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These super soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are one of our favorite Fall treats! They are easy to make and deliciously moist, with the perfect amount of cinnamon spice.

An image of two pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other on a black wire cooling rack.

My family is obsessed with pumpkin desserts. My kids go absolutely crazy for chocolate chip pumpkin bread, pumpkin juice, pumpkin pie, and anything else pumpkin flavored. We have even grown our own sugar pumpkins so we can make homemade pumpkin puree!

So it’s no surprise that my kids loved helping make these easy pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. 

Other pumpkin cookie recipes are made with spice cake mixes or call for pumpkin pie spice, but I wanted to avoid that with this recipe. I feel like I already have too many spice blends in my cupboard as it is. And let’s face it, pumpkin spice would only get used for a month or two out of each year. I prefer to 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 this wonderful cream cheese frosting for a second? It’s so tangy and sweet and amazing. The cookies are delicious all on their own and can totally be eaten plain, but the frosting takes them over the top. Especially with just a sprinkle of cinnamon for decoration.

An overhead image of pumpkin cookies frosted with cream cheese frosting and dusted with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

How to Make Pumpkin Cookies

  1. Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Then add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla and mix again until combined. You can use canned pumpkin puree or make your own.
  2. In a separate bowl, 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. This dough is a little softer and stickier than most other cookie dough that I usually work with.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to leave enough room for them to spread. The cookies will spread a bit, but they also puff up and are more on the cakey side, rather than being super chewy. The reason is because of the extra moisture that the pumpkin adds to the cookie dough.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F. Don’t want to overbake or the cookies will be dry. They should be set, but still moist inside, and they will continue to set up just a bit even after you remove them from the oven. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. These are delicious all on their own, but even better with cream cheese frosting!

A collage of images showing how to make pumpkin cookies. An image of frosted pumpkin cookies on a wire cooling rack.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Combining softened butter and softened cream cheese in a bowl. If you forget to pull your ingredients out, you can microwave them for 10-15 seconds to warm them up a bit before mixing. Beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth and completely combined.
  2. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of 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 until the powdered sugar is all mixed in, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. Frost each soft pumpkin cookie with a generous dollop of cream cheese frosting. I like to sprinkle a little ground cinnamon on top of each cookie for decoration. Then serve and enjoy!

An image showing the texture of cream cheese frosting in a bowl.

How to store pumpkin cookies so they stay soft

Cream cheese frosting doesn’t set up as much as regular buttercream, so stacking these cookies isn’t the best idea. You really need to store these pumpkin cookies in a single layer if they have already been frosted with the cream cheese frosting.

The frosted cookies can sit out on the counter for up to 8 hours before they need to be refrigerated. Sugar helps preserve the cream cheese, so even though there is dairy in the frosting, it’s okay at room temperature for longer than normal.

But if you need the pumpkin cookies to last longer, just cover them loosely with wax paper or aluminum foil and they will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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.

Pumpkin Cookie Variations

  • Skip the cream cheese frosting and add 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the pumpkin cookie dough before scooping and baking for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
  • Stir in 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts for a nutty crunch!
  • Instead of frosting the tops of the pumpkin cookies, frost the bottom of one cookie and sandwich it with another to make pumpkin cookie sandwiches.

An image of frosted soft pumpkin cookies on a decorative cake plate with cinnamon sticks around them.

More Cookie Recipes To Make This Fall

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 24 cookies

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

These super soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting are one of our favorite Fall treats! They are easy to make and deliciously moist, with the perfect amount of cinnamon spice.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the flour and spices to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined.
  5. Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Frost cooled cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon for decoration, if desired.

Notes

Store frosted cookies in a single layer covered loosely with wax paper or foil in the fridge for up to 3 days.  If you want to make the cookies in advance, freeze before frosting for up to 2 months.  Remove and frost just before serving. 

Chocolate Chip Variation:  Leave off the frosting and add 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the cookie dough before scooping and baking.

Adapted from Taste of Home.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 41mg Sodium: 147mg Carbohydrates: 32g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 21g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g
This soft pumpkin cookies first appeared on The Salty Marshmallow, where I am a contributor.