The best soft-baked gluten free vegan pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting! The fall flavored cookies recipe is made of chewy soft-baked vegan pumpkin cookies seasoned with pumpkin pie spice and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting.
These homemade bakery-style iced pumpkin cookies are a delicious fall baking recipe and great gluten free cookie idea. This healthy pumpkin cookies recipe needs only 10 ingredients and 30 minutes prep.
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The best vegan gluten free pumpkin sugar cookies! Are you ready for a healthy gluten free pumpkin recipe? Because I have super delicious and chewy pumpkin cookies that taste like the real thing but are vegan and gluten free. Seriously, this gluten free cookie recipe makes super soft and dreamy pumpkin sugar cookies.
That’s right. These vegan soft pumpkin spice cookies are so good, you won’t even notice they’re made without gluten, dairy, or eggs.
I recently made homemade pumpkin puree from scratch and my own homemade pumpkin pie spice. And now I’m down for some dessert recipes using canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Something that has all the delicious fall flavors but isn’t loaded with refined sugar and dairy.
Something like this tasty pumpkin spice sugar cookie recipe or these vegan pumpkin donut holes.
These soft pumpkin cookies are gluten free, dairy free, vegan and made without refined sugar. I’ll also share how to make these pumpkin cookies sugar free if you’re interested in pumpkin cookies without sugar.
When it comes to homemade pumpkin cookies, you have this important question to answer: do you like your pumpkin cookies chewy or crisp?
If you say chewy pumpkin cookies, you’re in the right place: soft-baked vegan pumpkin cookies. These cakey cookies have a texture similar to pumpkin muffin tops, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin whoopie pies. So soft and delicious!
But in case you prefer crisp pumpkin cookies, check out these healthy oatmeal chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. They’re super crunchy and another gluten dairy free pumpkin cookies recipe.
Now grab a glass of your favourite milk of choice or maybe even this vegan pumpkin spice latte and let’s bake some pumpkin spice cookies. Pumpkin spice everything!
So, what do you need to make soft pumpkin cookies vegan? As I mentioned, I used DIY pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin pie spice for this gf cookies recipe. When you use homemade puree make sure it isn’t watery. In my recipe, I explain how to thicken pumpkin puree.
Of course, these bakery-style vegan pumpkin cookies will also taste amazing with canned pumpkin and ready-made pumpkin spice. I recommend Libby’s Pure Pumpkin and McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice, or Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin and Simply Organic Pumpkin Spice if you prefer organic.
For this dairy free gluten free cookie recipe, you’ll use maple sugar and Muscovado sugar to create depth and flavour. You can also use regular granulated sugar and brown sugar. I’ll share more substitutions in a second. There’s also a pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract to round out the aroma.
As for gluten free flour, I recommend using either Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour or Cup 4 Cup Gluten Free Flour. I have not yet tested King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure Gluten Free, but I imagine it will work as well.
Vegan pumpkin spice cookies ingredients list
So, what do you need for this vegan gluten free pumpkin dessert recipe?
- gluten free flour
- gluten free baking powder
- ground cinnamon
- pumpkin pie spice
- maple sugar
- Muscovado sugar
- vegan butter
- pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
- vanilla extract (optional)
- fine sea salt (optional)
Ingredient substitutions for healthy pumpkin spice cookies recipe
With this gluten free cookies recipe, you can make a few substitutions and still have great tasting vegan pumpkin baked goods. If you want simply gluten free pumpkin cookies, use grass-fed butter instead of vegan. Or if you’re just looking for vegan dairy free pumpkin cookies, but gf isn’t a requirement, use all-purpose flour or whole wheat to make whole wheat pumpkin cookies.
Some may also prefer to use granulated sugar and brown sugar. It’s perfectly fine to use those in place of maple and Muscovado sugar.
Here are all the subs you can make to customise this healthy pumpkin recipe:
- use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour instead of gluten free flour
- replace maple sugar and Muscovado sugar with granulated and brown sugar
- sub vegan butter for regular butter or coconut oil.
- sub vanilla extract for 1/4 tsp almond extract or 1/2 tsp lemon extract
Note that swapping ingredients may alter the texture or colour slightly but will always result in delicious healthy vegan pumpkin cookies.
Super important: You cannot use pumpkin pie filling in this recipe. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and seasoned and won’t work in these vegan cookies.
Sugar free pumpkin cookies
The first step to making soft vegan pumpkin cookies is creaming together the vegan butter and sugars. Only do this for about 3 minutes, as otherwise the cookies will become too dense. A handheld mixer or wire whisk works best for this job.
Next, beat in the pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract.
Then you’ll sift the flour and baking powder to remove any lumps. Next, add the dry ingredients and salt to the wet mixture and stir with a cooking spoon until just combined.
Once it’s all mixed together, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to portion individual cookies on a lined baking sheet. I recommend lining the cookie sheets with parchment/baking paper or a non-stick baking mat.
Flatten the cookies slightly with the back of a spoon.
Finally, bake and wait patiently to take a bite of these gluten dairy free pumpkin cookies.
Pretty simple, right?
Now for some tips that will make your gluten free pumpkin sugar cookies and irresistible vegan fall baking recipe.
While it’s incredibly easy to make this easy vegan gluten free dessert, there are a few things you need to know to get the best vegan chewy pumpkin cookies.
Soften the vegan butter
The vegan butter should be soft but not melted. Letting it sit on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes should do the trick. This time might even be shorter if you live in a hot climate.
Don’t use pumpkin pie filling
We already talked about this one: don’t use pumpkin pie filling. Only use canned pumpkin or thick pumpkin puree. This won’t water down the cookie batter and give you perfectly baked vegan gluten free sugar cookies.
You need 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree, which is almost an entire can. Please don’t add the remaining bit into the pumpkin cookie batter. I found that this amount is perfect to get soft-baked cookies.
Flatten the cookies
Once you scooped the dough on the baking sheet/tray, flatten the cookies slightly with the back of a spoon as these pumpkin cookies don’t spread much on their own. You can skip this step if you prefer smaller, thicker gluten free cookies.
Watch the baking time
Watch the vegan pumpkin cookies closely while they bake. Overbaking will make them dry and hard – not at all what we want in our pumpkin pie sugar cookies. And for pumpkin cookies without eggs, you don’t run the risk of under-baking. The cookies take 9 to 11 minutes to bake.
Let the cookies cool before icing
When the cookies come out of the oven, let them sit on the baking sheet/tray for 2 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack. Let the cookies cool completely before putting on the icing. The cream cheese frosting will melt on cookies that are still warm.
The vegan cream cheese frosting to frost these pumpkin spice cookies is super easy and only requires 2 ingredients: dairy free cream cheese and vegan white chocolate. This is actually a gluten free cream cheese glaze, and the recipe can also be used as cream cheese filling for cookie sandwiches.
The vegan frosting recipe is based on my no-fail 2-ingredient cream cheese frosting but made with vegan ingredients. The process is straightforward:
- melt the white chocolate
- mix with the cream cheese
- let cool until spreadable, 10 to 20 minutes
And there you have it, vegan cream cheese glaze for cookies.
Tip: For soft pumpkin cookies with maple frosting, mix 1/2 tsp pure maple extract into the cream cheese frosting.
Uniced vegan gluten free pumpkin cookies store perfectly in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
If you want to store them longer, you can freeze the unfrosted cookies for a month.
Chewy, soft pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese icing should be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Always store them in a single layer as you can’t stack frosted pumpkin cookies.
Before eating, let them sit on the counter for 10 minutes so you can enjoy truly soft pumpkin cookies.
Whether you need a hostess gift, visit a friend, or want to say thank you to someone special – chewy pumpkin spice cookies are an excellent homemade food gift idea for fall.
You can put vegan iced pumpkin cookies on a plate and take to your neighbour or to work, or bring them to a bake sale, party, or luncheon.
I also like to gift soft pumpkin cookies without frosting. I simply put them into a decorative jar, for example this gorgeous apothecary jar, and use natural twine to attach a free printable gift tag. Nice and easy!
And don’t forget to download more printable fall gift tags and get more DIY fall food gift ideas.
More pumpkin dessert recipes
And if you’re looking for more ways to use leftover canned pumpkin or dessert recipes using canned pumpkin thanks to these healthy pumpkin spice cookies, try these delicious pumpkin pancakes or healthy pumpkin muffins. These are also vegan gluten free pumpkin recipes.
Over to you!
Do you like pumpkin spice season and what is your favourite pumpkin spice recipe? Leave me a comment, I’d really love to know!
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