Soft Pumpkin Cookie Recipe (With Cream Cheese Icing)

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Soft pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese icing are my favorite fall treat.   This pumpkin cookie recipe has been a family favorite for decades, and every time I make it for new people, I get more recipe requests than for any other recipe I make.  These pumpkin cookies really are that good.

Soft pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese icing, with text overlay reading "Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting."

It's September!  That means it's fall, and we can bring out all the fabulous pumpkin stuff, right?  That might be wishful thinking here in Phoenix, where it's supposed to reach a high of 108 degrees today, but it's not going to stop me from whipping up a batch of delicious (and for me, optimistic) pumpkin cookies with cream cheese icing.

These cookies are soft, fluffy, perfectly spiced, moist--in a word, INCREDIBLE.  

Ingredients and recipe card for soft pumpkin cookie recipe.

They've been a family favorite, and a particular favorite of mine for so long that my recipe card reads "From Mommy to Nikki."  Mommy.  Clearly one of the first recipes I requested for my very own recipe box!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cookies Recipe on a white marble surface.

Soft Pumpkin Cookie Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large (29oz) can of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Pumpkin cookie dough for the soft pumpkin cookie recipe.

Mix the sugar and shortening together, and beat until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat.  Add spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda, pumpkin, and mix together.  Add the flour last, mixing just until incorporated.

Pumpkin cookie dough scooped on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Scoop the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes.  

Freshly baked soft pumpkin cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

I think these are absolutely delicious without any topping, but pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting are even better.  Let cool completely before icing the cookies.  

Soft Pumpkin Cookie with cream cheese frosting on a pumpkin patterned background.

This recipe is large, and makes 90 cookies (7 1/2 dozen).  It can't easily be halved, since the recipe uses 3 eggs.  But the cookies are SO GOOD that you'll want to eat them all.   Because it's such a large batch, and because I really shouldn't eat them all myself (though I want to), I very often make these cookies for potlucks or parties, so I can share the pumpkin cookie bounty with many friends.  I always--always--get multiple requests for the recipe when I bring these cookies.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting:

These soft pumpkin cookies are best topped with cream cheese frosting.   There's just something magical about pumpkin baked goods topped with cream cheese frosting, isn't there?

Soft pumpkin cookies being frosted with cream cheese icing.

You can use a piping bag to make a fancier swirl of the icing, but I prefer just to use a metal cake decorating spatula to spread the icing on top.  

Pumpkin Cookies with cream cheese icing on a pumpkin print background.

 I like the look--homey and casual and warm and inviting--and I like the ratio of icing I end up with better.  

Two pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese frosting on a floral background..

They're good without the icing, too, but with the icing...ooooooh baby.  It's magical!

Soft pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting in a line on a white marble table.

What's your favorite fall pumpkin treat?

Printable, One Page Soft Pumpkin Cookie Recipe:

Navigational image leading reader to printable, one page pdf version of the soft pumpkin cookies recipe

Other Pumkin Recipes You Might Like:

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for cranberry pumpkin bread

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for pumpkin pie frosting

Navigational image leading reader to recipe for pumpkin biscotti

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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