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Soft Pumpkin Cookies

These soft pumpkin cookies are tender and sweet butter-based cookies full of delicious pumpkin puree and spices, smothered in a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies topped with frosting and cinnamon.

Leaves are starting to turn from green to oranges and reds, and to me, that means it’s officially pumpkin season!

There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of autumn than baking a fresh batch of soft pumpkin cookies. 

These soft pumpkin cookies live up to their name; they’re butter-based, tender, and moist cookies, made with pureed pumpkin, and pumpkin spices, frosted with a creamy and tangy vanilla cream cheese frosting.

They make a perfect heartwarming homemade gift for friends and family too!

Trust me, the next time you want to indulge in the flavors of fall, you’ll want to sink your teeth into these soft pumpkin cookies.

Craving more soft tender cookies? Try these sour cream cookies!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies ingredients on a table.

Ingredients for soft pumpkin cookies

For cookies: 

  • Unsalted butter – The unsalted butter will make these soft pumpkin cookies stay soft and moist.
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar – I’ve used both kinds of sugar here to not only add sweetness, but the brown sugar will help add moisture to the cookies as well.
  • Egg – The egg will help emulsify all of the ingredients in the cookies.
  • Pumpkin puree – Pumpkin puree will add a delicious pumpkin flavor and moisture to the cookies.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract will add a sweet vanilla flavor. 
  • All-purpose flour – All-purpose flour is a common baking ingredient that will make up the majority of our cookie dough.
  • Kosher salt – Kosher salt is important to help balance and enhance all of the flavors.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – Pumpkin pie spice will add a warm blend of spices to the cookies.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda will keep these cookies light and fluffy.
Cream cheese frosting ingredients.

For cream cheese icing: 

  • Cream cheese – Cream cheese will add tanginess and creaminess to the frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar is the perfect sugar for frosting because it can dissolve at room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract will add a sweet vanilla flavor to the frosting.
A hand holding a Soft Pumpkin Cookie.

What is pumpkin pie spice?

Pumpkin pie spice can be found easily in the spice aisle of most major grocery stores.

But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make your own at home!

My favorite blend is cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. You can add more or less of each depending on your preferences. 

I also love adding a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to the top of the frosting to add additional flavor and a touch of decoration.

Tips for making cream cheese icing

I’m giving you a basic cream frosting for this cookie but if you want something slightly different I recommend trying my Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting!

If you want to add more flavor to the basic recipe provided here are a few things that can easily jazz up plain cream cheese frosting:

  • Vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract
  • Mixing in pumpkin pie spice for a boost of extra fall flavor
  • Add artificial flavors like caramel, rum, or even coffee to the frosting instead of vanilla extract
A Soft Pumpkin Cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Freeze and make later!

Did you know that you can make these soft pumpkin cookies whenever the craving strikes?

Simply prepare the cookie dough as written, but do not bake!

Put the raw cookie dough balls spaced apart on a cookie sheet.

Pop the cookie sheet in the freezer until the cookie dough balls are hard, and place frozen cookie balls in a freezer-safe ziplock bag for up to 3 months!

To use from frozen, simply thaw the cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

Storage and leftovers

Any leftover soft pumpkin cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies topped with cream cheese frosting.

More sweet treats

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
These soft pumpkin cookies are tender and sweet butter-based cookies full of delicious pumpkin puree and spices, smothered in a luscious vanilla cream cheese frosting.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cookies


For cookies:

For cream cheese icing:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For cookies 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until well-mixed. If using a stand mixer, make sure to use the paddle attachment. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda.  Mix just until combined, you don’t want to overmix! 
  • Scoop out 1-inch balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure to place them at least 2 inches apart. Press each of the cookies down gently to flatten them slightly. 
  • Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is set, about 10-12 minutes. 
  • Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool while you make the icing. 

For the Icing 

  • Beat the softened cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. 
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, about ¼ cup at a time. 
  • When the sugar has been fully incorporated, add the vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Frost each of the cookies with 1 tablespoon of icing and top with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice if desired.
  • Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake pumpkin cookies, cookies made with pumpkin, old fashioned pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cookies, super soft pumpkin cookies
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!
Soft Pumpkin Cookies pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating


Monday 23rd of October 2023

This is the perfect fall cookie! I'll never pass up making anything pumpkin related. My whole family ate these up so fast!

Shadi Hasanzade

Saturday 21st of October 2023

I love pumpkin cookies. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.


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