Pumpkin Sugar Cookies


Why wait for December to roll out a batch of sugar cookies? We dreamt up an excuse to make them two whole months earlier. This recipe is an adaptation of our favorite sugar cookie recipe, but instead of another stick of butter, we substituted a half cup of pure pumpkin puree. The results are tender and slightly chewy (although you can bake them a tad longer if you like a crispier cookie). They’d be divine sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar before baking, but we like to dress them up with a little tinted royal icing for a festive finish. Put them out if you’re hosting the pre (or post) trick-or-treating festivities.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
If you’re harboring a secret obsession for pumpkin spiced foods, it’s time to come out of the closet. This recipe teaches you how to make a homemade pumpkin spice mix (it’s really just a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice) so you have nothing to be ashamed of. Mix it into a quick homemade batch of sugar cookie dough along with some pumpkin puree and you’ve got the makings of an intensely seasonal fall cookie. Roll the dough out flat, punch them out with a pumpkin cutter, and bake them for just about 10 minutes for tender and chewy results. One of our favorite parts: decorating them with royal icing is almost as fun as carving a real-life jack-o-lantern. Get the recipe:Pumpkin Sugar Cookies. Photo: Grace Elkus
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
30 cookies


  • Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch ground cloves

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • ½ cup pure pumpkin puree

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Royal Icing for Decorating

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1 pound confectioners sugar

  • Orange and green food coloring or sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and cloves in a large bowl.

  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars together until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat to combine. Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough to a ¼-inch thick. Using a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut into shapes and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them 1½ inches apart. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

  5. Bake until just beginning to brown at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

  6. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and confectioners sugar on low speed until smooth and shiny. Divide icing into 2 or three bowls and tint with green or orange food coloring as desired. Transfer icing into a piping bag or a resealable plastic bag (snip the corner just before decorating). Decorate cookies as desired.

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