These Soft Pumpkin Cookies are a perfectly moist and spiced recipe, with a rich cream cheese frosting for good measure. They are easy to make and perfect for fall baking!
Its that time of year for all things pumpkin! From pumpkin juice to Pumpkin Cake and Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins, it just gets me excited when the fall season comes around and it's socially acceptable to eat all things pumpkin again. So I'm excited to share these delicious pumpkin treats with you since they are a favorite in my family!
I've seen other pumpkin cookie recipes made with spice cake mixes or pumpkin pie spice, but I tend to avoid too many spice blends in my cupboard that, let's face it, only get used for a month or two out of each year. I would much rather use up the jars of individual spices and get the balance of flavors just the way I like. Which is why I think these are the best soft pumpkin cookies I've ever had.
Also, can we just talk about the cream cheese frosting for a second? It's so tangy and sweet and amazing. The cookies are delicious all on their own, but the frosting takes them over the top and makes them extra special.
How to Make Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Cream butters and sugars until light, about 2 minutes. Then add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and mix again until combined.
- Whisk the flour together with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Then add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.
- Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to leave enough room for them to spread. This cookie dough is softer and stickier than most cookie doughs, but there is no need to chill it as they puff up somewhat and are more on the cakey side anyway.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F. You don't want to overcook the cookies or they will be dry. Look for them to be set, but still moist inside. Remove from the oven and cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. These are delicious all on their own, but even better with cream cheese frosting!
How to Make the Best Cream Cheese Frosting
- Make the cream cheese frosting by combining softened butter and cream cheese in a bowl and mixing with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt (yes, salt! Even a small amount makes a big difference in bringing out the flavor in frosting so it doesn't just taste like sugar). Mix again until combined.
- Frost each soft pumpkin cookie with a generous dollop of cream cheese frosting, then sprinkle with cinnamon for decoration and serve.
How to Store Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Cream cheese frosting doesn't set up as much as regular buttercream, so you will need to store these soft pumpkin cookies in a single layer. They can sit out on the counter for up to 8 hours before they need to be refrigerated. But if you need them to last longer, just cover the cookies loosely with wax paper or aluminum foil and they will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Cookies?
You can freeze unfrosted soft pumpkin cookies for about 2 months. Just thaw on the counter overnight and frost the next day. Unfortunately, the cream cheese frosting doesn't freeze very well, so I don't recommend freezing frosted cookies that have not been eaten.
Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and mix again until combined.
- Add the flour and spices to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, but be careful not to overbake. I prefer to slightly underbake my cookies by a little bit so they stay soft. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed in a medium bowl until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until creamy and combined.
- Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon for decoration, if desired.