These soft pumpkin cookies bake up light and fluffy, and are topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting and colorful sprinkles. The perfect easy dessert for Thanksgiving or any other fall gathering.

When pumpkin season comes around every year, I spend plenty of time in my kitchen baking up dessert recipes such as pumpkin gooey butter cake, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, pumpkin cheesecake and these amazingly delicious pumpkin cookies. You can’t eat just one!

Pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese frosting and fall sprinkles.

I can never resist good cookie recipes, especially when it’s a pumpkin cookie with a pile of frosting on top. These cookies are quick to make, and always get rave reviews from family and friends. When pumpkin is in season, I use it in so many dishes, from savory roasted pumpkin to elegant pumpkin cheesecake bars.

Pumpkin Cookies Ingredients

To make the cookies, you will need pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, kosher salt and all purpose flour. For the frosting, you will need butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and fall sprinkles.

How Do You Make Pumpkin Cookies?

Place the pumpkin, granulated sugar, oil, egg and vanilla in a large bowl and stir to combine. Next, add baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and flour to the same bowl. Mix until a batter forms. Chill the dough for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the cookie dough onto the parchment, and bake until the cookies are golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely.

Prepare the frosting by beating butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla extract. Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cookies. I recommend using an offset spatula if you’re going to spread the frosting. If you choose to pipe the frosting, use a piping bag fitted with a medium star tip. Add some sprinkles on top, then serve and enjoy.

Cookie dough in a bowl.

Tips for the perfect pumpkin cookies

  • It is best to use canned or homemade pumpkin puree; do not use canned pumpkin pie filling.
  • If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice at home, you can easily make your own for this recipe. Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg. Stir all of these spices into your dough and you’ll be ready to go.
  • Make sure to place the sprinkles on the cookies before the frosting has time to harden.
  • The baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature or in the fridge, or frozen for up to 1 month. If you’re planning to freeze your cookies, I recommend freezing them without the frosting, then adding the frosting after the cookies have thawed.
  • You can freeze leftover pumpkin puree for later use.

Quick Tip

Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to get evenly sized cookies.

Rounds of cookie dough on a sheet pan.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is just pure pumpkin turned into a puree with no added ingredients. This means it’s all natural and there’s no flavoring added–it’s just plain pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling contains sugar, spices and other ingredients, and cannot be readily substituted for pumpkin puree in recipes.

Is butter or oil better for cookies?

For pumpkin cookies, I find oil works best because it aids in getting that moist, cake like texture that many people look for in a pumpkin cookie!

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Baked pumpkin cookies on a pan.

I love this recipe as-is, but you can add other ingredients into the mix to customize the cookies to your tastes.

  • Chocolate: Add 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the batter. Decorate the tops of the cookies with miniature chocolate chips instead of fall sprinkles.
  • Oatmeal: Add 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats to the batter for added flavor and texture.
  • Raisins: Add 2/3 cup raisins to the dough, then proceed as directed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Low Fat: Substitute half of the oil with applesauce. The texture on low fat cookies will not be quite the same as if you use just oil.
  • Frosting: Try using brown sugar instead of powdered sugar in the frosting for a different flavor.
  • Coconut: Use melted coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and add 1/3 cup finely shredded coconut to the batter.
A stack of pumpkin cookies with a bite taken out of one.

Once you taste these cookies, you’ll find yourself making them all season long!

More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Cookies Video

Love This Recipe?

Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 14 votes

Pumpkin Cookies

AuthorSara Welch
Pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese frosting and fall sprinkles.
These soft pumpkin cookies bake up light and fluffy, and are topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting and colorful sprinkles. The perfect easy dessert for Thanksgiving or any other fall gathering.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 32 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Serves 18

Ingredients 

For the cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fall sprinkles

Instructions 

For the cookies

  • Place the pumpkin puree, oil, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Add the baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and all purpose flour to the bowl. Stir until just combined.
  • Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour, or up to 8 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • Place 2 tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet at a time, keeping the cookies 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops are set and edges are light golden brown. 
  • Let sit 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Let the cookies cool completely.

For the frosting

  • Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time and mix on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  • Spread the frosting over the cookies, then add the sprinkles on top.
  • Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. It is best to use canned or homemade pumpkin puree; do not use canned pumpkin pie filling.
  2. Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to get evenly sized cookies.
  3. Make sure to place the sprinkles on the cookies before the frosting has time to harden.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2140IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are SO good! They are excellent I doubled the recipe for the cookies, but didn’t double the frosting recipe. There was plenty of icing for these cookies. I will definitely make these again soon.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these up and the whole family gave great reviews. The only thing I would change is to add a little more pumpkin spice.
    I did make my own pumpkin spice.
    The frosting recipe makes quite a lot so you may want to cut it in half
    Loved them and they did not last long

  3. 5 stars
    It is hard to make pumpkin cookies better than they are, but I have to say cream cheese frosting does the job! So addicting, soft, & delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    These look so delicious and scrumptious! My family is going to love this recipe and gobble them up! Can’t wait to make these!