Soft Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons liquid turbinado sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon roasted ground ginger

colored sugar (optional)
confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 375. Line 3 cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy, the add the liquid turbinado sugar and egg.

In a second bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.. Add the dry mixture and pumpkin alternately to the sugar mixture. Mix until well combined. Drop tablespoons of dough onto the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired. Flatten the cookies slightly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 12 minutes. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies still on top!) onto wire racks. Cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen cookies

My thoughts:

A friend of ours was hosting a pumpkin themed party. He seemed to have the savory food covered so I thought I’d use the party as an excuse to make pumpkin cookies. It is well documented that while I like pumpkin, I do not like pumpkin pie or the combination of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice (despite liking all of the components of said spice) and avoid it at all costs. So these are pumpkin cookies! I think the expectation of the combination of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice (I partially blame a certain coffee shop chain with a penchant for seasonal flavors) is so ingrained in people that when they eat something that is just pumpkin they are surprised when it doesn’t taste like pumpkin pie. It is a shame because pumpkin by itself and paired with other flavors is so good! Luckily, I’ve been developing pumpkin pie spice-less recipes for years now as part of my quest to lure people away from pumpkin pie: pumpkin black bottoms, pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, pumpkin spiked chili, pumpkin coconut bread, pumpkin power muffins, pumpkin cornbread, pumpkin pancakes with homemade cinnamon butter, perhaps my most popular pumpkin recipe: pumpkin cheesecake brownies and my personal favorite, pumpkin five spice sweet rolls.

This are softer, chewier cookies, like most cookies made with pumpkin, so don’t expect a crisp cookie. But they are moist, flavorful and pumpkin-y which more than makes up for a snap.


  1. Never Took Home Ec

    Roasted ground ginger? Is that available in stores, or are you supposed to DIY? (And if I'm lazy and just use regular ground ginger from a jar, will I be missing out on some amazing nuance?)

  2. I will gladly give up the snap for pumpkin flavor! The pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies I made a couple of weeks ago to satisfy a craving were sadly missing the pumpkin flavor. I can't wait to try your recipe!

  3. McCormick makes it. It is sold everywhere. It tastes well, roasted, so not exactly like regular ginger.


    I've blogged twice in the last month nasty proliferation of pumpkin-spiced products, and while I don't mind the combo of pumpkin and spice, it has been absolutely overkill this year. That said, I can't wait to try theses cookies, because I do love pumpkin, especially a more savory handling of it. Question, though, where do you find liquid turbinado sugar? I have the crystals, so could I sub 3 extra tablespoons of water or juice? Or grade B maple syrup? Thanks.

  5. Sugar in the Raw makes liquid turbinado sugar. I've seen it at Target, Safeway etc near sugar/agave nectar. I would sub golden syrup, maple syrup or molasses. You need something sticky to help bind it all together.

  6. I have problems with some of the spice in pumpkin spice. So thanks for a more "pure" recipe. I am looking forward to trying it.