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Classic Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Now that October has arrived it is time to pull out my favorite pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting recipe. Soft and moist cookies that have just the perfect amount of spiced pumpkin flavor that everyone loves this time of the year.

Then top the cookies with cream cheese frosting to give them that rich, creamy and slightly tart flavor that everyone loves. These cookies are great to make for any occasion, but they are especially popular during the Fall season.

In fact, as soon as the kids head back to school all things pumpkin arrive (even if it is still August). From the popular pumpkin lattes to pumpkin donuts, pumpkin rolls and more, you are sure to find something with the flavor of pumpkin.

2 pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

However, these classic cookies are always at the top of the list as well. From bake sales, tailgate gatherings and Halloween parties they are a huge hit.

Not only do they taste great, but it is also a great way to use up leftover pumpkin puree from other recipes. Although, in order to get the cookies to set up properly but still be nice and moist, there are some recipe tips that you must follow.

Tips for Making Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Pumpkin Puree

First of all, it is important that you use pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. The cans in the store are typically stored right next to each other which is why it can be easy to grab the wrong one.

Therefore, be sure to take a second look to make sure you purchase pumpkin puree. Although if you look at the ingredient list on the back of the can, it will get confusing.

Many store-bought cans of pumpkin puree actually contain other types of winter squash, such as butternut squash or Hubbard squash. That is because the flesh of these varieties can be less stringy and sweeter than 100% pumpkin.

Any type of canned pumpkin puree can be used to make cookies, however you will notice a difference in the texture based on the brand that you purchase.

The generic versions typically contain more water than the name brand products. They are okay to use, however you will need to drain any excess water from the puree in order for the cookies to set properly.

Instead, this is the one time that I will splurge and purchase a famous name brand variety, such as Libby. The few extra cents that I save when purchasing the generic just isn’t worth me risking the quality of the cookies.

pumpkin puree in white bowl
Be sure that you pumpkin puree is nice and thick and not too watery.

2. Use 1 Cup of Pumpkin Puree

It is important to read the recipe carefully. In order to make these classic pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting, only 1 cup of puree is required, not the entire can.

Measure out what is needed and store the remaining puree in an air-tight container. Or while you still have the oven on make these Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies. Then freeze them and use them for your Christmas cookie tray.

3. Chill The Dough For Chewier Cookies

Chilling the dough for 20-30 minutes will result in a chewier texture than if you baked the cookies right away. This is because the flour will slowly hydrate when chilled which helps to prevent the formation of too much gluten, therefore resulting in a chewier texture.

In addition, as the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. This slower melting process helps to prevent the cookies from spreading too much, which also results in a chewier texture.

cookie dough
If you want a chewier texture, be sure to place the pumpkin cookie dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for 20-30 minutes.

4. Do Not Over Bake

Do not over bake the cookies. The tops should be just set when you take them out of the oven and they will look slightly under cooked. However they will continue to firm up as they cool.

How To Properly Store Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

Because the frosting contains dairy, it is not recommended to store the cookies at room temperature. Instead, store pumpkin cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. However, it is best to flash freeze them in a single layer before stacking and storing them in an air tight freezer container.

To thaw, simply let them sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Common Recipe Variations

  • For chocolate pumpkin cookies, add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.
  • For white chocolate pumpkin cookies, add 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips to the dough.
  • For pumpkin spice latte cookies, add 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin spice latte powder to the dough.
  • For maple pecan pumpkin cookies, add 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans to the dough.
pumpkin cookie dough balls on baking sheet
Once the cookies are on the baking sheet, slightly flatten them out because they will spread very little during the baking process.

Classic Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Frosting

*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 8 tablespoons
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients*

  • 4 ounces block cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

*If you don’t want to make your own frosting substitute with prepared store bought frosting.

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (177°C). Then prepare a large baking sheet by lining the bottom with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk to combine until well incorporated and then set the bowl aside.

In a medium mixing bowl add the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until creamy. *This should take 3-4 minutes.

Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and continue to beat until the mixture is creamy.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. *It is important here to not over mix.

Place a heaping tablespoon of the batter on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top of the dough slightly.

pumpkin cookies on a cooling rack waiting to be topped with cream cheese frosting
The secret to making perfect pumpkin cookies is to not over bake them. Then let them cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.

Bake Time Required

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, watching carefully to avoid over-baking. The tops should be soft (but not shiny) and look a little under-cooked.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies sit 4-5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving them a cooling rack.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until combined and creamy.

Once the cookies are completely cooled, frost the top of each cookie.

Store cookies in an air tight container in the refrigerator in a single layer for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months in an air tight freezer container.

Enjoy! Mary

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Classic Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Icing

2 pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting

Soft and moist pumpkin cookies with a delicious cream cheese icing. A special treat any time of the year!
Cookie

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 8 tablespoons
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces block cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk to combine until well incorporated and set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl add the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until creamy.
  4. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture and continue to beat until the mixture is creamy.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon of the batter on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top of the dough slightly.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, watching carefully, to avoid over-baking. The tops should be soft and look a little under-cooked but the tops should not be shiny. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies sit 4-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Prepare the Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the room temperature cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until combined and creamy. Do not over mix.
  2. Once the cookies are completely cooled, frost the top of each cookie.
  3. Store cookies on plates loosely covered in plastic wrap or foil and place in the refrigerator. on plates loosely covered with foil in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

Cookies can be frozen before for up to 3 months.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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