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These soft-batch Pumpkin Cookies are one of my favorite fall traditions and they’re sure to be one of yours too! Cake-like spiced pumpkin cookies are topped with a rich cream cheese frosting for an irresistible treat.

pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting on a baking sheet

It’s that time of the year when pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin rolls are seemingly everywhere. Well, why not change things up this fall and make some Pumpkin Cookies instead? They’ve got that cozy pumpkin spice flavor everyone loves, but in convenient handheld form!

Or, better yet, make Pumpkin Cookies and all the usual pumpkin recipes. You can never have enough pumpkin!

pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting on parchment paper on a black cooling rack

SOFT BATCH PUMPKIN COOKIES

Cake-y cookies are always a treat as far as I’m concerned because they’re so rare! Most cookies are crispy or chewy, but there aren’t as many recipes that have soft, cake-like results. I’d say this recipe is a little bit like a pumpkin muffin top, but with edges that are chewy and a center that’s puffy and pillowy.

While this Pumpkin Cookie recipe is delicious as-is, what really takes it to the next level is the cream cheese frosting. It’s rich, sweet, and it has just the right amount of that signature tang you get from a good homemade recipe.

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE PUMPKIN COOKIES

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

FOR THE COOKIES:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Pumpkin spiceHere’s how to make your own.
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter – This needs to be softened, so make sure you take it out and let it sit on the counter before you start baking.
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure you buy the puree, not pie mix!
  • Eggs – For the fluffiest cookies, leave the eggs on the countertop to warm up with the butter; warm eggs hold more air when beaten, resulting in a lighter texture.
  • Vanilla extract

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • Cream cheese – Take the cream cheese out of the fridge when the cookies are cooling so it softens.
  • Butter – Do the same with the butter!
  • Confectioners sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk – Only if you need to thin the frosting a bit.
  • Salt

SUBSTITUTIONS

  1. Frosting – I love cream cheese frosting, but not everyone does! Vanilla or maple buttercream can be used instead, or use your favorite royal icing recipe if you’d like to decorate your cookies.
  2. Puree – You don’t have to use pumpkin to make Pumpkin Cookies! Here are some pumpkin puree substitutes that work just as well.
steps to make soft cake-y pumpkin cookies

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1. PREPARE

Preheat your oven to 350°F, then grease baking sheets with butter or nonstick spray.

2. MIX THE DRY INGREDIENTS

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin spice, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

3. MIX THE WET INGREDIENTS

Use a hand mixer to beat the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until they’re light and fluffy. Then, beat in the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth.

4. COMBINE THE WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS

Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture, beating between additions.

5. BAKE AND COOL

Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop balls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the Pumpkin Cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the centers are puffy. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to finish cooling.

6. MAKE THE FROSTING

Add the cream cheese and butter to a medium bowl; use a hand mixer to beat them until they’re well-combined and creamy. Pour in the vanilla, then slowly stir in the confectioners’ sugar. If the frosting seems too thick to easily spread onto the cookies, you can add milk a tablespoon at a time.

7. FROST THE PUMPKIN COOKIES

Spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies and let them set on the cooling racks before transferring to an airtight container.

Hint: Always error on the site of under-mixing the dough rather than over-mixing. It’s okay for there to be some flour streaks in the dough! If you over-mix, your cookies will be tough.

pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. stack of two cookies with top cookie having a bite taken out of it

VARIATIONS

  • Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies – Add chocolate chips to the cookie dough.
  • Decorated Pumpkin Cookies – Or, you can frost the cookies and use chocolate chips to make a smiling jack-o-lantern face on them!
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies – Use your favorite cup-for-cup gluten-free baking flour blend.

FAQ

DO PUMPKIN COOKIES NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED?

Yes, Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting do need to be refrigerated! While cream cheese frosting is okay to leave at room temperature for a few hours, it won’t hold up beyond that, so make sure you pop your cookies in the fridge.

CAN YOU FREEZE PUMPKIN COOKIES?

These cookies are great for freezing! Place them flat in a gallon-size freezer bag or in an airtight container, using wax paper to separate layers and keep the cookies from sticking together. Thaw them in the fridge when you’re ready to eat them.

TOP TIP

Let the cookies cool completely before you frost them. Warm baked goods and cream cheese frosting aren’t a good combination!

MORE PUMPKIN DESSERTS TO ENJOY

Pumpkin Cookies

These Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies are topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting that has a cake-like texture you are sure to love!
3.84 from 6 votes
Course: Dessert
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients  

cookies

  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter 1 stick, softened
  • 15 oz can, pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • *dash of milk to thin if needed
  • dash of salt

Instructions 

  • PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheets.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpin spice, and salt in medium bowl.
  • Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture into wet mixture.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets or use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop.
  • BAKE for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm.
  • Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Add a dash of milk if needed to thin to desired consistency.
  • Add to cool cookies. Allow to set on a baking rack. Store in fridge.
Keyword: cream cheese frosting, pumpkin, pumpkin cookies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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