Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies: A Nostalgic Delight

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Step into the warmth of autumn with our Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies—a timeless treat that encapsulates the essence of fall in every bite. These soft, cake-like cookies, infused with aromatic spices and crowned with a luscious glaze, are a nostalgic nod to traditional flavors. Perfect for cozy gatherings, festive celebrations, or a simple indulgence on a chilly day, these cookies embody the comforting spirit of the season. Join us on a culinary journey as we craft this classic recipe, blending the rich sweetness of pumpkin with the delicate warmth of spices.


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  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin (I used Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Step 1: Preparing the Pumpkin Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. Mix until well combined.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft cookie dough forms.
  6. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 2: Creating the Glaze

  1. In a medium bowl, combine sifted powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk the glaze until smooth and well combined.

Step 3: Glazing the Cookies

  1. Once the cookies are completely cooled, dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze or use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over them.
  2. Allow the glaze to set before serving.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Nutty Crunch: Add chopped pecans or walnuts to the cookie dough for an extra layer of texture.
  • Spice it Up: Enhance the spice profile by adding a pinch of ground cloves or ginger to the dry ingredients.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions

Keto Soft Pumpkin Cookies

  • Substitute almond flour or coconut flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Use a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or stevia in place of granulated sugar.
  • Adjust the glaze by using a sugar substitute and ensuring the milk used is unsweetened.

Low-Carb Soft Pumpkin Cookies

  • Opt for a low-carb flour alternative such as almond flour or a blend of almond and coconut flour.
  • Choose a low-carb sweetener suitable for baking to replace granulated sugar.
  • Use a low-carb milk substitute in the glaze.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead of individual spices?

Certainly! Replace the ground cinnamon and nutmeg with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice for added convenience.

Q2: Can I make the cookies without the glaze?

Absolutely! The glaze adds sweetness, but the cookies are delicious on their own. Consider a light dusting of powdered sugar for a simple touch.

Q3: Can I freeze the cookie dough?

Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough in individual portions for later use. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking.

Q4: Can I use a different type of pumpkin?

While I recommend pure pumpkin for the best flavor, you can experiment with other types like butternut squash or sweet potato puree.

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Embark on a journey of flavor and tradition with our Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies—a delightful blend of autumnal warmth and timeless sweetness. Whether adorned with the luscious glaze or enjoyed in their pure, unadorned form, these cookies capture the spirit of fall in each soft, cake-like bite. Share them with loved ones, savor them by the fireside, or gift them as a token of autumnal affection. This recipe, steeped in nostalgia and crafted with care, invites you to create moments of joy and connection with those around you. Happy baking!


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