Spiced Pumpkin Cookies


The leaves are turning, and we’ve had a string of cold rainy days here in Maryland. Walking in the neighborhood over the weekend, I even got a few whiffs of burning firewood — it finally feels like fall! Something about this season always inspires me to bake, and these little pumpkin cookies are my latest obsession. Imbued with warm autumn spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, they’re cakey on the interior and slightly crisp on the exterior, with a bit of crunch from the raw sugar sprinkled on top. My family flocks to the kitchen as soon as I pull them out of the oven, and the first batch disappears before the second trays are even done.

To begin, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl, and set aside.

Next, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Then mix in the vanilla extract and pumpkin purée.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

Then scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. It’s easiest to use a 1-1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop (and it will make your cookies will be prettier).

Sprinkle the cookie dough with turbinado sugar. This is just a large crystal, natural brown sugar — most grocery stores carry it but you can always use the “Sugar in the Raw” brown packets found at coffee shops.

Then bake until puffed and slightly browned around the edges.

Cool on racks and enjoy warm out of the oven.

For more pumpkin recipes, check out my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Muffins.

Note: These cookies are best enjoyed warm out of the oven, so it’s not a bad idea to make the dough, then refrigerate and bake as needed. 

Spiced Pumpkin Cookies

Print Recipe
Servings: Makes 58 cookies
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin purée (from one 15-ounce can, though you'll have some left over)
  • 2-3 tablespoons turbinado (or demerara) sugar


  1. Arrange oven racks in upper and middle thirds and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with the white and brown sugars until light and fluffy, a few minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin puree (don't worry if the mixture looks somewhat broken). Scrape down the bowl, then mix in the flour mixture on low speed. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons (preferably using a 1-1/2 tablespoon ice cream scooper) onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle cookies evenly with turbinado sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating pans midway through, until puffed and slightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer with a spatula to a wire rack to cool. These cookies are best enjoyed warm out of the oven, or on the same day.
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  • Ooo these would be good cookies for ice cream sandwiches!

  • Linda Chaviano

    This is one I’m going to try for the holiday’s. Looks fantastic….

  • Megan

    These look GREAT – thinking that I could add some raisins as well? :)

    • Jenn

      Hi Megan, I was very tempted to add raisins (and nuts) but opted to keep them plain for the kids. I think it’d be delicious with though :)

  • I always get inspired to bake in the Fall too! These look yummy!

  • Jenn – would omitting the turbinado make a huge difference in taste or is it just for texture? My 19 month old may have a problem with chewing the sugar. Thanks

    • Jenn

      Hi Diane, It’s no problem at all to leave it out. The cookies are on the cakey side, so it’s there just for some additional texture. Hope you enjoy them!

      • These cookies are yummy and were so easy to make! Thanks much for posting such tasty recipes every week — we love many of your recipes and I look forward to your weekly posts.

        BTW, for those of you looking for organic pumpkin, Trader Joe’s in Southern CA just started selling it.

  • becky

    I can’t wait to try these! I’ve made pumpkin cookies that had halved raw cranberries, orange zest and nuts — all which tasted great in a pumpkin cookie! Might be worth a try, but I’m going to try it without this year for the sake of the kiddos! I have a little girl that does not like chunkies in her baked goods! Thanks again for a great recipe! ;-)

  • These look so simple and delicious!

  • Jessica Stewart


    Let me start off by saying that I began following you about a year ago, and every recipe, from you chocolate banana bread and chocolate chip blondies to your moroccan chicken (a family favorite) and fettucini bolognese (my husband thinks your recipe is better than the bon appetite one and I have to agree) has been a huge hit in my household! Thank you for such wonderful, and easy recipes. They make life for a working foodie like me so much easier.

    On that note, if I wanted to add chocolate chips to these cookies, would i need to change anything (ie amounts of ingredients)?

    Thank you , thank you, thank you !

    • Jenn

      Thanks so much, Jessica…that is so nice to hear! No need to change anything if you want to add choc chips. Hope you like the cookies :)

  • Ruth Oshinsky

    My daughter sent me this pumpkin cookie recipe and it looks great. I can’t wait to make it.
    Please subscribe me to your wonderful service. I am a fellow Marylander and would love to get some more of your recipes.
    Thank you,

  • taryn

    hi jenn, do you think this will work if i half the recipe?

    • Jenn

      Yes, should be fine :)

  • Sarahjones

    I made these tonight they are great! I think I will make some icing and make them into whoopie pies .

  • Diana

    Has anyone made this with gluten free flour

  • Erin McNamara

    Is it okay to use pureed pumpkin from Whole Foods and not Libby’s? I see Libby’s in the picture and I’m wondering if there are some pumpkin pie spices in the Libby’s, which will add flavor to the cookies. I don’t think Whole Foods has the extra flavors, it’s just pureed pumpkin.

    • Jenn

      Hi Erin, You can definitely use the Whole Foods brand. Libby’s is pure pumpkin.

  • Theresa

    I made these for the kids last weekend and they were delicious! They tasted like pumpkin bread cookies! If you like pumpkin you’ll love these. They’ve requested them again this weekend :)

  • Kathryn

    I have now made these cookies 5 times since you posted this recipe! My husband is obsessed with the fluffy, cakey texture of the cookies. He is now requesting I try to change the recipe to make sugar cookies or snickerdoodles. Will the cookies come out similarly even without the pumpkin added?

    • Jenn

      Hi Kathryn, So glad you and your husband are enjoying the cookies! Unfortunately, I don’t think the recipe would work without the pumpkin — the cookies would come out very dry.

  • Mary

    I made these cookies and pretty much stuck to your recipe. I bought a cookie scooper which helps make uniform cookies. (Well worth the price.) The cookies are very moist and cakey. Great flavor for the fall.

  • Grace

    I’ve made these several times and I adore them! Great recipe! With the abundance of zucchini this time of year, have you ever substituted zucchini for the pumpkin? I’m not sure whether or not that’s a crazy idea, but please advise! Thanks!

  • Mary Redmiles

    I made these cookies with my granddaughter last fall and plan on doing it again. She loved helping and the cookies are soft and delicious.

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