Filled with warm, seasonal spices, these soft pumpkin cookies are topped with a buttery cinnamon icing, making them the perfect fall treat. Make a batch of these melt in your mouth cookies for Halloween and top with fun sprinkles.
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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Why you should make this recipe
If you love soft and fluffy cookies, warm spices, and pumpkin, these are your kind of cookie!
- Quick & easy – The cookies are done in under an hour, including cooling time.
- Perfect for Halloween – The sprinkles on top make them perfect for Halloween.
- Seasonal – While this cookie is great for Halloween, don’t limit yourself to just one day! They are a terrific treat for the whole season.
Soft pumpkin cookies
These are always a hit when I make them. They are super soft, cakey and honestly almost melt in your mouth.
The pumpkin cookies themselves aren’t terribly sweet, which is why I like them so much, but the frosting gives them just enough extra sweetness to take care of that sweet tooth craving.
I used orange and black spooky sprinkles to decorate them, but you can switch it up with autumn colored sprinkles, or leave the sprinkles off and serve them with a light dusting of cinnamon sugar on top of the frosting for a sprinkle-free option.
- All purpose flour – Flour is the backbone of the recipe, it gives the cookies structure.
- Baking powder & baking soda – These are the leaveners that help the cookies rise and spread.
- Sea salt – All baked goods need salt. I used fine sea salt.
- Ground cinnamon & ground nutmeg – The spices that make these pumpkin cookies taste delicious.
- Unsalted butter – Unsalted butter lets you control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Sugar – Sweetens the cookies just the right amount.
- Egg – Eggs provide structure and help bind the cookies.
- Vanilla extract – You can substitute with vanilla bean paste, if you have it.
- Pure pumpkin puree – I use Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling).
How to make soft pumpkin cookies
Here’s a quick summary of how to make soft pumpkin cookies. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
These melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies are very easy to make:
- First, whisk dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then beat butter and sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Then, the remaining wet ingredients are added to the butter mixture and mixed until incorporated.
- Next, the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients and it gets a final mixing before being scooped and baked. I use a size 40 scoop for these cookies – it holds 1.5 tbsp.
- Once the cookies have completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on them (I use an offset spatula) and top with these adorable sprinkles.
They are perfect for Halloween! They have a mix of sugar pumpkins, bats and ghosts, along with jimmies, nonpareils and sugar pearls.
Soft pumpkin cookies FAQ’s
Freeze unfrosted cookies in an airtight container with layers of parchment between them, then thaw at room temperature.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
These cookies are best the day they are made. They are good the next day, but by the third day, they start to dry out a little.
Variations and substitutions
Instead of using individual spices, you can substitute with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
Here are a few ideas for mix-ins: 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts or dried cranberries.
If you are making these soft pumpkin cookies for Halloween, here are a few more of our favorite treats:
- Day of the Dead cupcakes are chocolatey and delicious with sugar skull decorations.
- Pumpkin empanadas made with store-bought empanada dough are an easy project to make with kids.
- If you have a furry member of the family, show them some love with homemade oatmeal pumpkin dog treats!
Helpful tools and equipment
- I recommend baking them on pans lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for best results.
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For the cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour // 240g
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 sticks unsalted butter // 226g
- 1 cup sugar // 200g
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling) // 240ml
For the frosting
- 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar // 250g
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened // 113g
- 2 tbsp. whole milk
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 - 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. (don't worry if it looks curdled, it's fine)
- Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat until combined, but do not over-mix.
- Using a small cookie scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) drop dough 2 inches apart onto lined cookie sheets.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
- While cookies are cooling, make frosting: With electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy.
- Spread frosting on cooled cookies and top with sprinkles, if desired.
*Everyone's oven is slightly different, so keep an eye on your first batch of cookies for timing. My cookies needed 12 minutes, but yours may need more or less time, depending on your oven.
To make large cookies, use a 3.25 ounce scoop - yield will be approximately 20 - 22 cookies.
Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 88mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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