Pumpkin Cookies

Quick Summary

Pumpkin cookies are the perfect dessert for fall! The cookies are soft, perfectly spiced and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. They are melt in your mouth good!

pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

Who is ready for ALL things pumpkin?! I am raising both hands!

When pumpkin season rolls around I always like to kick things off with Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I already have all kinds of pumpkin cookie recipes on my site (pumpkin chocolate chip, pumpkin cinnamon, pumpkin snickerdoodles), but this one is an absolute classic: a fluffy, spiced pumpkin cookie with indulgent cream cheese frosting! These cookies are easy to make and even easier to devour.

Pumpkin cookies on cooling rack

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These pumpkin cookies are perfectly spiced and will smell like fall as soon as you open up the spice jars. You will need a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves.

These are also the ingredients in pumpkin pie spice! I prefer to use individually spices because I think the flavor is better, but you can use pumpkin pie spice. Use 3 teaspoons of that in this recipe instead of the listed spices.

Make sure all of your spices are fresh for maximum flavor. Most spices have a shelf life of two to four years. You can tell if your spices are too old if they aren’t aromatic. Give them a whiff and if you can’t smell much, toss them out and buy new ones.

cream cheese frosting for pumpkin cookies

How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Cookies

This is a super straightforward recipe with classic baking ingredients and a simple process. You’ll have soft, flavorful cookies on your counter in no time at all!

  • Use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling! Pumpkin pie filling has sugar and spices added to it. You can find canned pumpkin in the baking aisle.
  • Make sure you measure your flour correctly! Spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level the top with the back of a butter knife. Don’t pack your flour!
  • Don’t over mix the batter! For the best texture in your pumpkin cookie, mix just until the ingredients are all incorporated.
  • You’ll also want to avoid over baking. A good rule of thumb with cookies is to pull them out just before they look perfectly done. They’ll finish baking to perfection on the hot pan as they cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I love finishing these cookies off with a little cream cheese frosting! The flavors pair so well together and it makes a truly decadent dessert.

The trick to perfectly fluffy, easy-to-spread cream cheese frosting is to have room-temperature butter and cream cheese. Also, make sure the cookies are completely cool before frosting them. Frosting warm cookies will create a runny frosting mess and we don’t want that!

If you want to top the frosted cookies with a sprinkle of cinnamon, chopped candied pecans, or sprinkles, go for it!

Soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

How to Store Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin cookies with frosting can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for three to four days. If you live in a hot and/or humid climate I recommend storing the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Store in a single layer so the cookies don’t stick together. If you need to stack the cookies to save on space, you can put a piece of parchment paper in between the cookie layers. Let the cookies sit at room temperature before serving or enjoy cold, I like them both ways.

Pumpkin cookies without frosting can be stored in a airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. You can make the cream cheese frosting and store it in the refrigerator until it’s time to enjoy, just let the frosting come to room temperature and beat it again so it is nice and smooth.

Pumpkin cookies freeze well, I recommend freezing them unfrosted, but if you have frosted cookies, you can freeze them too. They will still taste good:)

Place the cooled cookies in a single layer in a freezer container and freeze for up to two months. If you need to stack the cookies, use parchment paper in between the layers so they don’t stick.

Let unfrosted cookies come to room temperature and then top with cream cheese frosting.

pumpkin cookies with a bite taken out

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin cookies are the perfect dessert for fall! The cookies are soft, perfectly spiced and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting. They are melt in your mouth good!
4.80 from 5 votes


For the cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for or 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm but cookies are still soft in the center. Cool on baking sheets for 2 to 5 minutes; transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and cream (you can also use an electric hand mixer) and beat until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn to medium speed and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. If you want a thicker frosting add an additional ¼ cup to ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar and beat again.
  • Frost the cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting


Calories: 176kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 110mg, Potassium: 51mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 1308IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords baking, fall

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for you recipes! Can’t wait to try it! Can we expect more recipes with Pumpkin

    1. I love pumpkin! I have LOTS of recipes already on the blog and there will be some new ones too:)

    1. Was your butter too warm? You can try chilling the dough before baking if you think your butter was too warm when you started.

  2. 4 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! First time baking with pumpkin and they have come out just right. I think next time I might add a bit more sugar to the batter cause it came out a bit savoury rather than sweet so I had to sweeten the cream cheese frosting. Also the cookie itself resembles more like a scone in texture and appearance than a biscuit/cookie. Maybe it’s just an American thing? Great tasting nonetheless! Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks for another delicious cookie recipe! I left some cookies unfrosted and now have a decent amount of frosting left over. Do you know if I can freeze the leftover frosting for a future use? I suspect we’ll make another batch this season.

    2. Glad you liked the cookies. Sure, you can freeze it for a bit. Thaw and mix again so it is nice and smooth!

  3. Made 1/2 batch of these cookies using roasted butternut squash (because I’ve got tons of ’em coming out of my garden). The cookies were terrific and I wish I’d made a whole batch. No frosting because I thought I had cream cheese on hand but … oops! Cookies were so tasty they didn’t really need the extra frosting. Thanks!!

  4. Hi Maria,
    I love your recipes…..but wondering if there is anyway you could list the proper adjustments to your baking and show high altitude adjustments? I live at 9,000 ft and have difficulty getting the measurements correct:))
    Thank you, Michael