Soft Batch Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

So I have a question for you. Does pumpkin literally go with anything these days? I was trying to think about Pumpkin Combos That Should Never Be and every time I thought of one, I googled out of curiosity and sure enough, pages of recipes. Pumpkin and olives? There’s a recipe for that. Pumpkin vinegar? Recipe for that, too. Pumpkin and mustard? Go ahead, google it. It’s kind of weird. Like, who would ever think those combos would be delicious? Apparently I’m the one living in a box…and now I kind of want to try a recipe or five.

Soft Batch Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Good thing it’s a complete no-brainer that pumpkin and cookies are meant to be. And to take it one step further, pumpkin and sugar cookies are a match made in paradise. I took a really, really old (but fabulous) recipe I posted way back in 2008 and decided it needed a pumpkin makeover. 1st batch = too bland, 2nd = too dry and puffy, 3rd = perfection. All of that work required a lot of pumpkin sugar cookie sampling. Of course, no one around here was complaining about that. Shocker.

Soft Batch Glazed Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

These pumpkin sugar cookies are perfectly soft with just the right amount of spiced pumpkin flavor and the simple icing is creamy and sweet with a special hint of cinnamon. I swirled the icing on fairly thick (um, because it’s sweet and yummy) but you could mix it on the thinner side and have a glaze-like consistency. It’s really up to you. And I really think someone should try adding just a smidgeon of soft cream cheese to the icing. And then invite me over. Ok?

Soft Batch Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

Soft Batch Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies


  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for pressing)
  • Icing:
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  2. In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), cream together the powdered sugar, granulated sugar and butter with a handheld electric mixer until combined. Slowly drizzle in the coconut oil and mix.
  3. Add the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix well.
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll into balls (if the dough seems sticky, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or lightly grease your hands - I was able to roll them right after mixing). Place the balls on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  6. Using a drinking glass with a flat bottom, dip the glass in the 1/2 cup sugar (lightly grease the bottom of the cup the first time to help the sugar stick) and press each cookie to about 1/4-inch thick, dipping the glass in the sugar between each cookie.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.
  8. For the icing, whisk together the powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add the milk (or cream) and whisk vigorously until smooth. Use more or less cream depending on the consistency you want (the thinner it is, the easier it will set so the cookies can be stacked).
  9. When the cookies are completely cooled, swirl a little icing on top of each cookie.

Recipe Source: adapted from this Sugar Gems recipe that I posted way back in 2008

64 Responses to Soft Batch Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

  1. Jennifer says:

    I had a can of pumpkin and was looking for something other than a chocolate chip cookie for dessert, and these hit the spot! Super good! My 5 year old proclaimed, “These are the best cookies I ever tasted!” Thanks for another winner of a recipe.

  2. stefanie says:

    I know I’m a few years late, but I came across this recipe today & made it with my 2 yr old. (We still had a random can of pumpkin hangin’ out leftover from fall.) Mess aside, we had a great time making these! The directions were clear, and they came our PERFECT! We were able to roll them into perfect balls without refrigerating, etc. My 2 yr old would have been perfectly content leaving it in batter form. πŸ˜‰ Needless to say, we ate them right out of the oven (ok, they cooled *just* a tad) & had a very hard time letting them cool long enough to frost them. I enjoy the added sweetness of the frosting, but honestly, they’re delicious without. I’ll definitely be making these come fall!

  3. meg says:

    Hi Mel:) I’m planning on making these tomorrow for my book club, and as I was making my list of ingredients to buy tomorrow, I noticed there is no butter in the frosting. I’ve never had a frosting without butter that didn’t taste uber sweet, like plain powdered sugar. But on the other hand, I totally trust you, so I guess this frosting must be awesome without butter in it? Thoughts? Thanks:)

  4. Kelsie says:

    Any idea how well these would work using ALL coconut oil (no butter)?

  5. Melanie says:

    I made these tonight using all whole wheat flour and they turned out great! I refrigerated the dough for several hours, rolled it out onto a piece of parchment that had been dusted with powdered sugar, and cut it into shapes using Halloween cookie cutters. I frosted them with a brown butter salted caramel cream cheese frosting and they were divinnnnnne. πŸ™‚

  6. Erin G says:

    These were SO good. My husband and I have been nibbling all night as the frosting dries. I only wish I’d doubled the batch!!

  7. Nicole H says:

    I made these after church today and sent some home with our HT. They are delicious cookies! They melt in your mouth and I agree with another commenter, that they aren’t overly sweet, which I liked a lot. The cookie goes so well with the sweet icing!

  8. Laura says:

    Made these over the weekend and they are a huge hit over here! The perfect amount of spice. Thanks!!

  9. Katie says:

    I love pumpkin, spices, and autumn flavours so I literally went to the kitchen and made a batch of these when I saw the recipe today! The cookies are just coming out of the oven and they are a perfect blend of pumpkin and spice! They are super soft and not overly sweet, which I love, You can really taste the pumpkin and spices! And the icing on top compliments the cookies perfectly!. Soo delicious!! Thanks Mel!!! =)

  10. Jennifer says:

    Do you think these could be used with cookie cutters? Or its it too soft? My kids want to decorate some and I think this spin on them would be yummy.

    • Mel says:

      I think these are a little soft for rolling out and using cutters (you could experiment adding more flour to make the dough sturdier but I’m afraid that might make the cookies dry).

  11. Bridget says:

    First I just want to say a BIG thank you for sharing your talents and posting so many delicious recipes. You are my go to site for dinner inspiration. Second, I am wondering what the cream of tartar does for this recipe? Do you think they would still work without it?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Bridget – it helps a bit with flavor and also activating the leavening in the cookies so I’d keep it in there if you have it on hand.

  12. Cammee says:

    I have a most beloved pumpkin cookie with a brown sugar glaze that is a family favorite. I have a couple kids who aren’t big cream cheese frosting fans so we’ve stuck solely with that one. I’m glad to have another delicious option!

  13. Sherri says:

    These turned out PERFECTLY. Seriously. Like amazing. They weren’t too pumpkin-y or too heavy in spices. I refrigerated mine for a little before baking, and they held their shape very well. I added about 2 TB of softened cream cheese to the frosting and it was just perfect. I added some sprinkles over the frosting for a little crunch. Just amazing. Thank you!

  14. Erica says:

    Just wanted to reply to Jennifer’s comment. Butter is not bad for your heart! That myth is based on bad science and perpetuated by food companies interested in making money. The Big Fat Truth by Nina Teicholz is a good read.

  15. Anne says:

    Mel, how do you do it? They were great. Perfect size, perfect texture, perfect flavor.

  16. Cyndi B says:

    I made these today. I didn’t have coconut oil so subbed in canola oil. These came out really good. I especially like the topping,i made mine more glaze-like and thry dried nice and shiny. As an added bonus, your house smells sooo good while these are baking. Thanks Mel!

  17. Nate says:

    The crumb on these is incredible! They lasted about 5 seconds when I took them in for my employees the other day. Thanks for another fabulous recipe!

  18. Kristin says:

    These are super duper delicious!! Love finding new ways to use pumpkin. Going to use the leftover on my grandmas pumpkin roll! Can’t get enough pumpkin!

  19. Char Riippi says:

    could I use pumpkin pie spice instead of using the different spices separately?

  20. Jennifer says:

    I made these last night to take to a pot luck dinner. Last minute I couldn’t go and my family was delighted! They loved the cookies! Defintely a new fall favorite at our house! I did add 1/4c. softened butter to the frosting/glaze. I liked the flavor it added. Butter makes everything better. Right? My daughter just reminded me it doesn’t make my heart better!

  21. These cookies look so good Mel! I just love soft cookies with lots of spices. I love gingerbread – I think these would be right up my alley!

  22. Holly says:

    I’m tempted to try this in bar format.

  23. Nicki says:

    Do you think I could replace the butter with coconut oil (so do a cup of coconut oil)? I have a couple dairy allergy kiddies. πŸ™‚

  24. Tricia says:

    I’m going to try these in a pumpkin bar form, for times sake!…..stop me if you think it won’t work!!! Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes Mel..I have to San Fran chops in the slow cooker right now!!

  25. Trina says:

    I have a jar of pre-mixed pumpkin spice. Can I substitute for the individual spices? If so, how much should I use? Just put up my fall decorations last night, so I’m ready for some pumpkin cookies! Thanks

  26. Pamela says:

    Was trying to figure out what to bake today to warm up the house. DD said she was wanting something with pumpkin the other day so these will be perfect. Going in to make them now. Will update with the final results.

    • Pamela says:

      Back to update. These are by far the best cookies I’ve made in a long time. I love that they aren’t overly sweet. The pumpkin flavor is easily tasted and the texture is amazing.

      I did make a couple of alterations based on what I had on hand. I left out the cloves since I am out of them (and not a big cloves fan anyways), I also used a whole egg instead of just the yolk since I had no plans for an egg white and didn’t want to waste it.

      I added a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg to the icing too, to taste since I wanted it more of a savory icing instead of a sweet icing. YUM!!!!!!! That icing would awesome on pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

      This cookie has been added to our holiday gift lineup. I’m sure everyone will love it.

  27. Of course it does go together with everything. I made a pumpkin gnocchi lately – yummy. Your cookies are next πŸ˜€

  28. Jennifer G. says:

    I knew I was going to make these tonight as soon as I saw them this morning. Just took the last batch out of the oven. They are soft without being too cakey. I really like the texture. I thinned the frosting and made it into a glaze. Just brushed on the tops of each cookie with a pastry brush. I think they are quite good but I’ll bet they will be even better tomorrow after the spices have a chance to mellow. I will make these again.

  29. These look incredible. Thanks so much. Pinning!

  30. Kim in MD says:

    These cookies look to die for, Mel! Pumpkin and olives? Not so much! πŸ˜‰ Oh, and what I wouldn’t give to be your recipe test taster. That’s one awesome job!

    • Helen in CA says:

      That’s ’cause you’re thinking sweet. Think pumpkin as a vegetable….think mediterrean and suddenly olives sound good w/pumpkin. It’s also wonderful in Thai chicken curry.

  31. mjfluke says:

    Laurel and I switched to using coconut oil on your recommendation. We both love the hint of coconut in our baking. So good…

  32. Beth says:

    Which coconut oil do you use for this recipe? Refined or unrefined? I am curious of the cookies have a coconut flavor to them.

  33. Char Riippi says:

    I do not have coconut oil; could I substitute another type of oil or butter? (if butter, how much should I use?)

  34. Char says:

    I do not have coconut oil; could I use another oil without changing the taste/flavor? (or butter and if so, how much would I use?)

  35. Debbie A says:

    I would love for your to come visit. Let me know when your in my area and I will have some of those yummy cookies waiting. Thanks for ALL the wonderful recipes you share.

  36. I like that these aren’t puffy and cakey looking! They’re perfect!

  37. Beverly says:

    I visited a friend this weekend, and came home with 6 pumpkins. Needless to say, I am
    looking for recipes, and these cookies look tantalizing, to say the least!

  38. LaRene says:

    Is canola oil interchangeable with coconut oil?

  39. Jessica says:

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them. I am allergic to coconut though – how would you recommend changing the recipe to skip the coconut oil?

  40. Amanda says:

    these look great! Any idea on a substitute for coconut oil?

  41. I love this idea, Mel, and it’s fun to see the reference to a post from 2008. I starting following you in 2009, so it’s a good reminder for me to check out anything I missed!

  42. Sherri says:

    Look SO yummy! Anything I could use to substitute the coconut oil with, if say I didn’t have any on hand and the thought of dragging two children to the store would rob me of my cookie making joy?

  43. You’re so right that pumpkins have been paired with everything. I thought I had a genius idea for Pumpkin Shandies…not as original as I had hoped (but definitely more delicious than pumpkin + olives).

  44. Blayre says:

    These are on my to bake list for this week, no contest.
    Quick question: is “ground coves” supposed to read “ground cloves”?

  45. Jen T says:

    Love pumpkin anything! These look amazing! Thanks Mel! Would you come to Kansas to try them if I put cream cheese in them??? You are welcome over anytime! πŸ™‚

  46. mamalala says:

    I am going to make these this week. I knew I could count on you to come up with a great pumpkin recipe this fall. These look like those yummy Lofthouse cookies, which I won’t ever eat because they are so bad and toxic for people. Thanks for a great alternative and a soft cookie. πŸ™‚
    BTW- my hubby thinks I am the best cook because of your recipes.

  47. Teresa says:

    Oooh, I love those sugar gems. I cannot wait to try these. Perfect for the first day of fall!

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