A soft melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cookie covered in cream cheese frosting that’s EASY to make and will remind you of fall, whatever the season. Add a little pumpkin spice to the frosting for that fabulous pumpkin pie flavor.
I’m a crispy cookie kind of girl, soft cookies are just not my thing, but Pumpkin Cookies are starting to change that. Give me a crispy Potato Chip Cookie or crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookie and I’m good to go. However, my girls are always asking for soft cookies, go figure.
I decided to make these pumpkin cookies for them, not expecting to like them at all. Of course cookies with pumpkin puree are going to be soft and cake like, so I knew they would like them. I was so surprised to find out that I really LOVE these cookies even though they are cake like and not crunchy at all.
It may be that they’re not overly sweet to begin with and the frosting is mostly butter and cream cheese. The pumpkin flavor really comes through in the cookie which is almost more like a muffin top. I also added pumpkin pie spice to the top to give it even more pumpkin pie taste.
What is pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin pie spice is just a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, cloves ginger and nutmeg. Probably spices you already have in your pantry, so if you don’t make a lot of pumpkin desserts, you might want to make up your own batch. Here’s a great recipe. It’s really simple to do and will save you some money, or order some from Amazon.
What you’ll need for pumpkin cookies
- Canned pumpkin – make sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is sweet and seasoned and you can not substitute it for pure pumpkin in this recipe.
- Butter – softened but no so soft that when you press it your finger goes through it, it should just leave an indentation.
- Pumpkin pie spice – this should last in your pantry for 2-3 years without loosing it’s flavor, or make your own with this simple recipe.
- Sugar – both brown and white to give it a richer flavor.
- Pantry items – flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, an egg and vanilla.
How do you make soft pumpkin cookies
Step 1: Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients, it will be a sticky dough.
Step 3: Use a cookie scoop to scoop out cookies, dip your fingers in flour and tap down the top so they are slightly flat rather than domed.
Step 4: Bake until the top is set but not browned, you don’t want to over bake. Let cool before frosting.
Step 5: For the frosting, in a stand mixer beat cream cheese and butter until creamy then add powdered sugar and vanilla.
When you prepare the dough, it’s going to look more like cake batter than cookie dough, it will be very sticky, don’t worry. I was thinking it would be a mess to get them onto the cookie sheet. A small ice cream scoop makes this so easy. I used a 1 ½ tablespoon OXO scoop for mine and they came out easily.
To get them a little flatter rather than dome shaped, pat down the tops with your fingers. This dough is so sticky, that it will be messy, so just dip your fingers in flour and pat them down a bit. You’ll end up with perfectly round flat cookies.
For the frosting, I used a cream cheese and butter frosting and then topped them with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Can you ship Pumpkin Cookies
After making these I shipped some to Natalie. I Froze them first and put a small ice pack in with them, it’s still pretty hot around here in October. She got them 2 days later and the frosting had not melted and was not stuck to the parchment paper. So yes you can ship these but be prepared for the frosting to melt if it’s hot.
Both the girls and all other taste testers have loved them. I put the rest in the freezer and found that they are great frozen. They won’t get super hard all the way through so you can eat one without even having to wait for it to thaw.
You’re going to want to add these to your cookie list, especially if you’re a fan of soft cookies.
FAQ’s and Tips
No, pumpkin pie filling is sweet and seasoned and can not be substituted. Make sure the can says 100% pure pumpkin.
Tap down the down before the cookies go in the oven. The dough will be sticky, so dip your fingers in flour first.
Yes, since they are cake like, it won’t take very long to thaw. Freeze or refrigerate first on a baking sheet until the frosting, then freeze in an airtight container.
They are not the best cookies to ship because the frosting will melt if the temperature is warm.
While I like pumpkin flavor, pumpkin pie is not my favorite. I prefer pumpkin cheesecake balls covered in white chocolate, or pumpkin snickerdoodles, or pumpkin cream cheese muffins. Here are some more pumpkin recipes that sound interesting from some food bloggers I love.
- These Pumpkin Bars look yummy
- Pumpkin waffles sound like something I should make
- Or maybe some Spicy Pumpkin Pie Candied Pecans
More cookie recipes you’ll love
- Cherry chocolate cookies
- Peanut butter sandwich cookies
- Special K cookies
- Chocolate brownie cookies
- Double chocolate cookies
- Peanut butter oatmeal cookies
- Chocolate chip shortbread cookies
- Sprinkle cookies
- Pink Lemonade cookies
- Oatmeal cookies with Bourbon
- White chocolate caramel cookies
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Inspired by Gimme Some Oven
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cups pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temp
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350º, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together, flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars and beat for 1 -2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined.
- Using a 11/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets. Use your fingers dipped in flour to slightly flatten the tops.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the tops bounce back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack.
- For the frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl and mix with electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until well combined. It should be slightly thick. Spread on cooled cookies and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Only use 100% pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- The dough will be very sticky, pat the cookies down with your fingers dipped in flour.
- Wait until they have cooled to frost.
- Refrigerate so that the frosting will set.
- You can freeze these once the frosting has set and they will not stick together.
I would love to hear about some of your favorite pumpkin recipes or if you make Pumpkin Cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.