Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are DELICIOUS and so soft, pillowy, light and fluffy. Perfect easy dessert to bring to any fall gathering!
Original post: September 2017 | Updated: October 2020
Why This Recipe Works
I’m delivering the most delicious pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting you’ll ever eat on this lovely, crisp fall day. Every time I sink my teeth into these beauties, they taste a million times better than I remembered.
These cookies have the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor (I personally don’t love super pumpkiny things). They are super soft, pillowy and fluffy and the cream cheese frosting will make you weak in the knees.
If you have a fall party approaching or if you just want to provide your loved ones with a festive treat, MAKE THESE COOKIES. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Pumpkin puree – Equal parts of cooked, mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash is a great substitution and you might not even be able to tell the difference!
Cream cheese – Remove the cream cheese block from the refrigerator at least a half hour before you are going to need to use it so it can come to room temperature. It will be much easier to combine with other ingredients that way.
Pumpkin pie spice – If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, an easy substitution is to combine 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.
How To Make Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Make The Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Pull out your butter so it comes to room temperature.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. Mix in the pumpkin puree.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Gradually add to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown.
Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
Make The Cream Cheese Frosting
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Assemble The Pumpkin Cookies
Spread the frosting on the cookies. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
Why Are My Pumpkin Cookies Flat?
If your cookies are coming out of the oven looking flat, you either haven’t used the appropriate leavening agents (baking powder or baking soda) or you have used too little flour.
If the cookies are flat and greasy, you may have used too much butter. Follow baking recipes very closely to avoid making flat cookies!
How To Keep Cookies Soft
For optimal cookie softness, allow them to cool completely after coming out of the oven and store as stated in the directions. Some cookies store best in the fridge while others store well while covered at room temperature.
Can You Freeze Cookie Dough
Cookie dough is PERFECT for freezing! It’s one of the things I love most about it. Simple place prepared cookie dough into a resealable freezer bag and press as much air out as possible. They are ready to freeze for up to six months.
When you are ready to make the cookies, allow the dough to thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Bake as directed.
Are Canned Pumpkin and Pumpkin Puree The Same Thing?
Canned pumpkin is straight-up pumpkin that has been put into a can. Some pumpkin puree contains other ingredients that flavors it, making it pumpkin-pie ready. Read your labels to see what you’re getting in your next can of pumpkin!
Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
How To Clean Cookie Sheets
If you have extra grimy cookie sheets, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the surface and cover with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for 1 hour and scrub the surface using a dish scrubber. Wash with dish soap!
FAQ About Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree can be eaten raw. However, it is not necessarily delicious until you have added the ingredients to a recipe you are including it in.
Pumpkin puree can be frozen. Add the puree to an air tight container and you can safely freeze it for 4-5 months.
Good news! Pumpkin puree is full of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s low calorie and it’s a benefit to your eyes, heart and skin.
Pumpkin puree can go bad after you open it and remove it from the can. If you don’t need to use up the entire batch with baking, then you can put the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate it for 3-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for 2-3 months in the same container to use it later.
Pumpkin puree is known to be a good addition to a dog’s diet. Fresh pumpkin puree has a lot of water in it so canned pumpkin puree will offer the most fiber, nutrients and vitamins to their diet.
Perfect Fall Treats
- These best pumpkin bars make the perfect fall dessert. They are moist, irresistible and full of yummy pumpkin flavor. Dab some whipped cream on top! Great for your next fall gathering.
- Caramel pecan bars are a delicious replacement for pecan pie. These bars are packed with caramel and pecans and are easier than pie!
- This sweet and salty Halloween anack Mix is a great Fall snack to have on hand. It is perfect for a handful on the run or a great snack for kiddos after school! It’s also great for Fall- or Halloween-themed parties!
- Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake is a great way to use up any type of apples. This is the perfect fall treat.
- This delicious Best Apple Crisp recipe is the best. It is tried, tested and NEVER fails and it’s is the perfect way to use up apples in the fall. Also, it tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
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Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Recipe
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened (1 stick)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (substitution: combine 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup salted butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, brown and granulated sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy and free of lumps. Mix in the pumpkin puree.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Gradually add to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop the dough by 1 1/2 tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Spread the frosting on the cookies. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves