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Snuggle up in your coziest sweater and dive into fall with these deliciously soft, homemade pumpkin sugar cookies. These are EXACTLY what a cookie should be: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, full of fall pumpkin flavor, then coated in the most satisfying, easy-to-make ginger maple glaze.
Can't get enough of fall desserts? These pumpkin brownies should be next on your list!
As the days shorten, find warmth in simple joys – like baking cookies! These pumpkin sugar cookies are sure to be a family favorite, with the earthy, sweet, yet spicy pumpkin flavor. They're deliciously tender and take a total time of just 25 minutes!
Savor these with a hot spiked apple cider or tea, eat them as a seasonal snack, or serve them as a Thanksgiving dessert. They could even be a treat for your trick-or-treater friends on Halloween!
Most of the ingredients you'll need for this pumpkin sugar cookies recipe are pantry ingredients:
- Flour: We use all-purpose flour, but you could use a gluten-free alternative if needed (just check that it has xanthan gum already added).
- Fats: Unsalted butter and coconut oil, to make the batter rich and moist.
- Canned pumpkin: The star of the show! Pumpkin puree not only gives beautiful fall flavor, but functions as a binding agent, akin to eggs.
- Granulated sugar: This is what makes the cookies crispy instead of caky so we don't recommend changing it to another sweetener.
- Vanilla extract: To enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Baking soda: Helps them rise.
- Spices: Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Or try our homemade pumpkin pie spice!
- Sea salt: A teaspoon of fine grain sea salt to add to the flavor profile.
Glaze ingredients: a piece of ginger, powdered sugar and maple syrup.
- Get things started: While your oven preheats, grab a large mixing bowl and whisk together the butter, coconut oil, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla.
- Create the batter: Add the dry ingredients: the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, allspice, and nutmeg and then beat until a crumbly batter forms.
- Shape your cookies: Mould 15 balls from the cookie dough mixture, place them on a baking sheet, then press them down.
- Bake to perfection: Pop those babies in the oven for 12-15 minutes per batch, or until the cookie bottoms start to turn golden brown.
- Let cool and glaze: Whip up the fresh glaze. Squeeze juice from grated ginger and combine with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and a tablespoon of water. When the cookies have cooled to room temperature, spoon the glaze on and let it harden before enjoying! YUM!
- Measure up: Cooking is creative – there are really no right or wrong ways of doing things, just different ways. Baking is a whole different ballgame! It's a science, one small change can throw off the whole recipe. No eyeballing here, get the measuring cups out to make sure your quantities are on point.
- Chill the dough: If the dough is too soft to handle, chill it in the fridge for about 30-60 minutes to allow it to fully hydrate. Chilling firms up the butter so the cookies spread less.
- Parchment paper: Line your baking sheets with a reusable baking sheet so your cookies don't stick to the pan.
- Glaze-y days: The recipe's glaze lightly covers all 15 cookies. Feeling sweet? You can make more glaze and do a second coat – just make sure you let the first coat dry completely before doing the second coat.
- Read: Learn more about the science of baking cookies – we recommend The Ultimate Cookie Handbook by Tessa Arias of Handle the Heat. Tessa's done all the hard work of documenting how each change will affect the outcome of your cookies.
Loving pumpkin spice? Check out this pumpkin pie spice blend. It takes less than five minutes to make with common pantry spices and adds warm fall flavor to all your autumn cookies, pies, coffee, and bread.
Can I use brown sugar or less sugar?
You could use brown sugar in a pinch, however, this will change the texture. Brown sugar has molasses added (which is what gives it the brown color) but it has more moisture than white sugar. If you're happy with a cake-y texture, then try it out! If you wish to reduce the sugar, you could also try using a sugar alternative, such as erythritol.
How to decorate pumpkin sugar cookies?
These cookies are your canvas! We love the ginger maple glaze included in the recipe, but you can eat them without the glaze for a warm cookie or decorate them any way you'd like to. You could pipe icing creations onto the cookies, make a cream cheese frosting, or dip them in melted chocolate then sprinkle brown sugar on them. If you want to go all out, get a pumpkin cookie cutter!
How do I store these cookies?
They can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for five days.
Can these cookies be made gluten-free?
For a gluten-free version, try these gluten-free pumpkin cookies!
Can these cookies be made vegan?
Yes! As they don't use eggs, the only ingredient that is not vegan is the butter. Simply substitute the butter for your favorite vegan butter, which is readily available in supermarkets.
- ½ cup butter (melted)
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon EACH: allspice and nutmeg
- 2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the butter, coconut oil, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl and beat with electric beaters.½ cup butter, ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup canned pumpkin, 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, allspice, and nutmeg to the bowl and beat until a crumbly batter forms.3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon EACH: allspice and nutmeg, 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Divide the batter into 15 balls, place them onto baking sheets, and press each down to ¼ inch thick cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes per batch, or until the cookie bottoms start to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and wait until they are completely cool before you frost them.
- Prepare the glaze just before you frost the cookies. Peel then grate the ginger using a microplane or the small holes on your grater. Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a small bowl and discard the pulp. You want to have ½ teaspoon of ginger juice.2 inch piece of ginger
- Combine the ginger juice with the powdered sugar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Add one tablespoon of water and mix the glaze. If the glaze is too thick, you can add a small amount of water, ½ teaspoon at a time, until it is thin enough to spoon over the cookies.1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cookies and use a spoon to spread it around. Let the glaze harden for a few minutes and then store the cookies in a sealed container … or dig in and eat them right away! Note: For an extra treat, double the icing. Wait for the first layer to harden before adding the second coat.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.