Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies have a soft and chewy texture with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar exterior. It’s an irresistible fall cookie that your whole family will love!

stack of cookies, a cookie with a bite out of it, orange napkin, burlap

When the leaves start changing color and the weather turns cooler, we know that fall baking season is here, and that means Pumpkin Sugar Cookies! We also love to bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BreadPumpkin Dump Cake and

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies Recipe

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.

stack of pumpkin sugar cookies

Ingredients

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

  1. Mix up flour, baking powder and salt in and salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to help sift the ingredients together.
  2. Butter and granulated sugar are beat 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.
  3. Add pumpkin and egg to the butter mixture and stir it until it’s smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. Refrigerate the dough. 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.
  6. Before baking, roll the dough 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.
  7. 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.
collage of 6 images showing steps for making pumpkin sugar cookie dough

Expert Tips

  • 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.

Storage

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!

pumpkin sugar cookies, burlap, orange napkin
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pumpkin sugar cookies, stacked, one has a bite out of it, orange napkin, burlap

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies have a soft and chewy texture with a crunchy sugar coating. It's an irresistible fall cookie that everyone will love!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 141kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree not pie filling

For rolling:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 141kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 959IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

Kristin Maxwell

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.

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