These easy drop-style Halloween pumpkin cookies are a seasonal spin on soft and chewy sugar cookies. Flavored with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin purée, these cookies are sure to be a fall favorite.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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What’s so great about these Halloween cookies and why you should make them
First, these are an easy, drop-style sugar cookie. Nothing fancy, nothing difficult, just a basic sugar cookie with pumpkin and warm spices mixed in. This means that if you have littles who like to help, this is a great recipe to make with them.
Or, if you are like me and do not have littles, but also want cookies, you can have them in about an hour.
They are delicious as is, or you can make them a bit more festive with a cookie glaze and sprinkles or a little decoration.
Ingredients you will need
These easy pumpkin sugar cookies for Halloween are made from common pantry ingredients, which means you probably have everything you need to make them.
- Flour – the regular flour you have in the pantry.
- Vanilla – pure vanilla extract, gives an unmistakable flavor.
- Brown sugar – has a deeper flavor than regular sugar, thanks to molasses.
- Egg – provides stability and structure. Large eggs are the standard size in recipes.
- Butter – unsalted, or “sweet cream” butter. Make sure it is unsalted so you can control the salt. Provides great flavor to baked goods.
- Sugar – just a touch of sweetness, not too much.
- Pumpkin – 100% pure pumpkin purée in the can.
- Pumpkin pie spice – a blend of warm spices, you can certainly use the individual spices if you like.
- Cinnamon – warm and toasty spice that gives that familiar flavor in fall baked goods.
- Salt – all baked goods need salt, I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
- Baking powder and baking soda – baking powder gives the cookies just a tiny bit of lift, while the baking soda helps the cookies spread just the right amount.
How to make Halloween pumpkin cookies
First, whisk all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add remaining wet ingredients and mix to combine.
Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture and mix until uniform. Use a cookie scoop to portion dough onto prepared baking sheet. Chill the dough, then bake.
Let the cookies cool slightly before moving them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
I like to stack them with pieces of parchment paper in between before storing. They are a moist cookie and can stick a little if you live in a warm or humid climate.
Decorate the cookies
These chewy pumpkin sugar cookies are delicious as is, but if you want to decorate them for Halloween, here are a few tips to help you do just that.
Mix all of the ingredients for the cookie glaze (recipe in card below) in a small bowl until smooth. Use a small offset spatula to spread the glaze on the cookie. Top with sprinkles while icing is still wet.
To make spider web design, make a spiral pattern with black decorating gel and drag a wooden skewer or toothpick from the center of the cookie through to spiral design to the edge.
Let the icing dry for at least 2 hours before stacking the cookies, especially if you use decorating gel. The cookie icing will harden slightly once it has dried.
Chef Tips and pumpkin cookie Q&A
Absolutely. You can make the dough a day ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. You can also make the cookies a day ahead – they will stay fresh for a couple of days.
Yes! I would not freeze them with the icing. If you plan to freeze the cookies, plain is the way to go. The icing will become a mess once thawed.
Yes! I sent the cookies in this photo to my nephew, so I can guarantee you that they ship well. You can also check out my post for how to ship cookies for additional tips.
More Halloween treats
Helpful tools and equipment
In addition to the basics, these are the tools I used to make these Halloween cookies.
- Silpat silicone baking mat – These are an inexpensive option and they have great ratings.
- Cookie scoop – This is the exact cookie scoop I used to portion the dough.
- Baking sheet & cooling rack – I like this set that comes together. The cooling rack fits perfectly inside the pan.
- Small offset spatula – This is the tool I use to spread icing on cookies, cakes, muffins, etc.
- Scale – weighing ingredients is a much more accurate way to measure. This inexpensive scale is a great investment.
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For the cookies
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour // 300 grams
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter // 1 1/2 sticks, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar // 200 grams
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar // 106 grams
- 1 egg (large)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
For the glaze
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar // 312 grams
- 3 - 4 tbsp. milk or half and half
- 2 tsp. light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- - sprinkles, decorating gel, optional
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to thoroughly combine, then set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with sugars using an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add egg and beat to combine.
- Add vanilla and mix to combine, then add pumpkin and beat until smooth and uniform, about 1 minute.
- Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, then mix again just to combine.
- Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Using a cookie scoop, portion out dough onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 325°F with convection / 180°C / Gas mark 4.
- Remove tray of cookie dough from refrigerator and place in preheated oven. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes (time varies by oven) until golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Glaze and decorate
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine powdered (icing) sugar and milk. Stir to combine.
- Add remaining ingredients, then stir until smooth.
- Use an offset spatula to spread glaze on cookies. Decorate with sprinkles or decorating gel.
To make spider web design:
Use black decorating gel to draw a spiral pattern on top of glazed cookie. Drag a toothpick or wooden skewer from the center of the cookie through the spiral pattern to the edges of the cookie.
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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