Pumpkin Pie Sugar CookiesJump to Recipe
Any long-time Macheesmo reader knows I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I can’t help but try my hand at a few cookies throughout the fall holidays. These Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies started as a simple sugar cookie that I iced with bright orange icing.
The first of these cookies was a bit one-dimensional, so I got the idea to actually fill the cookies with a quick pumpkin pie filling! WOWZA.
The result is a true pumpkin pie sugar cookie that takes a little more patience, for sure, but it’s hands down one of the best cookies I’ve made. The pumpkin flavor is excellent and the thin layer of pumpkin pie filling in a cookie keeps the cookie perfectly moist, even if it sits for a few days.
Dive into making some fun festive fall cookies in the next few weeks! These would be great to have at a Halloween party or just to bring into the office for a fun afternoon pick-me-up!
Table of contents
Canned pumpkin vs Roasted Pumpkin
Any time I’m working with pumpkin, there is always a debate in my head about whether I should roast a full pie pumpkin or if I can just open up a can of pumpkin puree.
For the record, it’s almost never the answer to use canned pumpkin pie filling. I don’t like that stuff.
Generally though, I’ll opt for a full pie pumpkin if I just want to go the super-traditional route on a pumpkin pie, or make something that really benefits from the whole roasted pumpkin like this pumpkin curry recipe.
Most days, especially with baked goods like these pumpkin cookies, I will almost always reach for a can of pumpkin puree just for ease of use.
Making the Sugar Cookie Base
Believe it or not, there is no typo here in this recipe. There aren’t any eggs in this cookie dough. The dough recipe just has pumpkin, sugars, all purpose flour, leavening ingredients, and a whole bunch of spices. The pumpkin works great as a binder and keeps the cookies moist. No egg needed!
I used a stand mixer to beat everything together really well, but you could use a hand mixer to cream the ingredients together as well.
Start the sugar cookie dough by creaming together the butter and sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer. Then add the pumpkin and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined.
Next, portion out your cookies and roll them in sugar before placing them on a sheet pan. Then use a measuring cup to flatten them.
TIP: Dip the bottom of the measuring cup in sugar as well and it won’t stick to the cookies.
Bake these cookies for five minutes and they will puff up some and spread out slightly.
Importantly, remove them from the oven and use the same measuring cup to press down on them a second time. This will make an indentation for your pumpkin pie filling!
Then you can finish baking the cookies and they will bake through with indentation in place!
Filling the sugar cookies with pumpkin pie filling
To make this easy pumpkin pie filling, whisk together the pumpkin puree with the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. There’s no need to cook this filling.
Once your cookies are baked, you can add the filling to each cookie either with a spoon or a piping bag if you want to get fancy!
Finishing the pumpkin pie sugar cookies
I still like to add a layer of royal icing to the cookies just for appearance and to really give the cookies a pumpkin pie look. If you wanted to simplify the cookies though, you
could leave off the royal icing and just do the pumpkin pie filling and whipped cream. That would be a step easier and equally delicious!
Assuming you want to take these pumpkin pie cookies to the ultimate level, make your royal icing! I’m getting better at royal icing. You can check out my meme cookies post for more details on the icing.
The key ingredient for the icing is meringue powder which makes the icing easy to flood on top of the pumpkin filling and it dries in a beautiful, shiny coating.
Just to make these completely over the top, I added fresh whipped cream also.
If you are planning on stacking these cookies, obviously skip the whipped cream!
Now for assembly! Once your cookies are completely cool, fill them with a thin layer of pumpkin pie filling.
Honestly, they would be good just like that with some whipped cream, but you can frost them with a thin layer of royal icing if you want to finish off the look.
These pumpkin pie sugar cookies not only look great, but they are seriously some of the best cookies I’ve made. Huge hit with everyone that tried one!
The filling is just enough to keep the cookies moist and adds a nice element that isn’t too sweet. It’s a little extra work, sure, but definitely worth it!
Substitutions and Ideas
Here are some ideas for different takes you could do with these cookies.
- For a thinner sugar cookie, skip the pumpkin filling and just ice the cookies and top with whipped cream.
- To simplify the spices in the list, skip the individual spices and use pumpkin pie spice.
- Change up the frosting with a cream cheese frosting rather than a royal icing. Similar to these Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting from The Recipe Critic.
Storing these cookies for later
If you are storing these for later, they keep really well actually. They will be fine on the counter for a day or two or you can keep them in the fridge for longer.
If you are storing them for later, skip the whipped cream on top. That won’t keep longer than a few minutes so add that ingredient right before serving.
My Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookie Recipe
Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar + extra for shaping
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Whipped cream for topping
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Cinnamon Royal Icing:
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Orange food coloring gel
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, cream together unsalted butter and sugars until the mixture is light and slightly fluffy. Then mix in pumpkin and vanilla and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add that to the mixing bowl until just mixed together. Try not to overwork dough.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make cookies by rolling a heaping tablespoon-sized ball of dough in your hands and then rolling it in sugar. Place it on a baking sheet and press down on the dough ball with a ¼ cup measuring cup to flatten it. Repeat with all the cookies. Don’t crowd the cookies on the baking sheet. I shoot for 8 cookies per sheet.
- TIP: If your measuring cup is sticking to the dough, dip it in sugar.
- Bake flattened cookies for 5 minutes. Then, remove them and use the measuring cup to make a divot in each cookie for the filling. You can press down firmly on the cookies at this point. Return to the shaped cookies to the oven for another 6-7 minutes to finish cooking.
- When cookies come out of the oven, let cookies cool before filling and frosting them.
For Pumpkin Filling:
- Whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices until smooth.
- Once your cookies are cool, either spoon the filling into the cookies or pipe them in with a flat piping tip.
For Cinnamon Icing:
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or by hand), whisk together meringue powder and water until there are no lumps. Then, whisk in the cinnamon and powdered sugar in 1 cup batches.
- The icing should turn smooth and flat after about 10 seconds if you drizzle some on itself. Add water to the icing in very small increments (by the drop or with a spray bottle) until you get the right consistency for it. Add orange color after the consistency is right.
- Pipe the icing on the cooled and filled cookies to cover the filling. Then, dot with whipped cream before serving.
- Cookies keep well in the fridge for a few days, but leave off the whipped cream until right before serving.
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.