These Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are the ultimate fall treat ... they're full of delicious pumpkin flavor, easy to make, and I guarantee you won't be able to stop at one!
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Pumpkin season is almost over, which makes me a little sad ... it's too short!
I couldn't let fall pass without sharing these delightful Pumpkin Spice Cookies though. I've been working on this recipe for a while now, and it took me quite a few tries to perfect. It was sooo worth it though!
These cookies have the perfect texture (not cakey, like many Pumpkin Cookies), they're loaded with scrumptious pumpkin flavor, and they're not overly sweet. And then there's that Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Yum!
Best of all, they're easy to make, so whip up a batch (or three) before autumn is over. You'll find all the mouthwatering details below.
These tasty fall cookies use ingredients you can find in any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Pumpkin Puree (NOT Pumpkin Pie Filling)
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar (Either light or dark works.)
- Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Spices: Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, and Nutmeg (Sub Pumpkin Pie Spice if you prefer.)
- Frosting: Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar, Cinnamon, and Vanilla Extract
One unique thing about this recipe is that it doesn't use eggs. I skipped the egg to cut the moisture content (there's already a lot in the pumpkin), and to keep the cookies from puffing up and becoming cakey. The resulting cookie is soft, but dense (almost chewy), very moist, and loaded with delicious pumpkin spice flavor!
Because there's no egg, you could easily make these cookies vegan by using a plant-based butter. The frosting might be a little more difficult to replicate (let me know if you try!), but the plain cookies are actually quite delish all on their own.
You'll Also Need
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cookies
The first thing you need to do is combine the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda, spices, and salt—in a medium bowl. Whisk everything together until thoroughly mixed, then set the mixture aside for now.
Next, you'll cream together room temperature butter and brown sugar using a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until it's light and fluffy. Once that's combined, mix in the vanilla extract and pumpkin.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter-pumpkin mixture. When that's mostly incorporated, add the remaining flour, then continue mixing just until everything is well combined.
Tip: As you're mixing the ingredients, it's important to stop and scrape down the bowl a few times using a spatula (these silicone spatulas are the BEST). This will insure that the dough gets evenly mixed. I found that a little flour tended to settle in the bottom of my stand mixer's bowl, especially after adding the second half ... so keep an eye out for that!
Spray a couple cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Then, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the pans, about 2 inches apart. You should get about 20 cookies.
Next, wet your very lightly hands with water, then press down the tops of the cookies until they're about ½-inch thick. You can also fix their shape a bit, if needed.
Bake the flattened cookies until they're lightly browned on the bottom. You will need two baking sheets to cook all the cookies (unless you have a really big one), and I'd recommend baking each batch separately. If you do bake both at the same time, rotate the pans halfway through. They many need a little extra cooking time, too.
Tip: These cookies will hold their shape as they bake. I like the slightly rustic appearance, but if you'd prefer perfectly round cookies, roll the dough into balls (with wet hands) before flattening them.
How do you know when the pumpkin cookies are done?
It can be hard to tell when darker cookies, like these, are done baking. Check the cookie's underside by carefully lifting one with a spatula. When the bottoms are lightly browned, the cookies are done.
This took about 10 minutes for me, but every oven is different. I'd recommend checking the cookies at 9 minutes ... earlier if your oven runs hot. If you do not flatten the cookies, they will take longer to cook (about 14 minutes in my oven).
Avoid overcooking the cookies. They don't need to be browned around the edges ... these are not crispy, crunchy cookies (less time is better).
The cookies will be slightly puffed up straight out of the oven, but they'll flatten a bit as they cool. Let the cookies cool for about five minutes on the pan, then transfer them to a baking rack to cool completely before frosting.
Frosting the Cookies
This Cream Cheese Frosting is totally irresistible and super easy to make. Start by mixing room temperature cream cheese in your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until smooth. There shouldn't be any visible lumps.
Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and just a pinch of salt, then mix until well combined.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, add a generous dollop of icing, then swirl it around to frost the cookies. You can use a butter knife, like I did, or a small offset spatula, if you have one. I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon for a cute finishing touch.
I have to admit that I ate that cookie below immediately after frosting it ... and it was so good! These cookies are the perfect fall treat. Make them for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or anytime a pumpkin craving strikes.
Storing the Cookies
Once frosted, refrigerate the cookies in a single layer in a large airtight container. I inherited one of these Tupperware pie keepers from my mom, and it's perfect for cookies, cupcakes, and of course, pies. I'm not even sure how old that thing is, but it's multiple decades at this point!
I like these Pumpkin Spice Cookies even better when they're slightly chilled. Let me know if you agree!
You can also freeze these cookies. To do so, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then top with the cookies in a single layer and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cookies to an airtight container, separating any layers with parchment paper. They should keep for about a month this way. Defrost in a single layer in your refrigerator or for about half an hour at room temp.
Can't get enough pumpkin treats? Try one of these recipes next:
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cake Pops
- Mini Pumpkin Pies with Cinnamon Cheesecake Topping
- Spicy Pumpkin Steamer
- Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
- Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
P.S. You can find all my favorite pumpkin recipes here ... both sweet and savory!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon,
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer), cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl with a spatula occasionally as you go.
- Add half the flour mixture and mix until mostly incorporated. Scrape down bowl, then add remaining flour. Mix until everything is combined (check the bottom of the bowl).
- Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.
- Lightly wet hands with water, then flatten cookies to about ½-inch thick and smooth any rough edges.
- Bake cookies until lightly browned on bottom, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to cool.
- While cookies bake, mix cream cheese in stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) until completely smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and pinch salt. Mix until well combined.
- Once cookies have cooled completely, frost generously with cream cheese icing.
- Eat cookies immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container until ready to eat. Enjoy!