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This pumpkin cookies recipe is ultra soft, chewy, and cozy spiced! Drizzle with simple icing for the perfect fall cookie.

Pumpkin cookies
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Here’s our ultimate fall treat: this Pumpkin Cookies recipe! These sweet morsels are lusciously pillowy and chewy, scented with a burst of fall spices and a hint of molasses. The exterior has a subtle sugar crunch and a drizzle of simple sweet icing. Even better, the soft texture holds up for days. They really are the best, if we do say so ourselves: perfect for fall dessert tables, Halloween, Thanksgiving and everything in between.

Ingredients in this pumpkin cookies recipe

Here’s the thing: we’re not huge fans of cakey pumpkin cookies. You know, the kind that are basically like little round pumpkin cakes? We get the appeal, but to us they’re not really cookies. So with this recipe, we set about to create a pumpkin cookie that’s well, an actual cookie!

These come out irresistibly soft and chewy, like the texture of a molasses ginger cookie but with pumpkin and pumpkin spices. The key? Don’t use too much pumpkin puree: it adds lots of moisture which leads to cakey cookies. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this pumpkin cookie recipe:

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg yolk
  • Molasses
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Pumpkin Cookies

A few ingredient notes

What makes these pumpkin cookies so great? The texture is so pillowy and chewy, and the flavor is developed and perfectly spiced. Here are a few keys to achieving that perfect cookie:

  • Brown the butter. Heat the butter until it starts to turn brown and smells nutty, then immediately remove from the heat. Browning the butter adds a deep nuance in flavor (and smells incredible).
  • Use a small amount of pumpkin and a hint of molasses. Too much pumpkin makes for cakey cookies. This recipe uses just enough pumpkin and a bit of molasses, which helps to make the perfect chewy texture.
  • Use individual spices instead of pumpkin pie spice. We’ve found you can get the best flavor in baked goods using individual spices vs the premade jar.

Tips for baking pumpkin cookies

Cookies can be temperamental, and pumpkin cookies are no different. It’s challenging to get cookies that look perfectly identical. Here are a few tips for upping your baking game:

  • Use a cookie scoop. If you have a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop, it’s helpful for portioning the dough perfectly.
  • Bake the trays separately. This is one of our biggest baking tips: bake only one tray of cookies at a time! This ensures the best consistency between the trays because the oven heat is the same for each. (This is even true with beautiful new ranges like this one.)
  • Refrigerate the dough in between baking the trays. It’s not required, but it also yields the most consistency. When you don’t chill in between baking, the cookies have slightly more crinkles — which actually looks nice, just slightly different from the first batch.
Pumpkin Cookies

One final note: you can also chill the dough longer than it takes to bake the first tray, but let it come to roughly room temperature before making the balls. (Baking the dough right from chilled yields different results.)

A note on pumpkin puree brands

There’s a fair amount of variation between pumpkin puree brands. Some are rather dry, and others are very wet. We’ve found from experimentation that Libby brand of canned pumpkin has the best dry texture for baking. We’re not affiliated with the brand: we’ve just noticed that other brands can be very wet. When you’re baking pumpkin cookies, if you have access to this brand it yields the most consistent results!

For the glaze

These pumpkin cookies taste delicious without the icing glaze: but it adds just the right heightened sweetness. It also looks fun and makes them even more irresistible! Here are a few notes on the glaze:

  • Let the cookies cool to room temperature before icing them. Otherwise, the icing will melt!
  • Use a fork for drizzling. It seems counterintuitive, but a fork makes better lines than a spoon.
  • Adjust the texture as needed. If the icing is too dry add a hint of milk. If it’s too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar.
  • Or, try maple glaze. Go to this irresistible Maple Glaze for a fun spin.
Pumpkin Cookies

Storage for pumpkin cookies

We’ve mentioned it a few times, but we’ll say it again: these pumpkin cookies hold up well over time. This is a must for cookies in our opinion, since you’re making them in such a big batch. Here’s what to note about storing these cookies:

  • Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 1 week. The texture holds up well: no need to add anything to the container.
  • Store refrigerated for 2 weeks. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  • Store frozen for up to 3 months. If you can, freeze the cookies un-iced: it doesn’t hold up as well frozen.
Pumpkin cookies

More pumpkin recipes

‘Tis the season! Here are a few more pumpkin recipes you’ll love:

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Pumpkin cookies

The Best Pumpkin Cookies (Really!)

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 26 cookies 1x


This pumpkin cookies recipe is ultra soft, chewy, and cozy spiced! Drizzle with simple icing for the perfect fall cookie.



For the cookies

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (280 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree (Libby brand is most consistent for baked goods*)

For the glaze (or Maple Glaze)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the butter (sliced into pieces) in a skillet over medium heat. Heat for about 5 minutes until it melts, turns foamy, and then becomes golden brown in color and smells nutty. Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes to cool (you can also do this in advance and cool it to room temperature).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Add the cooled browned butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and mix on High speed for 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, molasses and vanilla extract, and beat on High speed for 1 minute. Add the pumpkin puree and mix just until incorporated, scraping once. Pour in the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on Low speed until just combined.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place ¼ cup granulated sugar on a plate. Roll the dough in 1 ½ tablespoon balls, using a cookie scoop if possible, then roll the ball into the plate of sugar. Repeat for a tray of 12 cookies. Add a single tray to the oven and bake 12 to 13 minutes, until puffed. Chill the remaining dough while baking (recommended but not required; without it the second batch comes out with slightly more crinkles**). Allow to cool on the pan 5 minutes before removing to a baking rack.
  6. Repeat for the second batch of cookies (baking the trays separately yields more even results).
  7. Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, milk and melted butter in a small bowl until a thick icing forms (add slightly more sugar if it’s too runny or a hint more milk if too thick). Use a fork to drizzle the icing over the cookies. Wait for about 20 minutes for the icing to dry before serving.
  8. Store at room temperature for about 1 week, refrigerated for 2 weeks (bring to room temperature before serving), or frozen for 3 months (un-iced cookies freeze best).


*Don’t use pumpkin pie filling! Canned pumpkin can vary in moisture level, and too much moisture makes cakey pumpkin cookies. We’ve found Libby brand canned pumpkin has the best dry texture for baking, while other brands can have more moisture than others.

**You can also chill the dough longer than it takes to bake the first tray, but let it come to roughly room temperature before making the balls. (Baking the dough right from chilled yields different results.)

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Fall
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!