If you want to make the perfect fall cookie, this is the recipe you want to try. These pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting melt in your mouth with each bite. They are easy to make and pillowy soft!

pumpkin cookie with cream cheese frosting with a bite taken.

Are you ready for some fall baking? These are the best pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. They are as soft as a cloud, which gives a melt-in-your-mouth experience with every bite. I love baking these on crisp fall days and sharing with friends!

Why this recipe works

Canned pumpkin purée guarantees soft pumpkin cookies, while homemade pumpkin pie spice provides plenty of flavor. This is a no-chill cookie dough so you know the cookies are ready quickly!

Ingredient notes

ingredients for pumpkin cookies and cream cheese frosting in bowls labeled with text.
  • Pumpkin puree: I prefer Libby’s canned pumpkin puree. Do not use canned pumpkin pie filling as it has added sugars, which will throw off the taste and texture of the cookies.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: You can make your own for this recipe by whisking together 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • Unsalted butter: For the cookies, the butter should be at room temperature so it mixes evenly to create a consistent dough.
  • Cream cheese: For the frosting, the cream cheese should be softened, but still cool. If the cream cheese is too soft or warm the frosting will melt.

How to make pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

photo collage demonstrating how to make pumpkin cookies in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer.
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients using an electric mixer. Start by beating butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree, egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  4. Scoop the dough into heaping tablespoons and roll into balls. Bake at 350 F for 13 to 15 minutes.
photo collage demonstrating how to make cream cheese frosting for pumpkin cookies.
  1. Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla, then mix until combined.
  2. Frost the cooled cookies using an offset spatula and serve.

Expert Tips

To make soft pumpkin cookies, use a less liquid-y pumpkin purée. I prefer LIbby’s canned pumpkin puree. I find that other brands and homemade purée have a higher water content. If you use that, blot the pumpkin puree with a paper towel. A thicker purée means fluffier and softer cookies (not to mention more pumpkin flavor).

For the cream cheese frosting, make sure the cream cheese and butter are softened, but still cool. If they are room temperature or too warm then the frosting will get runny and thin. We want thick, luscious cream cheese frosting! If your frosting does get thin, place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree in cookies?

Homemade pumpkin puree has a higher water content than canned pumpkin puree. If you choose to use homemade, I suggest blotting it with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.

Why is my pumpkin cookie dough wet and sticky?

It is supposed to be! Pumpkin puree has water content, which makes the dough moist and cookies soft.

How do you store pumpkin cookies?

Store pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving so the cookies are soft.

Can I freeze pumpkin cookie dough?

Yes, pumpkin cookie dough may be frozen for up to 3 months. The frosting can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before using.

soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting dusted with cinnamon.

If you liked these easy pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting, then you will surely like more pumpkin recipes! Here are a few of my favorites you might enjoy.

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

bite taken out of pumpkin cookie with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

These pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting melt in your mouth with each bite. They are easy to make and pillowy soft!
5 (5 ratings)

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 2 ½ cups (312 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for sprinkling
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (305 g) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (1 brick or 226 g ) low-fat cream cheese, softened but still cool
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (210 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin purée, egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl if necessary. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. The dough will be a little sticky and soft.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop (or a spoon), to scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and place it on prepared baking sheet. Space cookies about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies at 350° F for 13 to 15 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies are soft and fluffy. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • For the cream cheese frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and mix again just until combined, about 30 more seconds.
  • Use an off-set spatula or a knife to frost cooled pumpkin cookies. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve.

Notes

Pumpkin pie spice: 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Store frosted pumpkin cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip: Chill pumpkin cookie dough for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Freeze cookie dough for up to 3 months.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 168kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 133mg, Potassium: 77mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 1790IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg

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