These wonderfully sweet and crispy keto cream cheese cookies are simple to make for a perfect holiday treat. You can press them into shapes, decorate them, or enjoy them plain!
Something about cookies and the holidays goes together so well. Maybe it’s all of the cookie-decorating traditions or the fact that they’re Santa’s favorite snack. Either way, this is a great time of year to have plenty of keto cookie recipes on hand.
I first created this recipe to decorate with my daughter for the holidays. We also love making my family’s traditional sugar cookie recipe, which calls for lard.
The great thing about this cream cheese cookie recipe is that you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand. Plus, they only require a few steps before they’re ready to be sliced or pressed.
They’re lightly sweet and crispy with golden-brown edges. I love the taste of them plain, but you can also decorate them if you want more sweetness.
Whether you’re looking for a simple treat or planning for a day of cookie decorating, these cream cheese cookies are sure to be a big hit!
There are only a few simple ingredients needed to make these easy cream cheese cookies. Here's a bit more information about what I used.
Only use unsalted butter in these cookies. You really don't need any salt in them - all the flavors are already vibrant.
Any low-carb sugar substitute will work. Liquid stevia or granular sweeteners will dissolve well in the cookie dough. There's no need for a powdered erythritol blend.
Regular cream cheese with full-fat has more nutrients and flavor, so don't use low-fat.
A little bit of vanilla extract makes the cookies taste like vanilla shortbread. But you can use almond extract or lemon extract to change up the flavor.
I found that xanthan gum is the perfect binder and thickener in low-carb recipes. However, it's not essential for these baked cookies.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
💭 Quick Tips
- Cookies made from low-carb flours have a higher risk of crumbling. Adding xanthan gum binds the gluten free ingredients together better.
- Using a cookie press helps to compress the dough, so the time needed to refrigerate the dough is not as long. If you’re using the slicing method, I recommend chilling the dough overnight or place it in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Make sure you let the cookies fully cool after baking. The texture is best the next day if you refrigerate them overnight as well.
- Add chocolate chips. Adding just a tad of chocolate really ups the flavor.
Making this cream cheese dessert only requires a few steps. However, the dough does need to chill, so you’ll want to factor that into the time.
Make and chill the dough
Start by creaming the butter and sweetener in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in cream cheese and eggs. Once well-combined, stir in the almond flour, coconut flour, and xanthan gum (if using), then mix in the vanilla.
Form the dough into a ball and then refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight. If you want colored cookies, add in your food coloring before you chill dough.
Bake the cookies
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Squeeze the dough out of your cookie press directly onto a cookie sheet or roll it out into a cookie log and slice first. There's no need to use a cookie scoop or make dough balls!
Bake until the cookies begin to brown (about 8-10 minutes for pressed cookies or 10-12 minutes for slices). Cook longer for crisper cookies and less for soft cookies.
Let the cookies cool
After resting on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Make sure you allow the cookies to cool completely to prevent crumbling. Cool on the counter, then refrigerate in an airtight container.
I also prefer to bake these keto cookies directly on the cookie sheets, without a silicone mat or parchment paper. They turn out crispier that way. However, it's best to grease the pan to prevent them from sticking.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
What you serve with these cream cheese cookies depends on when you eat them. They are the perfect late-night snack with a keto chocolate pudding.
If you just want a small treat, then brew a cup of bulletproof coffee and nibble away.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a bowl of delicious keto ice cream!
Here are some questions people often ask about making keto cream cheese cookies. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
How many carbs are in keto cream cheese cookies?
The net carbs per cookie will depend on how many cookies you create from the dough.
I used a tablespoon scoop and a cookie press, which will yield more cookies than slicing. I was able to get 75 cookies from this dough, which came to half a net carb per cookie.
If you bake large cookies, you’ll need to recalculate the net carbs. However, as long as you get 40-50 cookies from the dough, these will be less than 1 net carb per cookie.
Can I use a different type of flour or sweetener?
I’ve had a few readers ask about substituting flours and sweeteners in this low-carb cookies recipe. You are welcome to substitute flours, but the texture may turn out differently.
However, sweeteners can be substituted without any difference.
How do these keto cream cheese cookies taste?
As I mentioned earlier, these cookies are lightly sweet without being overly so. Since moving to a keto diet, I find I don’t need as much sweetness. These cookies are perfect for me.
If you want your cream cheese keto cookies to have a bit more sweetness, they are a great base to decorate with icing or cream cheese frosting. The flavor is really so versatile.
You’ll also taste a slight hint of cream cheese flavor. I find that the cheese helps counter the cooling effect of erythritol and is very mild and pleasant.
What are some recipe variations I can make?
These cream cheese cookies are so versatile. There are plenty of variations to try!
For a different flavor, try substituting the vanilla extract for lemon or orange extract. Or, add butter extract to enhance the buttery flavor.
Some readers have mentioned adding nuts like pecans or dipping the finished cookies in low-carb chocolate for an indulgent treat.
I also think the almond-flavored icing that I use in my ricotta cheese cookies recipe would make a great frosting. Again, feel free to play around with the extracts.
If you come up with your own variation, be sure to let me know in the comments!
These lovely little cookies are the perfect thing to add to your holiday cookie tray! They are a great alternative to sugar cookies to give away as a DIY gift.
Crumbly and only slightly sweet, you are going to love these keto cream cheese cookies. That's why I recommend making a double batch!
📚 Related recipes
Looking for more low-carb, sugar-free cookie recipes to make this holiday season? Check out a few of these other favorites:
- Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies With Coconut Flour are only 2 net carbs per cookie and a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth on keto.
- Soft Gluten Free Ginger Cookies are perfect for anyone that loves ginger. They’ll remind you of gingersnaps without the crispiness.
- Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies will satisfy your craving for this classic recipe. Maybe even leave a few out for Santa!
- Hazelnut Flour Keto Cookies are light and fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and only call for 5 ingredients to make.
- Brown Butter Coconut Cookies are loaded with dried coconut chips, packed with butter flavor, and completely gluten free.
Keto Cream Cheese Cookies
- Cream the butter and sweetener until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the cream cheese.
- Add in the eggs.
- Stir in the flours and xanthan gum (if using), then mix in the vanilla.
- Chill dough for at least 4 hours .
- Squeeze dough out of cookie press or roll out into a cookie log and slice.
- Bake at 350F until cookies begin to brown (about 8-10 minutes for pressed cookie or 10-12 minutes for slices). Cook longer for crisper cookies.
Array ( [serving_size] => 4 [calories] => 200 [carbohydrates] => 4 [protein] => 3 [fat] => 19 [saturated_fat] => 8 [cholesterol] => 43 [sodium] => 120 [potassium] => 15 [fiber] => 2 [sugar] => 0 [vitamin_a] => 415 [calcium] => 37 [iron] => 0.6 [serving_unit] => cookies )
Note on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on December 21, 2015. Last updated on December 16, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.