My daughter and I are kind of obsessed with pumpkin-flavored anything. It’s become a little bit of a running joke between us that if they make it in a pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavor, we’re going to try it. Pumpkin Twinkies? Let’s go! Pumpkin Alfredo? Bring it on!
But since sugar cookies are our favorite cookie, it seemed only fitting that we developed a recipe on our own. You can’t get this flavor and texture out of a box. Fresh, homemade pumpkin sugar cookies are where it’s at.
Adding pumpkin to sugar cookies makes them a little friendlier on the waistline because they have less butter and eggs. But they are still super soft and chewy and totally addictive. They are a really easy dessert for fall parties or even Thanksgiving!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
The ingredients are typical of what you’d expect in a sugar cookie. Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, vanilla and an egg.
Of course, the star ingredient is the pumpkin. You want to use canned pumpkin puree, not pie filling, so make sure to purchase the right one for your cookies.
I decided to leave out the pumpkin pie spice and roll the cookie dough in sugar and cinnamon instead, like Snickerdoodles. The sugar coating is optional, but really gives the pumpkin cookies nice crisp edges. You can add pumpkin pie spice or make your own with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger.
Step by Step Instructions
Mix up flour, baking powder and salt in and salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to help sift the ingredients together.
Beat butter and granulated sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. This method is called creaming – it means that the mixture should be soft and fluffy and creamy. This is most easily done with an electric mixer.
Add pumpkin and egg to the butter mixture and stir it until it’s smooth.
Then mix the wet and dry ingredients together, just until combined. Over-mixing can result in a tough, dense cookie, so mix just until you can no longer see the white powder.
Refrigerate the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap. We tested this recipe with and without refrigerating and found that it needs about an hour in the fridge to rest and so the dough won’t spread too much in the oven.
Before baking, scoop dough and roll the dough balls in sugar. While this isn’t a necessary step, it adds a delicious crunch to the exterior of the cookie. Feel free to add a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to the sugar.
Finally, arrange the balls of dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, or until they are just starting to brown.
For the best result ingredients should be room temperature to produce a light and fluffy cookie.
Frosted cookies: Ditch the cinnamon sugar and top cookies with a cream cheese frosting.
Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. For maximum freshness, enjoy them within 4-5 days. If you want to freeze some for later, wrap in a freezer bag and store up to 6 months.
What to Do with Leftover Pumpkin Puree
A can of pumpkin puree has roughly 2 cups of pumpkin in it. But the recipe only calls for ¾ of a cup so what do you do with the rest? I’ve got some ideas for you!
Freeze it! Scoop the pumpkin into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure to label with the amount and the date and thaw in the fridge before using.
Stir it into your favorite Chili, oatmeal or smoothie.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl or your stand mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy; 1-2 minutes.
Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth; about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, just until combined.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat 350 degree oven. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone or parchment paper.
Pour granulated sugar into a shallow dish.
Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball with your hands (dough will be slightly sticky), then roll in the sugar mixture. Repeat with all of the cookie dough. Arrange 1-2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and press down lightly with your palm.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden on top and lightly browned on the bottom.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can add a little pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon to the dough or to the sugar coating if you want that flavor. Store cookies in a plastic bag at room temperature for 4-5 days. Freeze in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
Keyword pumpkin cookies, pumpkin sugar cookies, sugar cookies
Have you tried this recipe?
Let us know how it was by leaving a review or sharing on Instagram with the tag #yellowblissroad
Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.