5-Ingredient Cream Cheese Shortbread



  • 1 stick softened Challenge Butter
  • 4 ounces softened Challenge cream cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup flour


  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • ½ cup Challenge butter
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • green food coloring
  • red food coloring
  • rainbow candy balls or sprinkles
  • mini wooden craft sticks


  • 1
    In a large bowl, mix together all shortbread ingredients, until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of a 8x8” baking pan which has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray. (For a 9x13” pan, double the batch).
  • 2
    Bake in an oven preheated to 400ºF for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden brown and center is set. Cool completely.
  • 3
    To prepare frosting, in a stand mixer, beat together powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 Tbsp milk. Add more milk, as needed, until frosting is light, fluffy and spreadable. Tint ¾ of the frosting green, and the remaining ¼ red. Transfer red frosting to a zip-top bag.
  • 4
    Gently remove cooled shortbread from baking pan. Frost with green frosting. Cut into 3-4” strips, then slice each strip into 3-4 triangles. Press a wooden craft stick into the large bottom of each triangle to form a “tree trunk”.
  • 5
    Pipe red frosting across the top of each tree, to resemble strands of holiday lights. Press rainbow candies along the red frosting, or sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils.