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!

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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. Katherine Martinelli — January 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm (#

    Averie these cookies look wonderful! So cute and sweet. I love the play on cookies and cream.

  2. Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles — January 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm (#

    Your strawberry cookies are the most gorgeous shade of PINK!! Beautiful – I bet they are just as yummy as they are pretty! =)

  3. Baking Serendipity — January 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm (#

    I love pink desserts any day :) These are definitely smile worthy! I’ve never made a cookie with cake mix before, but can definitely appreciate the shortcut.

  4. Gina @ — January 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm (#

    My MIL gave me a recipe for cake mix cookies when we got married. I made them because they sounded so good and easy, but they didn’t come out very well. Buuut, I love strawberry cake mix, and yours look like they came out great! I was a very new cook/baker/wife then, so you may have convinced me to try them again! For our Valentine’s playgroup party, perhaps!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm (#

      Dare I say, these are pretty much goofproof. Add the butter, an egg, mix. CHILL the dough first before baking, and you’ll be all set.

  5. Alicia — January 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm (#

    These look YUMMY! I made your special k bars today. They are my go to dessert for my vb girls. They love em! :)

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm (#

      Oh thanks for LMK. That makes me happy!!! They were a childhood recipe that my mom made for me based on my grandma’s recipe.

  6. Jocelyn — January 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm (#

    I love cake mix cookies…the texture is just perfect!!! And I agree the cake mix companies have worked hard at the ratios…I have to support them and their families:-) What an awesome treat for your daughter and her first day at school!!!

  7. Allison @ Alli 'n Son — January 20, 2012 at 11:47 am (#

    Cake box cookies are one of my favorites! Sometimes it’s nice to just throw a few ingredients together and have cookies.

  8. Rachael — January 21, 2012 at 8:56 am (#

    My fiancé’s FAVORITE cake/cupcake is “the pink kind.” So it just so happens that I have a Pillsbury strawberry cake mix or two in my pantry. I’ve been looking for something else to do with it because to be honest with you, I get quite tired of strawberry cake after strawberry cupcakes after strawberry cake… He doesn’t care if it’s spring or fall, Valentine’s Day or Halloween; he loves strawberry cake. These will be perfect for a little change of texture! I’m actually quite excited about these! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Deborah — January 21, 2012 at 10:21 am (#

    I made strawberry cake mix cookies years ago on my blog, and thanks to Pinterest, they are the most popular thing on my blog right now! In fact, I’ve got a whole bunch of cake mix cookies in the works. Everybody loves them!!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 21, 2012 at 10:22 am (#

      After I made these, I saw your cake mix cookies…not on your blog…but on Pinterest.. Love it how it breathes new life into old recipes as you mentioned in one of your posts! :) I am finding the same with a few of mine that never were that “hot” and now…are hot!

  10. stacy — January 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm (#

    These look delicious

  11. Danielle — January 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm (#

    Made these just last night and they were SO good!!!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe and all your wonderful pictures. I also like how you post pictures from other recipes to which now means up next on my list are the Snicker Cookies!!!!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — January 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm (#

      Oh awesome. So glad you liked them. And that you like the linkbacks/photos to other things. I like that when I go to blogs and I know I have new readers so try to link things up in case you missed something or it catches your eye. And I have another cake mix recipe coming up within a week :)

  12. Minerva — January 31, 2012 at 9:59 am (#

    This post is perfect timing for me. I actually have a box of this cake mix from last February, before I opted to make red velvet cupcakes. You have given me the inspiration needed to finally use this box. Thanks!

  13. Katherine Martinelli — February 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm (#

    These are so pretty and I bet they taste great! Thanks for linking up to my v-day blog hop! :-)

  14. Bridget — February 12, 2012 at 10:03 am (#

    All these cookies look great!!! I found you over at Katherine Martinellis blog hop! I can’t wait to check out the rest of you blog! Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Libby Myers — February 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm (#

    Just made these last night, HUGE hit around the office & at home. I’m in love with the idea of using cake mixes for cookies, oh the possibilities!

    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga — February 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm (#

      I have a few more tricks up my sleeve in the next couple weeks with cake mix cookies…chocolate, peanut butter, yeah…a few things to come :)

      Glad they were a hit!

  16. Tricia — February 16, 2012 at 7:18 am (#

    Thank you so much for this yummy recipe. I found it on Pinterest and then a neighbor tried it first and recommended it. It worked out great.

  17. Deborah — January 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm (#

    You know I love these cookies!! Thanks so much for linking up to Taste and Tell Thursdays!

  18. Shannon H — February 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm (#

    I just made these for my son’s class tomorrow. I tried a little one and they are so good! Thanks for posting. I found it originally through Pinterest to your website.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm (#

      I’m so happy you found me, made these, and came back to LMK! Glad they’re a hit! I’m making a strawberry cake this weekend for my daughter’s bday!

  19. Valerie — February 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm (#

    ♥ Cookies, especially pink cookies, have a way of making everything better. Thank you for mentioning the fact that spring is just around the corner. :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm (#

      Thanks for the comment on this oldie. I just made a strawberry cake YESTERDAY, ironically. Not blogging about it, but yes, spring IS hopefully coming!

  20. Robin — February 14, 2013 at 11:08 am (#

    Hi Averie – I made these cookies last night for a work party – they are so pretty and very yummy! I wanted them to rise a bit more so I added some baking powder and a couple small scoops of flour to the batter – so they came out of the oven looking like half of a puffy snowball! They are wonderful, very different and very tasty. Everyone loves them – especially my 9 year old. Thank you for the great recipe!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm (#

      That’s funny that you added baking powder and they turned into pink puffballs. I can imagine the dough rose like crazy with just the tiniest bit of baking powder since cake mix is so light anyway. Glad you liked them!

  21. Candice — May 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm (#

    Hi Averie,

    These cookies are a wonderful shade of pink. What’s the texture of these cookies? I like my cookies crunchy. How would I be able to achieve that?


    • Averie Sunshine — May 19, 2013 at 11:10 pm (#

      Cake mix cookies always turn out exceedingly soft! They are the opposite of a crunchy cookie. The only way to get them crunchy would likely be to over-bake them. Make an exception and try them as written – I think you will LOVE them :)

  22. Bonny Lee — August 26, 2013 at 5:10 pm (#

    I love your site! You mentioned the various cake mix brands, and the last I knew, both Wilton, and the Culinary Institute of America, rated Pillsbury cake mixes as the best. Pillsbury mixes are also the cheapest. The only flavors I’m unable to find here (I live in the 1000 Islands – where the salad dressing was created), are French Vanilla, and Lemon. I’m able to find Lemon cakes at a Wegmans, when I’m out of our area (I just stocked up on some in Rochester a couple of weeks ago) . If I need a French Vanilla cake mix, I have to settle for Betty Crocker. I have horrible luck with Duncan Hines, but I know that many people swear by them.

    • Averie Sunshine — August 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm (#

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for finding my site!

  23. francie workman — November 9, 2013 at 8:07 am (#

    love your recipes. just wish your ‘print this’ button worked

  24. sam — December 15, 2013 at 2:51 am (#

    do you have any pics on how the dough looks like?
    also, is it OK to use betty crocker mix instead??

    • Averie Sunshine — December 15, 2013 at 5:21 am (#

      No I don’t have pics and I’ve never tried with B.C. mix, but I’m sure it would be fine.

  25. hello — December 23, 2013 at 11:43 am (#

    Hi Averie!
    The holiday season is here! I was looking up recipes for this cookie and I saw most people actually use multiple eggs and oil to make cookie dough from cake mixes. You, however, use only one egg and butter.
    Does it taste better with less eggs and butter?
    Why do most people use eggs and oil??

    • Averie Sunshine — December 23, 2013 at 11:44 am (#

      I made it the way I wrote it and it works great! Try it!

    • hello — December 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm (#

      Made em last night! Very yummy! They are, however, verrry sweeet!

      Which other cake mix flavors are good to make cake-mix cookies? Do vanilla or french vanilla cake-mix cookies turn out like sugar cookies?

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