It’s Fall and that means it’s time to start baking all the pumpkin things! This recipe for Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies is a favorite in our house. The cookies have a soft, chewy texture with just the right amount of spice. They’re perfect for packing in kids’ lunches or as an afternoon snack. If you like this pumpkin dessert recipe, be sure to check out our other pumpkin recipes too!
Pumpkin is a quintessential Fall flavor and one that I always enjoy baking with. These soft and chewy pumpkin cookies are perfect for snacking on during the change of season, or giving away as gifts! They feature a simple icing, and have a chewy, fluffy texture that reminds me of a pumpkin donut. If you love the flavors of fall, these cookies are a must-try!
Butter can easily be melted in the microwave for 45 seconds. Make sure the butter is liquid consistency and cooled for at least 15 minutes so it doesn’t cook the egg.
Always chill the dough for at least one hour or longer.
These cookies bake best on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure they are at least 2 inches apart from one another on the baking sheet because they do spread.
The corn syrup in the icing is not a deal breaker.
These cookies are good with our without the icing, but the icing sure does make them pretty.
If you cannot find pumpkin spice, you can make your own with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a wee bit of ginger. Additionally, if you only have cinnamon, you can use that paired with the nutmeg.
How to Remove Excess Moisture from Pumpkin Puree
These cookies get their unique texture from removing a lot of the excess water in the pumpkin puree. Add your pumpkin puree to a medium-sized bowl. Using clean paper towels, press into the pumpkin with your paper towels. You should see clear liquids being absorbed into them. The pumpkin is not sticky so it should not really stick to the paper towels. If you feel as if yours did, add a little more pumpkin (one tablespoon) to the bowl. Repeat the process with clean paper towels until you are no longer seeing clearish liquid on the towels. This will help your cookies get a chewy texture.
Chilling the Pumpkin Cookie Dough
These cookies get their tasty texture from chilling the dough. Once the dough has been established it will be a very sticky dough, and not a dough you could easily ball up- that’s okay! Simply cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour–the longer, the better. You can make this up to 8 hours in advance. Once you are ready to bake, use a tablespoon-sized cookie ball scoop to remove the dough.
How to Make Cookie Icing with Corn Syrup
These pumpkin cookies are so pretty when glazed with the cookie icing. The overall look reminds me of the oatmeal cookies my mom would buy from the stores when I was a kid. The icing gets a bit textured and bubbly, but it dried hard in as little as 45 minutes to 1 hour.
To make your icing shinier, a trick is to add a bit of corn syrup to the sugar. Between the milk, wee bit of extract, and corn syrup the sugar will be dissolved and take on a pearly look. Your icing should be thick once you let it sit for about 10 minutes. If you find it too watery, add a tablespoon extra of powdered sugar, and if it is to thick add a teaspoon more of milk until it is thickened. You can skip the corn syrup step if you have do not have any on-hand, but be sure to add an additional tablespoon of milk to compensate.
How to Store Iced Pumpkin Cookies
These cookies are fantastic in that they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days–if they last that long! You can also easily freeze them for up to one month! To freeze, bake, cool and ice as normal. Place prepared cookies on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Store them where they will not get crushed.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Try
Iced Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
- Stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or hand mixer
- Medium/large mixing bowls
- Plastic wrap
- oven adjusted to the center rack position
- Tablespoon cookie scooper
- large baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Wire rack – to cool cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted, and cooled for at least 15 minutes
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cups light brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree You will be patting this dry to remove excess moisture. I used 4 clean paper towels. *see notes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 -3 tablespoons milk
- 1½ tablespoons corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer), add sugars and melted butter. Combine over medium speed until light and fluffy. Add blotted pumpkin, egg yolk, and extract and continue to mix.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the flour, salt, baking soda, powder, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg; whisk to combine. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients on low speed.
- Once combined, turn off the mixer, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
- At the hour mark, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line one large, or two smaller baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop tablespoon-sized cookie balls onto the baking sheet making sure they are at least 2 inches apart from one another. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden on the edges and slightly firm. They will firm up a little more as they cool. Repeat until all cookies have baked.
- In a medium bowl, add the sugar, corn syrup, extract, and milk; whisk to combine. If the icing feels to thin, add an additional tablespoon of powered sugar until it is thicker. If it is too thick, add a teaspoon of extra milk. Allow the icing to set for ten minutes to thicken. You might need to mix it briefly before dipping the cookies.
- Once cookies are cooled, dip them into the icing and by the base, swirl to remove excess icing, and place them on a wire rack to set for at least 45 minutes.