Home Desserts Cookies Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

These pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are the epitome of fall desserts!

They’re sweet, spiced, and so soft, they basically melt in your mouth. 

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting and Sprinkled Cinnamon
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I can’t think of a better way to celebrate autumn than a big batch of cakey, pillowy cookies.

Kissed with cinnamon and smothered with a luscious cream cheese frosting, they’re about as good as it gets!

Better yet, the dough comes together in no time, and you don’t even need to chill it before baking.

So what are you waiting for? Whip up these pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting today!

Why You’ll Love These Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

This fall cookie recipe features the spectacular combination of pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. 

You might be used to traditional cookies, which are crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle.

But these pumpkin cookies are so tender and fluffy, they’re almost like cake.

That’s why cream cheese frosting goes so well with them!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on a Wooden Chopping Board


The ingredients for these tasty pumpkin cookies are pretty standard.

Just be sure you start with room-temperature ingredients, so it all mixes well.

For the Pumpkin Cookies

  • Butter – the key to rich and buttery cookies. Use room-temperature butter, not cold or melted, for the best results.
  • Brown and White Sugar – the molasses in brown sugar gives the dough a deeper, sweeter, caramel-like flavor. And the white sugar gives the cookies a firm edge.
  • Egg – for binding the ingredients together.
  • Vanilla Extract – flavor enhancer.
  • Pumpkin – these are pumpkin cookies, after all! For the best pumpkin flavor, use canned pumpkin puree (but not pumpkin pie filling).
  • All-Purpose Flour – measure it correctly with a kitchen scale or with the “spoon and level” method. Don’t pack the measuring cup, or you’ll get more flour than you need.
  • Cinnamon, Salt, Baking Soda, and Baking Powder – cinnamon brings a nice light spice, and the salt helps to balance everything. Meanwhile, the combination of leavening agents ensures the cookies rise.
  • Walnuts – every soft cookie needs a crunchy element for textural variety. Feel free to use pecans or even macadamia nuts if you have them. Or leave them out if you prefer.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese – the main ingredient that offers plenty of creamy tang. Be sure to use full fat for the best results, as low fat cream cheese can be watery.
  • Butter – pure cream cheese would be too rich (and expensive!). Butter helps smooth it out and gives it a classic frosting taste.
  • Vanilla – a simple flavor enhancer. Use paste if you can find it to get those stunning flecks in the white frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar – to mix into the cream cheese and butter and make it smooth, firm, and spreadable. It’s also necessary for its sweetness.
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

How to Make Soft Pumpkin Cookies

This recipe follows the basic cookie-making method: mix the butter with the sugars, add the eggs, then the dry, and finally, bake.

Below is the basic outline, and, as always, you’ll find a more detailed rundown at the bottom of the post.

1. Cream the butter and sugars. Beat for about five minutes with an electric mixer or until light and fluffy.

2. Add the rest of the ‘wet’ ingredients. Mix in the egg and vanilla first, followed by the pumpkin.

3. Mix the dry ingredients separately. This ensures the leavening agents are evenly distributed.

4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Do this slowly and mix by hand with a spatula. Stir the nuts in last.

5. Bake the cookies. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a greased and lined baking sheet. Bake until golden.

6. Make the frosting while the cookies cool completely. Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Then add the powdered sugar.

7. Frost the cookies. When the cookies are cool, add a thick layer of frosting and a light dusting of cinnamon.

8. Serve and enjoy!

Stack of Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tips for the Best Pumpkin Cookies

Want these tender, melt in your mouth pumpkin cookies to be the best you’ve ever made? Then check out these quick tips:

  • Pat the pumpkin dry. Because it has a high water content, pumpkin may cause the cookie dough to be watery. But if you gently blot out some of the moisture with paper towels, you’ll be fine.
  • Measure the flour correctly. Adding more flour than called for will result in dry cookies! Use a kitchen scale for the best results.
  • Don’t over-mix the ingredients. This is one of the issues a lot of people face with cookies in general. As a rule of thumb, finish them with a spatula and stop mixing as soon as the streaks of flour disappear.
  • Don’t over-bake the cookies. You’ll know the cookies are done once the edges have turned brown. The middle will appear raw still, but they’ll finish cooking on the tray.
  • Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to portion the dough. This guarantees even baking.
  • Use room temperature ingredients. This is especially handy for the frosting.
  • Want pumpkin pie spiced cookies? Just swap the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice for a more complex flavor. I suggest starting with 1 teaspoon and tasting a small bit of the dough before adding more.

How to Store

Whether you have leftover pumpkin cookies or want to make them ahead for the holidays, you have a few storing options:

To store: Place the cookies in a single layer in an airtight container. Keep them at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

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To freeze the raw dough: Wrap the dough in a large block or portion them onto a baking tray. When the balls are solid, pop them in a freezer-safe bag or container.

To freeze baked cookies: Make sure the cookies are cold, then freeze them on a tray until solid. Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.

To freeze frosted cookies: Dairy doesn’t freeze well, so they’re best left unfrosted. But if you have to, follow the method above and be sure to thaw them in the fridge in a single layer.

(Read my post on freezing cream cheese to learn more.)

More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
Starbucks Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
Pumpkin Roll Recipe
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting



Prep time


Cooking time





These pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are the epitome of fall desserts! They’re sweet, spiced, and so soft, they basically melt in your mouth. 


  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup white sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C). Grease two baking sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  • Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture and gently mix until well combined. Gently mix in the walnuts.
  • Drop scoops of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, allowing for a 2-inch space in between.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a bowl, beat the butter, vanilla, and cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Spread frosting over the cooled cookies. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 122kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Protein: 1.6g
  • Fat: 7.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7g
  • Cholesterol: 19mg
  • Sodium: 94mg
  • Potassium: 42mg
  • Sugar: 8.5g
  • Calcium: 11mg
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

2 thoughts on “Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Hi Kim,
    I’m loving all your recipes and look forward to them every day!
    Keep them coming!
    Can you possibly do some that are more dairy free friendly. I have a husband who cannot have diary and its quite difficult!

    • Hi Corinne!
      We don’t usually do dietary specific recipes, but most can easily be altered.

      For this recipe, just swap out the butter with vegan butter and use vegan cream cheese instead of regular 🙂


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