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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

These festive pumpkin sugar cookies are soft, chewy, and overflowing with rich pumpkin flavor and spice. You’ll love how easy they are to make! If there’s one cookie to have stocked in your cookie jar this fall, this is it.

Looking for more chewy sugar cookies to make this season? try my Brown Sugar Cookies and Candy Corn Sugar Cookies, too! 

A stack of pumpkin sugar cookies on a countertop.

The Best Pumpkin Sugar Cookies (Ever!)

I know, I know. Pumpkin cookies, for fall? Groundbreaking (to paraphrase Miranda Priestly). But I promise these pumpkin sugar cookies are 100% worth sharing. As in, if you bake one cookie all season, let it be these soft, chewy, spiced, irresistible pumpkin sugar cookies. Ok, and maybe these pumpkin Snickerdoodles. They happen to be the inspiration behind this recipe!

You’re going to love this simple recipe that makes the absolute best pumpkin sugar cookies, rolled in brown sugar with loads of gooey pumpkin flavor. These cookies are perfect for fall baking. Your house is going to smell a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • Pumpkin flavor. Melt-in-your-mouth doesn’t even cut it. These cookies are totally addictive, moist, and chewy, with sweet pumpkin flavors accented with cozy fall spice and a crunchy sugar coating.
  • Easy ingredients. This recipe is made with real pumpkin puree, and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. This means, you likely have them on hand already!
  • Crowd-pleasing. I swear, these pumpkin sugar cookies have magical properties. Every plate these cookies touch is empty moments later. Poof! Gone without a trace.
A tall stack of pumpkin sugar cookies on a countertop.

Key Ingredients

Below you’ll find some notes on the important ingredients for these soft pumpkin sugar cookies. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.

  • Pumpkin Puree – These cookies get their unreal texture and flavor from real pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). Before you get started on the cookie dough, you’ll remove some of the excess liquid in the pumpkin puree. See below for more details.
  • Sugar – This recipe uses a combination of white sugar and brown sugar in the cookie dough for an extra moist, tender cookie.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – This is a pre-mixed spice blend you’ll find in the spice aisle. It’s made from ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and rounds out the flavors of the pumpkin perfectly.

What’s the Difference Between Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin Pie Filling? 

When shopping for pumpkin for this recipe, it’s important that you buy real canned pumpkin puree, and not canned pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is 100% pumpkin and nothing else. Meanwhile, pumpkin pie filling is made for, well, pies, and contains additives like thickeners and spices. They aren’t the same thing.

A measuring spoon scoops pumpkin from an open can of pumpkin puree.

How to Remove Moisture From Pumpkin Puree

Canned pumpkin makes cookies incredibly moist, but too much moisture can lead to a cakey cookie (not the soft, chewy cookies we’re going for). For this reason, you’ll need to drain the puree of excess liquid before you start. 

The easiest way to do this is by “blotting”: Spread the pumpkin puree on a stack of paper towels, and let it sit while the paper towel absorbs the moisture. You can place a second layer of paper towels over the puree also, once it’s spread out. Afterward, simply scrape off the pumpkin and discard the paper towels. 

How to Make Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Some simple tweaks to my favorite pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe produced the most delicious, caramelized, chewy pumpkin sugar cookies. Here’s how to make them:

  • Prepare the pumpkin. Begin by blotting the pumpkin to remove the excess moisture (see above).
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Cream together the butter and sugar, then mix in your drained pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla. 
  • Add the dry ingredients. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet batter. Mix slowly, until the dough forms.
  • Roll the dough. Use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough into balls. Afterward, roll each ball in a combination of white or brown sugar before placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake. Bake the cookies at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes. When the cookies are out of the oven, leave them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them over to a wire rack.

Overhead view of assorted pumpkin sugar cookies.

Recipe Tips

Follow these pro tips for the best pumpkin sugar cookies that come out of the oven moist and chewy every time:

  • Use the right kind of pumpkin. A quick reminder that this recipe will not work with pumpkin pie filling! So make sure you’re buying canned pumpkin puree without any bells or whistles.
  • If the pumpkin is sticking to the paper towels while blotting, fold the towel up and over itself and the pumpkin should come right off.
  • Don’t over-mix. The #1 culprit for dry, dense cookies (aside from maybe incorrectly measured flour) is overmixing the cookie dough. Just like in cakes and cupcakes, overmixing deflates the air bubbles in cookie dough, and your cookies won’t soften and rise as well as they’re supposed to.
  • Check the texture of the dough. The cookie dough will be soft but it should not be so sticky that you can’t easily scoop it. Scoop and roll the dough in the sugar coating right away for best results.
  • Don’t overbake the cookies. We’re after soft, tender cookies that are just browned at the edges, so remember to take your cookies out of the oven when they’re still a little underbaked. As in, not quite set in the centers. They’ll continue to set up as they cool, without the risk of becoming too dry and crumbly.

Close up overhead view of pumpkin sugar cookies.

Recipe Variations

I’ve done so many variations of my favorite sugar cookies, and these pumpkin sugar cookies are definitely a keeper. Here are some more fall variations to try:

  • Cookie Bars – Make pumpkin sugar cookie bars. Follow the assembling and baking directions for my frosted sugar cookie bars, then cover your bars with cream cheese frosting.
  • Chocolate Chips – White chocolate chips or toffee bits would be a delicious addition to these pumpkin cookies.
  • Cinnamon Sugar – For a burst of extra fall spice, roll your pumpkin cookies in cinnamon sugar. 
  • Frosting – Brown butter frosting or cinnamon maple whipped cream. Or, frost these sugar cookies with coffee frosting for a pumpkin spice latte-inspired cookie! 
A tall stack of pumpkin sugar cookies on a countertop.

How to Store Pumpkin Cookies

  • To Store. Store these in an airtight on the counter for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze. These cookies freeze like a dream. Once the cookies have cooled to room temperature, stash them in an airtight container or in a freezer bag with parchment paper between layers. Freeze your cookies for up to 3 months, and defrost them at room temperature before serving.

More Pumpkin Recipes to Try

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Close up overhead view of pumpkin sugar cookies.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 18-20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft and chewy pumpkin sugar cookies filled with rich pumpkin flavor and plenty of spice are the ultimate fall treat! You’ll love how easy these are to make.


Ingredients

For the Cookie

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (61g) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), blotted dry
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (224g) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

For the Coating

  • ¼ cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the pumpkin, by spreading it on a couple of paper towels, stacked up to absorb the moisture from the pumpkin. Let it sit until you’re ready to use it, you should easily be able to remove it from the paper towel with a knife.
  3. Combine the butter with the sugar in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until well creamed together. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix into the batter until the eggs are well beaten.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add into the batter and beat on medium-low speed until well combined and dough forms.
  5. For the coating, in a small bowl, add the granulated and brown sugar and stir to combine. Use a large cookie scoop and scoop cookie dough into the sugar and roll to coat the cookie.
  6. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Notes

  • The dough will be soft but it should not be so sticky that you can’t easily scoop it. Scoop and roll right away in the sugar coating for best results.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Cookie
  • Calories: 262
  • Sugar: 22.1 g
  • Sodium: 177.4 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 47.8 mg

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