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.

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.


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.

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


  • 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:

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:

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:


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:

Turn out dough onto a floured surface.

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

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: 

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

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
March 10, 2018
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Fool-Proof Pastry Dough in 4 Simple Steps