Soft Pumpkin Cookies


The anytime pumpkin pick-me-up we all need this fall.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
3 dozen

Cakey, small, and warmly spiced, these Soft Pumpkin Cookies are the melt-in-your-mouth treat we all need this fall. Each cookie is small enough to disappear in just 2 or 3 bites, making them the mini pick-me-up you can snack on any time of day—no risk of spoiling your next meal. These bite-size pumpkin-y morsels aren't too sweet either. The bourbon glaze on top not only adds hints of maple, but it also helps sweeten things up. If you want to make them non-alcoholic, simply replace the bourbon with water or milk. While baking, you can dip your spoon in flour or water before pressing down on each cookie. This will help the dough from sticking to your spoon. Creative bakers can turn this cookie recipe into the sides of a pumpkin whoopie pie or sandwich cookie too. Simply flatten them a bit more and fill them with cream cheese buttercream.



  • ½ cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (from 1 [15-oz.] can)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 cups (about 8 1/2 oz.) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon table salt

Maple-Bourbon Glaze

  • 2 cups (about 6 1/2 oz.) powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed

Additional Ingredient

  • Finely chopped toasted pecans


  1. Prepare the Pumpkin Cookies: Preheat oven to 375°F with oven racks in upper third and middle positions. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until completely combined, about 15 seconds. Add pumpkin and vanilla; beat until just combined, about 30 seconds.

  2. Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten dough with back of a spoon.

  3. Place 2 of the baking sheets in preheated oven, and bake until cookies are set and lightly browned, about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets between top and middle racks halfway through bake time. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 remaining baking sheet on middle oven rack, and bake remaining cookies for 12 minutes; let cool completely.

  4. Prepare the Bourbon Maple Glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, bourbon, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk in water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired glaze consistency. Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze; return to baking sheet, glaze side up. Immediately, garnish evenly with pecans. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

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