This easy recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting will satisfy any pumpkin craving you may have. Light, fluffy, and full of pumpkin flavor with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Just like my Gluten Free Banana Bread Cookies, they are the perfect marriage between cookies and muffin tops.
This simple cookie recipe is made with ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry and fridge.
Love Pumpkin Desserts? Make sure to check out my Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Recipe Ingredients Notes
- How to make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookie Dough
- How to bake Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- Frost and decorate Pumpkin Cookies
- FAQ for Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Gluten Free Flour: I tested this recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting with my own Gluten Free Multipurpose Flour Blend as well as King Arthur Measure for Measure. Both flours worked very well in this recipe and give the Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies a lovely crumb. Personally, I did not like the batter Cup4Cup gave me. It was very gummy.
Canned Pumpkin: Please make sure to buy 100% canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. They often sit next to each other on shelves at the grocery store and have very similar labels. As much as I love making everything from scratch, canned pumpkin is very convenient.
Not all canned pumpkin is created equal. Some brands are very watery while others are on the dryer side. Personally, I like to use Libby's or Aldis. If your canned pumpkin appears very wet and runny, I recommend blotting it with some paper towels to remove extra water.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix: Pumpkin Pie Spice is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. It's very simple to make it at home and use ingredients you already have in your pantry.
Combine the following ingredients and store them in an airtight container. Feel free to double or triple this recipe.
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
How to make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookie Dough
This dough for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies is simple to make and requires only 30 minutes of chilling. This helps with scooping since the dough can be on the sticky side when it's too warm. I recommend using a cookie scooper or two spoons when portioning the cookies.
Step 1: Sift together the gluten-free flour, corn starch, milk powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Step 2: In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the room temperature butter, and brown sugar and mix for 5 minutes at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Halfway through, pause to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula.
Step 3: Add the whole egg, egg yolk, and milk (or water if you are dairy free) and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.
Step 4: Mix in the pumpkin puree. The mixture will look curdled at this point but this is nothing to worry about.
Step 5: With the mixture running on low add your dry ingredients and mix until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated.
Step 6: Turn off your mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. With a flexible spatula fold in any add-ins, you may are adding (chocolate chips, nuts). The dough may appear loose and more like a cake/muffin batter. It seems tempting to add more flour but please don’t.
Step 7: Place your mixing bowl in your refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow your dough to firm up.
How to bake Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
Depending on how wet your pumpkin was, your dough may be on the softer side and can be frustrating to scoop. This is why it is important to allow your dough to rest 30 minutes (up to 12 hours).
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350F. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
Step 2: I recommend using a cookie scoop (I use #20) and scooping 6 cookies on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Using the back of a spoon, gently press down the cookies. The cookies don't spread a lot on their own, so this helps give them a "head start".
Step 3: Bake your cookies at 350F for 16-18 minutes until they are set at the edges. The cookies should be puffy and look like muffin tops.
Step 4: Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the sheet tray and then transfer them to a cooling rack for them to cool completely. Repeat with the second tray of cookies.
Once all the cookies are fully cooled, they are ready to be frosted and turned into Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Brown Sugar Frosting is a little twist on a classic cream cheese frosting. The addition of brown sugar and molasses (optional) gives it an almost caramel like flavor. To make cream cheese frosting it's important to have the ingredients at room temperature and make sure to mix in the brown sugar.
Frost and decorate Pumpkin Cookies
To frost them, drop a small scoop of frosting in the middle of their top and use a spoon or an offset knife to spread it out.
There are many options when it comes to decorating those Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies. A very delicious way to decorate them is using some chopped-up Cinnamon Spiced Pecans or some toasted pumpkin seed. You can also sprinkle them with some oatmeal streusel before baking and make them look like Muffin Tops.
Another fun idea to use those pumpkin cookies is to sandwich them with the Marshmallow Creme Filling from my Gluten Free Oatmeal Cream Pie Recipe - homemade Gluten Free Pumpkin Whoopie Pies! Make sure to use a smaller scoop when you make whoopie pies and made sure to flatten out the dough before baking (adjust baking time accordingly when using a smaller scoop)
FAQ for Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Can I add add-ins to the batter?
Yes! But I do not recommend adding more than 50g to 75g total. This cookie would be very good with dark chocolate or nuts such as pecans or walnuts.
My cookies did not spread much!
This most likely happened because your canned pumpkin is dry. Make sure to add 1 tablespoon of milk/water and gently press down the cookies before baking.
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
I have not frozen the unbaked cookie dough but have frozen the baked, unfrosted cookies.
How should I store my cookies?
I recommend storing the baked, frosted (or unfrosted) cookies in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
While I have made this recipe dairy-free (use your favorite dairy-free butter), I have not tested it with egg replacements.
I am not gluten free - can I still make this recipe?
Please replace the gluten free flour with 135 g of "regular flour".
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
For Pumpkin Cookies
- 150 grams gluten free flour
- 5 grams cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon milk powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) kosher salt
- 60 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 125 grams light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 125 grams canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
For Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- 120 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 30 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 75 -100 grams light brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like your frosting)
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon molasses (optional)
- 120 grams powdered sugar *SEE NOTE
How to make the Pumpkin Cookie Dough
- Start by sifting together the gluten-free flour, corn starch, milk powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice mix, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the room temperature butter and brown sugar and mix for 5 minutes at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Halfway through, pause to scrape the bowl and beater with a flexible spatula.
- Add the whole egg and egg yolk and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.
- Mix in the canned pumpkin puree and 1 tablespoon milk/water. Your mixture may look curdled - no need to stress out! This is normal.
- With the mixer running on low, add your dry ingredients and mix until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Turn off your mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. The dough may appear loose and more like a cake/muffin batter. It seems tempting to add more flour but please don't.
- Place your mixing bowl in your refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow your dough to firm up.
How to bake Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.
- Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.
- I recommend using a cookie scoop (I use #20) and scoop 6 cookies on a parchment-lined sheet tray. The cookies do spread so six cookies seem to be the perfect number here. You should get between 8-10 cookies out of this dough. Lightly press down the dough with the back of the spoon.
- Bake your cookies at 350F for 16-20 minutes until they are set at the edges. Your cookies should be puffy and look like muffin tops.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the sheet tray and then transfer them to a cooling rack for them to cool completely.
- Repeat with the second tray of cookies.
- Once all the cookies are fully cooled, they are ready to be frosted.
How to make the Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mix together room temperature butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. This should take around 2-3 minutes. Mix in the molasses (if using), salt and vanilla
- IF you would like a more traditional cream cheese frosting, mix in the powdered sugar. Remember you can always add more if you would like your frosting to be sweeter.
- Use a small off-set or butter knife and frost your cookies. Decorate as desired
- Store the frosted cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days in your refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Frosting: If you would like for your cream cheese frosting to be lighter and more like traditional cream cheese frosting, mix in 120 grams powdered sugar.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 3135
The calories shown are 100% not accurate.