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This pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting will give you soft, melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin cookies! Spiced and frosted for the best fall indulgence.

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pumpkin cookie recipe

Chewy pumpkin cookies are out. Soft, cakey pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are in! 😋

This is the ultimate pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting to cure your autumn blues. Filled with cozy, warm spices and made extra indulgent with thick cream cheese frosting, these cookies are the best way to kickstart fall baking. 

I’ve also included gluten-free and dairy-free options for this spiced pumpkin cookie recipe so anyone can enjoy these delicious fall treats. 

What Are Pumpkin Cookies?

Pumpkin cookies or pumpkin spice cookies are soft, cakey cookies made with pumpkin puree and warm spices.

There are also chewy pumpkin cookies, but if you’re team melt-in-the-mouth cookies, then this pumpkin cookie recipe is for you. 

They’re pillowy soft, perfectly complementing the smooth and creamy frosting. I swear just a piece or five ( Hey, cookies are my weakness! 😂) of pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting easily satisfy my cravings for pumpkin cheesecake! 🤤

What Are Pumpkin Cookies

This spiced pumpkin cookie recipe is cozier than your favorite fall sweater. You can even make it gluten-free using gluten-free flour!

And for my sweet tooth friends who can only enjoy dairy-free desserts, I got you. Scroll down for vegan-friendly ingredient substitutes!

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cookie Recipe With Cream Cheese Frosting

  • No Chill Time: No. Chill. Time. This pumpkin cookie recipe is perfect if you want, or slash that, need, cookies right now! This shorter prep time also means it’s a fantastic dessert for hosting a fall gathering.
  • Nostalgic And Warm: The soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture of these spiced pumpkin cookies and the flavor combination between the sweet pumpkin puree, warm autumn spices, and rich, tangy frosting all come together to give you autumn’s cozy vibe in every bite. 
  • Adaptable And Customizable: Feel free to make your pumpkin spice cookies vegan-friendly or gluten-free! You can even add more spices or pick only the spices you want. This pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting is super easy to modify to suit your cravings and diet. 

What Do Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting Taste Like?

Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting reminds me of pumpkin cheesecake. They’re not chewy like the spiced cookies we often have for fall, which I think is what makes them ultra-indulgent.

The warm spices in these frosted pumpkin puree cookies will make your house smell amazing. And because of their cakey texture, these cookies are like pumpkin pie filling in cookie form! 😋

What Do Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting Taste Like

You can enjoy these spiced pumpkin cookies plain, but making the smooth and creamy frosting is super easy anyway.

Frost them generously, and you’ll appreciate how the sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting pairs with the familiar pumpkin spice flavor. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting. So if you feel the same way about this sinfully decadent frosting, I’m happy to report that cream cheese frosting and pumpkin cookies go together like cream cheese frosting and cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients For Pumpkin Spice Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Spiced pumpkin cookies:

  • Unsalted butter – Make sure it’s soft and at room temperature for easier mixing with the other ingredients.
  • Baking powder – To make the cookies rise. 
  • Baking soda – To help the cookies spread.
  • Granulated sugar – This pumpkin cookie recipe has just the right amount of sweetness, perfect with the tanginess and richness of the cream cheese frosting! 😋
  • Salt – The additional saltiness gives these pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting more depth of flavor. Honestly, I think we should always salt our desserts. 🤷
  • Pumpkin pie spice – Instead of preparing multiple spices, we’ll use pumpkin pie spice in this spiced pumpkin cookie recipe. 
  • Ground cinnamon – Pumpkin plus cinnamon is a must for fall. I know this flavor combination is common in other fall desserts, but you should try them in cakey cookies ASAP. 
  • Egg – To get the perfect texture and structure on this spiced pumpkin cookie recipe.
  • Vanilla extract – Pumpkin spice cookies can always use a touch of vanilla. 
  • Pumpkin puree – You can make this pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting even if pumpkins are not in season. Just use canned puree!
  • All-purpose flour – Make sure your flour is measured accurately. Scroll down a bit further to find out why. 

Cream cheese frosting:

  • Cream cheese – Rich, creamy, and a bit tangy, this is the perfect frosting for our fall pumpkin cookies!
  • Unsalted butter – Having a hard time beating cream cheese and butter together? Try to beat the cream cheese first, add the butter, then mix until smooth.
  • Powdered sugar – To sweeten and thicken the cream cheese frosting for the pumpkin spice cookies.
  • Vanilla extract – We’ll also add some vanilla extract to the cream cheese frosting.

Tools Needed To Prepare This Spiced Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan pumpkin cookies

Can you make this pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting vegan? Absolutely! Just swap butter and cream cheese with dairy-free butter and plant-based cream cheese

White chocolate chips

Before you say anything, I know these pumpkin spice cookies are already frosted, but if you’re like me, who loves things extra indulgent, you can always add white chocolate chips for that extra sweet bliss. 

The resulting texture is also yummy!

Maple syrup

Looking for a new twist on classic cream cheese frosting? Try adding maple syrup and fall in love with the perfect fall cookie. 🤤

How to Make Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

For the spiced pumpkin cookies:

For the cream cheese frosting:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather and measure the ingredients for this pumpkin cookie recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.

step 1 pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 2: Beat butter on medium-high speed, then add the baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Beat until combined.

step 2a pumpkin cookie recipe
step 2b pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 3: Add the egg and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until there are no more streaks.

step 3 pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 4: Add the pumpkin puree and beat until well incorporated.

step 4a pumpkin cookie recipe
step 4b pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 5: Add the flour and mix on medium speed to form the cookie dough. It’ll be wetter than your usual cookie dough, but trust the process!

step 5a pumpkin cookie recipe
step 5b pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 6: Scoop out the dough on the baking sheet. Make sure the pumpkin cookie dough balls are spaced evenly.

step 6 pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 7: Bake the pumpkin cookies for 10 minutes or until they no longer look wet.

step 7 pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 8: Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then cool them completely on the wire rack.

STEP 9: While waiting for the pumpkin cookies to cool, beat cream cheese and butter until lump-free.

STEP 10: Sift in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat the frosting for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

step 10a pumpkin cookie recipe
step 10b pumpkin cookie recipe

STEP 11: Generously frost the cooled pumpkin cookies with the cream cheese frosting. Serve and enjoy!

step 11 pumpkin cookie recipe

What To Serve With Pumpkin Cookies

The best pair for these pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting? Your favorite cup of warm, cozy beverage!

Serve these spiced pumpkin cookies with a brown sugar cardamom latte, warm milk with spices and honey, or a soothing apple peel tea to suit fall’s mellow mood. 

What To Serve With Pumpkin Cookies

Want to tap into your inner barista but overwhelmed with drink recipes? Since you’re already making our easy pumpkin cookie recipe, check out our two autumn-worthy drinks:

Tips About Making This Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

  • The best thing about these pumpkin spice cookies is they’re as soft as cake! However, do not overmix the dough, or you’ll get tough cookies!
  • The secret to perfectly smooth cream cheese frosting for these spiced pumpkin cookies? Make sure your ROOM TEMPERATURE cream cheese and butter are soft enough, and always sift the sugar into the mixture AFTER beating the two. 
  • Be patient, and wait for the pumpkin cookies to cool completely before frosting. Otherwise, the cream cheese frosting will just melt. 

How To Store Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Fridge: To keep the melt-in-the-mouth texture of these pumpkin cookies, store them in the fridge BEFORE frosting. Put them in an airtight container and enjoy them for up to a week. 
  • Freezer: These spiced pumpkin cookies can be frozen! After cooling, freeze them on a baking sheet until solid, which usually takes about an hour. Then, transfer the cookies into a freezer-safe bag where they can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Thaw your frozen pumpkin spice cookies overnight in the fridge or uncover the cookies and let them sit at room temperature. Then, warm them up in the microwave at 10-second intervals, cool for a bit, and frost before serving.
How To Store Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Why Are My Pumpkin Cookies Flat?

These delicious pumpkin cookies should be soft and thick, so if they come out of the oven flat, check your leaveners.

The leaveners are your baking powder and baking soda. Label these ingredients after opening them because they won’t be as good (or potent, to be exact) after their shelf life.

Another thing to check is your flour. If you use less than the recipe required, you might end up with flat pumpkin cookies. 

The good news is you can easily avoid this by measuring your flour accurately with a kitchen scale.

How Does Pumpkin Affect Baking?

Adding pumpkin, or more specifically, pumpkin puree, to baked goods like this pumpkin cookie recipe makes the cookies soft and cake-like.

The moisture content of pumpkin puree also guarantees moist cookies. Bye bye crumbly cookies! 

And while pumpkin puree has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor, it’s not an overpowering taste. Besides cookies, try using it in muffins and bread loaves like in our pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread. 😋

Why Are My Pumpkin Cookies Sticky After Baking?

If you won’t be eating these soft pumpkin cookies immediately, I suggest storing them in the fridge. 

Remember how pumpkin puree yields moist baked goods? This moisture also means these pumpkin spice cookies can get sticky if you keep them at room temperature for too long!

Is There a Difference Between Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin Pie Spice? 

This is actually a tricky question! Sometimes, pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie spice are used interchangeably, but if you want to be technical, there is a small difference between the two. 

First, pumpkin spice is a blend of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger, and sometimes, even allspice is thrown in.

On the other hand, “real” pumpkin pie spice is pumpkin spice with extra spices in the mix. Besides cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice, pumpkin pie spice can also have cardamom, white pepper, and mace. 

FAQ About Pumpkin Cookies

How do you intensify pumpkin flavor?

Want to amp up the pumpkin flavor on this pumpkin cookie recipe? You can add pumpkin butter to the cream cheese frosting!

Why did my pumpkin cookies turn green?

As a science nerd, I found this interesting. Pumpkin cookies sometimes turn green because baking soda reacts with pumpkin puree.

What spices enhance pumpkin?

The warm spice blend in pumpkin spice is guaranteed to enhance pumpkin. But if you want to try something new with pumpkin, pair it with ginger, cloves, cardamom, white pepper, or mace.

Can you freeze pumpkin cookies?

You can freeze your pumpkin cookies before (check our Storage Guide above) or after frosting (by placing a piece of parchment paper between each layer.)  If you want to make them in advance, freeze the cookie dough balls until solid, then store them in a freezer-safe bag. Just add a minute or two to their baking time when you bake the pumpkin cookies from frozen!

Best Pumpkin Cookie Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 14 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

This pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting will give you soft, melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin cookies! Spiced and frosted for the best fall indulgence.

Instructions

  1. Gather and measure the ingredients for this pumpkin cookie recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter on medium-high speed, then add the baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Beat until combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix until there are no more streaks.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Add the flour and mix on medium speed to form the cookie dough. It'll be wetter than your usual cookie dough, but trust the process!
  6. Scoop out the dough on the baking sheet. Make sure the pumpkin cookie dough balls are spaced evenly. 
  7. Bake the pumpkin cookies for 10 minutes or until they no longer look wet.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then cool them completely on the wire rack. 
  9. While waiting for the pumpkin cookies to cool, beat cream cheese and butter until lump-free.
  10. Sift in the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat the frosting for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. 
  11. Generously frost the cooled pumpkin cookies with the cream cheese frosting. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • This pumpkin cookie recipe yields cakey, melt-in-the-mouth cookies. If your pumpkin cookies are tough, you might've overmixed the cookie dough. 
  • Always sift your sugar into the cream cheese frosting! This is key to a perfectly smooth frosting. And, of course, you want both your cream cheese and butter to be soft enough to avoid lumps in the mixture. 
  • Be patient and let the spiced pumpkin cookies cool completely before frosting them. Otherwise, the cream cheese frosting will just melt.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

I believe that everyone should have a go-to pumpkin cookie recipe for fall. And if you love cake-like cookies, I can guarantee you’ll bake these pumpkin spice cookies with thick cream cheese frosting on repeat! 

This recipe works even if you don’t have fresh pumpkin puree. The canned one is just as good!

You also don’t have to chill the dough, so you can enjoy your cookies ASAP. 

And if you have a picky palate, just customize the spice blend or swap the ingredients as needed.

pumpkin cookie recipe with cream cheese frosting

Looking to make cozy recipes all season long? You’ll love these fall recipes! Or, if you’re a pumpkin lover, I have some pumpkin recipes that will surely hit the spot:

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