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Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted Jan 15 2012 4:25pm

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.

In a month.

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

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 .

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.

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?”

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.


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Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting (and red sanding sugar sprinkles)

Makes 1 dozen cookies (I got 13).  Double the recipe by using the full box of cake mix and doubling all other measurements.

For the cookies

1/4 cup butter (half of one stick), softened

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup + 1/8 cup strawberry cake mix (this is about 9 ounces, or half of an 18.25 ounce box of Pillsbury Strawberry Cake Mix )

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.

For the frosting

Makes about 1 cup of frosting (if you have extra, store it in the refrigerator for week(s) and/or freeze it for month(s) for future baking needs; use common sense when saving leftovers)

1/4 cup butter (half of one stick), softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 4 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter and cream cheese either by hand or with a mixer.  Then 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 to err on the side of caution by storing them in the refrigerator rather than the countertop. Or store them in the freezer for up to 3 months for longer-term storage (not that 1 dozen cookies will hang around very long)


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.

And they are so soft, and so very, very moist.

Practically falling apart moist which is the only way I like baked goods.

Angelfood Cake with Berries and Cream is another favorite play on berry + creamy flavors that I enjoy.

These strawberry cookies are some of my favorite non-chocolate and non-peanut butter butter cookies to date.

But really, I’ve never met a cookie I don’t like, even non-PB and non-Chocolate varieties:

Cookie Butter Spread Ginger Molasses Cookies (No Bake, Vegan, with GF option)

Stuffed cookies score bonus points:

And for Valentine’s Day, Dark Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies Stuffed with Chocolate Covered Strawberries with the red surprise center would be fun.

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.

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.

Have you ever tried strawberry cookies or strawberry cake mix?  Have you ever baked cookies with cake mix?

I made these bars with cake mix and they are some of my favorite bars, ever.  They made my 2011 Highlights List .

Do you have any favorite flavors, types, or brands of storebought boxed mixes?  What do you make with them?

 I know some people are diehard loyal to either Pillsbury or Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker mixes.

Pillsbury is the only boxed strawberry cake mix that is available in my area and they also gets bonus points for having a Funfetti mix, which isn’t available locally for me either in other brands.

There are other more expensive brands of boxed mixes such as Ghirardellli boxed brownie and baking mixes , the Krusteaz brand of mixes, specialty, gluten free, and so many others.

I think that, in general, many of the storebought mixes are quite similar and I tend to buy what’s on sale; but that what you do with them can create widely varied results.

The biggest baking sin: over-baking.  If you overbake anything and dry it out, it doesn’t matter how good the mix was when you started because the final result is cardboard.

The next biggest sin: over-mixing.  Because of the flour in the mix, if you overmix any kind of flour, the kind in cake mixes included, you’ll create a tough, crumbly, and dry finished product.  Mix to combine, and then stop.

I’d like to think that using better quality butter or eggs matters, but I buy what’s on sale.  Sometimes that’s the fancy stuff and other times, it’s the store-brand.  I once did a slightly tongue-in-cheek post on Baking Rules .

Have a great week!

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