These Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are a fall favorite. Savory pumpkin, warm cinnamon, and a deep and sweet brown sugar frosting come together for the perfect autumn dessert. Make ahead and freeze, or eat straight out of the oven.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This is my grandma's recipe, and it is such a classic. You are going to love this recipe because:
- This recipe is simple, comes together flawlessly, and produces delicious results.
- These are soft and chewy pumpkin cookies that are made in under 30 minutes!
- Its a delicious change from the standard pumpkin and chocolate chip combo.
About The Ingredients
For your grocery list, you'll need:
- Canned Pumpkin Puree - make sure that you select canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin pie filling has a different consistency and added spices. You want to use the pure pumpkin for this recipe.
- Shortening - in place of butter, we use shortening in this recipe. You can use either the butter flavor or the original flavor. Both work beautifully.
- Leavener and spices - for cookies you want to add something to make them rise. We are using baking soda in the recipe as well as salt to activate it. For a nice fall flavor, we are also using cinnamon.
How Do I Make Soft Pumpkin Cookies
I'm going to break this into two parts - the cookie baking, and the frosting making. So let's start with the cookies.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl combine shortening and sugar.
Step 2: Cream together until smooth.
Step 3: Add in eggs and canned pumpkin puree.
Step 4: Mix to combine.
Step 5: Pour in flour.
Step 6: Add 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Step 7: Mix until well combined.
Step 8: Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoon onto un-greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until cookie is set.
Pro Tip - cookies do not need to be browned to be done. If cookies are browned, they are overdone and will be dry.
The Brown Sugar Frosting
This frosting is going to knock your socks off! You'll need:
A few notes about the frosting ingredients:
- Salted Butter - use a quality salted butter. Avoid using unsalted butter. Salted produces a richer flavor in this frosting.
- Dark Brown Sugar - this frosting has a distinct brown sugar flavor, so make sure you purchase a quality dark brown sugar.
How Do I Make Brown Sugar Frosting?
Rather than the traditional cream cheese frosting, we are making a brown sugar frosting. This is such a delicious addition to pumpkin cookies.
Step 1: While cookies are baking - prepare the frosting. In a medium mixing bowl combine brown sugar and butter.
Step 2: Cream together.
Step 3: Add powdered sugar.
Step 4: Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and milk.
Step 5: Mix until smooth. Add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, for a thinner frosting.
Step 6: Frost cookies while they are still warm.
Can I Freeze These Pumpkin Cookies?
These cookies freeze like a dream - so feel free to double the recipe and freeze them for future indulging. I just leave them on my cooling rack, place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes until they are firm and then store them in a freezer bag. That way the icing stays perfect and you don't have to worry about placing them perfectly on plates. When you are ready to eat, take them out of the freezer, lay in a single layer on a plate for about 30 minutes and you have fresh baked cookies. At least that's how they taste!
Soft Pumpkin Cookie FAQ
You can pick up a can of pumpkin in the baking aisle. Libby is a popular brand of pumpkin, but you can also select a store brand canned pumpkin.
These cookies last 3-5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat, take them out of the freezer, lay in a single layer on a plate for about 30 minutes and you have fresh baked cookies. At least that's how they taste!
Yes! And it is recommended! :) Freeze the ones you don't use.
The shortening in this recipe is what makes them so light and fluffy. If you substitute with butter, the cookies will not have the same textures. So we do not recommend this substitution.
Looking for more delicious pumpkin recipes? Try out our:
- World's Best Pumpkin Cake
- Easy Pumpkin Muffins,
- Easy Pumpkin Bread
- The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ½ cups shortening
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 teaspoon milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the shortening and sugar.
- Add pumpkin, eggs, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Drop by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. Until cookies are set.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool.
- In a medium mixing bowl cream together butter and brown sugar.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Mix until smooth.
- Add more milk, by the tsp, to thin out the frosting.
- Spread frosting over cookies and let cool completely before serving.
So so good! Crowd pleasers for sure (except i eat half of them on the way to deliver them to friends :) perfect pick me up treat for sick friends too..soft and easy to eat! The frosting really makes them amazing!
Came out perfect. The brown sugar icing perfect match with the pumpkin cookie
The absolute best pumpkin cookies ever.
Kelly G says
Wow! Made these today! They are so so good! I loved the size of them. They were the perfect little fall treat! I was also surprised how many the recipe made. I have some stored in the freezer for later. Thanks for including that I could freeze them in the recipe notes!
*I ended up only having light brown sugar for the frosting and it still turned out super delicious.
These look so good!!! Can’t wait to make these! Can butter be substituted for the shortening?? (1-1)