love these! They’re just so darned pretty – pink makes everything taste better, I think!

  35. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — January 16, 2012 at 5:51 am (#

    I bet her eyes did light up! These are so pretty and pink and, well… pretty!!!

  36. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 16, 2012 at 5:54 am (#

    These cookies are so pretty!! I’ve never even seen strawberry cake mix, but just know I would love it. Yum!

  37. Nicole — January 16, 2012 at 6:14 am (#

    Have you ever watched the CBS show 2 Broke Girls? (It’s got some good wit and humor) One girl bakes cupcakes and she finally spilled the beans that her “secret” ingredient is cake mix.

  38. Sarah — January 16, 2012 at 7:32 am (#

    When Livi is away at school I totally make and buy her things because I miss her so much – and she only goes 3 afternoons a week! Ha :) Kindergarten is going to kick my butt.

  39. Christine (The Raw Project) — January 16, 2012 at 8:26 am (#

    These look wonderful, gorgeous colors and so pretty and girly. :-) And they make me want strawberry season to get here ASAP!

  40. Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco — January 16, 2012 at 8:39 am (#

    I am officially crowning you cookie queen. ;)

    I need these. Now.

  41. Anna @ The Guiltless Life — January 16, 2012 at 9:41 am (#

    I think anything in a funky colour just looks so much more fun to eat! The red velvet cake definitely comes out in abundance around Valentine’s time, but I even love the green cookies you see in March around St. Paddy’s Day lol.

  42. Emily (Edible Psychology) — January 16, 2012 at 10:23 am (#

    Wow, what gorgeous pictures! The strawberry cakes would be very sweet for a little one’s birthday party.


  43. jackie @ marin mama cooks — January 16, 2012 at 10:51 am (#

    What a perfect valentine cookie! To cute!

  44. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — January 16, 2012 at 11:07 am (#

    My kids would be SO into these!! Love them and headed to pin them

  45. Amber K — January 16, 2012 at 11:13 am (#

    I don’t think I have ever used cake mix to make anything other than cake, but strawberry cake mix sounds awesome. I had the best apple cinnamon gluten-free cupcakes yesterday, but strawberry sounds so good right now.

  46. shutterbug — January 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm (#

    i love cookies, especially if they have chocolate! ;)

  47. bridget {bake at 350} — January 16, 2012 at 12:27 pm (#


    I missed my son so much when he went to school. I know I spent most of that first day teary-eyed…AND make cookies for him for when he got home!

    I’m in LOVE with these cookies. I MUST make them,,,,as in, ASAP!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm (#

      You’re so sweet and thanks for the Tweet, too.

      I am glad to know I am not the only wreck on the first day of school. Seriously I was SUCH a mess. I compulsively checked my phone for any missed calls or texts in between wiping up sprinkles and frosting :)

  48. brighteyedbaker — January 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm (#

    These are so cute and they look yummy :) I love the combination of strawberry, vanilla, and cream cheese. Truly perfect for Valentine’s Day!

  49. TeenyLittleSuperChef — January 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm (#

    I kind of have a love affair with all things pink, and cookies are definitely no exception. I have a feeling I will be making these for myself and my beloved (well, mostly for myself) come Valentine’s Day. If I can wait that long. Perhaps I should make them today so as to make sure they will come out okay. You know, for quality control :)
    Thanks for the great recipe Averie!

  50. Cat @Breakfast to Bed — January 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm (#

    Those are damn adorable and my 3yo would lose his crap over them. MAKING!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm (#

      how did I not know you had a 3 year old?! Hope the day off school and MLK Day is going fabulous in your house :)

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