These are the best pumpkin cookies you will ever make! They melt in your mouth and are covered in a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. They freeze well and can even be made gluten free or dairy free.
When my sisters and I were little, it was almost an everyday occurrence that we walked to the local bakery for root beers, individual french banquettes and melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies. I did my best to recreate those soft pumpkin cookies and I think the baker would be proud.
Why We Love This Pumpkin Cookie Recipe
You will love this old fashioned soft pumpkin cookie recipe for fall! It's such an easy recipe (one bowl and no chill time!), and the pumpkin flavor with the cream cheese frosting with cinnamon is amazing.
They're made with fresh pumpkin and warm spices and when you pull them out of the oven the end result is an ultra soft cookie that reminds me of pumpkin pie filling.
It's nostalgic, warm and inviting. There's just nothing like that first batch of pumpkin cookies this time of year!
The texture is so different than traditional cookies. Rather than a chewy cookie texture, these cakey cookies melt in your mouth.
Here are the simple ingredients for these delicious pumpkin cookies. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find in the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Unsalted butter: this one is key for the best cookies. We also tested them with a vegan butter and they turned out amazing.
- Granulated sugar: you have to make them sweet!
- Leavens: baking soda and baking powder to make them nice and tall
- Spices: salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
- Egg: this is a binder and helps bring the dough together.
- Vanilla: whatever vanilla extract you have on hand is great!
- Pumpkin: make sure you get canned pumpkin pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie mix!
- All-purpose flour: we also tested this with gluten free 1:1 baking flour and they were great.
- Cream cheese: this is for the frosting and gives a great tang to balance out the sweetness.
- Powdered sugar: you can't have cream cheese frosting without confectioners' sugar!
The cream cheese frosting with cinnamon is amazing. These are my absolute favorite and as an added bonus, they have them year-round.
Still to this day whenever I'm in town I will make a special trip just for these yummy cookies and sometimes my mom will even surprise me with a care package with a few cookies in it.
How to Make Pumpkin Cookies
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the step-by-step photos of how to make these easy pumpkin cookies. This will make sure they turn out every time!
Cream the butter and sugar: Beat 1 cup butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, then add the sugar and beat again for 1-2 more minutes, until light and fluffy. Next, add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until well combined.
Wet ingredients: Add one egg and the vanilla then beat well, until no yellow streaks remain. Add the pumpkin puree and beat again until it's incorporated.
Dry ingredients: Finally, add the flour and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated. Watch the video to see instructions on how to properly measure flour. The dough will be wet, this is what you want!
Scoop and and bake: Use a heaping tablespoon or medium sized cookie scoop to drop dough balls a few inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are set and no longer look wet. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Frost: Once they're cool, make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and spread a thick layer on top! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!
Prefer to Watch Instead of Read?
Watch this quick video to see how they're made! You can also scroll down to the recipe card to make them with me in the kitchen.
I promise, your friends and family will wonder how the heck these things get so soft and melty. They fresh pumpkin puree and butter give them a cake-like texture you will drool over every fall season. Do not go light on the frosting, the more the merrier. We hope you love them just as much as we do. HAPPY FALL!
If you make these delicious pumpkin cookies, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Pumpkin Desserts
- Healthy pumpkin muffins
- Vegan pumpkin cheesecake
- Old fashioned pumpkin donuts
- Pumpkin spice pudding cookies
- Paleo pumpkin cookies
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 227g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (225g) canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup (1 stick; 57g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 8 ounces (225g) cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- Parchment paper
- Baking Sheet
Make the pumpkin cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium to high speed for 1 minute. Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until well combined.
- Add one egg and the vanilla then beat well, until yellow streaks are gone. Add the pumpkin pure and beat again until it's incorporated. Finally, add the flour and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated. Watch the video to see instructions on how to properly measure flour. The dough will be wet, this is what you want!
- Use a heaping tablespoon or medium sized cookie scoop to drop the cookie dough balls a few inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set and no longer look wet. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and all of the lumps are gone.
- Sift in the powdered sugar then add the vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Once cookies are cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.