Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These cookies man, they are one of the most popular recipes on this site and for good reason. They are just.so.good. In fact this was one of the first recipes on my site when I became a food blogger and the comments from readers who have made them don’t lie- this is a must make during pumpkin season!

This great recipe is one I’ve been dreaming about for awhile: a pumpkin cookie that is crisp around the edges but still soft and fluffy in the middle, loads of warm spices, and a dreamy cream cheese frosting. All those flavors together result in my favorite pumpkin cookies.

This cookie dough comes together in no time and you can make the frosting while they are cooling. Since these cookies are thicker than most, they seem like a more substantial dessert than most cookies, which means they are a perfect last-minute treat for a party or company.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients for Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies:

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin
  • Brown Sugar
  • Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered Sugar

Supplies needed for Pumpkin Spice Cookies:

  • Large bowl
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Wire rack for cooling
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie scoop

The process:

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the eggs, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. (Don’t overmix.)

Add 2 tablespoons of cookie dough to the prepared baking sheets and bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until the edges are set and golden.

How to store Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies:

Unfrosted these can be store in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days. Once frosted I suggest storing in the fridge so the cream cheese frosting stays fresh. (PS- These get even more delicious the next day.)

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Can I sub pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices?

Sure. I would sub 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Can I sub pumpkin pie filling for the actual pumpkin?

I always say no to this question as pumpkin pie filling has added spices and sugar which messes up the recipe proportions. I suggest pure pumpkin puree for this recipe.

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Is this a chewy cookie? Or do they have more of a cakey texture?

Full disclosure- When adding a fruit/veggie pureé like banana, applesauce or pumpkin, the texture is always more on the cakey side. I know there are recipes out there that use a smaller amount of the purée and blot out the moisture with a strainer and paper towel to adjust the texture. This cookie has crisp edges and the inside is perfectly soft and fluffy. I think they are the perfect texture especially with the frosting!

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Adaptations:

  • Add 1 cup of semi sweet or white chocolate chips to make these pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies
  • Or make cinnamon cream cheese frosting by adding 1 tsp cinnamon to the icing.
  • Make these into a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie by filling 2 cookies halves with frosting.

More favorite pumpkin recipes: Sour Cream Pumpkin Donuts, Easy One-bowl Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Scones

Plus another amazing pumpkin cookie recipe: Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Soft Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies with a fluffy cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups brown sugar*
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) softened butter
  • ½ cup softened cream cheese
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste if you're fancy)

Instructions

For the Cookies:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, cream together the ½ cup of butter and brown sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until well combined.
    3. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly with floured fingers (dough will be sticky.)
    4. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the edges are set and just turning golden.


For the Frosting:

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Add vanilla and mix on high.
  2. When cookies are cooled- spread frosting on top with an offset spatula or spoon.

Notes

* You may also use a mix of white and brown sugar if that's what you have on hand

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

136 Comments

  1. maggie @ vittles and bits says:

    I’m totally with you on the pumpkin recipes, these cookies look amazing!

  2. I’m totally a soft cookie gal so these are right up my alley. And that frosting looks so creamy and decadent! I think these would be so dangerous to have around the house!

  3. yes! I’m so ready for the pumpkin, bring it on :) these look amazing!

  4. baker momma says:

    Finally my wish came true. I got to be in that itty bitty NYC kitchen and watch the master at work! And these cookies were yummy indeed!

  5. Yes! Bring on the pumpkin. So many pumpkin recipes popped up in my Google reader today, and it makes me so happy :)

    These look delicious!

  6. Jessica_AKitchenAddiction says:

    These cookies sound perfect! I love the soft center and that creamy frosting!

  7. The Food Hound says:

    Love all the spices! I haven’t made soft cookies in ages, so maybe it’s time to do it. I also have to check out your pumpkin ice cream post. I’m obsessed with homemade ice cream and I haven’t had a really good pumpkin version in a while!! THANKS!

  8. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) says:

    I love everything about these cookies… I will definitely be making them for Halloween and every other fall event that may come my way (and maybe even just to eat on a Saturday… by myself).

  9. I haven’t made pumpkin cookies in forever. These looks perfect. There are just so many great pumpkin recipes out there, I think I need October to be all pumpkin recipes!

  10. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats says:

    Oh goody! I can’t wait to start baking with pumpkin. I have a feeling I will be adding a million new pumpkin recipes to my To Bake list :)

  11. a perfect and BEAUTIFUL pumpkin cookie to ring in the cooler fall weather, Audra! You just cannot go wrong with a soft pumpkin cookie in my world. The simplicity of them is unbeatable! That frosting is calling my name. Saving this one!

  12. I just made these, and really enjoyed them. I’ve never made soft cookies before and this recipe was so easy!

  13. Oh yummy. Yes, I will take a dozen for sure. These are on the fall to do list.

  14. Just made these – they are phenomenal! The recipe made a bit more closer to two dozen, but I’m sure I was a little generous with portions. Great recipe.

  15. I just made these and they came out great. I added a pumpkin flavored spice to the nutmeg & etc and also spinkled some cinnamon on top once they were frosted. very good recipe!

  16. Kimber Campbell says:

    I made these tonight and they were such a hit!! I think I found my new fall cookie! Thank you!!

  17. Ooh- great additions. I’m glad you liked them!

  18. Isn’t it SO easy? I’m glad you enjoyed them :)

  19. Michelle G says:

    Hello! Thank you for this recipe! I just made a batch, and they turned out great. I switched half of the white sugar for brown sugar to add a little depth. Thanks!

  20. Love the cookies! Quick question though, do you need to refrigerate the cookies because of the cream cheese in the frosting?

  21. I will try these cookies. I love anything that is pumpkin.

  22. These cookies are fantastic!! Especially that frosting….. Wow!

  23. These are very good! Thanks for sharing! 5

  24. Salgado Let82 says:

    I like your thinking girl!

  25. I just made a betty crocker packet of pumpkin cookies (my first ever) and I loved the so much I wanted to find a recipe to make my own… this looks perfect! I can’t wait to try it!

  26. Mapleleafpreschl says:

    Yummmmmmmm!

  27. Fultonland says:

    Sounds yummy! Quick question…is 1/2 cup of cream cheese same as 4 ozs. Or 1/2 of an 8 oz package of cream cheese?

    1. I went with the “ounces” conversion (4oz being a half cup), and used 1/2 pack of a regular 8oz cream cheese brick. Worked out fine for me.

  28. There goes the diet but I can’t resist pumpkin cookies. I’ll be making a batch of these today! Thanks for the recipe!

  29. Mandersue22 says:

    I just made them, and the frosting.. Delicious!!! Thank you!!

  30. Just made them, I was so impatient I took the first batch out too early. The rest I left in longer and I love them!!!! I’m taking some over to my motherinlaw this afternoon. And, the house smells sooooo good!

  31. catherine hines says:

    Found this through pintrest. Just finished icing them. YUM. Talk about the smells and tastes of fall! Thank you for sharing!

  32. I really want to try this, but I don’t want to make 3 dozen :\ How can I cut it down to about half that? or 1 dozen

  33. I’ve made these three times over the last few weeks, they are so great, everyone keeps asking for more. Great recipe, thank you!!!

  34. Holly- if you want to cut it in half, beat one egg into a bowl and pour half of it into the batter. The rest should be easier to divide! :)

  35. Can you give me the measurement of pumpkin please? I have different size ‘cans’ of pumpkin available at our grocery store

  36. Angela Roberts says:

    I’ve been looking for this kind of recipe. Perfect.

  37. It says 1 cup of the pumpkin :)

  38. Yes- sorry for the late reply. But it is just 1 cup of pumpkin. The size of the can doesn’t matter!

  39. Caron Waner says:

    I have a New Favorite Cookie !!!! I was so excited when one of my friends posted this recipe !!! I made them today and they are Delicious very excited to share them at a meeting tonight,perfect for the Holidays !! Enjoy

  40. Thanks!! skimming a recipe over a smart phone obviously isn’t a great idea lol Thanks for clearing it up :)

  41. Mjsunshine16 says:

    Does the frosting stiffen so you can stack in a container?

  42. Yes it does stiffen a bit. To make an even stiffer frosting- use more powdered sugar- that’s what does it!

  43. Hi
    Is pumpkin puree just mashed pumpkin? I haven’t seen pumpkin puree in stores here in Finland…

  44. Arwalls81 says:

    I made these last night, and they were delicious! My husband took them to work and his co-workers raved about them. My only question is, is the dough supposed to be really sticky? I had a hard time flattening them out. I ended up flowering up my hands and pressing them into circles, but is that normal?

    1. SAME HERE! I completely gave up on the flattening.

  45. Panamaredrus says:

    I made these yesterday and they are all gone today…sofa king good

  46. I just finished eating a batch and they were wonderful! Definitely satisfied my pumpkin craving! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!!

  47. Caharmeyer_052805 says:

    How long can these freeze for and should you frost them as you use them, or can you put them in the freezer frosted?

  48. Hello! I haven’t frozen these before, but I imagine they would last at least 2 weeks. I would always frost them after thawing though.

  49. I do remember it being a sticky dough. I didn’t have a hard time flattening them though. Flour-ing your hands is probably what I have suggested!

  50. Caharmeyer_052805 says:

    Thanks so much!

  51. Made them for work for Halloween and they were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for posting such an awesome recipe :D
    (Had no pumpkin puree here in Germany, so i used Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter instead and a bit less flour and sugar)

  52. Hello! I have no cloves, but I have pumpkin pie spice. If I use that, how much would you recommend?

  53. Do these need to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese in the frosting?

  54. Hey! Yes I recommend chilling them until you’re ready to serve.

  55. Jeanfeher says:

    I just made a batch of these today. I frosted them with the butter, creamcheese, vanilla and cinnamon. They are so soft and delicious.

  56. Jeanfeher says:

    Pampered Chef has a great tool for scooping and placing the dough on the cookie sheets. Its like a mini ice cream scoop. I love it.

  57. Jeanfeher says:

    I’m going to freeze most of them (frosted). Will take some out for Thanksgiving. Hoping they are just as good as they are today.

  58. Csharma15 says:

    These are really yummy! I used the reduced fat cream cheese and had to use a little more powdered sugar to make the frosting a good consistency. Really good flavor!

  59. Charity Hammond says:

    These definitely came out super tasty. The cookie itself is light, fragrant, and filling, and the cream cheese frosting adds additional sweetening to it. But your pictures show that your frosting came out white. Mine came out a bit closer to brownish/flecked due to the cinnamon! Is that normal?

    1. That could also be from your vanilla. If you’re using a REAL vanilla, it will be browner than the clear (artificial) vanillas and extracts.

    2. Hey Charity- Sorry for the LATE reply- I just saw this question. I may have added less cinnamon? I’m really not 100% sure what went differently on your end. If you make them again- maybe hold back a bit on the cinnamon? :)

  60. Katherine says:

    Hey, These are super tasty, but in my oven, 15-20 min was waaay too long. I put in the first batch of 12 for 15 min, and they were dark (but not too burned). I put the next two batches of 12 for 12-13 min, and they were perfect!

    I’m sure it depends on how big your cookies are an your oven, but just make sure to check on them as they cook!

  61. I made three batches of these cookies to share with the enlisted Marines in his squadron not going home for the holidays. I haven’t heard their verdicts, but I was a HUGE. FAN. Love em. Thank you!

  62. Rosa Maria Russell says:

    These look delicious & I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the recipe :)

  63. Seriously, these are SO RIDICULOUSLY GOOD!! If you like pumpkin you will LOVE these cookies. The only couple changes I would suggest are cutting the baking time to 12 min. They are completely cooked and still nice and soft by that time. AND I love icing as much as the next person, but these cookies are amazing and the icing is a wonderful accent to the flavor, but don’t overdo it…I actually put a thin layer on. The recipe for the icing gives you a ton, so if you make a second batch, you will have more than enough left over. I made these last night for church, they were a huge hit. I only had a large 29 oz. can of Pumpkin puree, so I halved it and saved the leftover (just in case I loved the cookies so I could make some the next day). YOU WILL WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER BATCH…PROMISE!!! I would suggest you buy a Large can of it so you can make another batch. SHARE THEM WITH EVERYBODY..they will LOVE THEM. And I totally made them “out of season” but who cares? They are so yummy!!! Thanks for my new, very favorite cookie recipe…this will be passed on for generations I hope!!

  64. We are getting a teaser of fall with our weather today. I made these to celebrate and they are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  65. Just made these! They turned out awesome!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  66. Shawn Silva says:

    Made these this afternoon. All I can say is holy moly! They are soft and delicious. Yummmmm!

  67. Stephanie says:

    Just made these. Very delicious and incredibly easy to make Can’t wait until tomorrow and have them with my coffee tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe.

  68. Has anyone tried substituting 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in place of the other spices??

  69. I bake. I love to bake. So, friends and relatives get to eat my baking, alot. These were a HEEUUUGGGGEEEE hit. I’m addicted to your site. Thank you soooo much. ~Kelly

    1. I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out!

  70. Fall is here, saw these cute cookies and made them right away. So good! Freezing them now to send to daughter at college. Do you think they’ll make to trip?

    1. Hey Leslie- I wouldn’t suggest sending these because of the cream cheese frosting that would need to be chilled. I posted some new pumpkin cookies today though that would ship beautifully! :)

      1. If you don’t want an oatmeal-cookie- you could just send the un-frosted pumpkin cookies from this recipe. Cream cheese frosting can’t be out of the fridge for too long.

  71. I have leftover frosting that is in the fridge. I made some more cookies to frost tomorrow. Do you suggest I take frosting out of fridge to get at room temp or take out and beat it? I would love to get the frosting to the consistency of when it was just made.

    1. I would leave it out in room temp for about an hour before frosting the cookies. Whisk it up and it should be perfect :)

      1. Thank you for the quick reply! Leftover frosting whipped up great. These are in my top 5 cookies for sure. Great job!

  72. I have a question! If I make these with 100% pure pumpkin (like Libby’s) will I still get that texture? Or will it turn pumpkin pie texture?

    1. Hey Marlen- 100% pure pumpkin is exactly what you want!

  73. Delicious and easy recipe. Was a hit when i brought them in to work.

    Has anyone had trouble keeping the cookies overnight? I made the cookies, let them cool, and then placed them in a container over night. The next day the cookies were soggy/wet and I couldn’t eat them. Any suggestions!? I can always keep them in the fridge overnight as that’s what I did when I brought them to work (due to the frosting already being on top of them).

    Thanks!

  74. Kathy wright says:

    Ok, so, I just made these! Yumm! Nuff said!

  75. Just made one pan of these cookies. I live in Colorado Springs, CO, (5,300 ft) so the altitude wreaks havoc on anything baking related. I adjusted my recipe accordingly, and the dough was CRAZY sticky!! I really wanted to flatten them, but they kept pulling off the pan. I just dolloped them and hoped for the best. They tasted good though, and smelled AMAZING! Not too sweet, very pumpkiney, with good, but subtle spice. I like them better than the Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice bag mix that I got at the store. Compared to these, the bag mix tastes fake. Like those flavors shouldn’t exist in nature…
    I used : (plus the normal spices, salt, vanilla)
    2 1/2 c flour + 2 T
    7/8 t baking powder
    7/8 t baking soda
    1/2 c room temp butter
    1 c canned pumpkin + 2 T
    1 egg
    1 1/2 c white sugar minus 1T (Might not subtract the 1T next time)
    I got my adjustments from the King Arthur Flour website. Next time I will also refrigerate them for 24 hours. What do you think?

  76. Hi Audra, these are AMAZING. One question – do you sift the dry ingredients, or just mix them together?

  77. This recipe is fantastic! The cloves really make the cookie more flavorful and the frosting is delicious. Only used 2 cups of powdered sugar and I loved that you could still taste a little of cream cheese but it wasn’t overpowering. Took them into work and they were a huge success! Definitely my go-to pumpkin cookie recipe!

  78. These are addictive! I made them for a cookie swap and I couldn’t part with them. They are too good to resist. Definitely a special SEASONAL treatment in this house!

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  81. I make these cookies many times every fall/winter. They’re always a smash hit! Thanks for the awesome recipe! My only problem is that the dough is so sticky its very tricky to put onto the pan.

    1. Yeah I have to scoop the dough and just plop it on :)

  82. Is there any way we could use a gluten free flour like coconut flour? These look yummy!

    1. Hi Aimee! I’ve never used coconut flour before so I’m really not sure how it would work with these. If you try let me know!

  83. I just made these and they are delicious!
    Thanks a lot, I loved your website :-)

  84. Seriously, the best pumpkin cookies EVER!!! I make these every year! I take them to work, send them to my husband’s work, bring them to Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with making them for my family at home. They are ALWAYS a hit. I want to thank you this year as I get ready to make a batch for Thanksgiving!!!

  85. just made these cookies and they turned out amazing!! they are so soft, but cooked all the way through (I did mine for 15 minutes). the frosting is great, but you can really taste the cream cheese so if you don’t like that I would use a different frosting recipe. anyways thanks so much for the recipe!!

  86. Sarah J Urich says:

    I love these cookies and make them every season now. I have a batch in the oven now! I have 2 questions: 1) the dough is sooo sticky. I couldn’t flatten them or get it off the spoon. How can I adjust the recipe to make them less sticky? 2) When I mix the pumpkin puree in with the creamed butter it looks like the butter doesn’t mix in with the puree and I get little clumps of butter. Doesn’t affect the taste, but why doesn’t it mix all the way? Thank you so much! I love them :)

    1. My guess with the butter is it really isn’t soft enough. That should help it cream 100%.

      As for the cookies- I’d suggest dipping your fingers in flour before flattening. The sticky dough is what makes them so good! ;)

      1. Ah perfect! Thank you so much :)

  87. This is the recipe that first brought me to your blog! These cookies are amazing and it’s so great to see them again!

  88. These are stunning! Your new photos are gorgeous, and I can definitely see why these have been a long time hit :)

  89. PRINT. I def want to make these and soon. When can we have a playdate with the kiddos and make something at the same time. Wanna come over this weekend perchance????

    1. Weekends are generally not the best because it’s my only time with a co-parent and I like to have me time while Andy takes over :) But weekday afternoons are always good!

  90. These look amazing. How do you store the cookies after baking?

  91. These are amazing! So soft and moist. Got many compliments on these

  92. I just made these for my lab and they completely devoured them. I bring sweets in often, and these are by far the biggest winners! Even my boyfriend, who is not big on sweets, ate these until he made his tummy hurt from too much sugar – that’s a huge success in my book. I will be making these at least annually from now on.

  93. Ok so I made these because it’s that time of the year again and they were delicious. The best cookies. My kids loved them too so now I have to make another batch because they get eaten so quickly. Thanks for sharing such a yummy recipe.

  94. I am soooo confused. Your recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups brown sugar but in the step by step directions it says to add white sugar. Also, why is there an asterisk by the brown sugar?? I sure hope you see this so I can make these tomorrow.

    1. Sorry for the confusion- I recently edited the recipe and published a draft by mistake. All fixed now!

  95. OMG you are a rockstar. Thank you soooooo much for getting right back to me. Crisis averted. I am baking these tonight for a fall social at school tomorrow. People are gonna love me for these. I make these every single fall. They are sooooo delicious and always a fan fav. These cookies, your easy Philly cheesesteaks, and your naked chocolate peanutbutter cake are 3 of my most favorite of all of your recipes. Thank you!!!

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