Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with an easy powdered sugar glaze icing stay soft for days. No need to chill the dough! An easy Thanksgiving dessert that kids will love.

Today I’m sharing a recipe I made in my early days of marriage. Matt and I both love cookies, so when fall rolled around, I made soft pumpkin cookies.

They are a favorite from my Amish cookbook. The original soft pumpkin cookies recipe called for shortening, but we switched that out for butter to enhance the deliciously rich pumpkin taste.

an iced cookie with pecans on a wire rack

Why you’ll love these cookies:

  • Common pantry ingredients
  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree for pumpkin flavor
  • Soft, light cookies that stay moist
  • No need to chill the dough

How to Make Pumpkin Cookies

To prepare, preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. I use a dark baking sheet which makes the cookies slightly taller with a firmer bottom. If you use a light baking sheet, the cookies will spread a little more and be softer.

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the sugar, butter and egg. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the pumpkin and mix until combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.
  • Use an cookie scoop to dollop cookie batter onto a baking sheet. Don’t flatten them, just leave them in the little ball that the cookie scoop makes them in.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the cookies are baked through. The darker sheet may be closer to 10 minutes, a lighter sheet may need a minute or two longer.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking pan, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Want to make pumpkin cookies with spice cake mix? Try our pumpkin cake mix cookies.

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Once the cookies are cool, whisk up a simple powdered sugar glaze to spoon over the top of the cookies. The more milk you add, the runnier the glaze will be, so add it slowly. The glaze adds a slight sweetness since the cookies are not overly sweet.

If you’d like a thicker cream cheese frosting rather than a light icing, try our favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. And for a twist, use maple flavoring instead of vanilla extract. The maple glaze adds such a unique flavor and pairs well with the pumpkin.

This frosting will not form a crust so that the cookies can stack. The pumpkin cookies are so soft that although the icing does set slightly, it will stay a little sticky on top.

Add chopped pecans or sprinkles or even mini chocolate chips to the top of the icing if you’d like.

Want chewy pumpkin cookies? Try our flattening technique for making chewy pumpkin cookies without eggs.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin and chocolate is such a fantastic combination of flavors. Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of chocolate chips to this cookie batter for a cake-like pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.

half of a cookie on top of another cookie
half of a cookie on top of another cookie

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

4.80 from 5 votes
Soft Pumpkin Cookies with an easy powdered sugar glaze icing stay soft for days. No need to chill the dough! An easy Thanksgiving dessert that kids will love.
Servings 31
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 242 grams
  • 1 cup unsalted butter* 8 ounces room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin purée 230 grams
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 260 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 7 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 4 grams
  • ½ teaspoon salt 3 grams
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 grams
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 2 grams

For the frosting:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2-3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Make the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. I use a dark baking sheet which makes the cookies slightly taller with a firmer bottom. If you use a light baking sheet, the cookies will spread a little more and be softer.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the sugar, butter and egg. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the pumpkin and mix until combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be thick.
  • Use an cookie scoop to dollop cookie batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Don’t flatten them, just leave them in the little ball that the cookie scoop makes them in.
  • Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the cookies are baked through. The darker sheet may be closer to 10 minutes, a lighter sheet may need a minute or two longer.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking pan, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Make the icing:

  • In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Whisk these ingredients together.
  • Add the powdered sugar and whisk until well combined. The icing will be a little runny so that it can easily cover the top of the cookies.
  • Spoon or drizzle the icing overtop the cookies.
  • Allow the cookies to set, then store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

*For even taller, cakier cookies, use vegetable shortening.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 31 cookies, with 1 serving being 1 frosted cookie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1445IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 121
Keyword canned pumpkin recipe, easy cookie recipes, thanksgiving
a plate of iced pumpkin cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree?

No. These are not the same. You need to use just plain pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin pie mix has other ingredients that will affect the flavor and texture of the cookies.

Can you freeze pumpkin cookie dough?

Yes. You can freeze this dough for up to 2 months. Read our post about freezing cookie dough for more tips.

Do pumpkin cookies need to be refrigerated?

The cookies are ok at room temperature for about 3 days. After that, refrigerate or store them in the freezer.

Can you freeze pumpkin cookies?

Yes. If you have baked pumpkin cookies leftover, freeze them in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw in the container before opening it. This will help them stay fresh. Also, freeze them in a single layer so they don’t stick together.

What can be used instead of pumpkin pie spice?

You can use cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice to achieve the same flavor. Make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Recipes

Have canned pumpkin? Try one of these recipes!

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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