What better way to celebrate the advent of autumn than breaking out favorite pumpkin cookie recipes? They’re a perfect celebration of the season that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
Some eaters may find pumpkin cookies basic, but there are so many ways to customize them depending on your dietary needs, taste, and budget. Whether you’re a new baker striking out for the first time or a seasoned pastry chef making an impressive treat, pumpkin cookies will satisfy that seasonal sweet tooth.
Canned vs Homemade Pumpkin Puree for Baking Pumpkin Cookie Recipes
When most recipes call for pumpkin puree, they’re calling for the canned stuff; it’s convenient and ready to use whenever your baking fancy strikes. Be careful selecting canned pumpkin, because sometimes it comes with spices and sweeteners for making pie.
You want pure canned pumpkin puree without any fillers for this pumpkin cookie recipe. It tends to be a little drier than homemade pumpkin puree.
If canned pumpkin puree is unavailable, you can make your own. Homemade pumpkin puree requires a little more forethought and effort but really brings your cookies to the next level.
With only a few ingredients and tools, you too can create your own pumpkin puree in case of a shortage in your pantry or on your store shelves. Keep in mind what kind of pumpkins or squash you use: carving pumpkins aren’t bred for taste, for example, but little sugar pumpkins are perfect for converting to homemade puree.
Baking Pumpkin Cookie Recipes with Pumpkin Puree Tips
- Pumpkin puree can be used as a substitute for butter and sugar, but there are some caveats. You’ll need to also alter the flour and whatever leavening you’re using. If a recipe uses applesauce for moisture and fat, you can use pumpkin puree as a 1:1 substitute.
- Make sure the canned pumpkin puree you buy is pure. Using pumpkin pie filling, with sweeteners and spices, will throw off the flavor of whatever you’re baking. Don’t buy pumpkin pie filling unless the recipe calls for it.
- Beware of underbaking with pumpkin puree. Pumpkin puree is very moist, so you risk not cooking all the moisture out–especially if you’re checking for doneness by touch. The most accurate way to tell if your pumpkin baked good is done is by using a thermometer and checking if it reads 200°F for loaves and muffins or 175°F for pies. You can also use the skewer test to see if it’s done: if a skewer inserted into a loaf or muffin comes out with batter still attached, it needs to be baked a little longer.
- If you have any leftover pumpkin puree after baking, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
20 Best Pumpkin Cookie Recipes
Want to bring smiles to the faces of your friends and family? Bake any of these pumpkin cookie recipes and you’ll immediately brighten anyone’s day.
1. Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Silky pumpkin and bittersweet chocolate chips are an absolute classic pairing in these chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. An easy recipe, this is the perfect place for beginners to start their pumpkin cookie-baking journey.
2. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Get a double hit of spice in these pumpkin cookies from Lively Table. First, you’ll get the pumpkin pie spice in the dough and then the cinnamon sugar coating that’s classic for snickerdoodles. For folks with egg allergies, these are also naturally egg-free.
3. Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
How do you improve a pumpkin spice cookie? According to The Gold Lining Girl, you add nutty brown butter to give the icing some warmth and depth. Plus they freeze well.
4. Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies
Love cookies? Love pie? Now you don’t have to choose with these pumpkin pie thumbprint cookies from The Weary Chef topped with an easy and delicious pecan crumble made in the microwave.
5. Pumpkin Cookie Dough
If there’s a heatwave in autumn pulling you away from the oven, try making vegan-friendly pumpkin cookie dough from Feasting on Fruit instead of full-blown cookies. You still get all of the indulgences for half the work.
6. Pumpkin Toffee Cookies
Toffee lovers rejoice because it turns out that pumpkin pairs beautifully with toffee and its caramel-like flavors in this delightful treat. For extra decadence, try drizzling on some melted white chocolate.
7. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies
Can’t eat gluten? Not a problem for Little Spoon Farm’s gluten-free pumpkin cookies. What separates these cookies from the rest is the layer of tangy cream cheese frosting spread on top.
8. Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
If you want the taste of fall in every bite, these vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies with an orange glaze are sure to please. Orange enhances the pumpkin flavor in this recipe, and the rolled oats add even more natural chew than a regular pumpkin cookie.
9. Pumpkin Pie Pinwheel Cookies
Pinwheel cookies have a darling aesthetic that really wows people. Serve up some of Food Network’s pumpkin pie pinwheel cookies at your next bake sale or holiday gathering and your baking skills will be the talk of the town.
10. Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies
Sandwich cookie lovers deserve pumpkin-flavored goodies too. With the sweetness of a pumpkin cookie and the spicy depth of a molasses cookie, pumpkin spice sandwich cookies from Tasty are perfectly balanced by a sweet and tangy filling.
11. Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
Cookies for breakfast? Absolutely. Chia seeds, rolled oats, coconut flakes, and nut butter makes pumpkin breakfast cookies from Feasting on Fruit a healthy and filling way to start the day. You might even get picky eaters excited for breakfast.
12. Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Folks with strict dietary needs will enjoy vegan chocolate chip pumpkin cookies from A Saucy Kitchen. Chilling the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes makes the dough feel less oily and helps the cookies hold their shape while baking. On top of being vegan, this recipe is also gluten-free.
13. Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies
Giada De Laurentiis from Food Network elevates the average oatmeal raisin cookie by adding pumpkin puree and a touch of maple syrup, making these cookies a perfect after-school autumn snack.
14. Halloween Pumpkin Cookies
In the spirit of the spooky holiday, make some Halloween Pumpkin Cookies from The Kitchn by carving them into Jack-o’-lantern shapes and sandwiching homemade chocolate spread in between.
15. Pumpkin Bars
Bar cookies are a perfect alternative for anyone averse to rolling and cutting out dough or shaping and dolloping batter. Instead, the cookie dough is baked all at once in a pan and then cut into bars to serve. Try making these pumpkin bars from Taste of Home next time you need to feed a crowd fast.
16. Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Pumpkin serves as a bridge between two different kinds of desserts in these cookies from Buns in My Oven. Combining bite-size cookies with the decadence of a cheesecake is always a winning combination.
17. Soft Pumpkin Dog Treats
Don’t leave Fido out of the fall fun. For older dogs or dogs with sensitive teeth, try Pook’s Pantry’s soft pumpkin dog treats. They make the perfect animal-friendly cookie, and pet parents can relax knowing what’s going into their dogs’ mouths.
18. Pumpkin Chai Crinkle Cookies
Calling all chai latte fans. Infusing chai spices into pumpkin crinkle cookies on How Sweet Eats makes for just the right side to a cup of coffee…or a cup of chai.
19. Crumbl Pumpkin Cake Cookies
You don’t have to choose between flavoring your pumpkin cookies with cream cheese or chocolate chips; these soft Crumbl-inspired pumpkin cake cookies from Lifestyle of a Foodie encourage you to do both.
20. Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies
We couldn’t make a pumpkin cookie list without a recipe from Libby’s. And who could resist this one from Very Best Baking? Using pumpkin, walnuts, and fresh or frozen cranberries brings together the best flavors of Thanksgiving without the hassle of making pie or sauce.
How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 3 Cups Granulated Sugar
- 29 oz (1 can) Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Cup Butter, Melted
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Eggs
- 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 6 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 4 Tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 12 oz Semi-Sweet Morsels (Regular or Mini)
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2: Mix the Wet Ingredients
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, pumpkin, melted butter, and vanilla. You can use a bowl and a handheld mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer. Once this mixture is smooth, add the eggs and beat for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Mix the Dry Ingredients
Whisk together pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the first 2 cups of flour, and mix until blended. Repeat this process with 2 more cups of flour, then blend in the final cup. Add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
Step 4: Drop by Rounded Teaspoonful
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. A baking mat will also work. Drop ¼ cup rounded scoops of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Step 5: Bake
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
Pumpkin Cookie Recipes FAQ
How can I use pumpkin instead of butter in cookies?
Pumpkin puree may not get the publicity that options like apple sauce do, but you can absolutely use it instead of butter in your recipes. According to Taste of Home, you need to use ¾ of the amount when swapping out pumpkin for butter.
For 1 cup of butter, you would use ¾ cup of pumpkin. To determine other amounts, multiply the amount listed for butter by .75.
What is the difference between pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling?
This can be tricky when you’re at the store. Your recipe calls for “pumpkin,” but the store only has “pumpkin pie filling.” Is it okay to swap them out?
In most cases, the answer is no. Southern Living explains that canned pumpkin is just what it sounds like – cooked, pureed pumpkin with no additional seasonings. You can use it in sweet or savory recipes.
Pumpkin pie filling, on the other hand, is designed for baking. It is pre-sweetened and pre-seasoned. Pumpkin pie filling includes cinnamon, clove, allspice, ginger, and sugar.
If you don’t feel like going to the extra work or are a semi-homemade baker, this filling can go right into a crust and into your oven. But you wouldn’t want to use it in pumpkin pasta or soups.
Can you refrigerate pumpkin cookie dough?
According to Martha Stewart, not only can you refrigerate pumpkin cookie dough, but you should do so before baking whatever pumpkin cookie recipe you’ve chosen. One of the main reasons refrigeration works is because of the flour.
Refrigerating your dough allows the sugar in your recipe to draw water from the flour and brown better. It also makes your dough firmer, so your cookies won’t spread out as much during baking.
If you always wondered why bakery cookies were plump and yours were flat, this is the reason. Give your dough 30 minutes in the fridge, and your cookies will turn out moist, flavorful, and glorious looking.
Can pumpkin cookies be frozen?
Unfrosted cookies will stay fresh for up to a year in an airtight container in the freezer. And frosted cookies will keep for two months. The even better news is that the dough freezes, too. Mix up a batch of your favorite, roll them into balls, and pop them into the freezer. They will keep up to 3 months this way.
How long can you keep pumpkin cookies?
You can freeze your cookies, but the best way to store the unfrosted variety is in an airtight container on the countertop. The soft type will last for a week, and the crispier ones for a couple of weeks. Frosted cookies should be refrigerated and will last about a week. Freezing any of your cookies will make them last for up to a year.
Fall is the perfect season to start adding pumpkin to your recipes, and these pumpkin cookie recipes are an excellent way to start. There are unlimited varieties to choose from for both you and your furry friends, and they come in vegan and gluten-free options, so all your friends and family can be included.
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