These gluten free pumpkin cookies are packed with all the warm flavors of fall and have a soft, chewy texture that is sure to satisfy your cravings. They're super easy to make and, of course, we're topping them with a delicious cream cheese frosting!
Between my easy pumpkin bread, my pumpkin cheesecake, and my pumpkin pie with condensed milk... I think it's safe to say I'm getting my pumpkin fix this season! These extra soft gluten free pumpkin cookies are not to be missed. They may seem small and unassuming, but they pack a punch.
When I say these are soft pumpkin cookies, I mean they are seriously soft. We're not using a ton of pumpkin puree, but just enough to both give these cookies some delicious fall flavor AND keep them nice and soft.
Another great thing about these cookies is, they're flexible! If you are running short on time or find that you don't have any cream cheese on hand, you can totally skip the frosting. I promise they're still delicious all on their own.
If you DO have cream cheese, though, you really should put in the few extra minutes and make the frosting. It's just so easy and so delicious.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's such a simple recipe and, although there is some chill time involved, I promise it's worth it. That's what keeps these cookies from spreading and helps with that cakey soft texture! These are among my favorite gluten free cookies.
- That cream cheese frosting! Trust me, if you've never tried the pumpkin + cream cheese combination, it's really something.
- This is a naturally eggless pumpkin cookie recipe -- pumpkin makes for a great egg substitute in baking! So no need to buy any egg replacer for this one.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Gluten free flour: My favorite gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1. If you're using a different flour, make sure it contains xanthan gum.
- Pumpkin pie spice: This delicious spice blend is available in most grocery stores, but you can also DIY it. Here's a great pumpkin pie spice recipe you can use.
- Pumpkin: Make sure you're using canned pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie mix. They both come in a can, but the mix will have added spices and flavors, which we don't want here.
- Cream cheese: For the frosting, you want to make sure you're using blocks of full-fat cream cheese, not the spreadable kind that comes in a tub.
STEP ONE: Start by mixing the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt) in a small bowl.
STEP TWO: In a separate bowl, cream the butter with both sugars. I like the addition of the brown sugar in this recipe not only for the flavor, but because it adds to the moisture.
STEP THREE: Once that's nice and smooth, add in the pumpkin and vanilla extract and mix it all up.
STEP FOUR: Add the dry ingredients right into your mixer and stir on low speed until it's all combined and your dough starts to come together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
STEP FIVE: When the dough is ready, scoop out onto your prepared baking sheet. I like to flatten them slightly with the palm of my hand. You can really make these as small or large as you'd like. I just use a cookie scoop to keep them more or less even. Bake on 350ºF for 12 minutes.
STEP SIX: While the cookies cool, make the frosting. Mix the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
- My top baking tip is always to weigh your flour using a kitchen scale. This is the best way to ensure accuracy and make sure you're not adding too much (or not enough!) flour. We'll need 222 grams of gluten free flour for this recipe.
- Another top tip when it comes to any of my recipes is to use an oven thermometer. All ovens are different! The bake time on these cookies is 12-14 minutes but I'd recommend starting to check around the 12 minute mark. These are meant to be soft, so you don't want to over bake.
- It's important to be patient and make sure the cookies are completely cooled before frosting, otherwise your cream cheese frosting will melt and you will end up with a mess on your hands.
- Feel free to experiment with the frosting! You can simply spread it on with a spatula or butter knife, or pipe playful designs using a piping bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
You should be able to use your favorite non-dairy butter for dairy free pumpkin cookies! I know some people have had success using coconut oil too but I'm unsure of the measurements. I would skip the frosting, as I'm unsure how you can substitute the cream cheese.
I'm not sure if fresh pumpkin would work, as I've never tried it myself. Fresh pumpkin needs to be roasted, mashed, and strained to achieve the smooth consistency of canned pumpkin puree. Using canned puree is much more convenient and provides consistent results.
Absolutely! As mentioned above, you can feel free to omit the frosting if you'd prefer a lighter, less sweet option. The cookies are delicious on their own or with a simple glaze made from powdered sugar and a bit of milk.
Store any leftover pumpkin cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week! Baked pumpkin cookies can also be frozen for up to three months, just be sure to thaw them overnight before serving, so that they're nice and soft again.
Did you make my gluten free pumpkin cookies? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 ½ cups (222g) gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar packed
- ½ cup (122g) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar sifted
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.1 ½ cups (222g) gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with both sugars until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until combined.½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar, ½ cup (122g) pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough out onto lined baking sheet, flattening each slightly into a round disc. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.4 ounces cream cheese, 4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (113g) powdered sugar
- Ensure you're using 100% pure pumpkin, not pie filling. Both will come in a can but the filling contains added flavors and ingredients.