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How to make pumpkin cookies

How to make pumpkin cookies that practically melt in your mouth! Pillowy soft and filled with warm, seasonal spices.

Soft pumpkin cookies frosted with a buttery cinnamon icing are a perfect fall treat. Make a batch of these melt in your mouth cookies for Halloween and top with fun sprinkles. Try these Day of the Dead cupcakes for another delicious sweet.

plated pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin lovers could also try this easy shortcut recipe for pumpkin empanadas made with store-bought empanada dough.

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How to make soft pumpkin cookies

I’ve been making these delicious cookies for almost 10 years, my apologies that it’s taken me so long to put the recipe here.

A very long time ago, I had a booth at our local farmer’s market and I used to sell these. They were the size of my palm when I made them for the market.

These are two to three bite size, which is a normal size for a cookie. If you want to make them bigger, just increase your baking time by a few minutes.

pumpkin cookies cooling on rack

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.

frosting soft pumpkin cookies

They are very easy to make: Dry ingredients are whisked together in one bowl, butter and sugar are beaten together in another bowl. The rest of the wet ingredients are added to the butter mixture and mixed until incorporated.

Dry ingredients are added to wet 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.

I recommend baking them on pans lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for best results.

I just made the pumpkin cookies. OMG – they are delicious! The recipe is so easy to follow and the cookies came out fluffy and soft.

– Elaine
frosted pumpkin cookies on plate

Spiced pumpkin cookies with frosting

Once the cookies have completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on them (I use an offset spatula) and top with these adorable sprinkles.

sprinkles for Halloween

They are perfect for Halloween! They have a mix of sugar pumpkins, bats and ghosts, along with jimmies, nonpareils and sugar pearls.

frosted pumpkin cookies with sprinkles on plate

You’ll have a little pumpkin leftover from your can, so you can make a batch of these Halloween pumpkin cookies too.

If you have a furry member of the family, show them some love with homemade oatmeal pumpkin dog treats!

How to store cookies

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.

a bite of pumpkin cookie

Freeze unfrosted cookies in an airtight container with layers of parchment between them, then remove a few cookies at a time to thaw and frost when the craving strikes.

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Yield: 40 cookies

How to make pumpkin cookies

How to make pumpkin cookies

How to make pumpkin cookies that practically melt in your mouth.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 57 minutes


For the cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (9.4 oz)
  • 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 (1 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

For the frosting

  • 2 cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C/Gas Mark 4
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. (don't worry if it looks curdled, it's fine)
  5. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat until combined, but do not over-mix.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) drop dough 2 inches apart onto lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While cookies are cooling, make frosting: With electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until light and fluffy.
  9. 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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total 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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