Pumpkin Spice Cookies (with frosting)

5 from 3 votes

I love pumpkin spice season! These Pumpkin Spice Cookies may not have any actual pumpkin in them – just pumpkin spice – but they’re an easy sugar cookie with warm fall flavors – and they’re addictingly good.

I took my favorite sugar cookie recipe and added pumpkin spice to the cookie and the icing. This is an EPIC fall cookie recipe!


closeup of pumpkin spice sugar cookie with frosting

Every fall bloggers post about 1 billion pumpkin recipes on the internet. This is one of them!

That’s an estimation on the 1 billion. I may be off a few hundred thousand, but I think that number is close. I mean, scroll through Pinterest. Is there anything NOT pumpkin on there?

(Well, there is. Apple is a close second to pumpkin!)

So, before some of you angrier readers send me comments at tell this recipe isn’t really pumpkin because there’s no pumpkin in it, don’t worry: I know. It’s pumpkin spice. Which, IMO, is better than pumpkin right now. Because these cookies are TO DIE FOR. I literally ate 5 without thinking about it. And then I had to give away a bunch and throw some away (!!!) to get rid of them.

These cookies are “cover with coffee grounds in trash” cookies. Some of you get that reference. You know – when you cover food with coffee grounds so you don’t go back digging in the trash for them.

Pumpkin cookies are really good. I know, because I’ve made several pumpkin cookie recipes, even one stuffed with Nutella. But sometimes you’re in the mood for pumpkin spices but not actual pumpkin (you know, how I loved the PSL before it actually had pumpkin in it?) That’s where these cookies come in!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies are an easy sugar cookie recipe filled with pumpkin pie spice in both the cookie dough and the frosting. They’re the perfect fall cookie recipe!

overhead of pumpkin spice cookies

Pumpkin Pie Spice is another one of those enigmas to me because every recipe I’ve found for pumpkin pie spice is different. Cinnamon and nutmeg are always there. But some have allspice, some have cloves and some have ginger. Some have a combination or none of the above. That’s why I made my own DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice so I never have to guess, plus it’s easier than getting out all the spice jars individually.

These cookies are my perfect sugar cookie recipe filled with pumpkin pie spice. I slightly underbaked them and oh my holy gosh: it’s like fall exploded when you take a bite. There’s pumpkin spice in every bite! If you’re looking to make pumpkin spice cookies without pumpkin puree well then, here you go!

pumpkin spice sugar cookie with bite missing

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies are easy to make!

I started this recipe with my perfect sugar cookies. The cookies end up soft and chewy, just like I like them. (If you want a chewier sugar cookie you can add an extra egg yolk like I did in this recipe.)

There are a couple notes about this cookie recipe you need to follow for success:

  1. Don’t skip the cream of tartar. That gives the cookies a lot of their softness!
  2. Don’t over bake them. Err on the side of underdone – they’ll finish cooking and set as they cool. Learn how to tell when cookies are done!
  3. Add a full teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the batter – the result will be a nice warm and flavorful cookie (with or without frosting).

The best part about making my sugar cookie recipe is that you don’t need to chill the dough! Just mix, scoop and bake.

pumpkin spice cookie on rack

Pumpkin Spice Frosting takes Pumpkin Spice Cookies to another level.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies would be fine on their own, without frosting. But to take these cookies to the next level I added a sugar cookie frosting with pumpkin spice. It adds an extra layer of fall to the recipe!

The frosting is a basic buttercream with butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice. For the milk component I add heavy whipping cream, which I think gives the frosting a rich and creamy texture. You could also make pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting if you want!

pumpkin spice cookie with frosting

This recipe was created in 2014 and originally used coffee creamer to flavor the frosting. The recipe reflects both ways of making these easy cookies.

Love pumpkin spice? Make these recipes:

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Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies are an easy sugar cookie recipe filled with warm fall pumpkin spices, both in the cookie and the easy frosting!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 22 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie


For the Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with silpat liners or parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg and extract. Mix in pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in flour.
  • Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of dough (use a cookie scoop if you have one) onto cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes. Take them out just as you notice the bottoms start to turn golden (or right before). They’ll finish cooking as they cool. If they get too golden on the bottom before you remove them, they won’t be as pillowy and soft!
  • Cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the frosting: Beat butter until creamy with a hand or a stand mixer. Mix in salt. Slowly add in powdered sugar until mixture is crumbly. (It will be very crumbly if using a hand mixer, more smooth if using a stand mixer.) Add vanilla, pumpkin spice and 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream. Mix until the frosting comes together and becomes smooth, adding remaining tablespoon of heavy whipping cream as needed for consistency. Frost.
  • Store at room temperature loosely covered. Frosting will semi-dry and cookies are stackable but some frosting may transfer.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To make the frosting with Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer instead:

Mix 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter with 2 cups powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix in ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons pumpkin spice coffee creamer until smooth. Frost as desired.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 301IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cookie, frosting, pumpkin spice, sugar cookie

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pumpkin spice cookies collage

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Recipe Rating

7 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. My cookies didn’t spread out. They remained in ball/dome shape even after cooling. I followed the recipe added everything I needed to. Any suggestions?

    1. Sometimes if they get extra cold while chilling (chilled longer than an hour or two) I’ll press them slightly with the palm of my hand before baking to help them spread.

  2. I just made these! The only thing I did different was add a spoon of maple syrup to the icing! These are so delicious!

  3. Love these! Love using pumpkin pie spice in cookies rather than actual pumpkin as the texture doesn’t get all wonky which can happen so easily when you add pumpkin puree. That may have only taken me about 99879 batches of cookies to figure out when I was writing my cookbook. LOL  I love the frosting on these. Mmmm!! And the collage! Pinned 🙂

    I put a recipe for pumpkin pie spice in my book and when I was researching it, yes, there’s a million different combos and since I’m a spice hoarder I do always have all the component spices on hand so it’s easier to DIY. Usually. Until those seasonal jars of TJs spices come out for like 1.99.  That’s hard to beat!