These strawberry shortcake cookies are studded with fresh strawberries and filled with zesty, tangy cream cheese. The cookies are crisp and crunchy on the outside, with softer and more chewy centre. Ideal summertime cookie, which is bursting with fruity and fragrant flavours!
Shortcake cookies are similar in texture to my Easy Shortbread Cookies. They have crispy edges and crumbly texture, but thank to the addition of fresh strawberries and that cream cheese filling, they remain soft in the middle.
If you like the taste of roasted strawberries, with their saucy and fragrant juices along with buttery dough, you will absolutely love these. It's almost like a Strawberry Crumble in a biscuit form!
To make these strawberry shortcake cookies you will need:
- Strawberries - It is best to use fresh strawberries, as they will retain their shape best, but you can also sub for frozen strawberries. Just make sure to thaw them first, discarding as much of the liquid as possible.
- Flour - Plain, all purpose flour will work best, but you can also use wholemeal or gluten-free flour instead.
- Sugar - There are two different types of sugar here, white caster or granulated sugar and soft light brown sugar. You can use only one type of sugar, but the flavour will not be the same. Brown sugar adds more buttery, caramel-like notes to the cookies. I also use a small amount of demerara sugar to sprinkle the baked cookies with, but this step and ingredient are optional.
- The cream cheese filling - This is totally optional, but highly recommended. To make the soft cheese filling you will need some full fat cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and full list of the ingredients.
Strawberry cookies can be made with or without the cream cheese filling. If you are short on time, or just don't want to use the soft cheese, simply skip it from the recipe. Scoop the dough into baking tray (you should get roughly about 24 cookies) and reduce the baking time to about 10 minutes.
For stuffed strawberry shortcake cookies, start with preparing the cream cheese mixture first, as it will need chilling for about 30- 40 minutes. I recommend freezing the cream cheese first, because it is much easier to handle it that way. Otherwise it is just too soft and messy to shape or use.
Drop the teaspoons of cream cheese mixture into baking sheet and freeze until solid.
Prepare the strawberries and allow them to sit for 10 minutes, until they released their juices.
Hint: Tossing the chopped strawberries in sugar and lemon juice will draw out the moisture from the berries. If you skip this step, the cookies will become too soft and mushy after baking, as the strawberries will release too much juice. It also helps to improve the taste and texture of the fruit.
Make the cookie dough, adding the drained strawberries at the end.
Scoop out the dough onto cookie sheet and gently flatten half of it into small discs using your hands.
Place the dollops of cream cheese mixture on top of each disc and cover with the remaining dough, gently sealing around the edges.
Bake the cookies for 16- 18 minutes.
Hint: If you find that the cookie dough is too sticky to work with, place it in the fridge for about 30- 45 minutes.
- Skip the filling - omit the cream cheese filling, and simply scoop out the dough and bake for 10- 12 minutes for a delicious strawberry cookies!
- Enhance the flavour - add 2-3 tablespoons of freeze-dried strawberries to the dough to give your shortbread even more of that fruity flavour.
- Extra crunch - sprinkling or rolling the cookies in some demerara sugar will create the most incredible strawberry crunch cookies!
- Optional add-ons - adding some chopped white chocolate, a pinch of cardamom or a hand full of chopped macadamia nuts will take these strawberry shortbread cookies to a whole new level.
- Vegan Shortcake Cookies - check out these vegan shortcake sandwich cookies from Nourishing Amy blog for a vegan version.
Other than a cookie scoop or an electric mixer and some baking trays, you don't need any fancy kitchen equipment to make these shortbread cookies.
I used small cookie scoop, which is 1 tablespoon in capacity. Alternatively, use a tablespoon measure (remember that measuring tablespoon is different to your large kitchen/ soup spoon). If you don't have an ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon, simply use your hands to scoop and shape the cookies.
Storage and freezing
The cookies without the filling can be stored in the airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature, or up to 7 days in the fridge. Stuffed cookies will need to be stored in the fridge, in the airtight container for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze them (with or without the filling) for up to 3 months. Place the cookies on a baking tray and transfer to the freezer. Once frozen, remove from the tray and place them in the freezer friendly bag or container.
When baking them from frozen, add an extra 4-5 minutes to the baking time.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use frozen strawberries?
You can use frozen strawberries, although fresh ones will always work best. When using frozen strawberries, thaw them first, drain all the water and juice, then chop them into smaller pieces and prepare them as per the recipe instructions. Frozen strawberries will be more mushy in texture, but still delicious!
Is shortcake the same as shortbread?
They are VERY similar, the only difference is that the shortcake has some baking powder added to it, where the shortbread is made with fat (butter), flour and sugar only.
Do I have to freeze the cream cheese filling first?
No, but it will be much easier to shape the cookies if you do. Once you mix the cream cheese with icing sugar it will become very soft and almost runny. Freezing this mixture makes the rest of the process much easier to handle.
I always recommend chilling the cookie dough before baking. This way, the butter will solidify and will take longer to melt, while the cookies are baking. The longer the butter remains solid, the less the cookies will spread during baking.
Try chilling the shaped cookies for an hour or two in the fridge or freezer.
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Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
- 1 large baking tray
- 1 medium baking tray
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- 2 large mixing bowls
- small cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure optional
For the cream cheese filling:
- 100 g full-fat soft cheese/ cream cheese
- 35 g icing sugar
- 1 medium lemon zest only
For the cookie dough:
- 160 g strawberries, chopped into smaller pieces
- 100 g caster sugar, plus 1tbsp extra
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 250 g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 110 g butter softened
- 55 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling:
- Prepare the baking trays and line them with baking/ parchment paper.
- Place the room temperature soft cheese in a medium bowl and add the icing sugar. Using an electric mixer, mix on a medium speed for a couple of minutes to combine. Add the lemon zest and mix again.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop dollops of the cream cheese into prepared baking tray (about 12). Place the tray with cream cheese in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until it is frozen solid. Keep in the freezer until needed.
- Place the chopped strawberries into a medium bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of caster sugar over them. Add the lemon juice and mix together. Set aside for about 10 minutes, allowing the strawberries to release their juices.
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars for about 2-3 minutes. Add an egg and vanilla extract and mix again to combine. Tip in the flour mixture and fold everything together until combined.
- Drain the strawberries and add them to the dough. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to gently fold the berries into the dough. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure (you can also just do it all by hand), scoop the cookie dough onto the large baking tray (you should have roughly about 24 scoops of cookie dough on the tray).
- Using your hands, flatten half of the cookies into small discs. Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and place on top of each flatten cookie dough disc. Top each cookie with the remaining scoops of the cookie dough, sealing gently around the edges. Place cookies in the fridge for about 2 hours, or freeze overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Bake the cookies for 16- 18 minutes (from chilled) or 20- 22 minutes (from frozen), rotating the baking tray half way through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some demerara sugar (optional, but adds lovely crunch). Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- The cream cheese filling is optional. If you prefer, you can skip it from the recipe completely. Simply scoop the cookie dough directly into baking trays (you should get about 24 cookies) and bake them for about 10 minutes, rotating the baking tray half way through.
This recipe is adapted from Delish Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.