Pumpkin Cookies (With Cream Cheese Frosting)

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The ultimate BEST EVER soft-baked BAKERY-STYLE Pumpkin Spice Cookies with a soft cream cheese frosting! via chelseasmessyapron.com

Big, soft-baked, bakery-style pumpkin cookies with a soft and flavorful cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

These soft and chewy pumpkin cookies are a hit wherever I serve them! Try some other pumpkin cookie favorites — these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or these pumpkin snickerdoodles.

The BEST bakery-style soft-baked pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting! chelseasmessyapron.com

Pumpkin Cookies

These pumpkin cookies are soft and cake-like — think a mix between a pumpkin cookie, pumpkin muffin tops, and pumpkin pie ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re also quite thick & chewy all while being packed with good flavor & spice.

The boys and I have been testing and perfecting pumpkin treats over the past couple of weeks and I’m so excited to share on of our favorite creations: these delicious pumpkin cookies!

We invested a ton of time to get these to be the perfect soft-baked, bakery-style pumpkin cookie. Piled high with cream cheese frosting of course ๐Ÿ™‚

The BEST bakery-style soft-baked pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting! I recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

Cream Cheese Frosting

As I’ve made pumpkin cookies over the years, I’ve experimented quite a bit with different frostings. While I was testing-out this recipe I tried a browned butter frosting, a maple frosting, a glaze, and finally a cream cheese frosting. After lots of taste-tests from family and friends, the cream cheese frosting was hands-down the winner!

Here are a few cream cheese frosting tips:

  • Set out your butter and cream cheese about an hour before to get them to room temperature. If these ingredients aren’t at room temperature, they wonโ€™t combine very smoothly, and there will be unpleasant cream cheese chunks in the frosting. Here are some tips for how to bring your cream cheese and butter to room temperature quickly.
  • Don’t forget the flavor enhancers. The salt and vanilla adds so much to the frosting. The salt helps to intensify flavors and balance the sweetness and the vanilla gives an overall nice flavor to the frosting,
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar according to personal taste preferences as well as to how firm you want the frosting on top of these pumpkin cookies to be. More sugar will make the frosting sweeter and firmer, less sugar will leave the frosting a bit tangier and less firm.
  • Add a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Instead of mixing pumpkin pie spice into the frosting, I like adding a light sprinkle to the top of the frosted cookies. This not only makes the cookies pretty, it also adds a nice pumpkin flavor to the cookie.

The BEST bakery-style soft-baked pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting! chelseasmessyapron.com

I’ve always been a believer in all the little details to get baked goods to turn out their best. With that in mind, let me share a few tips that will get these pumpkin cookies tasting their best!

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cookies

  • Watch the baking time. I like to *slightly* under-bake these cookies to keep them soft and dense. If they are over-baked they lose their awesome texture and a lot of the flavor. Since every oven is different, try baking 1-2 at first to make sure you find the perfect bake-time for your cookies.
  • The pumpkin matters. For this recipe you’ll want to use pure canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has a lot of different ingredients and is watered down so it won’t work in these cookies. I personally use Libby’s pumpkin because it is the least “watery” canned pumpkin (that I’ve found so far).
  • Correctly measure the flour: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack in way too much flour (which will result in cake-like cookies with the wrong texture). To properly measure your flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until its overfilled. Then use the back of a butter knife to level the measuring cup at the top. Youโ€™ll have a perfect flour measurement now!

The BEST bakery-style soft-baked pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting! I via chelseasmessyapron.com

More Amazing Pumpkin Treats

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Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 19 votes
Big, soft-baked, bakery-style pumpkin cookies with a soft and flavorful cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Print Recipe

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 19 votes
Big, soft-baked, bakery-style pumpkin cookies with a soft and flavorful cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 35 cookies

Ingredients

  • Parchment paper or silpat liner

Cookies

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (328g) all-purpose white flour (See Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (152g) granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (144g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 113g) unsatled butter softened, do NOT melt
  • 1 CUP (not an entire can!) (222g) canned pumpkin, (do not use pumpkin pie filling; do not use an entire can)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces (115g) full-fat cream cheese (the block cream cheese, not spreadable), softened NOT melted
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, softened, NOT melted
  • 2 cups (242g) powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  • PREP: Prepare a large sheet pan by lining with parchment paper or a silpat liner (very important to avoid burned bottoms on these cookies). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt; Whisk to combine and set aside.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Add 1 CUP pumpkin, the egg, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is creamy. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Avoid over-mixing as it will create denser cookies.ย 
  • ROLL COOKIE BALLS: Place heaping tablespoons of the batter on the baking sheet (I only bake 6 cookies at a time) and flatten the balls of dough slightly. (The batter is wetter than normal cookie dough so don't be alarmed that you can't roll out balls of dough; chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes if needed).
  • BAKE: Bake for 9-14 minutes, watching carefully, to avoid over-baking. We like these slightly under-baked and soft, but the tops shouldn't be shiny at all. Remove and allow cookies to stand for another 3-5 minutes on the sheet pan before removing to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • FROSTING: Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the softened (not melted, should be at room temperature)ย cream cheese and butter until creamy (about 2 minutes) at medium-high speed. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined and the frosting is soft and creamy. Avoid over-beating the mixture or you'll get whipped frosting.
  • FROST COOKIES: Generously frost the completely cooled cookies and if desired, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little extra pumpkin pie spice.
  • STORAGE: Do not store the cookies in tupperware. Store on plates loosely covered with foil in the fridge. Best eaten same day or within 2-3 days. After that, they soften too much and become a weird texture. Freeze un-baked cookie dough balls for up to 3 months; bake straight from freezer for an additional 1-3 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack way too much flour in; use a spoon to scoop it into a measuring cup and then level the top with the back of a butter knife.ย 

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68 Comments

  1. Sounds great!…will be making these! I make cream cheese frosted cupcakes and found that once they’re cooled and frosted, I can freeze them on a sheet in the freezer, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and put them back into freezer…it works!

  2. I make a ginger cookie that sounds like it should have the same texture as this cookie. I often bake cookies on a stone but those ginger cookies never seem to turn out unless I bake them on a traditional cookie sheet. Am I crazy?

  3. 5 stars
    My husband and I made these yesterday and they turned out perfectly! The idea to cook one cookie first to get the perfect time was brilliant! Thank you for the delicious recipe; your website is our go to for new, delicious recipes!

  4. Hey!! these look so soft and amazing!!! I’m so happy I stumbled across your page! I went ahead and got the ebook! its been a huge help, since I had no idea about blogging!! thanks so much!! I’ve learned a lot these past few days!!

    1. Thank you so much Kaylen ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you loved the book and please let me know if you ever have any questions ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    Just made these cookies and mannnnn they came out perfect! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I never thought I could bake something and get it right the first time lol

      1. Hello I have a questuon. Have you ever made these cookies with coconut flour for those that are gluten free ? If so are they still soft and good ?

  6. Super fofo,lembra um hambรบrguer, deve ser muito bom vou adorar preparar, que bom que encontrei essa receita, este blog estรก de parabรฉns.adoro!

    1. Iโ€™m late to the comment game here but Iโ€™m trying out chilling the dough for an hour to see if I can get the texture to be a little more lofty. The same idea applies to chocolate chip cookies to why the heck not, right?

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you so much Ms. Chelsea I’ll be making these. I was looking for a chewy pumkin cookie recipe such as this. I’m gonna try a glaze with with milk instead of the cream cheese for a lower cal count.????

  8. Thanks for this recipe! Been looking for a good soft cookie recipe for my sister’s birthday. She lives anything pumpkin! I will be making it tomorrow, but can you confirm the # of eggs? You wrote 1 but in the picture above, I see 2 eggs. Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday. I posted a picture of them on Facebook and my family came running over. Luckily i had doubled the batch. I took some to work today and got highly compliments. Not everyone got a cookie so tonight I made another batch. Very delicious. I however cooked a pie pumpkin down instead of can. I will not make any other pumpkin cookies besides these ? Thank you so much for recipe. I love love love these cookies

  10. 5 stars
    Yesterday I made these cookies and doubled the batch which i am glad i did. I posted a picture of them on facebook and my family came running over lol. I took some to work today and they were a major hit and not everyone got a cookie. They all loved them. Tonight I made another batch to take to work and my daughter wants to take some to school to. Very delicious ? I will not make any other pumpkin cookie. I cooked a pie pumpkin down instead of can pumpkin. Thank you so so much for the recipe. The best one ever ? Thank you again

  11. 5 stars
    These are my new fall go-to cookies! They’ve been a huge hit at parties and family get togethers (if they make it past the kiddos and hubby…and me!)Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    very good pumpkin cookies. I added raisins for pumpkin-raisin cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ Super tasty and soft. I will make these again!

    1. I would recommend making the cookies and freezing them. I don’t think this batter would sit well for an extended period of time unfortunately.

      1. I plan on making these tomorrow.. it looks like we cannot save the raw dough or freeze it for later ?? only freeze cookies that have been baked but not frosted correct

          1. 5 stars
            Made these to take to work one day and ended up having to make another batch when I got home for my husband and I. These are the perfect cookie for fall or any time of year, really! Such a great recipe!

      1. Did you change any of the ingredients or process? Did you by chance accidentally use an entire can of pumpkin instead of the 1 cup called for? (A common mistake in pumpkin recipes!)

  13. Why canโ€™t you use spreadable cream cheese? I didnโ€™t notice that comment until after shopping and grabbed spreadable ๐Ÿ™

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my!! There are not even words to describe how delicious these cookies are!! Our family loves pumpkin and these cookies are perfect! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!

  15. Hi, I just came across your recipe and can’t wait to make these cookies. About the pumpkin filling: do you drain or blot the filling to get out some of the liquid? I’ve seen other recipes where that’s done and wondered if you experimented with that at all. Thanks, and can’t wait to whip these up!
    – Brian

    1. Hey Brian! I don’t blot out for these cookies, but I do recommend a good quality, solid packed pumpkin like Libby’s! Enjoy!

  16. 5 stars
    These are literally the BEST!!! I’m kind of obsessed now! ? The first time I tried making them, I forgot to flatten them out, but they turned out amazing anyways! This time, I’ll TRY not to eat the entire two dozen or so. ????

  17. I made these and doubled the amount of pumpkin and think even more pumpkin would have brought out more of the pumpkin flavor. The basic recipe makes soft cookies.

  18. 5 stars
    These are amazing! I used all purpose gluten free flour and they turned out so good. Perfectly soft and fluffy with the perfect amount of spice. Didnโ€™t make any frosting because I didnโ€™t have the ingredients on hand but I dont think they need it, they stand on their own. I also added chocolate chips to half the batch, just because. All were gobbled up quickly by hubs and kids. Thanks for the recipe, I wonโ€™t be making any other pumpkin cookie recipe, this is it!

  19. 5 stars
    Fantastic cookies! I made two sheets at the same time for 12 minutes. They were wonderful and chewy even without the frosting. The frosting really puts them over the top. They are quick and easy to make and perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and potlucks.

  20. 5 stars
    These are like a cookie steak – so rich, filling and delicious. I gave them at Thanksgiving to family and colleagues and they were a hit with both kids and adults. We’re about to make more right now.

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