A soft, cake-like cookie that is full of pumpkin spice. These soft pumpkin cookies are not like your typical chewy cookie. Instead, they are soft and cakey, like a perfect muffin top.
I’ve been diving into the fall baking season this year with a lot of pumpkin recipes. In the past, my fall baking projects have included recipes like these apple cider donuts and maple pecan sticky buns. This year, however, I decided to go pumpkin crazy and created several pumpkin-based recipes, including these exceptionally delicious soft pumpkin cookies.
Soft pumpkin cookies popular around the fall season, and there are tons of recipes online recipes with all sorts of variations. I went through several recipe tests to determine which version of this cookie I liked the best, and it turns out the original one I came up with my favorite! It produces the best pillow soft pumpkin cookies I was looking for.
These old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies are a great holiday baking project or gift for friends and family. The cookies are full of fall flavors and don’t need any extra chilling time, which makes them perfect for last-minute gifting needs. I’ve added a simple maple glaze to make them stand out amongst the other holiday cookies, but it’s entirely optional.
How to make the best soft pumpkin cookies
Since these easy pumpkin cookies don’t require any chilling, you can preheat your oven to 350ºF and prepare your baking sheets before you mix up the dough.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes, and is a must for achieving perfect, melt in your mouth soft pumpkin cookies.
- Once your butter and sugars are creamed, add in the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Add in the flour mixture, beating on low until just combined.
- Shape the cookie dough into balls, about the size of 1.5 tablespoons (I like to use this medium scoop) and place them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2-inches apart.
- Bake the soft pumpkin cookies for 15-18 minutes, until the edges appear set. Let them cool on the sheet for 10-15 minutes, before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. If adding the glaze, wait for the cookies to cool completely so it doesn’t melt off.
Optional maple glaze
The cookies taste great on their own, but if you want to make them extra special I highly recommend topping them with this maple glaze. The maple flavor complements the pumpkin perfectly.
To make the glaze:
- Whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. You may need to add in some extra maple syrup to get a thick, yet pourable consistency.
- Use a piping bag to drizzle the maple glaze over the pumpkin cookies, but you can also use a spoon. It may get a bit messy, but it’s delicious to clean up! Make sure to give at least 15-30 minutes to let the glaze set before enjoying your cookies.
Tips for making soft pumpkin cookies
- Don’t overmix your batter. While you want the ingredients to be fully incorporated, overmixing will produce extra gluten, making your cookies dense and tough.
- Before glazing your cookies, let them cool so the glaze doesn’t absorb into the cookies.
- Make sure to measure your ingredients out accurately. I highly recommend weighing them if possible, but you can achieve the same results by carefully measuring your ingredients by volume, too.
These soft pumpkin cookies are the fluffiest pumpkin cookies I’ve ever tasted. With a cake-like texture, they resemble a muffin top with a maple glazed topping. When making your baking list this upcoming fall, be sure to add this recipe.
Other recommended pumpkin recipes:
- Pumpkin Muffins: Another fan favorite, these pumpkin muffins are moist and bursting with pumpkin spice!
- Pumpkin Bread: Similar to my pumpkin muffins but in the form of a loaf cake, this pumpkin bread is perfect for your Thanksgiving table.
- Pumpkin Spice Mix: Make a batch of this pumpkin spice blend to keep on hand in your kitchen and add a dash of fall to your favorite recipes!
- Pumpkin Pie: Is there any holiday dessert more perfect than pumpkin pie? This recipe has a flaky buttery crust and creamy, rich pumpkin custard filling.
- Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: If you want to add fall flavors to your chocolate chip cookies, give this recipe a try. They’re chewy and bursting with chocolate and pumpkin goodness.
Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- 2 ¼ cups (310g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup (115g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1 cup (230g) pumpkin puree (I use canned)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Maple Glaze (Optional)
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, plus more as needed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined.
Shape dough into balls, the size of 1.5 tablespoons (30g) each (I like to use this medium scoop), and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2-inches apart. The cookies won't spread much during baking.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges appear set. Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes in the cookie sheet, then gently transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze (optional): Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Add more maple syrup as necessary until you get a thick yet pourable consistency. Drizzle over cookies using a spoon or a piping bag (it's easier with a piping bag). Allow glaze to set, 15-30 minutes.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Cookies can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.