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Fool-Proof Pastry Dough in 4 Simple Steps

If there’s a will, there’s a way! This simple recipe for cream cheese pastry dough is the only one you’ll ever need. It’s suitable for a variety of recipes, including pie and pastry shells. This pastry dough is flaky, easy and delicious.

flaky pastry cream cheese pastry dough

Making pastry dough can be daunting for new bakers. Not only is it time-consuming, but the terminology can also get pretty confusing. Luckily, this fool-proof recipe takes a lot of the headache out of the process.

rolled cream cheese pastry dough 

How is cream cheese pastry dough different from regular pastry dough?

Adding cream cheese to the butter and flour gives the dough pliability, dexterity and loads of flavor. Cream cheese pastry dough is incredibly versatile. It bakes fantastically and yields a flaky buttery and creamy pastry crust.

Just like our cream cheese pastry dough, regular pastry dough is made with solid fat (minus cream cheese), flour, salt and/or sugar, and a little bit of liquid (typically ice water, to help bind everything together.

However, the addition of cream cheese means we can exclude some of the more strenuous steps involved in making traditional pastry. You don’t need to cut in the fat, worry about achieving the right texture or knead the dough.

Made entirely in your stand mixer, his cream cheese pastry dough is quick, very forgiving and not at all complicated.

uncooked cream cheese pastry dough

This dough is good for both sweet and savory dishes. The amount of sugar can be lessened or omitted completely if desired for savory use and a teaspoon of vanilla can be added for sweets; though the recipe is delicious as-is, requiring no modification.

Cream cheese pastry dough

Makes enough dough for two 9” pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, cold
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Step 1:

ingredients for cream cheese pastry dough

Gather all the ingredients. The butter and cream cheese should be cold. Cut the sticks of butter and cream cheese into small squares and place them in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment.

Step 2:

cream ingredients

Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed. It will take a little while for both items to cream together. Scrape the sides and knock off the chunks from the paddle if necessary. Alternatively, you can use a food processor.

Step 3:

shaggy dough for cream cheese pastry dough 

Add the salt and sugar to the butter and cream cheese mixture and beat to incorporate. Scrape the sides and paddle once more.

Add the flour and mix using the low setting. We’re aiming for a shaggy dough — meaning a dough that’s not all that together, but all the ingredients have come together enough that it can be formed into a ball.

Step 4:

cream cheese pastry dough ball

Turn out dough onto a floured surface.

knead cream cheese pastry dough

Knead the dough a couple of times to get it into a nice, smooth ball, then cut it into two equal portions.

wrap cream cheese pastry dough halves

Pat both halves into discs and cover in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out. You will notice lines of cream cheese running through the dough. This is good and normal.

Step 5: 

roll and cut cream cheese pastry dough

Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Carefully roll out dough for its chosen purpose. Use and bake as directed for your chosen recipe. 

If your dough is refrigerated longer than a couple of hours and you find that it’s too hard to roll out, keep it wrapped up and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to take the chill off and allow it to become a bit more pliable. 

Creative ways to use your cream cheese pastry dough

pastry dough cookies

My favorite quick and easy recipe for cream cheese pastry dough is what I call pastry cookies. Simply heat the oven to 400 F and sprinkle a few rolled dough pieces with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes — that’s it!

More ideas for cream cheese pastry dough

  • Pie crust
  • Hand pies
  • Homemade pop tarts
  • Braided pastry
  • Quiche 
  • Palmiers
  • Pigs in a blanket 
  • Tea/breakfast pastries

3 Comments

Christina in SW FL

Wow, what a great recipe, thank you!
I am thinking the dough cannot be frozen for use later, is this correct?

Reply
Reva

I have been making this for years. I have not tried to freeze it, but it will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks, if well wrapped in plastic wrap. When you make it , why not try to freeze just a small portion, to see how it works. Good luck.

Reply
PJ

YAY! An easy pastry recipe, I love butter and cream cheese together but have never attempted to come up with a pastry dough. Thank you!

Reply

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