This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own.
Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything! These soft baked Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are made with actual pumpkin! Top them with traditional cookie frosting or a decadent brown butter frosting for the ultimate fall treat! Makes 36 cookies.
Love all things pumpkin? Don’t miss these Easy Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Nutella Swirl if you’re in the mood for breakfast. If you love sweets, don’t miss Pumpkin Blondies with a Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl. Looking for a drink? Look no farther than this Pumpkin Spice Kombucha Cocktail!
I used to think I hated pumpkin. Yes, I was totally that person.
I didn’t want to be her, but it just kind of happened… and then one day, I realized my dislike for pumpkin-flavored everything was actually because I dislike nutmeg. So this recipe (and every pumpkin recipe of mine) calls for no nutmeg.
However, if you’re a nutmeg fan, feel free to throw some into the dough with the other spices. I’m sure half a teaspoon would work just fine here.
These cookies, like all sugar cookies, are great for kids and adults, and they’re especially fun to decorate together!
When I was developing this recipe, I wanted to see if I could incorporate pumpkin puree into it.
I didn’t want these sugar cookies to be like so many pumpkin spiced products on the market… and after a few failed test doughs, I figured out a way to include the pumpkin!
Other fall-flavored desserts you might adore: Spiced Apple Upside Down Cake with Bourbon Caramel Glaze / Whole Wheat Apple Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake / Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars / Quebec Maple Pecan Drops / Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake
Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
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For this recipe, you’ll also need some specific food-ingredients. Luckily, I was able to pick up all of these (minus the sprinkles) at my local Sprouts Farmers Market:
- Pumpkin puree—not to be confused with the pre-sweetened and spiced pumpkin pie filling
- Ground cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice—these make our homemade pumpkin pie spice!
- Nutmeg—my recipe doesn’t call for it because nutmeg and I don’t get along, but you could add a shake or two of this to your pumpkin pie spice mix to add a little warmth if you’re into it!
- Sprinkles! Spooky and funny candy eyeballs make me so happy for decorations like these.
How to make Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
First and foremost, remove your butter and egg from the fridge 30-60 minutes before you plan on baking. We want these ingredients to be at room temperature because they’ll combine better.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the cookie beater attachment, cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth and light yellow. This process beats air into the mixture.
Next, measure in the egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Beat slowly and occasionally scrape down the sides until the ingredients are incorporated.
In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients–flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice and salt. Whisk together.
Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer bowl containing the wet ingredients, and turn on the stand mixer. Run it on a low speed until the ingredients start incorporating, then turn up the speed to beat the ingredients together until well-combined. This might take a few minutes, and that’s OK. We want everything to be evenly distributed.
Stretch a (long) sheet of plastic wrap over the countertop or another flat surface in your kitchen. We will wrap the sugar cookies in this wrap, so make sure it’s long enough. For me, I use two strips of plastic wrap in the shape of a plus to make this the most efficient.
Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap, and press it down until it’s in a round. Wrap, then transfer to the refrigerator, and cool for at least two hours. (You could certainly do this the night before you bake your cookies, and let them chill overnight.)
Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 425°F, and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats. Set ‘am aside.
Remove the chilled dough from the fridge. Sprinkle a layer of flour over a flat surface, and flour your rolling pin, too.
Unwrap and place the dough in the center of the floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top of it, too.
Using the rolling pin, gently roll the chilled dough until it’s about 1/3″ thick. (You can do more or less, of course, but I find this thickness is ideal! Also, a thinner cooks less and a thicker one will require more cooking time.)
Repeat this process, balling the dough, then re-rolling the dough when necessary, until all of the cookies have been cut.
Transfer the cut cookies to the baking sheets, and bake in the preheated oven until slightly browned on top.
Let the cookies cool until at room temperature, and then ice!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
I can’t imagine an event more fun than a Cookie Decorating Party highlighting these Pumpkin Sugar Cookies!
In fact, I wrote a How to Host a Cookie Decorating Party post last year that fits well with this. Just swap out the colors and recipes, of course, to make it a Halloween/fall situation.
- Bake the cookies a day ahead of time. Rushing when you’re hosting a party is stressful, and since these cookies have to chill before you roll them out and bake them, you have got to give yourself time.
- Offer all kinds of different decoration toppings. In addition to two different types of frosting, you should have nuts/seeds, sprinkles, chocolate chips, colored sugar and more to decorate! I like to put these in ramekins or small bowls.
- Set out the cookies on a platter, and let guests go to town! I personally love the ones that have multiple eyes, haha.
- Don’t forget knives and napkins! While I’m all about being eco-friendly in my daily life, plastic (or compostable) knives are easier for kids to handle. And you absolutely need napkins or paper plates for everyone to decorate their cookies on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tell me about this event you attended at the Sprouts Farmers Market opening in Denton, Tex.
My friends at Sprouts asked if I could make the trek up to Denton, a suburb of DFW, to share a pumpkin-flavored treat with guests who were checking out the new store. I brought these cookies, along with two different types of icing, to let people decorate and enjoy!
Before, I’d never fed people outside of my own house, so being invited to a store’s grand opening to feed the store’s guests was an honor and an adventure… and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed because HOLY COW, who bakes 140 cookies in their 1950’s oven in the span of one evening? But once I arrived and set up my table, it was all smooth sailing.
I met so many lovely people who were excited about this new grocery store opening its doors in their neighborhood. And I got the chance to share my love of baked goods and cooking with them as they decorated their cookies.
If you ask me, that’s not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night.
Is there a way I can make browned butter with margarine or a vegan butter?
Sadly, I do not know of a way to make this happen. The browned bits in browned butter are actually the milk fat that has toasted as it cooks, and since margarine and vegan butter don’t have milk fat, it doesn’t brown the same way.
Could I use pumpkin pie spice in place of the ground cinnamon, ginger and allspice?
Yes! I’d venture to say using the same amount of pumpkin pie spice would add beautiful spiciness to these pumpkin sugar cookies!
What are some other seasonal recipes that I could pair with these pumpkin sugar cookies at a cookie party?
If it’s earlier in the day, have Vegan Pumpkin Spice Lattes for the adults to sip. If it’s cocktail hour, a glass of Sparkling Bourbon Pumpkin Apple Cider Punch or a Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Old Fashioned are both festive and tasty!
Quick Tips and Tricks to make the best Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Store these cookies uniced at room temperature in a food safe storage container. Once the cookies are iced, keep them in the refrigerator.
- Give the dough enough time to chill! If it’s too warm, you’re going to run into issues rolling it out, as well as issues with the cookies spreading too much in the oven.
- Use pumpkin cookie cutters to really add to the festiveness of these cookies! Add food coloring to the frosting so guests can decorate theirs to look like real pumpkins.
Now who’s ready to bake some cookies?
'Tis the season for pumpkin spiced everything! These flavorful Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies make the perfect seasonal sweet! This cookie dough, which features pumpkin puree, is soft baked and perfectly spiced. Seasoned with cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice, the delicious pumpkin flavor of these cookies sings. Treat guests to two options of frostings - brown butter and traditional - and these cookies are sure to fly off the table this fall.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Brown Butter Frosting
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk (plus an additional splash if frosting too thick)
Traditional Sugar Cookie Frosting
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk, (plus an additional splash if frosting too thick)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Orange food coloring, optional
Make the Sugar Cookies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the cookie beater attachment, cream the softened butter and sugar until smooth and light yellow.
- Measure in the egg, the vanilla and the pumpkin. Beat slowly, occasionally scraping the sides, until the wet ingredients are incorporated.
- Sift the the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice and salt – into another bowl. Whisk together, and set aside.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl containing the wet ingredients, and turn on the stand mixer. Let it run on a low speed until the ingredients start incorporating, then turn it up, beating until the batter is combined. Turn off the stand mixer, and set the bowl aside.
- Stretch a sheet of plastic wrap over the countertop. This will be what the sugar cookies chill in, so make sure it’s long enough. (I like to use two strips of plastic wrap in the shape of a + to make this the most efficient.)
- Transfer the dough to the plastic wrap, and press it down until it’s in a round. Wrap, then transfer to the refrigerator, letting cool for at least two hours.
Make the Brown Butter Frosting
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.
- Place the butter in the bottom of the pan. Let it melt.
- Moving the pan over the heat constantly, allow the butter to begin browning. When the flecks of brown become more prominent in the melted butter, remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, measure out the powdered sugar.
- Pour the browned butter on top of the powdered sugar. Add the milk.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the frosting until its smooth. Add more milk if the frosting is too thick.
- When the frosting reaches the desired consistency, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside. If making in advance, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. (If you do this, please know that you’ll have to let the frosting come back to room temperature before it can be spread on the cookies. You also might have to add more milk.)
Make the Traditional Sugar Cookie Frosting
- In a microwave-safe large bowl, melt the butter.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk and salt to the butter bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, beat the frosting until its smooth. Add more milk if the frosting is too thick.
- If coloring the frosting, add the food coloring now. (I added several dabs of orange to mine to get this brilliant orange color.)
- When the frosting reaches the desired consistency and color, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside. If making in advance, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. (If you do this, please know that you’ll have to let the frosting come back to room temperature before it can be spread on the cookies. You also might have to add more milk.)
Bake the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat. Set aside.
- When the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator.
- Sprinkle a layer of flour over a flat surface. Flour the rolling pin, too.
- Place the dough round in the center of the floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top of it.
- Roll the chilled dough until it’s about 1/3” thick.
- Using a cookie cutter, shape the cookies, and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
- Repeat this process, balling the dough, then re-rolling the dough when necessary, until all of the cookies have been cut.
- Transfer the baking sheets into the preheated oven.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cookies have browned slightly on top.
- Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack.
Frost the cookies
- When the cookies have cooled completely, frost them with the brown butter and/or traditional frosting.
- Decorate with various sprinkles, nuts, etc.
The number of cookies will vary, based on how thick the dough is rolled and how large the cookie cutters used are.
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Serving Size:1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.