Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting

These cookies were my very first pumpkin treat of this season.  To be honest, I’m pretty surprised that I haven’t had a pumpkin spice latte yet – it’s unheard of for me.  I think I need to fix that soon.

At the end of last year, I hoarded a ridiculous amount of canned pumpkin.  It took me forever to find pumpkin in the stores last fall, so when I finally got my hands on some I dumped them in my cart quicker than you can imagine.  And those cans have taken up quite a bit of precious space in my tiny pantry, but it was so worth it.  I had plenty to turn to when the craving for something pumpkin struck.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting

I debated back and forth over whether I should make muffins or cookies, but of course my love for cookies won out in the end.  These cookies are more cake-like in texture, very soft and moist.  They are full of pumpkin flavor, with the perfect hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.  And then there’s the frosting.  While I loved these cookies all on their own, the frosting really makes them extra special.  The hint of maple plays wonderfully with the pumpkin and adds just a bit of extra sweetness.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting

While you certainly don’t need to add sprinkles for decoration, I couldn’t help myself.  My husband actually came home with these as a surprise after running some errands.  He knows me well… I’m pretty sure I may have danced a little when I saw them.  Total food nerd.

Yield: about 45 cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting

Recipe for soft pumpkin cookies. Cake-like, moist cookies filled with fall flavors and topped with a maple buttercream frosting.

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For the cookies:

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups (1 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • few tablespoons milk, if needed


  1. To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs and mix until incorporated. Add in the pumpkin, evaporated milk and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. (The batter may look like it is not coming together but once the ingredients are incorporated go ahead add the flour). With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
  4. Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet using a large cookie scoop (about a heaping tablespoon), spacing the cookies 1 inch apart. Keep the dough in the refrigerator while not in use, otherwise it will not be firm enough to scoop and the cookies will not hold their shape while baking.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The tops should spring back if you touch them gently. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting: Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar (so it doesn’t go everywhere). Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined. Add in the salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Beat on low speed until incorporated and then increase the speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. If you need to thin out your frosting, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Add more sifted confectioners’ sugar to thicken your frosting.
  7. Spread frosting as desired on each cooled cookie. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.

Do not substitute pumpkin pie filling for the pumpkin puree

I had a little bit of frosting leftover. Depending on how heavily frosted you like your cookies, you can probably reduce the quantities by a ¼ and have enough.

Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart. Frosting adapted from Savory Sweet Life.