Soft Pumpkin Cookies
These soft pumpkin cookies are made with pumpkin puree and spiced with cinnamon. You can enjoy them as is, but we love to frost them with Cream Cheese Frosting or put the frosting between 2 cookies for Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies.
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Pumpkin Cookie Recipe
Every year when October rolls around, the whole world shifts to pumpkin-flavored or pumpkin-spiced everything from Pumpkin Cheesecake to Pumpkin Pie. There’s a reason everyone is crazy about pumpkin recipes.
Pumpkin has a comforting earthy-sweet flavor that is often deliciously paired with spices like cinnamon, and vanilla. The combination of all these flavors makes for the best of desserts — these cookies are the warm treat you need on a cold day.
These are essentially soft Sugar Cookies with pumpkin and cinnamon flavorings. The ingredients are pantry staples:
- All-purpose flour – make a soft cookie with enough structure that it doesn’t fall apart.
- Baking powder and baking soda – leavening to help the cookies rise.
- Salt – balances the sweetness and adds depth of flavor
- Cinnamon and vanilla – add warm spice and flavor to the cookies
- Butter – we use softened, unsalted butter to control the salt in the recipe
- Sugar – sweetens the cookies
- Egg – helps to hold the dough together
- Pumpkin puree – use storebought or homemade (see ‘Common Questions’ section below)
How to Make Pumpkin Cookies
Whether you are an expert at baking cookies or this is the first pumpkin cookie recipe you’ve tried, this recipe is a keeper. Use an electric mixer and cookie scoop to make this recipe a breeze.
- Dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Cream the butter and sugar: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Whisk in additional ingredients: add the egg and vanilla extract.
- Add pumpkin and stir to combine.
- Combine: Switch to the paddle attachment and in three separate additions, add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture.
- Form Cookies: Using a small cookie scoop, scoop dough into 1-inch cookie balls, and place on a lined baking sheet at least 1-inch apart. Gently pat the tops of the cookies to flatten slightly.
- Bake: Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes until lightly golden on the edges. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Pro Tip: This is a soft cookie which means the dough is also soft and sticky. I highly recommend using a small cookie scoop to portion the dough. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, try a Tablespoon and scrape the batter off with a second spoon onto the baking sheet.
Pro Tip: A cooling rack is essential for cookies. If you leave them on the hot baking sheet, they are more likely to overbake. Cooling racks allow for the air to circulate around the cookie to cool the cookie faster. Be sure cookies are cooled completely to room temperature before applying Cream Cheese Frosting.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cookies
Here are a few tricks every cookie baker needs to know to make these cookies the best fall-tasting dessert you’ve ever made.
- Adjust baking time: bake time depends on the size of your cookies. Ten minutes is average for a medium-sized cookie. Larger cookies may need slightly more time, but be careful not to overcook or they will be dry. For cookies to remain soft, they should be soft when taken out of the oven.
- Optional add-ins: For more of that quintessential fall flavor, add a teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice, or pumpkin pie spice to the cookie. For a chocolate surprise, mix in your favorite white, milk, or dark chocolate chips.
- Use canned puree pumpkin: These pumpkin cookies come out best with canned puree pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin contains more liquid/moisture that will negatively affect the consistency of the cookies.
- Properly measure the flour: Too much flour can make the cookies dry and crumbly, whereas too little flour can make them too moist.
Troubleshooting Pumpkin Cookies
Follow these tips and tricks to make the best, soft pumpkin cookies:
- For a fluffy texture: Baking soda and baking powder work together to make cookies fluffy. Ensure your leavening is not expired.
- To ensure a moist cookie: For a perfectly moist cookie, don’t add too much flour or they will be dry.
- Don’t Overbake: To avoid dry, crumbly cookies, remove the cookies from the oven when they are still soft, but just turning golden on the edges. They will continue to bake and harden slightly as they cool.
To Serve Pumpkin Cookies
Like almost all cookies, the classic way to serve pumpkin cookies is with a glass of milk, tea, or coffee. Serve them slightly cooled after baking for the best flavor and texture.
Make cookie sandwiches by adding a tablespoon of cream cheese frosting between the pumpkin cookies. Or, add a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top for fancy pumpkin cookies.
You can use homemade pumpkin puree just be sure to drain off any excess liquid with cheesecloth for a concentrated pumpkin flavor and to ensure your cookie dough doesn’t get too loose.
Some types of cookies turn out well after being chilled; however, pumpkin dough is best baked right away.
If you have any leftover cookies, store them on the counter in an airtight container for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to two weeks! If freezing, freeze them on a baking sheet, then transfer to a ziplock bag or airtight container.
Soft, frosted Pumpkin Cookies are a real treat. Whether you are frosting them, enjoying them plain and soft out of the oven, or sandwiching them with frosting in the middle, I hope this Pumpkin Cookie recipe becomes a new favorite for you.
More Amazing Cookie Recipes
If you enjoy homemade cookies as much as we do, you are sure to find some new favorite cookies in this list. Keep these in mind for your holiday cookie platter:
- Crinkle Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Soft Chocolate chip Cookies
- Madeleine Cookies
Soft Pumpkin Cookies Recipe
The Best Pumpkin Cookies! Soft, moist, and made with pumpkin puree and cinnamon. Pumpkin Cookies are amazing with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 16 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 7 oz pumpkin puree, about half of a 15 oz can
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour with baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Add in egg, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
Add in pumpkin puree and whisk to combine.
Switch to the paddle attachment and add in the flour mixture in fourths, allowing it to incorporate between additions. scrape down the bowl as needed and mix until well combined.
Add dough balls to the baking sheet, about 1 Tbsp for each cookie. Since this is a soft dough, a cookie scoop makes it easier. Scoop cookies onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1-inch of space between each one. Lightly press the tops of the cookies to flatten them a little.
Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes or just until the cookie edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature and serve with Cream Cheese Frosting if desired.
*Nutrition label is for the cookie only and does not include frosting.
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I heavily enjoyed this dessert, and so did my family! Everyone, including the picky eater, loved this dessert!! It’s so good with buttercream sandwiched between 2 cookies!!! Thank you Natasha, for everything 😉💜
Oh excuse me, Natalya! I didn’t realize this wasn’t Natasha 😅
Hi Gigi! On occasion, we have guest recipe posts (like this one). 🙂
Hi Gigi! You’re very welcome. I’m glad it’s a hit. 🙂
hi Natasha, can I substitute flour with almond flour? thanks
Hi Giovanna, I haven’t tried this with almond flour or a gluten-free substitute. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
These are delicious. Can I freeze them after I make the cream cheese frosting to make them sandwich type cookies?
Yes, you can freeze this. I recommend checking this portion in the recipe “How to Store Pumpkin Cookies”
I made these with the cream cheese frosting and both are delicious! They look so pretty, too! Your recipes are always a win, thank you!
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your excellent review, Elizabeth!
Wow! These are ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I can’t wait to share them with our friends this weekend at our Friendsgiving. They are soft and have so much flavor. They are by far my favorite pumpkin cookies. This will definitely be my yearly tradition for now on.
That’s wonderful! I’m so happy you found this recipe. I hope they are well-loved at your party. 🙂
Hi Natasha.Every recipe I cook from you recipe its100%good,I love it.You make my life easier Just follow you recipe.Think you
Today I make sweet potato soup and I know its going to be delicious.
Love it! Thanks for sharing and I hope you’ll love the recipes that you will try.
These cookies were DELICIOUS! They were a hit with everyone that got some to try. The linked cream cheese frosting was also the best I’ve ever made. These recipes are incredible!
That’s wonderful! So glad you loved them.
Amazing and light and fluffy! Best texture of any pumpkin cookie I have tried. Thank you!
That’s wonderful! So glad you loved them.
Made these pumpkin cookies the other day. They are fabulous. They don’t help my waste line though.
It’s definitely hard to stop eating these! I’m glad you loved them, Harold!
They came out so soft and delicious. But wondering how do you store if you frosted them?
Hi Brandie! Since the frosting is made with cream cheese, they will need to be refrigerated. In an air-tight container is best.
Is 16 tbsp of butter correct? Seems like a lot of butter
I have pumpkin purée I would like to use up
Hi Mary, that is correct and it is softened.
This is one of my favorite fall treats. I love how they turn out perfect every time!
So glad to hear that, Katie!
Oh my goodness, these cookies were so tasty! The perfect fall treat.
So glad you loved them, Andie! 🙂
I loved how soft and delicious these were!!!!! Thanks for the easy recipe!
That’s wonderful! So glad you loved them.
These look amazing – can I use gluten free flour in the recipe
Hi Monice! I have not tested GF flour in this recipe to advise. Let us know if you experiment with it.