These soft pumpkin cookies are packed with your favorite fall spices and are covered with a warm sugar glaze. Pumpkin cookies are a fall staple, and this recipe won’t disappoint!
As soon as September rolls around, I’m ready for fall. Sometimes the weather isn’t, but that doesn’t stop me from ringing in the fall season as soon as possible with some delicious pumpkin desserts.
Most people I know do the same thing, too. My college roommate, Kate, was one of them. She would make these pumpkin cookies multiple times throughout the semester. Lucky for me, I was the benefactor. I can’t believe I was in college when my eyes were opened up to the delicious possibilities of pumpkin!
Believe it or not, my mom never made pumpkin desserts.
Yes, we had pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but never pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin bread. With a lack of pumpkin in my younger years, I’ve taken it upon myself to catch up for lost time. I’m obsessed with this versatile fruit. (You bet I googled that. My first thought was pumpkin is a vegetable, but it’s not!). It seems weird to call pumpkin a fruit. So while I’m baking all these pumpkin goodies, I can find solace and justification that at least I’m baking with fruit. Ha! 🙂
- Granulated sugar – gives the cookies all that sweetness we so desire.
- Shortening – shortening will help these cookies be extra soft. You might be tempted to eliminate the shortening and replace it with butter. I hate to break it to you but these cookies wouldn’t be the same without the shortening.
- Pumpkin puree – you can use homemade pumpkin puree (if you have it) or store bought.
- All purpose flour – I haven’t tried making this with gluten-free flour. However, for my gluten-free eating friends I suggest you use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour for your gluten-free baking.
- Spices: pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, salt.
- Baking soda – leavening agent that helps the cookies rise once.
- Baking powder – this leavening agent reacts in the oven with the heat.
- Butter – salted or unsalted is fine. I always bake with unsalted butter because it gives me more control with the amount of salt I’m using in each recipe.
- Milk – you can use skim, 1%, or whole milk. In fact, you should even be ok to use almond milk!
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make The Best Pumpkin Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, shortening, butter, and canned pumpkin puree. Mix for 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. This includes the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined.
- Place a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. Scoop dough onto the baking mat. I made 2 tablespoon sized balls.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will turn a light golden color on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How to Make the Glaze
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add milk and bring it to a small boil.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.
Storing Pumpkin Cookies
- Store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 5-6 days.
- When storing the cookies I find it helps to have a piece of wax paper between each layer.
- Is pumpkin a vegetable? — Guess again! Pumpkin is actually a fruit! I know. It was hard for me to believe too.
- Is pumpkin good for you? — Yes. According to Healthline, pumpkin is really healthy. It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Plus, Healthline even says it’s a “weight-loss-friendly food,” which is a definite win for me! The nutrients and antioxidants can help your eyes, your heart, your skin and your immune system.
- Can I add chocolate chips to this pumpkin cookies recipe? — Technically, yes. However, if you are looking for a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’ve got just the one for you! This cookie recipe pairs much better with the glaze.
- How big should I make the cookies? — I made 1.5 T size cookie dough balls. You’re welcome to make them bigger, but you’ll have to watch the cookies as they bake since they may take a bit longer to bake with the larger size.
- Can you freeze pumpkin cookies? — Storing and freezing pumpkin cookies is a great way to enjoy cookies now and later! I recommend freezing these cookies without the glaze. Bake the cookies, let them cool completely and then freeze them in a zip top bag. Just make sure you don’t stack any cookies on top of each other as then they’ll freeze in a big clump. When you are ready for cookies, take them out of the freeze and let them thaw at room temperature until cold but not frozen. Then make up the glaze and drizzle the glaze over the cookies on a cooling rack (so excess glaze can drip down).
Pumpkin Recipes That Will Make You Swoon
- Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Bars
- Pumpkin Scones
- Pumpkin Rice Pudding
- Praline Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup room temperature butter
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 cup butter
- 5 T milk
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar – sift powdered sugar for an extra smooth glaze
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the sugar, shortening, butter, and canned pumpkin puree. Mix for 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined.
- Place a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. Scoop 2 tablespoon sized dough balls onto the baking mat. Place in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes. The cookies will turn a light golden color on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies.