Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD

Pumpkin-Spice Lattes don’t tempt me, but Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are a completely different story! Granted, if you read my Cooking Light story on pumpkin nutrition, these aren’t the ideal way to get pumpkin each day. BUT they are definitely worth fitting in as a pumpkin treat over the next month or two since “pumpkin season” goes through the winter. 

Since I’m more of a cook than a baker, you know the recipe for Pumpkin Sugar Cookies is going to be easy and super-flexible too (as in REALLY hard to mess up!). Roll dough out and cut – or take it easy and drop by spoonfuls. Eat plain or add a drizzle of icing or glaze. You seriously can’t mess them up!

Give them a try and let me know what you think by sharing your final product on social media! Be sure to tag me : Instagram @realfoodreallife_rd / Facebook @Real Food. Real Life. - Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies No Icing Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

You’ll love the taste of this seasonal spin on a classic favorite just as much as you’ll love the ease of the recipe! | Makes 2 Dozen 


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup light brown sugar 

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place butter, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and sugar in a bowl. Beat with a mixer until blended. Add egg; beat to incorporate. 

  3. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a bowl; stir gently to combine. Add to pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined. 


    1. To Make Drop Cookies: Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and center looks set. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to cool on rack. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

    2. To Make Rolled Cookies: Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to about a ½ inch thickness. Cut cookies out using a 2½ to 3-inch circle cookie cutter (or the top of glass). Gently place on parchment paper on baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining dough. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. NOTE: If not rolling out dough immediately, refrigerate until ready to roll and bake. 

  5. Cool completely before adding icing. 

Cream Cheese Icing


  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk

  • OPTIONAL: pinch of pumpkin pie spice and/or kosher salt


  1. With a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar then 1 tablespoon of milk, beat until smooth. Continue to alternate powdered sugar and milk until icing is smooth and at preferred consistency. OPTIONAL: add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or kosher salt per taste.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies CarolynWilliamsRD.com