The perfect blend of savory pumpkin and sweet maple, these pumpkin cookies are like taking a bite of a crisp fall day!
We’ve hit that time of year where you can’t go anywhere without having all things pumpkin spice thrown in your face. Coffee, donuts, you can even get pumpkin spice cheerios! (Speaking of donuts – you have to try this Pumpkin Spice Donut recipe!) I love fall flavors, but what I love most of all is REAL pumpkin.
So many of these “pumpkin spice” items don’t even have pumpkin in them, they’re just made with the same spices as in pumpkin pie. Not these cookies though – they’re chocked full of real pumpkin (along with all those other yummy spices too!). With a decadent maple icing to top them off, these soft pumpkin cookies are the perfect sweet treat!
PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH MAPLE FROSTING
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I love being in the kitchen – cooking, baking, recipe creating – any time spent in the kitchen is therapeutic for me. My absolute FAVORITE thing to do in the kitchen though is trying out new sweet treat recipes. I have a very real sweet tooth, so any chance I get to bake some new cookies or other desserts, I jump on it!
But, my biggest problem with baking is how HOT our house gets when the oven is on – especially in the summer. That’s why when fall brings crisp, cool nights, you can almost always find me in the kitchen testing out new recipes!
The smells wafting, the warmth swirling, the anticipation of a warm dessert coming my way…. ugh there’s really nothing better!
When fall arrives, I definitely take part in the pumpkin spice craze – that’s why I love this pumpkin cookie recipe so much. They warm up my kitchen as well as my soul 🙂
A few weeks ago, my neighbor came over for a girl’s baking night. She was looking for a simple cookie to bring to her in-laws for Thanksgiving and she wanted it to be just right. I told her that I had the PERFECT recipe for her and that we just had to try it out. (While catching up over a glass of wine!)
I knew that these iced pumpkin cookies were the exact treat she was looking for – they’re soft, fluffy, and have all the flavors of a warm pumpkin pie. They come together so fast and easy and that’s a good thing because you’ll eat them as fast as you can make them!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cookies and Maple Frosting
One thing I love so much about this recipe is that it’s made with simple ingredients that are almost always guaranteed to be in my pantry. The only “specialty” item you might need to grab from the store is the pumpkin puree. If you’re pumpkin obsessed (like me!) you’ll probably already have a few cans stocked up, if you’re not quite as into pumpkin as I am, you can find cans of the yummy puree in the baking aisle!
For the cookies you’ll need:
- Granulated sugar
- Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Cloves
If you don’t have all these spices on hand you can swap out for 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
For the frosting you’ll need:
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup (the real stuff… none of that fake business around here!)
How to Make Pumpkin Cookies
- Start by warming up your kitchen – I mean preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Can’t you just smell fall already??
- In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I like to use my stand mixer for this step because I can put the ingredients in, set it to spin away on its own, and get going on the next step. If you don’t have a stand mixer though, don’t worry – a hand mixer works just as well!
- Next, add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, you wouldn’t want any of that yummy pumpkin going to waste!
- Slowly add in the flour mixture until just combined – be careful not to over-mix, as with any cookie recipe, if you mix it too much then your cookies come out tough and nobody likes a tough cookie 🙂
- Next, grab a baking sheet and line it with some parchment paper or a handy dandy silicone baking mat.
- Drop the batter by the tablespoonful onto your prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.
- Bake for 12-15 min. Remove the cookies from the oven and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Last (and you don’t want to skip this step, as hard as it will be to wait) place the cookies on wire racks to cool. You can’t put on that yummy icing until they’re totally cooled!
How Do You Make Maple Icing?
I can be a bit of a syrup snob – I only love the real stuff (you know…pulled from a tree, boiled to perfection, straight from some quaint farm in New England). You may love the store-bought “fake” stuff, but unfortunately, that won’t really do the trick in this recipe. The consistency of that type of syrup is too different from true maple syrup, so the icing wouldn’t be right. So, I definitely suggest splurging and being a syrup snob like me (at least for this recipe).
Grab a small bowl and pour in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup. Whisk them all together until smooth. Really use your muscles – you don’t want any clumps of powdered sugar messing up your perfect cookies!
Once the cookies are cool, grab them one by one and dip the tops in icing. Set the iced cookie back on the cooling rack and allow the icing to set.
The maple icing will get a bit hard, which is the perfect contrast to the soft pumpkin cookies. They’re literally the BEST cookies… I think you’ll agree!
Can Iced Pumpkin Cookies be Frozen?
YES, YES, YES! I’m so glad you asked!
When making these pumpkin cookies, I’ll often make a double batch just so I can throw some in the freezer to have in case of emergencies. (In my mind an emergency can be as small as a craving…sometimes I need a cookie RIGHT NOW). But, you can’t just throw them in the freezer all willy-nilly and expect them to be just as great as fresh out of the oven.
Here are my tips and tricks to freezing and thawing these soft, delicious cookies:
- Allow them to cool COMPLETELY – you want the cookie cool and the icing hardened.
- Flash freeze them – place your cookies on a baking sheet (not touching!) and put the sheet in the freezer until the cookies are hardened through. This will help them to not stick together when you store them in the freezer.
- Once they’re flash-frozen, you can stack them in an AIR-TIGHT container or freezer bag. Because of the maple icing, you’ll want to stack them in layers separated by parchment paper. Wouldn’t want to lose any of that yumminess!
- When your cookie craving hits (or you forgot there’s bake sale at school tomorrow, oops), pull out your bag of frozen pumpkin cookies and let them defrost at room temperature. Then they’re good to go!
Looking for some more fall-inspired treats? Check out these other great options on Real Housemoms!
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bars
- Apple Pie Cookie Cups
- Apple Cherry Cobbler
- Pumpkin Chai Smoothie
- More DESSERT recipes…
Tools used to make his Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Frosting recipe
Mixing bowls: you’ll need at least 2 bowls for this recipe. (I always end up dirtying 3 somehow.) I love using these nesting mixing bowls. They stack so perfectly in the cabinet!
Stand mixer: I LOVE my stand mixer – as any faithful Real Housemoms follower knows. I use it for so many recipes!
*This post originally posted on 10/12/2013.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add in pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat everything together, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture while mixing on low speed. Continue to mix until just combined.
- Drop cookie dough by the tablespoonful onto your prepared baking sheet, 1-inch apart. I like to use a cookie scoop for this, but a measuring spoon works fine too.
- Place the cookies into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag. (see note)
- Once cookies have finished cooling, drizzle maple frosting over each cookie.
- Let the frosting sit for 5 minutes. Store in an air-tight container.