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Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are dusted with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to finish them off!
Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 dozen cookies


  • Parchment paper or Silpat liner


  • 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) unsalted 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


  • PREP: Prepare a large sheet pan by lining with parchment paper or a Silpat liner. This step is very important to avoid burned bottoms on these cookies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt to a large bowl; whisk to combine and set aside.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add 1 cup pumpkin, the egg, and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is creamy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Avoid over mixing, as it will create denser cookies. 
  • OPTIONAL -- CHILL DOUGH: Cover tightly and chill the dough for 30 minutes up to 10 hours. Chilling is not necessary but it makes the dough easier to work with and intensifies flavors.
  • ROLL COOKIE BALLS: Use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out balls of dough. Each cookie should be about 1 tablespoon in size. Once dough is in the measuring spoon, use a small spoon to scoop it out and onto the lined sheet pan. Try to smooth or round the balls, but it's okay if they're a bit bumpy; the dough is difficult to work with. Leave 2 inches of room for each cookie (I only bake 8-10 cookies at a time) and flatten the balls of dough slightly. (This batter is wetter than normal cookie dough, so don't be alarmed that you can't roll the balls of dough; chill in the fridge for additional time if needed for easier rolling).
  • BAKE: Bake for 8-12 minutes (9 minutes is perfect for my oven!) watching carefully to avoid over baking. We like these slightly under-baked and soft, but the tops shouldn't be shiny/wet looking 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; it should be at room temperature) cream cheese and butter until creamy (about 2 minutes) at medium-high speed. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until soft and creamy. Avoid over-beating the mixture or you'll get whipped frosting.
  • FROST COOKIES: Generously frost the cooled cookies and if desired, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little pumpkin pie spice.
  • STORAGE: Do not store the cookies in a sealed plastic container. Instead, store on plates loosely covered with foil in the fridge. They're best eaten the same day or within 2-3 days. After that, they soften too much. Freeze un-baked cookie dough balls for up to 3 months; bake straight from freezer for an additional 1-3 minutes.



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