The Best Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (soft and chewy)
Pumpkin snickerdoodles are the best fall cookie. Made with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree, each cookie is soft and chewy!
Oh man, the pumpkin spice craze is alive and well. It seems to start the second Labor Day is over and people go nuts! For good reason though—pumpkin spice does amazing things for baked goods. I kicked off the pumpkin spice season with pumpkin snickerdoodles.
These cookies are the best. They are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor—cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice and brown sugar—which makes each cookie irresistible. My pumpkin snickerdoodle bars have the same fall flavors!
Why this recipe works
The cookies are soft and fluffy, but chewy at the same time. Chilling the dough is a crucial step to make this consistency work. There is also plenty of pumpkin spice in these pumpkin snickerdoodles for extra flavor!
- Cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their signature tangy flavor while also making the cookies chewy. You can omit it, but you’ll sacrifice flavor and texture.
- Cornstarch makes cookies soft, but if you don’t have any you can omit it and add an extra tablespoon of flour.
- Pumpkin puree from the can is best (I used Libby’s). Do not use canned pumpkin pie filling. You can also used homemade pumpkin puree, but if it’s watery, I suggest blotting it with paper towels.
- Pumpkin pie spice (1 Tablespoon) may be used in place of the individual spices.
How to make pumpkin snickerdoodles
- Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
- Beat together wet ingredients. First mix butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined, then mix in the egg yolk, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Chill dough for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F when ready to bake. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add cinnamon sugar. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of chilled dough, use hands to shape into a ball. Roll dough ball in cinnamon sugar to evenly coat. Set ball on baking sheet.
- Bake cookies 12 to 14 minutes until the edges are set and the tops are puffy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cream of tartar is what makes a snickerdoodle, well, a snickerdoodle. It gives the cookies their signature tangy flavor and chewy texture. It makes snickerdoodles stand apart from any other cookie. With that said, you can make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. However, they will be missing their signature taste and will lack a chewy texture. It is highly recommended that you use cream of tartar in snickerdoodle cookies.
If the cookies are flat, it’s likely that the dough got too warm right before baking the cookies causing them to spread. Work quickly when rolling the cookies and placing them on a baking sheet. Also, make sure the baking sheet is not warm/hot from the previous batch.
Store pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cookies will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.
Yes, baked pumpkin snickerdoodles may be kept frozen for up to a month. Let cookies cool completely, then store them in a ziplock bag or airtight container with parchment paper between layers of cookies. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
While baked cookies can be frozen, I prefer to freeze the cookie dough and bake the cookies fresh when desired. To do this, wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before scooping into balls and baking.
Yes, 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips may be added to the dough before chilling.
Yes, you can double this recipe to make more cookies.
Snickerdoodles are unique cookies that are best when following these tips. Bring all your ingredients to room temperature. The ingredients will mix together well for a better cookie dough. Weigh your ingredients for accurate measurements. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, be sure to fluff your flour, then spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off (don’t pack it down).
For soft and chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles, be sure to use cream of tartar. It makes the cookies fluffy and prevents them from becoming flat. Finally, chill the cookie dough for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. Chilled cookie dough will create a nice thick cookie with a chewy texture!
Are you on a pumpkin kick this fall or want more cinnamon? Here are a few of my favorite recipes
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Get the Recipe: The Best Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (175 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (185 g) canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon sugar coating
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium speed just until combined, about 30 seconds. Mix in egg yolk, then add pumpkin and vanilla extract. Again, mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients then mix until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.*
- Ten minutes before removing dough from the refrigerator, preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To make the cinnamon sugar coating, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Scoop a generous tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball, roll dough ball in cinnamon sugar to evenly coat. Set ball of dough on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough spacing cookies 2-inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheet about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.