Cream Cheese Mints Recipe
Sweet and nostalgic Cream Cheese Mints are one of our family-favorite holiday treats. And now you can make them at home! This easy candy recipe only needs 5 ingredients, and you don’t even need to turn on your stovetop.
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Old Fashioned Cream Cheese Mints
Who else has fond memories of popping these classic, creamy mint candies into their mouths and letting them melt? If you loved old-fashioned cream cheese mints as a kid, get your stand mixer ready, because today we’re making them from scratch.
Cream cheese candies have a nostalgic, sweet peppermint flavor that, for us, conjures up thoughts of holiday charcuterie boards and Christmas dessert spreads. They are also perfect for Easter, baby showers, bridal showers, and weddings.
These cute mint candies also make the perfect homemade gift. We’ll wrap them up to give to teachers, neighbors, and friends. We especially love this recipe because there’s no fussing with temperatures or boiling involved, and you can even get the kids involved. It’s that easy!
What Are Cream Cheese Mints?
Also called wedding mints or buttermints, cream cheese mints are a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth candy. You’ll often see them shaped like little pillows in pastel colors. They’re easy to make with just 5 ingredients and great for sharing and gifting.
This recipe makes approximately 90-100 mints, but you can definitely halve the ingredients if you’d prefer a smaller batch. Below is an overview of what you’ll need to make them, with the full measurements available in the recipe card below the post.
- Cream Cheese – You’ll want to use full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. Use the kind that comes in blocks and not the spreadable tubs.
- Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter. Both the butter and cream cheese will need to be softened to room temperature before you start.
- Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar. You’ll need about 2 pounds of powdered sugar, plus a bit extra when you’re pressing out the mints (see my tip below).
- Salt – I find that a pinch of fine sea salt helps to balance the sweet flavors.
- Peppermint Extract – Make sure you’re using food-grade “pure peppermint extract“, and not essential oils.
- Food Coloring – This is optional. I recommend using gel food dyes to color your cream cheese mints, as a little goes a long way.
Pro Tip: If you prefer to measure out your powdered sugar with a kitchen scale, 4 cups of powdered sugar is roughly equal to 1 pound.
How to Soften Cream Cheese Quickly?
We’ve all been there: You go to start a recipe that calls for room-temperature ingredients, only to realize that you forgot to take the cream cheese or butter out of the fridge ahead of time. Don’t worry, here’s how to speed-soften your cream cheese and butter if needed:
Method: First, dice the cold blocks of cream cheese and butter them up into small pieces. Cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap, and let it sit at room temperature until soft, about 20-30 minutes.
How to Make Cream Cheese Mints
Our homemade cream cheese mints come together easily in a stand mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, however, don’t worry. It will take a bit longer and requires some elbow grease, but you can still make them with a hand-held mixer although you’ll have to switch to a firm spatula when the mixture gets too thick.
We’ll start by preparing the dough mixture for the cream cheese mints:
- Combine – First, beat together the butter and cream cheese, followed by two cups of powdered sugar. Once combined, add the peppermint extract.
- Mix – With the mixer going, continue to add the remaining powdered sugar one spoonful at a time until everything is well incorporated. If the dough seems sticky, add more powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency. Once your dough is ready, you can choose to color your mints or get right into shaping them (see below).
Pro Tip: To prevent cracks in the dough, make sure to beat the mixture adequately, allowing the powdered sugar to really blend together with the cream cheese and peppermint extract. We beat for an extra 2 minutes once the dough is combined. The resulting mints will be creamier with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency and smoother edges.
Coloring Cream Cheese Mints
If you’re coloring your mints, separate portions of dough into separate bowls, one for each color. Add one drop of color to each bowl, and stir it in. You can add more or even less dye depending on the shade you’re going for.
Pro Tip: Gel food coloring is best, as it has a thicker consistency that won’t thin out the dough. It’s also super concentrated. Start with 1 drop at a time or even less if you’re looking for light pastel colors (use a toothpick to add a little smear of color at a time). You can always add more if you’d prefer deeper-colored mints.
Shaping the Mints
Once your dough is prepped and colored, all that’s left is to shape it into mints. This is very easy and only takes a few quick steps:
- Roll the Dough – Roll the dough into small balls, about one teaspoon in size (a small cookie scoop comes in handy here), and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Work in batches, keeping the dough covered so that it doesn’t dry out.
- Press – Next, dip the prongs of a fork into some powdered sugar, and gently press the tops of the rolled mints (see photos). Continue to roll out and press the remaining dough.
- Dry – Once your mints are shaped, leave them to dry uncovered on the counter for about 2 hours. After this, you can keep them in the fridge, or freeze them for longer storage. See below for detailed make-ahead and storage instructions.
Yes, you can use molds to shape your cream cheese mints. This is a popular idea for weddings, bridal showers, and themed parties.
No, peppermint essential oil is not food-grade and should not be used.
You can use food-grade peppermint oil in place of peppermint extract. However, you’ll want to use less as it’s more concentrated. Add one drop at a time to taste.
Anticipating a special occasion? Cream cheese mints are an easy after-dinner treat or holiday gift that you can make ahead to either refrigerate or freeze:
- To Refrigerate: Once they’ve dried, these homemade mints can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to one month.
- Freezing: You can also freeze cream cheese mints for up to 6 months. Store them in an airtight container or freezer bag and thaw them in the fridge.
- Gifting: These cream cheese mints are naturally beautiful so you can transfer them to these clear gift bags, tie the top and delight your friends, family, and neighbors.
How excited are you to try these homemade cream cheese mints? Let us know how it goes in the comments and if you share this on social, don’t forget to tag me so I can see your beautiful homemade mints.
More Homemade Holiday Treats
These are the special occasion-worthy sweet treats that have become traditional for the Holidays. We can’t get enough of these nostalgic treats:
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Pecan Pie Bars
- Rice Krispie Treats
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Easy Sugar Cookies
Cream Cheese Mints Recipe
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with your paddle or flat beater attachment, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- With the mixer on, add salt then add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat on medium/low speed until incorporated. Add peppermint extract and the remaining powdered sugar a heaping Tablespoon at a time, letting it incorporate between each addition and continue mixing until well blended then mix for a couple minutes longer, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- If you are coloring the mints, divide the dough into separate bowls for each color. Stir in gel color to reach desired color. Start with 1 drop or less if a light pastel color is preferred.
- Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll the mints into balls (about 1 teaspoon or small cookie scoop each) and set them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When rolling the dough, roll until the seams disappear so the dough is less likely to crack. Set balls on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart.
- Keep the remaining dough covered as you roll so it doesn’t dry out. Once the first batch of dough is rolled, dip a fork in powdered sugar which prevents sticking and press over the top of the mints to flatten them. Repeat rolling and pressing the remaining batches of mints.
- Let dry and rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a month or freeze for up to 6 months.