Soft, chewy, and lightly spiced pumpkin sugar cookies perfect for the holidays! Frosted with buttercream and easy to roll out. Gluten free recipe!
Sugar cookies are always some of my favorite cookies, and in the autumn, a pumpkin sugar cookie is even better! These gluten free pumpkin sugar cookies are soft, chewy, and so easy to roll out. They are perfect for the holiday season be it Halloween or Thanksgiving. You’ll love these lightly spiced cookies all season long!
Free from: wheat/gluten, peanut, tree nut, coconut, corn (optional), soy, dairy (optional), sesame, sulfites, lupin, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, mustard
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How to Make Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Begin with warming the butter and cream cheese (or non-dairy butter and non-dairy cream cheese) to room temperature. Allow the eggs to warm up to room temperature as well. This helps everything blend together better and makes for a better pumpkin sugar cookie in the long run so please don’t skip this step!
However, I totally get it and impromptu cookies sometimes call you. If that’s the case, pop the butter and cream cheese in the microwave for 7 seconds, flip them over, and microwave for 5 more seconds. Ta da! Room temperature butter! And don’t worry about the eggs in this case.
Okay! In a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and blend well, mixing for about 3 minutes. This is incorporating air into the dough so the cookies will be nice and fluffy!
Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, mixing again. Now add the pumpkin puree, the star of these cookies!
Before you add the flour, now is the time to add the spices and corn starch. Add the baking powder and baking soda as well. Make sure to combine them well.
Finally, add the gluten free flour blend to the dough and mix well. No need to worry about over mixing because there is no gluten!
Need a gluten free flour blend that doesn’t contain nuts or nightshades? I gotcha! Make sure you check out my Easy Gluten Free Flour Blend!
Give the dough a tap with your finger. The dough should be tacky but not sticky. If it is still sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and incorporate it until no longer sticky.
Transfer the dough to the fridge and allow it to chill for 45 minutes. This is so important! The dough needs to rest, allow the flour to hydrate, and for the butter and cream cheese to chill. This will make rolling out sugar cookies so much easier.
After the dough has chilled, prepare several baking trays with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.
Using more gluten free flour, gently roll out the dough using about a cup of dough at a time. Roll the dough to about ¼” thickness. Cut using your favorite cookie shapes and set onto the baking trays.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the shapes chosen.
Let cool completely before frosting.
Glaze or Frosting?
Now, there are quite a few ways that you can enjoy these pumpkin sugar cookies and all of them are pretty equally delicious.
First is to leave them unfrosted! These cookies will harden up slightly in the days following baking, making them perfect to dunk into a cup of tea or coffee. They have a pretty light orange color thanks to the pumpkin. If leaving them unfrosted, I recommend spicing up the dough even more for that extra pumpkin spicy-ness.
Next, there is a simple sugar glaze. Combine white powdered sugar with a bit of water and mix until you have a nice glaze. Drizzle them over the cookies, dunk the cookie in the glaze, or use a spoon to pour the frosting over the entire cookie. This method helps to form a little frosting barrier on the cookie and will lock in the most moisture, ensuring that your cookies stay soft and chewy for the longest amount of time. I love eating sugar cookies this way. The glaze is sweet but because it isn’t thick, it ends up being the perfect amount.
You can tint this sugar glaze different colors as well! Add the food coloring after you have achieved the viscosity of frosting you are after and mix until you get your desired color.
Need a corn free powdered sugar? I gotcha! Here is a link for a corn free powdered sugar!
Finally, these cookies taste amazing with a vanilla buttercream frosting. Whip some (non-dairy) butter and powdered sugar together and frost the cookies. This will also help to retain moisture in the cookies so they won’t get as dried out as if you left them unfrosted. This is also the most sweet method of frosting cookies.
Same as the simple sugar glaze, you can tint the frosting different colors. Get creative in how you frost the cookies depending on what shapes you used to cut them out!
Bonus frosting idea: Melted chocolate! In these photos, I used a bit of melted chocolate to make the faces on the ghosts and pumpkin.
Allergy Variations for Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Dairy free: This cookie is an easy swap to make dairy free! Simply replace the dairy butter and cream cheese with your favorite non-dairy butter and cream cheese. My favorite is the soy free Earth Balance from a tub to replace butter. If you can’t find a good dairy free cream cheese, you can also use vegetable shortening to get the same, soft cookie.
Egg free: I haven’t made these egg free yet. If you try them with an egg replacer, let me know! I would suggest one flax egg and an extra ½ tsp of baking powder to replace the egg in this recipe.
Corn free: In place of cornstarch, use either tapioca flour or arrowroot powder in an equal amount. For the frosting, make sure you use a corn free powdered sugar, like the one mentioned above!
Want more Autumn Treats? Check these recipes out!
How to Store Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
These pumpkin sugar cookies can sit out on the counter for up to 5 days if no frosting or a simple sugar glaze has been used. If a frosting has been used, keep them in the fridge so they stay fresh.
The cookies freeze wonderfully and will keep for up to 3 months in an airtight container in the freezer. To freeze them without damaging the frosting, freeze them one layer at a time, and placing wax or parchment paper in between layers of cookies.
Allow to come to room temperature before serving from frozen.
Did you make this recipe?
- measuring cups
- Rolling Pin
- cookie cutters
- mixing bowl
- baking trays
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- ½ cup butter of choice
- ⅓ cup cream cheese OR vegetable shortening
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, 1 whole 1 yolk
- 3 cups gluten free flour
- 2 tsp cornstarch OR tapioca (see notes)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer, combine the room temperature butter and cream cheese (see notes for alternatives). Blend well until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and again mix well, about 3 minutes total.
- Add the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla until the batter is well combined.
- Now add the cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Mix well so the spices are evenly distributed. Add the flour, making sure to start mixing on low speed so flour doesn't go everywhere.
- After mixing, feel the dough. It should be tacky but not sticky. If still sticky, add flour one tablespoon at a time until tacky.
- Transfer the dough to the fridge and let chill 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare several baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On a floured work surface, roll out dough to ¼" thickness. Cut using desired cookie cutter shapes and place onto prepared baking trays.
- Bake trays one at a time for between 11-13 minutes, depending on how thick and how large the cookies are. They will be done with the edges pull away from the baking tray and a light golden color can be seen.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before frosting. Enjoy!