Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting


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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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

In a month.

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

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookie with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting in half

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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?”

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookie with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting in half

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla 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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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.

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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 Cookie with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting in half

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

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4.41 from 5 votes

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

By Averie Sunshine
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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 -13 cookies; or double the recipe and use the full box of cake mix
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  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, half of one stick, softened
  • ¼ 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.


Serving: 1, Calories: 363kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 30mg, Sugar: 68g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Oatmeal Raisin

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Stuffed cookies score bonus points:

Snickers Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stacks of 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.

Dark Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate Covered Strawberries


About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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  1. 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??

      1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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?


    1. 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 :)

  4. 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!

    1. 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!

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

    1. 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!

  6. 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.

    1. 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!

  7. 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!

    1. 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!

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!

      1. I meant to say, glad to hear you have the cake mix on hand and that you can use it up, finally!

  10. 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!!!!

    1. 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 :)

  11. 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!!

    1. 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!

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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!!!

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

    1. 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.

  16. 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!

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    1. 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 :)

  19. 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!

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

    1. Thanks! Or try them for a baby shower, bridal shower, or just spring time I thought, too.

  21. *faints*

    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!

    1. 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 :)

  22. 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.

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


  24. 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.

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

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

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

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

  31. 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:)

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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. ;)

    1. 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 :)

  35. 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!” :-)

    1. 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 :)

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

  36. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  37. 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!!

  38. 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.

    1. Girl..that’s why I halved the box, 1 c of mix yielded me 12-13 cookies, and a whole box of mix would net you about 2 dozen cookies but since I didnt know how these were going to turn out, I started small. You’ve gotta try these.

      Or if you like vanilla/butter flavor, these

      You’re an amazing baker so I am clearly not shedding any new light for you though :)

  39. 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!

  40. 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!

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

    1. 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!

  43. 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! :-)

  44. 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!

    1. I am thinking these will be my go-to recipe for baby & bridal showers, girlie parties, for sure.

  45. 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

    1. You and I need a tea party together. With sweet tea vodka and lots of time to swap stories :)

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

  47. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  48. 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.

    1. 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 :)

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

  50. 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!

    1. 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 :)

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

  52. 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.

    1. 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.