This recipe was originally posted September 18, 2020 and updated December 7, 2022.
Many years ago, I owned a cookie business. And I used to play a game with friends where I’d have them name something they wanted made into a cookie - anything! A drink, a breakfast food, etc. The most challenging request I ever got was to make a waffle cookie and the struggle was finding a waffle iron with tiny holes because everything has gone Belgian these days. So creating a strawberry cheesecake cookie wasn’t too much of a stretch for me.
When you think of cheesecake you know it has to have that slightly tangy cream cheese flavor, plus graham cracker crust of course. The strawberry flavor here comes from freeze dried fruit that has been processed into powder (bonus it is a dye free food coloring). You can substitute with any freeze dried fruit you like or even do cocoa powder or chocolate chips.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- They are much easier to make than an actual cheesecake.
- The flavor can easily be customized to your liking.
- They are gluten free & vegan.
- Vegan Butter - I use either Miyokos Vegan Butter or Country Crock Plant Butter in my baking. You can use your favorite brand. If you're not dairy free, you can substitute regular unsalted butter in the same measure.
- Vegan Cream Cheese - I love Miyoko's Cream Cheese because it has a great cream cheese flavor. Any brand of vegan cream cheese will work fine here. If you're not dairy free, use regular cream cheese in the same measure.
- Lemon Juice
- Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend - I use Bob's Red Mill in my baking. You can use your favorite gluten free flour blend, just ensure it contains xanthan gum.
- Freeze Dried Strawberries - Sliced dried strawberries can be found at Target, Whole Foods or CVS. You can also purchase freeze dried strawberry powder from Amazon, which saves the time of cleaning the food processor ;).
- Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs - The only brand of cracker crumbs I have seen that is gluten free is Kinnikinnick. However, you can also use any gluten free graham cracker to make your own crumbs. If you make too many, just store the leftover in an air tight container in the freezer for next time.
These cookies are fairly quick and easy to make, but you will want to use an electric mixer to get it done.
Cream the vegan butter and cream cheese together for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer.
Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.
Stir in the flour and salt until just combined. Remove half of the dough.
Add the strawberry powder to the remaining half of the cookie dough. Stir until the dough is an even pink color.
Shape each half of dough into a rectangle shape about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Stack the two dough sheets together.
Use a sharp knife to trim the dough into a perfect rectangle.
Start at the longest side and carefully roll the dough into a cylinder. If the dough cracks, just press it back together, it won't be visible later. Place the dough log into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Once the log has been chilled, use a pastry brush to brush the outside with a little water.
Generously coat the dough log with graham cracker crumbs. Press them gently with your hand. They should stick easily.
Slice the cookie dough into cookies about ¼" thick. Then place on the cookie sheet and bake!
- Change the shape - If you don't want to make spiral cookies, you can easily stack the dough to make stripes as shown above.
- Get a more pronounced red color by adding a little red food coloring to the dough along with the strawberry powder.
- Strawberry - Replace the freeze dried strawberries with any other fruit you'd like. Raspberries or blueberries would be delicious and colorful!
- Not vegan - If you're not vegan or dairy free, replace the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese with the dairy version.
- Make it chocolate - In place of strawberry powder, add cocoa powder to the second dough.
- Dip them in chocolate - Dip or drizzle the finished cookies with chocolate (or white chocolate) yum!
Store these cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They may lose some of their crispness after a couple of days in storage.
These cookies are also great for freezing. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
No, this recipe is for a shortbread cookie which can have no moisture. You must use freeze dried berries to achieve the desired outcome.
No. Freeze dried strawberries are very light, dry and crispy. Dried strawberries are more chewy (like raisins). They are not interchangeable.
Gluten Free Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- ¾ Cup Vegan Butter or sub dairy butter
- 3 ounces Vegan Cream Cheese or sub dairy cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend I use Bob's Red Mill
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Freeze Dried Strawberries or 6 tablespoon of freeze dried strawberry powder
- 1 Cup Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Place freeze dried strawberries into a food processor. Process until it is a fine powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and cream cheese. Beat for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Scrape down bowl.¾ Cup Vegan Butter, 3 ounces Vegan Cream Cheese
- Add the sugar and beat another 2 minutes. Scrape down bowl.¾ Cup Sugar
- Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat on medium for about 30 seconds.1 teaspoon Vanilla, 2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Turn the mixer to lowest setting, slowly add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Stop to scrape down bowl to make sure all dry ingredients are incorporated.2 Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Once dough is mixed, remove half of the dough from the bowl and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Gently form the dough into a rectangular shape and wrap it with the plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Leave remaining ½ dough in the mixing bowl. Add the strawberry powder and mix on low just until well combined. Turn this dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and repeat steps above. Refrigerate for 2 hours.1 Cup Freeze Dried Strawberries
- Once the dough has chilled, unwrap half of the dough and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle about 9 inches x 12 inches in size. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
- Stack on sheet of dough on top of the other. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges to form a perfect rectangle.
- Start from the longest edge, roll the dough over on itself to make a cylinder. If the dough cracks as you're rolling, just gently press it back together. It will not be visible later. If it becomes too difficult to handle, refrigerate for 30 minutes and try again.
- Once the dough has been formed into a log. Re-wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the chilled dough and brush with a little water. Sprinkle the outside of the dough with graham cracker crumbs, gently pressing them on with your hand. It should stick easily.1 Cup Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Once all sides are well coated, using a sharp knife slice into ¼” thick pieces and place onto the lined baking sheets leaving about 1 inch between cookies. Be careful not to get cracker crumbs on the striped sides of the cookies because they will burn during baking.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes until edges are stiff. Remove and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then carefully move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.