pumpkin cookies spread across a metal cooking rack

This sugar cookie is ready for fall! Our favorite pumpkin sugar cookies are chewy, soft and will give you sweater weather vibes. This pumpkin cookie recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients plus all the fall spices you love. 

Includes tips on how to freeze pumpkin cookie dough and how to make these cookies gluten free! 

6 pumpkin cookies stacked in a tower on white plate with brown background

Ingredients

  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure in cookies
  • baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the dough, affects browning and flavor
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves: adds warmth and spice
  • salt: enhances the other flavors in the cookies
  • unsalted butter: adds flavor and and tender texture
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
  • brown sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and moisture
  • pumpkin puree: binds the cookies together by providing structure like eggs would. Also adds pumpkin flavor. 

How to Make Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer.  Add in the pumpkin, beat again to combine.
  3. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand with a spatula.
  4. Use a cookie scoop to form balls. Place the dough balls on a silicone lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies. Roll each ball in the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-19 minutes. 
pumpkin cookie dough balls rolled in sugar lined up on a silicone baking mat

Total Time Required

  • 15 minutes to make the cookie dough
  • 30 minutes to chill the dough in the fridge
  • 15-19 minutes to bake the cookies
  • 15 minutes to cool the cookies

Why Refrigerate Cookie Dough?

The King Arthur website explains, “Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.”

Refrigerating the cookie dough will help produce cookies that are chewier and softer because they won’t spread as much.

But I get it. Sometimes I really dislike chilling dough. So here’s my suggestion – if you can fit it in, refrigerate the dough, even for 15 minutes. If not, at least refrigerate the dough between baking batches. For example, if you can fit 8 cookies on one baking sheet, bake those and put the dough in the fridge while you’re waiting.

a few pumpkin sugar cookies on white plate with a glass of milk and pumpkin in the background

How to Store Cookies

Store soft pumpkin cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

How to Freeze Pumpkin Cookie Dough

  • Form the dough balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with silicone mat. You can place the dough balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag with baking directions.
  • Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.

    To bake: remove the dough from the freezer. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Roll the balls in sugar and bake for 15-19 minutes. Frozen cookies may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer than non frozen cookies.
pumpkin cookies piled on white serving tray with a glass of milk and pumpkin in the background

How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

I have made these cookies multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success.

How To Get Moisture Out of Pumpkin Puree

To remove excess moisture from pumpkin puree, place the pumpkin puree in a few paper towels on a plate. Fold the paper towels over the puree, so it’s completely enclosed. The excess moisture will soak into the paper towels within a few minutes.

Tips

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and level method.
  • Use room temperature butter for easier creaming of the butter and sugar.
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes. I’m telling you, this helps to make the best thick & chewy cookies!
  • Use a cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls.
  • Bake cookies on a silicone baking mat.
pumpkin cookies randomly arranged on metal baking sheet with white parchment paper

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Yield: 14-16 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This sugar cookie is ready for fall! Our favorite pumpkin sugar cookie is chewy, soft and will give you sweater weather vibes. This pumpkin cookie recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients plus all the fall spices you love.  Plus, you can freeze the dough ahead of time! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (paper towel method - see note below)

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add in the pumpkin, beat again to combine.
  4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand with a spatula until combined. The dough will be thick. 
  5. Use a cookie scoop to form balls. Roll between your hands. My dough balls were about 3 tbsp, which is large.  Place the dough balls on a silicone or parchment paper lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies.
  7. Roll each ball in the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet - I fit about 8 cookies per sheet. Bake for 15-19 minutes or until the edges have a faint golden color. Keep the remaining dough balls in the fridge while baking in batches. 
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

To remove excess moisture from pumpkin puree, place the pumpkin puree in a few paper towels on a plate. Fold the paper towels over the puree, so it’s completely enclosed. The excess moisture will soak into the paper towels within a few minutes.