Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Soft Pumpkin Cookie Overview
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Components Used: Cream Cheese Frosting
These soft pumpkin cookies remind me of a muffin top with delicious cream cheese frosting. The cookie is so soft and fluffy and the kind you really want to sink your teeth into.
I purposefully made the cookie dough only slightly sweet so that it balances the sweet frosting on top. These are perfect the perfect fall cookie for a bunch, or a holiday party!
How to Make Soft Pumpkin Cookies
These cookies use shortening instead of butter in them. This creates the soft pumpkin cookie texture because shortening is 100% fat. If you want to substitute it for you butter you can, but the texture will be slightly different.
Step 1: Cream the Shortening and Sugar Together
These pumpkin cookies use the classic creaming method for cookies. Start by creaming together the brown sugar and shortening.
The brown sugar gives the cookies more depth of flavor and helps retain moisture. I like to use dark brown sugar because it contains the most molasses. However, you can use light brown if that is what you have or prefer.
Step 2: Add the Egg and Pumpkin
Add the egg and the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. This recipe doesn’t call for the entire can of pumpkin, but I love the save the leftover to put into oatmeal. Here are a few other ways to use up your leftover pumpkin as well!
Step 3: Mix in the Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. As soon as the flour is absorbed evenly, stop mixing. Mixing too long will cause your cookies to become dry and tough.
Step 4: Scoop and Bake
Scoop rounded mounds of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. I like to use this large cookie scoop. It ends up being about 3 TBSP of dough per each cookie.
Step 5: Frost the Cooled Cookies
Once the cookies have completely cooled you can frost them with the cream cheese frosting. I also like to sprinkle a little bit of pumpkin pie spice on top to make them a little prettier.
If you aren’t serving these cookies right away you can cool them completely and store them at room temperature in an airtight container. Frost them right before serving. Once the cookies are frosted, you do need to store them in the refrigerator.
MORE RECIPES FROM BAKER BETTIE!
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might like to try these other delicious pumpkin recipes!
Soft Pumpkin Cookie Dough
- 145 grams (¾ cup) vegetable shortening (substitute with softened butter but cookies will spread more)
- 150 grams (¾ cup) brown sugar, light or dark brown
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 240 grams (1 cup) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (*see note for substitution)
- 240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 226 grams (1 cup, 8 ounces) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 28 grams (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- large pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 420 grams (3 ½ cups) powdered sugar
- Remove the egg (1 large), cream cheese (226 grams/ 1 cup), and butter (28 grams/ 2 tablespoons) from the refrigerator and set out at room temperature. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
- Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
For the Cookies:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the shortening (145 grams/ ¾ cup) with the brown sugar (150 grams/ ¾ cup) on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the egg and pumpkin puree (240 grams/ 1 cup) into the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the baking soda (1 teaspoon), salt (½ teaspoon), and pumpkin pie spice (2 teaspoons) into the mixing bowl and mix until evenly distributed. Scrape down the bowl. Add the flour (240 grams/ 2 cups) to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed just until it is incorporated. This should take just about 10-15 seconds of mixing. You don't want to over-mix.
- Scoop rounded mounds of dough (about 2 ½ tablespoons each) onto lined baking sheets. Do not over-crowd the pan and place about 8 cookies per baking sheet.
- Bake one sheet pan at a time for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven when the tops are set. You don't want to over-bake these cookies or they will become dry.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes then move to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the vanilla extract (½ teaspoon), salt (large pinch), and powdered sugar (420 grams/ 3 ½ cups) to the bowl. Start the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed to incorporate the sugar in. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Frost the cookies once completely cooled and sprinkle with more pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon to decorate if desired.
- Place the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- If you do not have pumpkin pie spice you can make your own with 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon allspice. If you don't have any of those spices you can replace it with more cinnamon.