Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


My obsession with sugar cookies continues. This time around we’ve got an autumn inspired sugar cookie that is completely irresistible! These are soft along with just the right amount of slight chewiness to them. The have just enough pumpkin and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting just takes them over the top. You need try these at least once…and then you’ll want to make them forever after.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

I love pumpkin everything so its really due time that I have a pumpkin sugar cookie recipe. I know my family completely agrees. They got to test one from each of the 4 test batches this past weekend. Far too many cookies around here, but we aren’t complaining.



Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: About 2 dozen

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/3 cup unflavored vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 3 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 3 Tbsp butter , softened
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp milk


  1. For the cookies:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, shortening and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks one at a time. Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Scoop dough out and shape into 3 Tbsp balls (I just filled 1/4 cup 3/4 full). Place on Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets (you'll only be able to fit about 8 per sheet, these are fairly large cookies), and using your fingers lying flat, evenly flatten cookies into rounds until they are slightly under 1/2-inch thick. Bake in preheated oven 11 - 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Store in an airtight container.
  5. For the frosting:
  6. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy. Mix in cinnamon, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Mix in enough milk to reach desired consistency and mix until smooth and slightly fluffy.
  7. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: I think it’s amazing you did 4 test batches for a blog recipe – that’s so much work and my hat is off to you!! Wow! :) They look perfect so you clearly nailed them! September 16, 2014 at 9:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah that happens sometimes Ive done even more than that before because I can be so annoyingly picky. I’m sure you know how test batches can go though you just never know how they are going to turn out sometimes. September 16, 2014 at 11:22pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): So pretty, love that cinnamon frosting! September 16, 2014 at 11:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura :)! September 16, 2014 at 11:23pm Reply

  • Medeja: Yummy! Both cookies and frosting look and sound lovely! September 17, 2014 at 4:09am Reply

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets: Oh my gosh, I just want to reach through my screen and grab some!! I love frosted sugar cookies…and PUMPKIN? Dream come true!! September 17, 2014 at 6:15am Reply

  • bevie: I’ve so enjoyed visiting your blog, and have saved just about all the recipes you have shared..They all look yummy!!! September 17, 2014 at 10:09am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for visiting Bevie! I hope you love the recipes! September 17, 2014 at 10:41am Reply

  • Gary: Hi Jaclyn, is that cinnamon dusted on top in some of the photos? Or something else?
    Cant wait to try these for autumn.
    -gary September 17, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hi Gary, yes I just used a little more cinnamon for decoration, definitely not a must. They are good with a little nutmeg on top too if you do want to sprinkle something over the tops. September 17, 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

  • B: These look amazing. Pinned today and trying tonight. Thank you! September 17, 2014 at 5:13pm Reply

  • cheri: Gorgeous cookies, love the frosting. I could eat these all day! September 17, 2014 at 6:31pm Reply

  • Oana: I love the tiny swirls on each cookie. They look so classy and delicious! And with all those spices these can only be delicious! September 18, 2014 at 5:54am Reply

  • Carol: Hi Jaclyn-those cookies look so delicious. A couple quick questions-since there’s cream cheese in the frosting, do you store them in the refrigerator? Also, does the frosting “set up” or stay soft?
    I’d love to make these soon-I’ll have to send them to work with my husband or I’d be into them every time I walk in the kitchen. :) September 18, 2014 at 5:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I’d store them in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) if not enjoyed within a few hours, then bring to room temp before eating. And the frosting will stay pretty soft because of the cream cheese so I wouldn’t recommend stacking them. I hope you love them! October 15, 2014 at 10:48pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Sugar cookies are my favorite! Adding the pumpkin and frosting really rakes these over the top. September 18, 2014 at 6:38am Reply

  • Laura | Fork Knife Swoon: These sound so good! I’m not always the biggest sugar cookie fan (I know), but add pumpkin and cinnamon and I am all in. Love those frosting swirls. September 18, 2014 at 8:34am Reply

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet: These are perfect! Loving the frosting! Pinned! September 18, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

  • Heather @ Shards of Lavender: Jaclyn, I just stumbled across your site a couple of days ago and absolutely love your dedication to putting only the best recipes and pictures here. Thank you for testing the recipe so many times and for sharing it with us! I’ll be trying these:) September 18, 2014 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Heather! That is so kind of you to say! September 29, 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Megan: I have loved every recipe of yours I have tried! Your cookies were a baking staple in our house last fall. I can’t wait to try these, but is there any substitute for vegetable shortening? September 23, 2014 at 7:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could try butter but I would recommend chilling though dough before baking so they are easier to roll and so they don’t spread too much. You might need a little more flour too. October 21, 2014 at 7:00pm Reply

  • Sarah: I am going to make these tonight but I’m curious how the shape holds up when using a cookie cutter??? September 24, 2014 at 4:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It would probably hold a basic shape okay but nothing with detail because they’ll puff and expand a bit. Pumpkins would probably work though. September 24, 2014 at 6:46pm Reply

  • Virginia: These are so good, they don’t even need the frosting! September 28, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Virginia! Thanks for your review :)! September 28, 2014 at 10:32pm Reply

  • Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting | Christen in the Kitchen: […] not even sure where to begin with these cookies (originally featured on Cooking Classy). In addition to their great, chewy texture, the spicy pumpkin cookies are really good. But where […] September 29, 2014 at 11:50am Reply

  • Julie: Hi there! This looks amazing! Wondering if there is something else I can use in place of shortening – more butter? I don’t have much experience with shortening so I don’t know what would be a good sub :) September 29, 2014 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You might be fine to use the butter but your cookies will likely spread just a little bit more and the texture will be slightly different, but it would be the best sub if you don’t want to use shortening. September 29, 2014 at 3:03pm Reply

      • Morgan: Can always use coconut oil (solid at room temp). Instead of shortening…refined has no coconut flavor ;) thats what i did. These were a bit too sweet for me, although I love pumpkin and cinnamon…I do think they are good without frosting though :) November 8, 2016 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Marisa: Yum! I have been finding for something pumpkin flavoured lately and these seem to be EXACTLY what I need! Love love love cream cheese frosting! My only fear is i’ll eat the entire batch! Thanks for sharing :) October 2, 2014 at 3:27am Reply

  • Jackie: I just made these and O…M…G!!!! One question..can I freeze them? October 4, 2014 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think that would be fine. I’m so glad you liked them! October 21, 2014 at 7:21pm Reply

  • Renee @ Awesome on $20: These sound absolutely perfect. I’d love to try them. Hashtag pumpkin everything. October 7, 2014 at 1:09am Reply

  • Cathy: I have made this recipe twice, first as is and the second time I added chopped pecans and candied ginger to the dough. I prefer the additions, they gave some texture to what is a flabby cookie. My cookies did not turn out chewy at all, either time. Good taste, but I would appreciate suggestions to improve the texture. I made the icing as is first time, and the taste was good but the color was very unappetizing–kind of mouse brown, from the cinnamon I guess. I added a little bit of yellow and red food coloring the second time, and the pale orange looked nice with the cookies. October 12, 2014 at 11:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can reduce to one egg yolk and they should be a bit more chewy (I tried both one and two egg yolks). And for the frosting just whip it longer and it should become pale or use less cinnamon and add some ginger. November 13, 2014 at 4:52pm Reply

  • Pumpkin Spice Success | 31daysofpumpkin: […] Pumpkin Sugar Cookies / Pumpkin Frosting (Click for the recipes) […] October 15, 2014 at 5:47am Reply

  • Melissa: Would you be able to cut out shapes with this recipe? October 15, 2014 at 9:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can they just won’t keep much detail so if it’s a basic shape like a pumpkin that should be fine. October 15, 2014 at 10:25pm Reply

  • Sydney Sun: I made pumpkin cookies the other night and they were delicious, I can only imagine how good these are. I’m definitely not as clean at icing the tops of cookies as you though! Great post :)

    Sydney October 21, 2014 at 5:45am Reply

  • Lynne: Seemed like such a good idea – they looked so yummy, and different, that I had to try them. Disclaimer, I did mis-read the recipe and thought it said 2/3 can of pumpkin, so I ended up adding an additional 1/3 cup to the recipe. Since the dough wasn’t firm, I added 1/2 c of flour. It still didn’t seem as though it would hold a shape, I had to chill it overnight. I did not make the cookies as big as the recipe called for, only slightly smaller – it made 30 cookies. I found them to puff up considerably – not flat like the picture at all. I had pressed the balls down with the bottom of a glass pressed in sugar as I didn’t understand the instruction to press them with your fingers? Anyway, most came out puffy and misshapen.
    Now, the taste – I gave my daughter the bowl to eat, which she usually loves and asks for, but after one taste, she wouldn’t eat any more. I agreed that the dough seemed to be lacking sweetness, which is weird after 1.5 c sugar. I thought that once they were cooked, with the additional sugar I added on top, that they would be better. Nope – very blah tasting – that’s how I would describe it. Ok, I figure – they have to have the frosting. So, my daughter and I made the frosting – even without adding all the milk, it was more of the consistency of icing – very runny, so we added 1 cup more sugar, and it is now the correct consistency. The frosting did help the cookies, but not as much as I thought – you either taste the frosting, or the blah cookies, but it doesn’t really blend together, if that makes any sense.
    So, I don’t think that my blunder could have made such a difference to the taste and texture of the cookies, but maybe – seems like everyone else liked them, but they were not for us, and I doubt I’d try them again. October 26, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

  • tabby: These look amazing! I’m going to make them for a party for halloween! i was wondering though… could you use pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon?? October 28, 2014 at 4:29pm Reply

  • Dana: I made your cookies on the weekend for a party and they were a hit. I love all things pumpkin and these cookies were so tasty and flavorful. Everyone loved them, thanks for sharing!! November 3, 2014 at 7:40am Reply

  • Amy S: I can’t wait to try these! How do you think they would turn out if made as bars in jelly role pan? Thanks for sharing so many delicious recipes! November 7, 2014 at 8:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tried, you may need a little more butter in there just since they’ll be baking longer so they don’t dry? November 9, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

  • LaurenB: I recently made these and gave them out and they were a big hit! Great recipe. I wanted to be able to give cookies in little gift bags, and I knew stacking them would be a problem with the frosting, so instead I made smaller cookies and made “sandwiches” out of them. Big hit! Just a suggestion in case anyone wants to package them similarly. Thanks for the recipe! Love your blog!! December 8, 2014 at 7:43am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the tip! I’m so glad you liked them and thanks for letting me know you love my blog :)!! December 8, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Sharee: I made these cookies tonight. We liked them and I will definitely make them again with a few tweaks but I would agree with the other comments about them not being flat or looking like the photo shows. My dough was a bit on the sticky side. (It was too sticky to roll into a ball.) I tried the 3 TBSP. of dough as the recipe says and pressed it down with my fingers. I ended up using a little flour on my fingers to press them down because they were so sticky. Then I added a bit of extra flour to a small amount of dough and placed them on the same sheet to see how they baked compared to the “original” dough. Both the “original” dough and the “extra flour added” dough turned out the same…puffed up in the middle. There was no difference in the taste or texture. I wondered if they would flatten as they cooled on the wire rack, but they didn’t. I tried refrigerating the dough to see if that helped them stay more flat but there was no change. I also tried scooping them with a regular size cookie scoop to make them smaller but they baked the same. They are chewy but maybe more like a cake-like cookie. The cookie isn’t super sweet alone but with the frosting they are sweet. I think the next time I make them, I will add a bit more flour and try rolling them out, but thinner then the recipe says and cutting them in circles to get a more uniformed look. They are a good change to the same old cookie recipes that I have. Thanks for the recipe. December 11, 2014 at 8:27pm Reply

    • Ruby: I added 1 whole egg, and 1 egg yold. Worked perfectly. I had to let the dough sit for about 15 minutes before being able to roll into a ball September 21, 2015 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Aylin: Hi there, I love these cookies. I cannot wait to try this! So how long we can keep them in airtight container? Do you think cream cheese frosting will be ok after a week at out of refrigerator? thanks July 12, 2015 at 8:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would keep them in the refrigerator once frosted, especially if you won’t be eating them within that day. I hope you love them! August 30, 2015 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Shasta: Tried these and sadly I failed! I followed your instructions to the letter and ended up with blah, round topped cookies. The dough was way too sticky to roll like you suggested but there was no way adding more flour would work because the dough wasn’t sweet at all. September 9, 2015 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Heather: As a cookie, I think these are a failure. I followed the recipe to the letter and wound up with the same issues as others — not much flavor, very “puffy” and not chewy at all. They are cake-like, not cookie-like. BUT, like the previous comment about sandwiching these cookies, I think they would make the excellent outsides to a whoopie pie. Going to whip up some maple filling and see where that leads us . . . September 25, 2015 at 2:27pm Reply

  • I: Hi! These look so great and yummy:) can I substitute the vegetable shortening for something else? And would these taste good with a white chocolate ganache (with some cinnamon for added flavor and spice)? September 25, 2015 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Trudy: Made these today and they a so good!
    After following recipe I left the dough to rest in the fridge for an hour, rolled it out and cut with a pumpkin cookie cutter. I did heavily flour the dough. Perfectly flat tender sugar cookies. I really liked it with the icing but my 5 year prefers just the plain cookies.
    They will not last long around here!
    Thanks! October 11, 2015 at 8:28pm Reply

  • Kristina: The cookies looked so amazing. So I tried them today. The texture of the cookies was amazing! Although there was no flavor. I followed the recipe exactly. I haf such high hopes and was very disappointed. October 14, 2015 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Dara: I made these yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. The taste good but are VERY dry. I would not make them again. October 17, 2015 at 8:52am Reply

  • Briana: I made these today, and they taste pretty good, but they turned out more like spherical scones than nice flat cookies :( October 31, 2015 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Christine: I made these tonight and accidentally put the while egss in. Still amazing! I also skipped the frosting because we are dairy free November 1, 2015 at 6:12pm Reply

  • Marcia: HI. Had just enough leftover pumpkin to make your recipe…no problem with dough…came out just right…I did add 3/4 cup of toasted chopped walnuts at the end…the only change I made was cooking time …. 11-12 minutes was not a good time. Came out perfect at 17 minutes and I used the little scooper …about 1- 11/2 tablespoon…also used a heavy glass dipped in cin and sugar…mad for nice even circles …nice light lovely cookie not a sugar jolt…thanks for the great directions November 15, 2015 at 3:07pm Reply

  • Candace: These are delicious! I don’t care that they aren’t flat and uniform. I doubled the batch because I want to share some with my neighbors. I was worried at first because I used fresh pumpkin purée and the dough was sticky, but I threw them in the oven anyway and was delighted with the outcome! My 3 and 5 year old boys were my taste tasters and they approved 100%! November 18, 2015 at 11:08am Reply

  • Mary: I just took these out of the oven and they are pretty good. They are totaly not what I was expecting. They came out more like cake than cookies. I was hoping for something soft chewy like a sugar cookie. If I try them again I may try to up the sugar since even with the frosting they aren’t very sweet. I by no means dislike them, they just aren’t what I had planned on making. December 6, 2015 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Ashley: Just made these and they’re delicious! I already ate 2 and I’m supposed to bring them to a party! ;) I would suggest making them smaller than 3 tbsp. though… they are quite big and fluffy… it only made me a dozen, not 2. December 13, 2015 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Eden Passante: These look delicious! I’m definitely trying this recipe out for the holidays! September 7, 2016 at 10:56am Reply

  • Aimee unsatified: I’m so mad I wasted time & didn’t read the reviews on this cookie. I made this recipe exactly how it’s written and they’re hard dull looking hockey pucks. I’m sad they don’t have much flavor. Not chewy at all October 15, 2016 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Karen: I made these as written except with white whole wheat flour. Yummy! Soft and moist. A big hit! I baked them for 10 minutes November 8, 2016 at 7:31pm Reply

  • Jenna: Thank you for the recipe! My daughter and I just made these and they turned out perfectly! They are delicious! I’d like to add that they taste great even without the icing. So if you’re short on time or trying to cut back on sugar, give them a try without it – they are just as good! November 15, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad your family enjoyed them Jenna! November 15, 2016 at 1:57pm Reply

  • Jenn: These are delicious! My new favorite fall cookie recipe. They are not overly sweet, which a few people are complaining about, but I thought they were perfect. The icing was delicious and the consistency of the cookie was heavenly; so soft! I did slightly underbake them because that’s how I prefer cookies. Definitely a keeper! November 28, 2016 at 9:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Jenn! December 7, 2016 at 1:04pm Reply

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