Treat the cookie lovers in your life with these strawberry cheesecake cookies that are perfectly soft and fluffy and flavored with strawberries and two kinds of chocolate chips. I'm certain they are going to love these cheesecake pudding cookies and be screaming for you to make them again!
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This recipe was originally published in February 2020. It has been updated for content.
Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
Yesterday, for Valentines Day I decided to treat my five Valentines to my traditional Homemade Pepperoni Pizza and wanted to make them something special for dessert.
I asked my kids what they would like me to make. My oldest voted for cheesecake, my middle sons voted for cookies and chocolate and my youngest daughter who LOVES fruit voted for strawberries.
Voila! These delicious strawberry cookies were born. But these cookies aren't just for Valentines Day - they would be perfect for spring and summer or any time the cookie craving hits!
One thing that makes these cookies extra special is that they are made with pudding mix. It's the cheesecake pudding in these cookies that make them super light and fluffy.
The texture is so dreamy and combined with the freeze-dried strawberries it is a perfect dessert that is sure to please everyone.
There are some recipes online that use actual cream cheese in the base. But I love how using the dry pudding mix adds that same deep flavor in such a quick and easy way.
Cheesecake flavored pudding: Jello brand makes a regular and sugar free cheesecake pudding mix. For the best and most authentic flavor, choose the regular mix.
Freeze dried or dehydrated strawberries: Using dehydrated strawberries in this recipe gives that sweet burst of pure strawberry flavor while controlling the moisture. If you choose to use fresh strawberries, be sure to remove as much moisture as possible.
White chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips: Using a mixture of the white and dark chocolate chips adds to the delicious complexity of flavors in this easy cookie recipe. The dark chocolate chips are less sweet than milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips which works well as a contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients. The percentage of cacao in the dark chocolate determines the level of sweetness and bitterness in the chocolate, so the higher the percentage, the less sweet and more bitter that particular chocolate will be.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You don't have to use parchment paper, but these are super soft and i just find it so much easier to remove after baking using it.
Next, whisk together the flour, baking soda and pudding mix in a large bowl.
In a second large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, then continue to beat until well combined.
Slowly add in the dry mixture, until fully incorporated.
Add the chocolate chips, freeze dried strawberries and white chocolate chips to the cookie dough batter.
Use a wooden spoon to gently fold the chips and berries into the batter. Stir just until combined.
Use a 1.5 Tablespoon cookie scoop to roll dough balls and place them evenly spaced on a cookie baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
Some of my favorite variations when making strawberry cheesecake cookies include:
Change up the flavor and go for raspberry or blueberry instead! You can experiment with other freeze-dried fruits, but really the berry family works fantastic with the two kinds of chocolate.
Change up the chips! You can do all white chocolate chips, all dark chocolate chips or even use semi-sweet chips when making these yummy pudding cookies.
Melt chocolate and drizzle it over the cookies after they are done cooling.
Swap out the chips for chunks instead for more intense chocolate flavor.
Add more chocolate chips or dried strawberries on top of the cookies just as they come from the oven.
While a cooling rack isn't 100% necessary, using one does help the cookies cool down a bit more quickly as air can completely circulate around the cookie. If you don't have one, I recommend moving the cookies to a plate or cool tray to cool down completely.
A cookie scoop makes drop cookies so much easier to make. I use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop which makes cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter. You can opt for a smaller or larger scoop depending on your preferences, but you may also need to adjust the cooking time as well. If you don't have one, you can use a tablespoon measure instead and roll into a ball instead.
Keep these cheesecake pudding cookies fresh by storing in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week.
You can also store the dough balls in the freezer and make little batches at a time. Just be sure to thaw out the dough in the refrigerator or on the counter prior to baking in the oven.
Expert Tips and FAQS
If possible, use freeze-dried strawberries for a more concentrated flavor and for a beige cookie with flecks of the strawberries and chips that really pop. You can use fresh berries for this recipe, however, they are more likely to bleed and turn the batter pink. In addition, since they have more moisture, the cookies may loose some of their crispy edges.
Once the dry and wet ingredients are combined, keep stirring to a minimum.
I love the combination of big white chocolate chips and mini dark chips for this cookie. The larger sized chocolate chips tend to overpower the strawberries. Using mini dark chocolate chips really helps draw your eye to the strawberries.
Use room temperature butter to make strawberry cheesecake cookies. When the butter is soft, it will mix easier and evenly with the sugar.
Be sure to leave space between the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet. They will spread out when baking.
Dehydrated or freeze-dried strawberries have been processed to remove all the water from them. This allows you to add them to baked goods, granola, cereals and other foods without causing other ingredients to lose their crunch.
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Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet for baking by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cheesecake pudding powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium low speed until smooth.
- Add the flour, baking soda and cheesecake pudding powder mixture until well incorporated.
- Stir in the strawberries and chocolate chips just until combined - do not over mix.
- Use a 1.5 inch cookie scoop to roll dough balls. Place them evenly apart on the cookie sheet allowing room for spreading.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.
- If desired, you can add additional strawberries and chocolate chips on top immediately after removing from the oven.
- Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.
Have you tried this cheesecake pudding cookie recipe yet? Let me know what you think in the comments!
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