Pumpkin Spice Cookies
An easy and basic recipe for pumpkin spice cookies, and they taste just like fall. These are melt-in-your-mouth good!
I want to share this fall-inspired pumpkin spice cookie recipe, but there’s a little story to tell first. I used to have a recipe card for pumpkin cookies in my recipe box. It was old and stained, but still readable. I know it was there like I know my own name.
When I went to look for it a few days ago, it was gone. I sat and looked through every single card, slip of paper, and torn magazine page in my box. It was not there. I wasn’t sure what to do. So I went on a hunt through my old cookbooks. I found the next best thing in a cookbook that was my grandmother’s. It’s called Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book.
Sure enough, there on page 30 of my edition, was this basic, very-close-to-my-own pumpkin spice cookie recipe. I made just a few updates, and left out the raisins.
Why This Recipe Works
- This is a no-fail cookie dough. If measured correctly, these cookies are wonderful every time.
- Great texture that literally melts in your mouth. Sort of chewy, sort of cakey…simply delicious.
- The perfect balance of pumpkin and spices.
- No refrigeration step.
- These pumpkin spice cookies are good on their own, but the butter frosting takes them over the top!
Brown sugar: adds sweetness, but not too much.
Shortening: since shortening is 100% fat, it generally makes baked goods softer…as is the case with these pumpkin spice cookies!
Eggs: binds the batter together. Room temperature eggs work best.
Pumpkin: make sure to use pure pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie mix.
Flour: the base of any baked good.
Leavening + Spices: the baking powder makes these cookies puffy and soft. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add just the right amount of flavor.
For the shortening: butter can be substituted, but the cookies may have a slightly different texture.
For the brown sugar: half the amount of brown sugar can be swapped out with white sugar.
For the walnuts: any kind of nut can be used. Some ideas are chopped pecans, sliced almonds, or chopped cashews.
For the powdered sugar frosting: cream cheese frosting can be substituted.
For the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves: an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice can be used.
How to Make
This cookie recipe practically makes itself! The ingredients go together quickly, and the baking time is minimal.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a mixing bowl with a hand mixer, add the brown sugar, shortening, eggs, and pumpkin. Beat until fluffy.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Step 4: Slowly add dry ingredients. to pumpkin mixture.
Step 5: Beat well. Fold in walnuts by hand.
Step 6: Drop the dough on a cookie sheet with a 2 inch scoop.
Step 7: Bake 12 – 15 min. Cookies are done when tops crack and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool completely.
Step 8: Using a mixer, combine the powdered sugar and butter.
Step 9: Add 2 tablespoons milk. Mix again.
Step 10: Add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting is too thick. Add more powdered sugar if it’s too thin. It should be spreadable, but not runny.
Step 11: Spread frosting on cookies.
- Definitely use a cookie scoop when dropping the dough onto the cookie sheets. It’s so much easier than a spoon.
- Watch the cookies closely at the end of the baking time. Don’t overbake! You want them very moist.
- Make Ahead: you can mix up the batter and store it, covered, for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator. Make sure to bring it to room temperature before baking.
- Use parchment paper on your baking sheets for an easier clean-up.
Shop + Source
- My favorite cookie sheets
- My Kitchenaid Mixer
- Nonstick Cooling Rack
- Pyrex mixing bowl set (could not live without this!)
More Pumpkin Recipes
There’s nothing like the smell of pumpkin baking in the oven!
- Pumpkin Bread
- Classic Pumpkin Roll
- Layered Pumpkin Dessert (made with a cake mix!)
Don’t forget to pin this to your Pinterest cookie board!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
- 2 eggs
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, add the brown sugar, shortening, eggs, and pumpkin. Using the paddle attachment, beat until fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
- Slowly add dry ingredients. to pumpkin mixture.
- Beat well. Fold in walnuts by hand.
- Drop the dough on a cookie sheet with a 2 inch scoop.
- Bake 12 – 15 min.
- Cookies are done when tops crack and bottoms are lightly browned.
- Cool completely.
- Using a mixer, combine the powdered sugar and butter.
- Add 2 tablespoons milk. Mix again.
- Add more milk, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting is too thick. Add more powdered sugar if it's too thin. It should be spreadable, but not runny.
- Spread frosting on cookies.
If you make these pumpkin spice cookies, and love them, please consider coming back to leave a comment and a 5-star review. I would appreciate it so much, and it would really help me. Thank you!