Libby’s pumpkin cookies are fall baking at its best! Drizzled with a sweet glaze, the cookies are soft, fluffy, and well-spiced. The recipe just melts in your mouth and is perfect for all of your holiday parties.
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Old-fashioned soft pumpkin cookies
There’s nothing like a batch of freshly baked pumpkin cookies this time of year! And Libby’s pumpkin cookies are simply perfect for fall! It’s such a simple recipe, full of nostalgic flavors.
These old-fashioned pumpkin cookies are made with canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla. When you pull them out of the oven, your whole house will smell warm and cozy.
They aren’t like your typical crispy or chewy cookie. Instead, they have a fluffy, cake-like texture, similar to muffin tops.
The cookies are a festive holiday baking project and make an excellent gift for family and friends. And since there’s zero chill time, you can pull them together last minute.
Pumpkin puree cookies are made with simple ingredients. As long as you have a can of pumpkin, I bet you find everything else in your pantry too. Please scroll down to the recipe card below for ingredient quantities.
- Canned pumpkin: You need puree pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. I highly recommend Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin. It has the best flavor and doesn’t contain as much moisture as other brands.
- All-purpose flour is the main dry ingredient in this pumpkin cookie recipe.
- Sugar: The cookies are perfectly sweetened with white granulated sugar. By creaming it with butter, the sugar keeps the cookies moist and soft.
- Butter: Let the butter soften on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes beforehand. I like to use salted butter in my baking. Unsalted butter will work fine too, simply add a pinch of salt.
- Egg: One large egg acts as a binder and brings the dough together. Let the egg warm up on the counter with the butter.
- Spices: Vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg are staples in fall baking and provide a warm, cozy aroma.
- Leavening: Libby’s pumpkin cookies use both baking soda and baking powder to achieve a soft, cake-like texture.
Canned pumpkin cookies taste great on their own, but if you want to make them even more special, drizzle them with a super simple glaze. It looks pretty and adds a sweet finishing touch.
You’ll need powdered sugar, some milk, a tad of softened butter, and vanilla extract. The glaze is optional. Alternately, leave the cookies blank or frost them with cream cheese frosting.
Libby’s pumpkin cookie recipe comes together so quickly and easily, that you’ll want to make them all throughout the fall season. Here’s how to make them:
#1: Prepare for baking
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line baking sheets with parchment (baking) paper.
#2: Combine dry ingredients
Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
#3: Mix cookie dough
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer and large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth and no yellow streaks remain. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
#4: Scoop out cookies
Using a 1-tbsp cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Leave 2 in / 5 cm around each cookie.
#5: Bake pumpkin cookies
Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops no longer look wet and the edges are set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
#6: Mix glaze
Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the cookies.
These tips will help you bake soft, fluffy pumpkin cookies that look just as good on the outside as they taste inside.
- Measure accurately: Be sure to measure the flour accurately. I highly recommend weighing it with kitchen scales, but you can achieve the same results by using the spoon and level method.
- Don’t overmix the dough: While you want the ingredients fully combined, overmixing will produce too much gluten, leading to dense and tough cookies.
- Space them apart: The cookies expand and spread on the baking sheet during baking. So make sure to have enough space in between each cookie.
- Let cool before glazing: Allow the cookies to cool before drizzling, so the glaze doesn’t absorb into the cookies.
- Chocolate chips: Skip the glaze and add 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips to the cookie dough before scooping for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
- Nuts: Fold in 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts for a nutty crunch.
- Whoopie pies: Frost the bottom of a cookie with cream cheese icing or buttercream and sandwich it with another cookie, creating pumpkin sandwich cookies.
How to store Libby’s pumpkin cookies
Store your pumpkin cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Layer the cookies between paper towels to avoid them sticking together.
Freeze soft pumpkin cookies
To freeze, let the cookies cool completely. Then flash-freeze the cookies on a baking sheet for 1 to 2 hours. When frozen solid, transfer them into a freezer space. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve, place the cookies in an even layer on a plate or baking sheet and let thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
Storing and freezing unbaked dough
- Fridge: You can make the dough ahead of time and store it in an airtight container. It will last for 2 days in the fridge.
- Freezer: Scoop cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 to 2 hours. Once solid, transfer the frozen dough scoops into a freezer bag and freeze for 1 to 2 months.
- Bake: When ready, bake the frozen cookies at 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5 for 10 to 12 minutes.
Can I make these cookies with fresh pumpkin puree?
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin puree, but there’s an extra step you want to take. Fresh pumpkin puree is a water-heavy ingredient and contains more moisture than canned pumpkin.
To get the perfect texture, I recommend blotting the fresh pumpkin puree. Place the pumpkin puree into a wide bowl. Then press paper towels onto the surface of the pumpkin until saturated. Repeat this process a couple of times.
What is the difference between canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling?
You’ll usually find pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie next to each other in the baking aisle at the grocery store. They look pretty similar, and it’s easy to get them mixed up.
However, there are some differences that you want to keep in mind when cooking and baking with pumpkin:
- Canned pumpkin consists of pureed pumpkin flesh without any additives.
- Pumpkin pie filling contains ingredients that typically go into pumpkin pie. It’s made with pumpkin, spices, and sugar.
Reasons to love Libby’s pumpkin cookies
- Taste: The cookies are buttery, sweet, and flavorful. They pack the delicious fall aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Texture: These pumpkin cookies have a wonderful cakey texture that is soft and fluffy. They remind me of pumpkin muffins.
- Ease: The recipe doesn’t require any chilling – the dough goes from bowl to oven in minutes, which is great when you need a quick treat or baking with kids.
More pumpkin recipes to make this fall
If you are a pumpkin lover, you’ll enjoy these our other pumpkin recipes. They are perfect for fall and winter, and a must for the holiday season.