Soft Pumpkin Cookies

There’s a bakery in Seattle’s Pike Place Market that bakes monstrous, soft pumpkin cookies. Whenever I visited, I always made a beeline for them.

I haven’t had one in years, but when my husband accidentally bought a can of pureed pumpkin pie mix, those cookies instantly popped into my brain. And suddenly I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could create a healthy version of them.

These cookies were phenomenal. They have the perfect consistency – they’re soft, chewy and keep together even though there are no eggs or flax in them. They have a mellow, nicely spiced flavour and they’re not too sweet.

And you know what would make them even more spectacular? A smear of this icing on top.

You should really go and make these. Right now.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, egg-free
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
  • 1¾ cup gluten-free flour of choice (I used a mix of brown rice flour, garfava flour and sorghum flour)
  • ½ cup arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened (not melted - you want it to have the consistency of soft butter)
  • 1 cup organic pureed pumpkin pie mix (or 1 cup regular pumpkin mixed with dashes of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove)
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • ½ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate, smaller bowl, cream the coconut oil and coconut sugar until well mixed, then add the pumpkin, applesauce, vanilla and hot water. Mix well.
  3. Combine the wet and the dry mixtures and mix well.
  4. Grab dough in scant ¼ cup amounts and roll it into balls, then flatten them slightly. You can make them larger or smaller, depending on your preference. Place on two baking sheets lined with a silpat or parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and lightly browned at the edges, and the bottoms are slightly golden brown.


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23 Responses to Soft Pumpkin Cookies

  1. Danielle May 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    These should great! Thanks for adding in the note about the coconut oil. I am never sure what consistency it should be.

    What proportions did you use for the flour mix? Or should it not matter too much?

    • Sondi Bruner May 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      I used about a cup of brown rice, 1/4 cup of sorghum and 1/2 cup of garfava. I’ve tried other combos and they work well, too.

  2. Big Hungry Gnomes May 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Your cookies sound delicious. I love the idea of using a pumpkin puree lightly spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and clove to flavour something sweet. Thanks for sharing great recipe

  3. Meredith Rose Ashe May 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    These look so yummy! I absolutely love pumpkin, and I think I know which bakery you refer to :)

    On a side note, do you take suggestions for recipes?

  4. frugalfeeding May 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    I love soft cookies! These look delicious.

  5. Taryn @Design, Dining Diapers May 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Oh my gosh these look amazing, I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin and I’m GF. I also live in Seattle so I’m going to have to try that bakery you are talking about! Thanks for sharing these.

  6. Mekala May 9, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Is it pumpkin pie MIX or canned pureed pumpkin?

    • Sondi Bruner May 9, 2012 at 8:09 am #

      I used a canned pumpkin pie mix – it was basically pureed pumpkin with spices added to it. You could certainly use plain canned pumpkin, and then add the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc) yourself.

      • Danielle May 9, 2012 at 8:11 am #

        I had some leftover canned pumpkin puree a while ago and froze it (in a tupperware container). Have you ever thawed from frozen before? I am wondering if it could be a disaster trying to use it… Haha.

        • Sondi Bruner May 9, 2012 at 8:16 am #

          I’ve never used thawed pumpkin before. It might be a little more liquidy, but give it a try and see how it works!

  7. Michelle September 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    I just made these cookies — and they did’t expand, they tasted some-what floury, and when I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet — it was all crumbly. Why did this happen? I did use crystalized date sugar instead of coconut sugar; could that be it? I also forgot to cream the coconut oil with the sugar first before adding the pumpkin. And I used an electric beater. Can you help me?

    • Sondi Bruner September 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      I’m sorry these didn’t work for you! I’m not familiar with the properties of crystallized date sugar, so that could be the issue. Next time, try creaming your sugar with the coconut oil. It also sounds like your dough didn’t have enough liquid – you could also try adding a tablespoon of hot water, one at a time, until it comes together.

      • Michelle September 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

        Thanks Sondi!! I will do that!! Because they do taste good — they are just crumbly and kind of dry — so I will pay closer attention next time! and use more water! thank you!!

  8. Meredith Rose Ashe September 30, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    I just made these and they’re delicious! I used 3/4 c. all purpose GF flour, 1/2 c. each of coconut flour and brown rice flour. I used pumpkin puree instead of pumpkin pie mix (added 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon and ginger, and 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg and cloves), and made my liquid measurements on the “generous” side of the amounts listed as coconut flour absorbs more liquid. They turned out perfectly! I love pumpkin, and now I have a new recipe to gobble down again and again!

    • Sondi Bruner September 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      I’m glad that you liked these! This is definitely one of my favourite cookie recipes.

  9. February 3, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    “Soft Pumpkin Cookies « The Copycat Cook” was in fact a splendid blog, cannot help
    but wait to read much more of your articles.
    Time to squander a lot of time on-line hehe. Many thanks ,Lillie

  10. dee July 4, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    I love cookies. I’m looking for a good sesame seed cookie…everyone I try has a bit of a bitter aftertaste ( tahini )


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