These pumpkin snickerdoodles are super soft and chewy (not cakey!), made with real pumpkin, and coated in cinnamon and sugar. The perfect cookie recipe for fall!
I have to admit, I’ve never really loved pumpkin cookies very much. I love pumpkin and cookies, but the problem with them is that they tend to be cakey and not really taste like cookies. I’d much rather just eat a piece of pumpkin cake.
So I set out to create a pumpkin cookie recipe that was soft, chewy, and loaded with pumpkin flavor. No cakey cookies anywhere in sight!
And let me tell you, this pumpkin snickerdoodle recipe delivers all of that. Not only are they super soft and chewy, but these cookies have actual pumpkin in them too.
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
This recipe starts out with some of your usual snickerdoodle cookie ingredients, but with a few adjustments to give them lots of pumpkin flavor.
The full ingredient list and instructions are towards the bottom of the post, but I wanted to quickly go over a few key ingredients:
- All-purpose flour: This provides the structure for your cookies. One important note – make sure that you measure your flour with the spoon and level method. If you scoop your flour from the container it can become compacted and cause your cookies to turn out cakey.
- Pumpkin pie spice: If you don’t have any on hand, you can use my homemade pumpkin pie spice recipe instead.
- Cream of tartar: The cream of tartar is what gives snickerdoodles a little bit of a tangy taste and also reacts with the baking soda to help the cookies rise. You can technically leave it out since this recipe uses brown sugar which reacts with the baking soda as well.
- Sugar: I used a mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar, both to add sweetness and a little moisture to these pumpkin snickerdoodles.
- Egg yolk: This recipe doesn’t call for a whole egg, just the egg yolk. I promise that’s not a mistake! One of the main reasons pumpkin cookies tend to turn out cakey is because pumpkin adds moisture to the batter. In order to avoid this problem, I removed some moisture by just using an egg yolk instead of the whole egg.
- Pumpkin puree: Be careful to buy pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling by accident.
How to Make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
To make the cookies, start by whisking together the flour, spices, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set it aside while you prepare the wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl, cream together the unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Then, mix in the egg yolk, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.
Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them together until just combined.
Once you make the cookie dough, it’s important to let the dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This will give the butter some time to firm back up and prevent the cookies from spreading too much in the oven.
Once the cookie dough is chilled, scoop it out and roll each ball of cookie dough in a cinnamon sugar mixture, then bake them.
The cookies are done once the tops are set. They will be soft when they first come out of the oven, but they will continue to set up as they cool.
Cookies may be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 1 week.
Cookie dough balls may be frozen for up to 3 months. Roll in the cinnamon sugar coating just before baking and bake from frozen for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Baked cookies will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw to room temperature before serving.
- Don’t over mix your butter and sugar! You only need to mix them together for 1 to 2 minutes, just until they’re well combined. If you over mix, it could potentially cause the cookies to have a cakier texture.
- You will have quite a bit of pumpkin puree leftover. You could easily double this recipe to make more cookies or use the extra pumpkin in my pumpkin oatmeal cookies, pumpkin scones, or mini pumpkin pies.
- Be sure to chill your cookie dough for at least 30 minutes so your cookies don’t spread too much in the oven.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (190 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened (115 grams; 1 stick)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar (50 grams)
- 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (60 grams)
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract, then mix in the pumpkin puree, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon for the coating. Roll each ball of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar coating and place back on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until the cookies are set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.