This sugar cookie cheesecake is THE cheesecake to bake for the holidays! A creamy vanilla cheesecake batter is baked on a buttery shortbread crust and swirled with homemade sugar cookie dough bites. Topped with a sour cream frosting and festive sprinkles, this cheesecake is a MUST this holiday season.
The BEST Sugar Cookie Cheesecake
After my cookie dough cheesecake went viral, I knew it was only right to make a holiday version…but with even more cookie dough!
This sugar cookie cheesecake is made up of four main parts:
- Shortbread Cheesecake Crust – A buttery shortbread crust makes up the base of this cheesecake.
- Sweet Vanilla Cheesecake – The batter is flavored with both vanilla and a hint of almond extract to really bring home that sugar cookie flavor.
- Sugar Cookie Dough – Bits of homemade sugar cookie dough are mixed with sprinkles and stirred into the cheesecake batter.
- Sour Cream Frosting – No cookie is complete with out a little frosting and this cheesecake is no exception. Sweet and tart sour cream frosting is spread on top and covered in sprinkles.
Cheesecake Shortbread Crust
After experimenting with a few different crust options, this shortbread is definitely the best! It’s buttery but not too sweet and accents the cookie dough flavor so well.
To make this shortbread, you will need:
- Powdered Sugar
The butter is mashed into the dry ingredients to form a very crumbly and dry dough. A bit of milk is mixed in to help bring the shortbread together (final dough in the first picture above).
This crumbly dough is pressed into the bottom of a cheesecake pan and baked for about 20 minutes. It’s baked all the way through to prevent the crust from oozing butter once it’s baked with the batter.
Sugar Cookie Dough Cheesecake
Using the same bowl as the shortbread (since the ingredients are very similar), the sugar cookie dough is mixed.
Made with basic cookie ingredients, this sugar cookie dough is eggless and very easy to whip up by hand. It’s just important to start with room temperature butter, otherwise the dough will turn lumpy.
Once mixed, roll tiny bite-sized pieces and place onto a plate. The dough will be a bit soft, so this process shouldn’t take long. The bites are then set aside while we make the batter.
Tips for Baking Perfect Sugar Cookie Cheesecake
Cheesecake can definitely be tricky so I have an entire post dedicated to all of my tip and tricks for baking perfect cheesecake.
I highly recommend reading it through as there as I packed it FULL with tons of helpful cheesecake baking info, but to summarize the most important tips:
- Parchment Paper – Before adding the crust, line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper. This will make the cheesecake easy to transfer out of the pan once baked and cooled.
- The Cream Cheese – If you can, always try to use Philadelphia Full Fat Cream Cheese. It provides the BEST flavor and texture. And this is not sponsored, it’s just the only cream cheese I’ll ever use.
- Room Temperature Ingredients – Before you start ANYTHING, make sure all of your refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature, especially the cream cheese. This prevents lumps and over mixing.
- Low and Slow – Always keep your mixer on LOW speed, whether you’re using a hand or a stand mixer. This means the mixing process will take a little bit longer, but it also ensures your cheesecake turns out smooth and creamy.
- Easy Water Bath – Place a roast pan on the bottom rack of your oven and start a pot of boiling water on the stove top. When you’re ready to bake the cheesecake, pour the boiling water into the roast pan and then place the cheesecake on the middle rack above. Baking in a moist environment prevents the cheesecake from drying out.
- Jiggle Test – To make sure your cheesecake is done, crack open the door and nudge the pan. If the center wobbles like a bowl of milk, it’s not done. If it jiggles like jello, it’s ready.
- Gradual Cooling – When the cheesecake is done, the oven is turned off and cracked open to allow the cheesecake to slowly come back to room temperature.
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Cracks
The above tips will help to create an incredibly smooth cheesecake but unfortunately for this recipe, cracks are inevitable.
Due to the amount of cookie dough bites in the batter, the bites closest to the surface will cause some cracks in the cheesecake. When the bites heat up, steam is released as well as little air pockets. Since they’re so close to the surface, that steam will break through the surface and cause cracks.
Don’t worry! The cracks are just a byproduct of the cookie dough and has nothing to do with the overall texture of this cheesecake. It will still remain super soft and creamy – just with a few hidden cracks under the frosting.
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake FAQs
I haven’t tested it, but I think it could work! Substitute the flour in the crust and the cookie dough with an all purpose gluten free baking flour and substitute the flour in the batter with cornstarch.
After the initial overnight chill and the frosting is applied, cover the pan or store the cheesecake in an air tight container. It will then keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Yes, I suggest baking this cheesecake the day before you would like to serve it. The day off, apply the frosting and chill again before serving.
Use my cookie dough cheesecake recipe instead!
For more cheesecake recipes, check out my:
- Cookie Dough Cheesecake
- Classic Cheesecake
- New York Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Brown Butter Maple Cheesecake
- Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make this sugar cookie cheesecake. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print