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Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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My favorite soft pumpkin cookies recipe, topped with the most heavenly cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect fall dessert recipe!

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

Who’s ready for some fall baking? ? ? ?

I just officially stocked my pantry with its first round of pumpkin puree for the season (yesss), and whipped up a fresh batch of homemade pumpkin pie spice (just 5 ingredients!), and stocked the fridge with a very friendly stash of butter and cream cheese to have on hand (because…butter and cream cheese ?).

Now the question is simply…what to make?!?

I’m feeling all of the baking vibes this year, and have a long list of new recipes that I’d like to try. But if you have any specific requests or favorite recipes to share, I’d love love love to hear ’em. (Seriously, your requests are my favorite recipes to share here!)

That said, I also have a long list of pumpkin recipes here on the site that I’m excited to revisit this fall, including these perfectly soft and delicious pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting that I first shared way back in my very first year of blogging (holla 2009!). I was cleaning out an old camera card this week and forgot that I had re-photographed them last year. So I thought I would bump this recipe back to the top of the blog today for anyone who might have missed them over the years. They have been my go-to pumpkin cookie recipe for literally a decade now, and they are seriously the best.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

To make them, simply whip up a quick batch of cookie batter featuring lots of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Heads up that the batter for this recipe is super-soft (very different than, say, chocolate chip cookie dough batter), and tends to puff up a bit rather than flatten during baking. I like to use a cookie scoop to plop it onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, and then gently press the batter down with my fingers a bit to flatten.

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

Then, while those yummy cookies are baking in the oven, I highly recommend whipping up a batch of this heavenly cream cheese frosting. It’s indulgent and doesn’t cut corners…and it is THE BEST. ?

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

Then once the cookies are ready to go, let them cool completely to room temperature before frosting. (<– Otherwise that delicious cream cream cheese icing will slide right off!)  Then give them a quick frost…maybe an extra sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice…
My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

…and behold, these gorgeous soft pumpkin cookies will be yours to share and enjoy. (<– Key word: share, since I can vouch from personal experience that these cookies have a way of making everyone smile and feel all ? ? ? about fall.)

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

Enjoy, everyone!

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Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3 dozen 1x


This soft pumpkin cookies recipe is my absolute fave!  Soft spiced pumpkin cookies topped with a heavenly cream cheese frosting — what’s not to love? :)



Pumpkin Cookies Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (1 brick) low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


To Make Pumpkin Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined.  Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy.  Add in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat on medium-speed until just combined.  Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Drop on cookie sheet by heaping tablespoonfuls (I like to use this cookie scoop), then use your fingers or a spoon to flatten then slightly.  (These cookies tend to poof up slightly rather than flatten during baking, so shape them beforehand however you’d like.  They won’t rise much.)
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are cooked through and bounce back slightly if you touch them.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool until they reach room temperature.  Then frost or drizzle with cream cheese frosting, and sprinkle with an extra pinch of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon if you’d like.  Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

To Make Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar until it is all combined and the frosting is smooth.  If it is too thick, add in a tablespoon or two of milk (or water) until it reaches your desired consistency.  If it is too thin, add in more powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency.


Adapted from All Recipes.  Updated in September 2017.

My favorite pumpkin cookie recipe! These soft and delicious pumpkin cookies are iced with a heavenly cream cheese frosting, and are the perfect treat for fall dessert baking. So delicious! |

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155 comments on “Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting”

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  1. Mmmmm this looks great. Even on the other side of the world where we’re (supposedly) heading into spring – these are perfect for the cooler days we’re still experiencing.

    • Just made them as I was getting tired of my usual pumpkin pie recipe, and wow these do not disappoint they delish.


  2. mmmmmmm yum!

  3. i’d reccomend using more spices (no, not sure which ones..). i tasted the dough before baking and thought it seemed a little bland but for some reason thought it’d be ok after baking… the cookies are still good!! but possibly add the pumpkin pie spice as well as all the others?

  4. These turned out fantastic! I didn’t use any cloves, but put in extra nutmeg, and that was fantastic! Also, I added more vanilla to the icing, yum!! I wanted to let you know that I am posting this recipe on my blog with the additions/subtractions I’ve made .I have also put the link back to your recipe up here too! Thanks for the yummy super delicious recipe! These were a huge hit!

  5. I have a similar recipe except it adds nuts and min chocolate chips So good.

  6. These look and sound so good…gonna try them out this afternoon!

  7. Just finished icing them, they are sooo delicious! Perfect recipe!

  8. I perform a musical show two days a week for truckers from all across the US and Canada, and I like to take cookies along to give drivers . . . well I love to bake, and those folks love the treat!!! But anyway, these little gems are one of the best cookies I have ever made. I used freshly baked pumpkin . . . which I prefer over canned, and it is so easy to make, and store, . . . but people were asking me to make more to send them, and they would pay me. Morsels of absolute delight!!! And, Ali, you sound just like ME!!! Your site is great, I am sure your music is as well!

    • Wow, just saw that I’m commenting 10 YEARS later! Did you ever make and send to people? I was wondering if I could make and freeze and then mail to family? Has anyone had any luck or experience in doing this?

  9. I made these this past weekend and I LOVED them! Thank you for such a great recipe!

  10. How many cookies does this recipe make?

  11. You’ve done a great job, and i appreciate it, thank you very much my freind. Keep the good food flowing!

  12. does this recipe call for unsalted butter or salted butter?? and is the brown sugar light or dark brown sugar! these look delicious and i can’t wait to make them once i have the exact ingredients !! thanks

  13. I made these last week and blogged about them today. The second time I made them, they weren’t as cutely orange because I didn’t have Libby’s. Thankfully they were still just as tasty! :)

  14. These are wonderful, I made them exactly as described and they turned out so moist and light. I will be making these again soon!

  15. Hi Ali, greetings from Russia! :) Thank you so much for this recipe! I just baked your cookies and they are delicious!!

  16. I made these cookies last weekend. It was my first time cooking with pumpkin, and I was so happy with the result! They were fantastic, as all your recipes are :)

    I blogged about them, linking back to you of course!

  17. I started these yesterday + then got sleepy after a busy day, so I’m finishing the icing aspect this morning. =) so far they’re fab! Look for a pic of the final result on twitter/instagram later today! =)

  18. Looking forward to making these for a party this weekend. If I make them tomorrow night and plan to serve them the next day, do you recommend storing them in the fridge due to the cream cheese frosting?


  19. I made these cookies for thanksgiving and they were really good. Very moist and everyone lov

  20. We’re so glad to hear that! :)

  21. This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  22. Could you use sweet potato?

  23. This sounds delicious and easy to make! Can’t wait to make some ?

  24. I would sprinkle these with toasted pecan pieces!

  25. I made this for a party I hosted this weekend. It was a huge hit, and I got a lot of requests for the recipe! Though there was a vote for the name, and the general consensus was for Pumpkin Puffs :)

  26. hey Ali…! your cookies looks so delicious and yummy i will make it form your recipe. Thanks for the sharing and keep sharing your new amazing ideas.

  27. hey Ali…your pumpkin cookies looks so delicious and yummy, i will tried to make it like you and thanks for the sharing this yummy cookies recipe…..!

  28. Just made these and they’re delish! I didn’t have enough of the spices to make the full recipe for pumpkin pie spice so I did my best to downsize and made sure a tablespoon of spice ended up going in the batter. Also, I put in the full can of pumpkin (about 1/4 cup more than the recipe called for) because I didn’t want the leftovers to just sit in my fridge and get tossed later. Worked out just fine, but I’m at a high altitude (over 7k feet) and often have to add more “liquid” to baked goods, so I guess using the full can might not work for everyone.

  29. These are so good, I could eat a dozen! ?

  30. With the holidays fast approaching and my turn to host, I was worried about what sweets to serve up that I could make easily and everyone could enjoy. I came across your pumpkin cookies and gave it a try before having to make a batch for the holidays. I didn’t have any cloves so made them without and it still tasted great. I cannot wait to share this during the holiday meals, thank you!!

  31. thank you for the update, lovely cookies! My vote for a recipe for you to update/make is to use this cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake cookie! Love how rich it is and why not have a carrot cake cookie recipe (unless you already have one!)

  32. We have loved this recipe for years, Ali. So delicious!!!

  33. I made these cookies last night with my Grandchildren. Because I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice I just used cinnamon. They came out great and the kids were able to participate in every step! We left a nice treat for their parents in the frig for when they returned home! They remind me of Italian ricotta cookies but pumpkin flavored.

  34. Pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are my absolute fall-time favorite!! I can get distracted by all the fun fabulous recipes out there, but these always will be a mainstay! They are delicious!!! Can’t wait to try your version:)

  35. I made this recipe with whole wheat flour (also followed your instructions on measuring flour) and Splenda (including the Splenda/brown sugar mix) since I’m diabetic. The batter wasn’t as smooth. It was a little grainy, but the end results were delicious!!! Everyone raved and the house smelled wonderful!!

  36. I used 1 extra cookie and made crumbs. Sprinkled on top of frosting. I use this method when ever I can.

  37. Love Pumpkin! I love anything made with pumpkin. In my previous, i eat many recipes that make with pumpkin but this recipe is different! Love to eat this. Thank you

  38. I am sure these are going to be delicious and I am making this recipe now! I noticed in the directions it states to add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla to the butter mixture but the recipe for the cookie does not call for vanilla other then in the frosting.

  39. I want it all! Looks soooo good!

  40. These cookies were really simple and are made with things you always have on hand. They are my all time favorite fall cookie. There so good and there not extreamly sweet so you can eat one and then you think well I could have a nother but then you just keep eating them.

  41. Love that these are the thicker cookies, seems much more comforting for a pumpkin pie cookie than the flat ones – lol!

  42. mmmm… these look so delicious. do you have any thoughts on the best natural sweetener to use in place of sugar? thank you!

    • I use beets and prunes (can use natural applesauce too) to sweeten them, I’ve also used honey and molasses. I like a little molasses in them even when I use prunes and beets as sweeteners. I add pecans to the recipe too.

  43. I put the frosting between two cookies for a mini whooped pie, love this recipe and the cookies!

  44. I love the idea of making pumpkin sandwiches out of them. Maybe that would work but that would be four cookie in each packages and the limit is three

  45. I just them today, they are delicious.

  46. I just made them today, they are delious

  47. I added these to my fall baking repertoire last year and they were a hit. The cookies are great, but the cream cheese frosting is the show-stealer!

  48. As I followed the recipe, the cookies came out delicious! (Only one question came up: Did you mean for the batter, and the frosting, to have vanilla? Ingredients didn’t list it for batter, though the mixing instructions did.) ~ The yield was less as I baked each cake-like treat with 1/4 cup of batter. Instead of parchment paper, which wasn’t on hand, I cut paper bags to baking sheet size. Since the cookies were so soft, I left it on, cutting the brown paper to fit each cookie, and then easily frosted them with a butter knife. A sprinkling of the pumpkin spice on top, as recommended, was a fitting flourish. ~ When I made the pumpkin spice recipe, I was surprised at the ratio of ingredients. Compared to most recipe spice blends, I’d followed previously, the cinnamon was the main spice, whereas your recipe featured ginger in a larger amount. Since ginger is my favorite spice, and cinnamon is so common, I very much appreciated the variation. It tasted great to me!

  49. Made these cookies today and they turned out great, but when I made the icing and iced the cookies the icing didn’t seem to get as hard as I wanted it to, felt a little sticky, was wondering what I did wrong? Also shouldn’t these be refrigerated?

  50. I’m a father of two awesome girl . Never made this cookie before so give a shot. Girls loves them ingredients was easy to understand I recommend this