Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been wanting to bake cream cheese into cookies for ages.

I finally did. And I’m in love with the results.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

In my cookbook, I have a recipe for Carrot Cake Cookies with cream cheese baked in, but I’ve never tried it with chocolate chip cookies or as a way to substitute for butter until now.

I adapted my favorite Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookie recipe and replaced some of the butter with cream cheese and am in love with the results.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

My favorite recipe calls for 3/4 cup of butter and for these cookies, I used a combination of 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup cream cheese.

You wouldn’t think that just a simple quarter-cup swap of butter for cream cheese would effect results that much, but it did.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

They’re so soft, moist, and with a richness to the dough like no other cookies I’ve tried.

The dough seems more buttery, which is ironic since there’s actually less butter used, not more.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

I can’t taste the cream cheese, but it adds depth, density, and richness that my regular chocolate chip cookies don’t have.

Don’t use light, fat-free, or a whipped cream cheese because your dough will become runny. I tried the recipe with some light cream cheese I had on hand, and the cookies baked thinner and spread.

Use cream cheese in a block or the spreadable kind. Smoosh it into a one-quarter cup measure and cream it with the butter and sugars.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

Make sure to chill your dough for at least two hours before you bake to ensure your cookies bake thick and puffy. Warm, limp dough bakes into limpy and wimpy cookies. I want my cookies to be thick, with puffy centers that are overflowing with chocolate.

I used a combination of 2 1/4 cups of chocolate chips and chunks to ensure plenty of chocolate in every bite. And then some.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

The cookies are super soft without being cakey, and remind me of Softbatch cookies. The edges are slightly chewy, and the thick interiors are soft, tender, and moist.

Cornstarch is my secret weapon for creating super soft cookies.

The reason pudding cookies turn out so soft is because ‘modified food starch’, or cornstarch, is one of the first ingredients in pudding mix. Same principle here, minus using actual pudding mix.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

After trying these cookies and not being able to keep my hands off of them, it’s made me wonder what’ll happen if I replace some of the butter with cream cheese in some of my other favorite cookie recipes.

I’ll can’t wait to start taste-testing and make up for lost time.

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies - Move over butter, cream cheese makes these cookies thick and super soft!

 

 

Print Recipe

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Replacing some of the butter from my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe with cream cheese created cookies that are soft, thick, moist, and tender. Although you can't taste the cream cheese, the cookies have a richness and depth of flavor like no other cookies I've tried. Plus there's an abundance of chocolate in every bite. The dough can be made in advance, refrigerated, and baked as desired, up to 5 days later. A great option to have for fresh, warm cookies without having to mix up dough. I highly recommend these cookies!

Yield: about 28 medium-small cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for dough chilling

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use cream cheese in a block or spreadable, don't use fat-free, light or whipped)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese (measure it by smooshing it into a 1/4-cup measure), sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft, pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Edited to Add – New chocolate version of this cookie, Jan 2015

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies – Cream cheese keeps them super soft! Say hello to your new fave chocolate cookie!!

Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies - Cream cheese keeps them super soft! Say hello to your new fave chocolate cookie!!

Edited to Add – White Chocolate version of this cookie, June 2014

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Thanks for the 20 Favorite Crunchy Snacks and Healthy Chips Maker Giveaway entries and the $500 Apple iPad Giveaway entries

What do you make or bake with cream cheese?

Favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe?

774 comments

  1. I’ve been using the same recipe my mom has used for years and I haven’t had any luck at getting them just right. I love the idea of the cream cheese and will try my hand at this recipe! They look so delicious! (But there goes my diet!!)

    • Tried this recipe and the results were not as pictured:( left them in the recommended time and they were pale in color and had a weird unbaked like texture. Tried leaving the next batch in 2 minutes longer but it didn’t help.  

    • All ovens, baking pans, climates, ingredients vary. You have to use common sense and bake until they’re as done as you like, given your set of variables and personal preferences. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  2. I love oatmeal choc chip cookies no nuts. How can I incorporate oatmeal into the cream cheese cookies while still having creamy moisture without drying out the cookie?

  3. Let me start out as saying that I’m not a great fan of chocolate chip cookies but I did give this recipe a try because my granddaughter loves the “softbatch of chips ahoy”. So when I seen your recipe I said why not. Well she just loved them and so did I . I have shared the cookies with praises, even those who just liked crispy cookies.  Thank You for your recipe

  4. These cookies are so so good – really, some of the best I’ve ever made/had (all of my roommates agree). I actually just used this recipe as the base for some red velvet chocolate chip cookies which turned out extremely well – if you want to check them out, here’s the link: http://www.bakeandtell.com/red-velvet-double-chip-cookies/ 

    Love your blog, by the way – which I’m convinced is home to some of the best cookie recipes I’ve yet to come across!! :) 

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Thanks for the compliments on my cookie recipes and blog and glad you were able to come up with a red velvet version!

  5. This is the best choc chips soft cookie recipe.  My niece made some using ur exact recipe. Thank u.

  6. BEST cookie EVER!!!  Question:  I just started another batch and I only have whipped cream cheese….will it work?

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

      Whipped cream cheese has more water and air in it and so the cookies will likely turn out flatter and spread more.

  7. Hey Averie,
    I love chocolate chips cookies and have made so many variations of the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have lost count. With that being said, however, I had never seen a recipe that actually incorporated cream cheese in with the rest of the cookie dough. So when I first made this recipe I was a little skeptical about how well the cookies would actually taste. However once I tasted my first bite of the cookies, I was blown away. Now this is by far my most favorite recipe to use when making chocolate chip cookies. In fact I have made the recipe so many times that I almost have the whole thing memorized. Thank your for sharing this awesome recipe.

  8. Made these cookies for a birthday celebration at work and everyone raved about them. One of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes I have come across. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. 

  9. This is such a delicious recipe. The cookies were so soft and chewy. My son keeps asking for more. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. I shall be making future batches quite often I’m sure.

  10. Does it have to be a stand mixer?

    I do not have one..

    New at baking …

    Thanks

    • It’ll be easier but a hand mixer will be fine.

    • I used a hand mixer, but it got a little stiff at the end, so I dumped the chocolate chips in and mixed the last little bit of flour and the chips in by hand…literally. I just put my cleaned hands in and squished it all together.

  11. I made these but they didn’t spread out at all.  I noticed no baking powder, would that make a difference in the dough spreading?

    • Baking powder would make the cookies rise, become puffier, and cakier and you don’t want that in this recipe. I would say that either you over-measured flour (very common mistake) and dense, over-floured dough won’t spread easily and/or overmeasured the baking soda and/or you simply needed to flatten the dough mounds more before putting them in the oven.

  12. Samantha Rodriguez Reply

    Omg, your blog is like the holy grail for cookie recipes. These were incredible. I will be following your blog now for sure!

  13. These cookies look divine so I thought I’d give it a go. I made two batches of dough and they are chilling in the refrigerator as I write this. I made one batch exactly as your recipe is written, and another batch almost as written but using 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 1/2 cups regular flour, and an addition of unsweetened shredded coconut along with the chocolate chunks. Can’t wait to bake them up later this evening!

  14. Why should you not use low fat cream cheese?

  15. We live at 7,000ft. I am wondering if your readers have ever mentioned troubles (I.e. flat cookies) from being at such a different elevation than you. I am wondering if I need to make adjustments.

    Thank you! They look amazing!!

    • I don’t have experience with altitude baking but there are lots of websites that have good tips. I would try the recipe as written and if you don’t get the results you want, then maybe employ some of the baking tricks recommended for altitude baking http://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

    • I did not make any changes and was pleasantly surprised to have them come out fluffy. I have had chocolate chip cookie recipes made for high altitude not come out looking this good. I had pretty much given up on making chocolate chip cookies. I am excited to try more of your cookie recipes!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Even at high altitude – that’s great to hear!

    • I live in Colorado and have baked these cookies at 7000+ ft and have had no issues. Matter of fact, this is the only cookie recipe that hasn’t come out flat that I have made!

    • So glad the recipe works great for you at altitude and even though I live at sea level, I know these cookies are never flat for me either. Something due to the cream cheese I think. Glad they’re working for you!

  16. I have made this recipe twice and am getting ready to bake a batch to send to my son in Florida for his birthday. I’m concerned they will go flat or worse yet melt. I was planning on packing them in a cookie tin first then in a box for shipping. Do you have any new or different ideas regarding their safe arrival?

    • I don’t think going flat is the issue but the chocolate getting very melty is always a possibility if the cookies are in un-airconditioned trucks and it’s 80-90F outside. There’s really no way around that other than to ship on dry ice which is overkill IMO. I wouldn’t do a tin as that is going to conduct heat. I would pack in a box within a box. Or a tupperware container within a box.

  17. These are unbelievably delicious! So moist and the cream cheese really adds another level of flavor. I don’t think I’ll ever use another chocolate chip cookie recipe!

  18. Do you have any recommendations for high altitude adjustments?  I live at 6000 feet. 

  19. I have made these cookies and I agree, these are the best chocolate chip cookies EVER!
    Have you experimented with using some cream cheese in Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies?
    Would love the recipe if you have!
    Thank you!

  20. These are delicious! I mixed Ghiradelli white and semi-sweet and they were great!

  21. Absolutely delicious! One thing I modified, because I didn’t read through the entire recipe before beginning, my fault. I didn’t have 2 hours to refrigerate the dough, so I popped mine in the freezer for about 45 minutes and had wonderful results. The cookies were puffy and had that wonderful crispiness on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth middle. Also, the creaming of the sugars for the 5 minutes with a stand mixer is so important! I know that is one of the reasons they turn out so soft. When I make cream cheese frosting, I cream for quite awhile to achieve that fluffy and creamy consistency. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons for the softness of this cookie. So if some are struggling with the proper consistency with this cookie, make sure you’re creaming for the amount of time in the recipe. It makes a difference! Sorry for the long comment, they were delicious! I can’t wait to try some of your modifications of this recipe.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad you can appreciate the longer creaming time and that the freezer trick worked for you!

  22. This is my new go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies! My mom had always made the Toll House recipe and so that’s what I did but these are absolutely amazing!  My sister tells me my dad pulled them out of the freezer and told her she just had to try them….needless to say I try to keep his freezer stocked with them😉  Only change is I use dark chocolate chips, because dad prefers them. We love the chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips just as much too.  Trying my luck with a batch of frozen chocolate peanut butter chip dough balls I made a few weeks ago today, wish me luck!

  23. Ugh … thought I had cornstarch … any replacements possible? or am i running to the store ??  thanks in advance

    • You can omit but then you’re going to miss out on some of the texture in the final result. Your call. I don’t ever substitute it with anything but I have heard from some readers with allergies that tapioca starch can work. But I’m assuming you don’t have that on hand :)

  24. These sound awesome!  We are getting ready to go on vacation, and would like to bake these ahead of time, and freeze them for the trip.  Do you think they will freeze OK?

  25. I tried these cookies today and it was heavenly! Had the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The only thing I did differently was I put in an additional half cup of chocolate chunks . They were already broken up so I put it in but it turned out perfect. It was just oooey gooey chocolatey and yummy. I’m definitely sticking with this recipe. Thank you so much!

  26. Help! I only have semi sweet, unsweet, and milk chocolate chips/bars. Can I use either of the other two with the semi sweet? Thank you can’t wait!

  27. Even if I don’t have enough?

  28. Thank you. We live 2 hours from the nearest store. I will wait and make them next week. Thanks again

  29. Is it ok to freeze the dough?

  30. I dint have a 2,inch cookie scoop, what can I use as a substitute or what would the baking time be with a one tablespoon scoop? 

  31. Help! They won’t cook. I got 26 cookies as opposed to your 28. As per your warning, I took them out after 10 minutes, let them set, but still not cooked. I put them back in for 3 minutes and no change. Any ideas what I could have done wrong?

  32. Amazing. I had to bake an extra 2-3 minutes because they were really under-done, but they puffed up so nicely. Mine always turn out flat like a pancake with chocolate chip lumps in them. But these were great. Definitely whip the butter/cream cheese/sugars in the first step for the full 5 minutes she recommends. I think this helps keep the cookies from getting flat. Great recipe. 

  33. Thank you so much for sharing! I will have to buy cream cheese tonight. I normally buy light or fat free cream cheese. My husband is the “Cookie Monster ” in our family, and I am certain he’ll enjoy these.

  34. Will try your recipe. Looks great.

  35. my family loves chocolate chips cookies .I will try these for our fall birthdays Saturday

  36. Do i need to let the cookie dough in the room temp for 15 minutes ?
    Can i just take them out refrigerator then straight to the oven, bake them longer than 8 minutes?
    Thanks

  37. Quick question: due to limited fridge space, could I chill the dough in a bowl before scooping out cookies? I know it would be more difficult to scoop the dough when cold, but it would make this recipe more feasible for me! Thanks!

    • If you use a plate and just put the dough in balls that are touching each other, maybe that will work – that’s what I do. I don’t recommend bowl chilling because it will be impossible once it’s sufficiently chilled to scoop it out.

  38. Love all your recipes!  Do you have a Facebook page?  

  39. My cookies, while they tasted delicious, came out flat. In fact, this always happens to my cookies! What am I doing wrong?

  40. Cookies came out great. Note to self: Make sure to leave cream cheese and butter to room temperature, and probably best to let the dough sit for a bit for it to become more doughy. My batch came out very powdery for some reason. I had to add a little water and let it sit for a good hour before baking. After finishing it all up, cookies were for sure put in my top 5! love the gooeyness of them as well as how soft they were.

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad it’s in your top 5!

      Very powdery, sounds like a touch of over-flouring. Use a light hand next time when measuring your flour and problem solved. Also winter time weather tends to be drier so you can get away with less flour than in humid summer months, just a baking tip :)

  41. This is the texture I’ve been looking for! I have been on the hunt for a perfectly soft cookie that isn’t *too* cake-like and this is it. (Not to mention it was the tastiest raw cookie dough I’ve ever eaten). My one critique is that it’s not a sweet cookie. Straight out of the oven they tasted a bit floury, but I waited till the next morning to form a final opinion. (Any cookie is fabulous straight from the oven!) The texture was still perfect and the four taste had mostly faded, but it’s still not as sweet as a typical cookie. I think next time I’ll try increasing the white sugar a little.

    Other notes on my experience: I, in no way, waited for this to chill over night and the dough didn’t seem to need it. (Though I concede that could have contributed somewhat to the four taste). I let them chill for an hour and popped them in the oven, there was very little spread. 8 minutes was not near enough for my cookies (Perhaps because I made them a little bigger and took them straight from the fridge.) I made two dozen medium cookies over three trays; With two trays in the oven it took 14 minutes with a switch at 6 and with one tray in the oven it took 12 minutes. Fresh out they had that under-cooked gooeiness in the middle and over about six minutes they finished up resting on the hot tray.

    This is the closest I’ve ever been to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Thank you!

    • This is the closest I’ve ever been to the perfect chocolate chip cookie. <--- Great, glad you loved them! Use a lighter hand when measuring your flour, that could help with the nuances you were describing or try King Arther brand. It's the only brand I will bake with.

  42. Thank you so much for this AMAZING recipe, it is by far my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever come accross! I have shared it with my mom and now this is her go to chocolate chip cookie recipe. :)

    I will tell you that not only do I use this as a chocolate chip cookie recipe anymore, I also use it to make white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, and for the holidays I just used it and added white chocolate chips and cranberries, all delicious!!!!

    Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  43. Omg! These are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made and had! I just made these at 11 pm cause I couldn’t wait till the next morning:) they are soft, creamy, fluffy, and just delicious. I baked them exactly 8 minutes and let them rest for about 5. I will, however, use a bit of less sugar and bit less chocolate chips. Finally found the perfect recipe for Christmas cookies and more. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.

  44. You probably have a better idea, so before I experiment, do you think this one would be good substituting the cornstarch for instant vanilla pudding mix as in your other recipe? http://www.averiecooks.com/2014/02/the-best-soft-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookies.html#

    Or will that ruin the texture you get just by using the cream cheese? You have so many good recipes, I’m overwhelmed at which to try! haha

  45. How long can you keep uncooked dough in the freezer for? Not sure if I understand your freezer comment 100%

  46. Can I substitute the cornstarch with 1 packet of instant vanilla pudding mix?

  47. I made these today and followed most of your directions; I only used 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch and instead of sugar I used instant vanilla pudding. The dough came out very crumbly and the cookies wouldn’t flatten during cooking even if I fattened the tops. I also had to cook them for over 12 minutes in some cases.

    • You didn’t follow the recipe so I’m not surprised the texture was a bit off. Pudding mix is thicker and denser than sugar, and it doesn’t liquify upon being heated like sugar does, so between those two variables that would explain the dry texture. Follow the recipe and you’ll be very happy.

  48. Can the raw dough be frozen? I often make large batches of dough, then portion it out and freeze to have anytime.

  49. Love this recipe, it pops up on my Pinterest all the time 😊 I was wondering if you had any tips on how I could use this recipe for a cookie cake? I know I could just dump the batter into a round pan and bake it without chilling, but I wasn’t sure if it would bake like a normal cookie cake or if the texture would be off

    • I would do exactly that, spray a 9 inch glass pie dish with cooking spray and pack the batter into the dish and bake. My guess is probably around 25 to 30 minutes but that’s just a guess. I also have multiple recipes that if you Google ‘cookie pie Averie cooks’ they’ll pop up so you can see what my other recipes look like.

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