Soft, moist and dolloped with tangy cream cheese frosting, these pumpkin pie cookies are packed with rich fall flavor. Warm autumn spices come together with real pumpkin and light cream cheese to make the ideal fall dessert.
Easy Pumpkin Pie Cookies
These pumpkin pie cookies are the perfect fall dessert to make when you don’t have time to go all out with a pumpkin pie. They’re sure to satisfy your craving for all things pumpkin spice and are super easy to make.
Soft and chewy pumpkin pie cookies are topped with a simple frosting, then finished off with fall leaves made out of pie crust! These treats are festive enough for the holidays, yet simple enough to make for a mid-week treat.
Why You’ll Love Theis Pumpkin Pie Cookie Recipe
I absolutely adore these pumpkin pie cookies. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Soft, chewy cookies. The base of this recipe is ridiculously soft cookies that are simple to make and so chewy in the center.
- Lots of frosting. These are topped with two layers of frosting – orange and white – which pairs so well with the chewy cookie.
- Fun leaf topping. To make these a bit more elegant, I add a simple leaf cut out of pie crust to the top of each one. It turns a simple cookie into something worthy of a spot on a holiday dessert table.
What You’ll Need
We’ll start with the ingredients for the cookies, then move on to talk about what you’ll need for the frosting. Scroll down to find the exact amounts for everything on the printable recipe card below.
- Butter: I use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Vanilla Extract
- Egg: Bring it to room temperature.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder: Helps the cookies rise in the oven.
- Canned Pumpkin: Pumpkin puree adds the pumpkin flavor to these cookies.
- Cinnamon: Adds warm flavor to give these a pumpkin pie twist.
- Food Coloring Gel: Use orange food coloring gel to dye the frosting.
- Cream Cheese: Let this warm to room temperature first.
- Powdered Sugar
- Pie crust – Used for the leaf topping.
- Leaf Pie Crust Cutters- optional
Can I Use Homemade Pumpkin Puree Instead of Canned?
Yes! The big difference between homemade and canned pumpkin purée is the water content. Canned pumpkin has some of the liquid removed to help preserve it, while fresh pumpkin obviously doesn’t. If you want to use fresh, just put a paper towel or cheesecloth over a mesh strainer and remove as much liquid from your homemade pumpkin purée as possible.
How to Make the Best Pumpkin Pie Cookies
We’ll cover the steps to make the cookies first, then talk about how you’ll make the frosting.
Make the Cookies
- Make the dough. Cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the orange food coloring. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin with cinnamon and two tablespoons of sugar. Blend into the butter mixture. Combine the flour and baking powder then slowly add into the dough, switching to a paddle until balls start to form.
- Bake. Arrange 1 inch balls of dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Add the crinkle. Dip a glass into sugar then gently press onto the cookies. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Frosting and Decorations
- Make the leaves. Unroll the pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the cookie cutters up the sides then cut out the leaves. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to parchment paper and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Frost the cookies. Combine half of the frosting with the orange food colors. Pipe in a swirling motion on the cookies, then top with the uncolored frosting and a leaf. Let sit for 30 minutes then serve and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Making these pumpkin cookies is a breeze. Follow these helpful tips to make sure they come out just right every time.
- Add Flour If Needed: If the cookie dough is a little sticky after you’ve combined everything, try adding up to another 1/4 cup of flour, going a little bit at a time. Continue to add a little more flour until the dough forms a ball, and no longer comes away on your fingers when you touch it.
- Drain the Pumpkin Puree: You’re less likely to need to add extra flour if you press some of the liquid out of your pumpkin puree before adding it. This will give your cookies a bolder pumpkin flavor, since it increases the pumpkin-to-flour ratio.
- Check the Crinkles: Check the cookies halfway through their baking time to make sure they have begun to crack. This will give you that fun fall crinkle effect. You want to look at these cookies and immediately think of fallen leaves crunching under your feet.
Because of the frosting, you want to store these pumpkin pie cookies in the refrigerator. Pop them in an airtight container to keep them from getting stale and store them for up to 3 days. If you need to stack the cookies, try not to go for more than 2 layers, and make sure to place a piece of parchment or wax paper in the middle.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes, these pumpkin pie cookies freeze, but they do best if you freeze them before adding the frosting. Keep them in an airtight container or double-lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw completely, add the frosting, and enjoy!
More Pumpkin Dessert Ideas
- Pumpkin Cookies with Cake Mix
- Pumpkin Cake Roll
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cookies Recipe
FOR THE COOKIES
FOR THE FROSTING
- 4 Tablespoons of butter, softened
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese
- 4 cups of Powdered Sugar
- Orange Food Coloring Gel
FOR THE PIE CRUST LEAVES
- 1 Roll of prepared Pie Crust – I used Pillsbury from the Dairy Case
- 1 Set of cut-outs for Leaves
- Sugar to top
Make the Dough
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, add the Butter, Sugar, Vanilla, and Egg, and blend until light and fluffy.
- Add a couple of drops of the Orange Food Coloring Gel.
- Place the Pumpkin in a bowl, and add the Cinnamon, and the 2 Tablespoons of sugar, and stir well.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the mixing bowl, and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, add the Flour, and Baking Powder, and stir well to blend.
- Add the flour a little at a time and mix on low to blend, until all the flour is added. (If the cookie dough is a little sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour until the dough is no longer sticky – continue to add a little more flour until the dough forms a ball, and is not sticky).
- Remove the Whisk attachment, and use the paddle. Continue to blend the Cookie dough until it’s completely blended and a smooth ball starts to form. Scrape down the mixing bowl as needed.
Assemble the Cookies
- Line two cookie sheets with Parchment paper, and roll the cookie dough into small balls, about 1 inch balls, and place the balls on the Parchment paper.
- Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or just until the cookies start to turn a light golden brown around the edges.
- About halfway through baking the cookies, check the oven, and the cookies may have started to crack a little.
- Take a flat bottom glass, dip it in Sugar before lightly applying it to each cookie – smash the cookies very gently, and slightly, making them a little flatter, and spread out a little more. This will give the cookies a crinkle look.
Prepare the Pie Crust
- While the cookies are baking, cut out the Pie Crust Leaves to top the Cookies; Unroll the prepared Pie Crust, and place it on a floured surface.
- Dip the pie crust cutouts in a little bit of Flour, just on the edges, and cut out the leaves. You should be able to cut one leaf to top each cookie – about 40.
- With a metal Spatula, gently remove the cut-out leaves to a Parchment Paper lined Cookie sheet, and place them in the oven at 350°F for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
- When they’re baked, remove the leaves from the oven, and leave them on the parchment paper. Sprinkle generously with Sugar. Let Cool.
- When the cookies are done, remove them from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, make the Frosting.
Make the Frosting
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened Butter, and Cream Cheese, and blend to combine.
- Add the Powdered sugar a little at a time, blending after each addition, until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
- Divide the Frosting, taking about half a cup out of the mixing bowl, and leaving it white, set aside.
- In the mixing bowl, add a couple of drops of the Orange Food Coloring Gel, and stir to blend until the Frosting is tinted a pale Pumpkin color.
Frost the Cookies
- Using Plastic wrap, tear off a piece about 10 inches wide, and place the Frosting length-wise in the middle of the plastic wrap; it will look like a long ribbon of Frosting.
- Then, roll the plastic wrap around the Frosting, making sure to keep it long, or length-wise like a long ribbon.
- Snip the end off of the Plastic wrap, on one end only, and place it in a Pastry bag with the large Star Tip.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cookies, using a swirl, and bring it up to a point.
- Place a small dollop of the White Frosting on the top of each cookie, and place one of the cutout pastry, or pie crust leaves in the White Frosting.
- Crumble any leftover pie crust leaves, and sprinkle on cookies.
- Allow the Frosting to set or firm up a bit, about 30 minutes.
- Serve, and Enjoy!
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- To Store: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze:Keep unfrosted cookies in an airtight container or double-lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw completely, then frost and serve.