Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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These Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft, cakey and full of pumpkin spice. They’re the perfect cookies to make every fall!

One Reader, Bailee, commented: “This is one of my absolute favorite soft cookie recipes ★★★★★”

Overhead view of Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on a wooden serving board

These Pumpkin Cookies are thick, soft and crazy easy to make – you don’t even have to chill the dough! The tangy cream cheese frosting complements the warm pumpkin spices in the most beautiful way possible. Even my brother, who isn’t a big fan of pumpkin, liked these cookies!

Looking for more pumpkin recipes? Try my Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies, Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake or Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts!

Ingredient Breakdown

All-purpose flour – this gives the cookies structure.

Baking soda & baking powder – both leaveners are needed to help the cookies rise.

Cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger – needed to help give the cookies their pumpkin spice flavor.

Butter – provides flavor and structure. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/2 teaspoon of salt later on. Do not use cold or melted butter.

Granulated sugar and brown sugar – both sugars are necessary for sweetness and texture. I prefer using dark brown sugar for extra molasses flavor but light brown sugar also works fine!

Pumpkin puree – make sure to use pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree has 100% pumpkin while pumpkin pie filling already has spices and sugar added to it.

Egg – helps bind the ingredients.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

Stack of Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting. The top cookie has a bite in it

How To Make Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Make the Pumpkin Cookie Dough: in a small bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and ginger. Set aside.

2. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy then add the pumpkin puree.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookies tough.

Soft pumpkin cookie dough

5. Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined baking sheets (be sure to adjust the baking time if your cookies are smaller/larger).

6. Bake pumpkin cookies at 375°F for 14 minutes then cool on the baking sheet.

Pumpkin Cookies on a baking sheet

7. Make the Cream Cheese Frosting: using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer cream the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store frosted Pumpkin Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge and unfrosted Pumpkin Cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.

Pro Tips For Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Don’t over mix the dough! Only mix until the dry ingredients are just combined. Over mixing = more gluten development which means tough cookies. We don’t want any tough cookies here!
  • Bake one tray at a time on the middle oven rack. This ensures that there is even heat circulation.
  • Don’t over bake them! The pumpkin cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • Wait until the cookies are COMPLETELY COOLED before decorating them otherwise the cream cheese frosting will melt and slide off.
  • Do not over mix the cream cheese frosting otherwise it will begin to break down and become runny.

My Favorite Cookie Tools

What To Do With Leftover Pumpkin Puree?

Make one of my other pumpkin recipes! Some of my favorites are:

Did you know that you can also freeze leftover pumpkin puree? Simply transfer it to an airtight container or a zip-top bag and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to use it!

Overhead view of Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on a wire rack

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Print Pin
5 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

These Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are soft, cakey and full of pumpkin spice. They're the perfect cookies to make every fall!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Servings 23 cookies
Calories 239kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Baking sheets
  • Cookie scoop (I use a 3 tablespoon scoop)

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cookie Dough

  • 330 g (2 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 240 g (1 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 56 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 210 g (1 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

Pumpkin Cookie Dough

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • In a small bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and ginger. Set aside.
  • Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy then add the pumpkin puree.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract then mix until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix the dough because it will make the cookies tough.
  • Using a 3 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto lined baking sheets (be sure to adjust the baking time if your cookies are smaller/larger).
  • Bake pumpkin cookies at 375°F for 14 minutes then cool on the baking sheet.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer cream the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add salt to taste. Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/2 tsp salt.
 
  • Store frosted Pumpkin Cookies in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge and unfrosted Pumpkin Cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1944IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

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