Melt in your mouth soft pumpkin cookies topped with rich caramel frosting. Simply the best pumpkin dessert out there and a must-make this fall!
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes for fall. I make these cookies every year, as well as my famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bars. The fall season just doesn’t feel right without enjoying these delicious pumpkin desserts!
These soft pumpkin cookies are one of my favorite cookie recipes from The I Heart Naptime Cookbook! Whenever I take them anywhere, my friends are always asking for the recipe. I just can’t even describe the amazing flavor that the caramel frosting adds. I could seriously eat the frosting all on it’s own! YUM!
This is the perfect cookie recipe to celebrate autumn, although we love making them year round, too. The cookies are so soft (they literally melt in your mouth) and the heavenly caramel frosting is worth making all on it’s own. You could also make these with a cream cheese frosting or mix chocolate chips in the batter for a fun twist. I’ve already made them twice. :) Mmm…so good!
The secret to soft pumpkin cookies
The extra soft texture is what makes these cookies so delicious. Here are a few ways to achieve it:
- Pumpkin and egg. Pumpkin can often be substituted for eggs in most desserts, so because this recipe calls for both pumpkin puree and an egg, the end result is a fluffy cake-like texture that will literally melt in your mouth.
- Line your pan. Make sure to line your pan with parchment or a silpat mat so that the bottoms don’t brown. If they brown, they’ll be too chewy.
- Don’t over bake. You almost want to slightly under bake these cookies. They only need to bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. They’ll continue baking on the pan for a few minutes once removed, then you can transfer them to a cooling rack.
How to make pumpkin cookies
- MIX. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Then add the pumpkin and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and salt. Add in the wet mixture and beat just until combined.
- SCOOP. Using a medium cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop dough onto a lined baking sheet.
- BAKE. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
These cookies taste delicious as-is, but adding frosting really takes them over the top. I have to admit – the caramel frosting has my heart, although cream cheese frosting tastes amazing on top too. It just comes down to preference.
- Caramel frosting: If you’re a fan of caramel, you’re going to love this frosting. The rich caramel flavor is absolutely heavenly and will literally melt in your mouth.
- Cream cheese frosting: This frosting is perfectly smooth and creamy, with a rich tangy taste from the cream cheese. It’s a great compliment to the pumpkin spice flavor.
- Buttercream: This is a classic that also adds great flavor. You could even mix in a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.
- Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before frosting. You don’t want it to melt.
- Once the caramel frosting is ready, frost the cookies immediately. It hardens quickly, so you have to work fast!
- Sometimes I add a candy pumpkin on top to make them more festive.
- You could skip the frosting all-together and mix in 1 cup chocolate chips before baking.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice before serving for even more flavor.
More delicious fall desserts:
- Pumpkin snickerdoodles
- Pumpkin whoopie pies with maple frosting
- 3-ingredient chocolate pumpkin cookies
- Pumpkin chocolate chip bread
- 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (more if needed)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Pinch of salt
For the Cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- Cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar in a large bowl. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Then add the pumpkin and mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and salt. Add in the pumpkin mixture and beat just until combined.
- Using a medium cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack.
For the Caramel Frosting:
- Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Whisk until it comes to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove caramel mixture from the stove and pour in a medium size bowl and allow to cool slightly. Mix in the vanilla and powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
- Frost immediately, as the frosting will begin to harden.