Pumpkin spice is the flavor that never stops giving. From lattés to candles to pumpkin bread, there’s nothing quite like the alchemy of these ingredients to instantly provide all the autumn thrills I crave (even when it’s still too hot for jeans.) Basic? Perhaps. But if being obsessed with pumpkin everything is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
Since I’ve already baked my fair share of pumpkin bread this year (and really, it’s hard to improve on perfection), I decided it was time to turn my attention to creating the best pumpkin cookie recipe. And I found it in these Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze. Scroll on to see how this warm and chewy cookie with its sweet and spicy flavor comes together (yes, all in one bowl.)
What Makes This Pumpkin Cookie Recipe Irresistible
These cookies are a bit like mini pumpkin breads, somehow staying chewy and never dry for days on end. They’re delicious straight out of the oven, and even better drizzled with the sweet cinnamon glaze. If you’re feeling bold, sandwich them with a bit of cream cheese frosting in the middle for an easy pumpkin whoopie pie.
These will definitely be my official Halloween cookie this year. Skip the cookie cutters and piping bags, and take the easy route for teacher gifts and Halloween parties this fall—everyone will thank you.
Ingredients for Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies
This pumpkin cookie recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients that I always keep on hand, making them perfect for those weekends when you suddenly feel an urge to bake. Here’s what’s going into this one-bowl recipe:
Melted Unsalted butter
Using melted butter in cookies makes them denser and chewier, rather than cakey.
Again, brown sugar is denser than white sugar, meaning that your cookie will rise less and stay chewier.
According to Serious Eats, using an extra egg yolk in your cookies is the secret to getting that soft and chewy texture.
My mom’s secret to great baking? Always add double the amount of vanilla recipe calls for. I’ve already doubled it for you here.
Canned pumpkin Puree
I’m a big fan of high-quality canned pumpkin, and use it through the fall and winter months in everything from bread to smoothies to overnight oats. In this recipe, you’re going to blot out the extra moisture with a paper towel to remove some of the pumpkin’s water content.
I kept it classic here, but feel free to substitute with your favorite gluten-free flour.
Although we want these cookies to be on the denser and chewier side, we’ll still incorporate a chemical leavening agent to help them rise just enough.
A pinch of salt balances the sweet and spicy flavors.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pop quiz: what spices go into pumpkin pie spice? If you don’t have any of this classic mix on hand, feel free to add each of these individual spices that go into it (here’s a pumpkin pie spice recipe, to get your ratios right):
How to make this chewy pumpkin cookie recipe
This cookie dough comes together in classic form. You’re going to cream the butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and pumpkin in a large bowl. Then, you’ll add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Most cookie recipe are going to tell you to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, however since I am a lazy baker who hates washing dishes, I tend to dump my flour mixture in a heap right in the same large mixing bowl as my wet ingredients, use a fork to make sure they’re evenly distributed, then stir it all together. And it always works, so do yourself a favor and make all your cookies in one bowl moving forward.
This recipe calls for chilling the dough for an hour in the fridge before baking, which is clutch for getting that dense, chewy texture we’re after. I use a cookie scoop to yield perfectly equal-sized cookies that looks Insta-worthy.
What makes these cookies soft and chewy?
As mentioned above, the use of melted butter (instead of softened), brown sugar (instead of granulated), and one egg yolk (instead of a whole egg) are our secret ingredients to nailing the chewy cookie we’re after. Plus, the pumpkin naturally makes these incredibly moist. I’ve left mine out on the counter in a ziploc for up to four days, and was shocked that my cookie was still soft and not at all dry.
How do you keep cookie dough from spreading?
Let your melted butter cool. I know, it’s hard to be patient, but you’re definitely going to want to let your melted butter cool down before adding it to the mixing bowl so that your cookies don’t spread into one giant greasy puddle in the oven.
Use parchment paper. I always recommend lining your cookie sheet with parchment paper, instead of spraying it with nonstick cooking spray, which tends to create a greasy surface that encourages spreading.
Chill the dough. Since this is a “wetter” dough (sorry for the terminology) you’re going to chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge (or if you’re impatient like me, 30 minutes in the freezer.) This helps the cookies from spreading and yields thicker, chewier cookies.
How do I store pumpkin cookies?
These cookies (and the dough!) keep beautifully. Here are your options:
How to store extra cookie dough: Chill the cookie batter for up to 5 days in the fridge, and you’ll have fresh-baked cookies at the ready whenever cravings strike. You may want to remove the dough from the fridge about 15 minutes before scooping into balls, just to make it a bit easier.
How to store leftover cookies: Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. I was shocked at how long these stayed moist and delicious. Perfect for packing as a lunchbox treat!
How to freeze cookie dough. Roll the dough into balls, then place on a plate in the freezer until they harden. (This helps the dough balls from sticking together.) Transfer to a ziploc freezer bag, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to bake, you can pop them right onto a baking sheet, and just add a couple minutes to their baking time.
Other cozy cookies to try
Tired of pumpkin? We got you. Here are some other fall favorites:
Now scroll on to get the recipe for these Chewy Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze! If you make them, be sure to leave us a rating and review, and tag us on Instagram so we can see your cookies.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree, moisture blotted out with paper towel
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
for the cinnamon glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and pumpkin until well incorporated.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and use a fork to make sure there's no lumps. Mix just until combined.
- Chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge, or 30 minutes in the freezer.
- Scoop out into balls (2 tablespoons or so) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and and slightly flatten.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 11 min. They should feel a little under-baked– you want them soft and chewy!
- Meanwhile, make the frosting. Whisk all ingredients together until it's a consistency you can drizzle. Add more milk to thin as needed.
- Use a teaspoon to drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies. Top with a little more cinnamon and let the glaze set. Devour!
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