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These Vegan Pumpkin Cookies combine everything you love about soft and chewy sugar cookies with the slightly sweet and nutty flavor of fresh pumpkin! They’re the perfect vegan sugar cookie to make during the fall season when you’re craving a sweet treat filled with warm, cozy spices! All you need is 10 simple ingredients.
Table of Contents
Some of our most popular recipes on the blog are vegan cookie recipes! From our Vegan Gingerbread Cookies to these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies and the Best Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, we’ve got you covered for all of your cookie-baking needs.
But despite having delicious Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles for you to try, we were missing a pumpkin-filled twist on one of our favorite cookies: Classic Vegan Sugar Cookies…until now!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vegan butter: We used 1 stick of salted vegan butter. For best results, we always recommend baking with vegan buttery sticks as opposed to buttery spreads. They contain less excess moisture and will help prevent your vegan cookies from over-spreading.
- Sugar: These pumpkin cookies are made with both granulated white sugar and brown sugar. If preferred, opt for coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. The cookie batter will be slightly less moist and chewy but will work well.
- Pumpkin puree: Pure pumpkin puree without any additives is best. When shopping for canned pumpkin, be sure to avoid purchasing pumpkin pie filling. These two products are often stocked right next to each other, but are very different!
- Flour: For the best soft, vegan pumpkin cookies, we opted for all-purpose flour. If you’d like to add a bit of additional nutritional and fiber to the cookie dough, replace up to 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
- Spices: You’ll need a simple blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to enhance the warmth and fall flavor.
- Baking soda: In addition to acting as a leavening agent, baking soda encourages browning and helps the cookies develop a deep, golden flavor.
- Mixing bowls
- Plastic wrap or reusable wrap
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop
- Baking sheet
- Cooling rack
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
- Dry the pumpkin puree. Scoop the pure pumpkin puree out onto a few paper towels. Wrap the paper towels around the pumpkin puree and ring it out over the kitchen sink to rid the pumpkin of excess moisture. Repeat this process until you have 1/3 cup of dried pumpkin puree (measure this amount after removing the excess moisture!).
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, add the melted vegan butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk together until smooth and well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Next, add in the dried pumpkin puree and vanilla extract, and whisk again to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients. In the same large mixing bowl, add the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until a cooking dough forms.
- Chill the dough for 1-2 hours. Tightly cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, a lid, or a clean kitchen towel, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or up to overnight.
- Make the cinnamon sugar. When ready to bake, combine the cinnamon sugar mixture by whisking together the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg until well combined.
- Scoop pumpkin cookie dough into balls. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough into cookie dough balls that are 2 tablespoons in size. Roll each sugar cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated, then place the dough balls on a baking sheet with 2 inches between. Repeat until all cookie dough is rolled.
- Bake. Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, until just set around the edges and golden brown on the bottoms. Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Enjoy!
Add-ins and Substitutions
Hoping to put a twist on these vegan pumpkin cookies? Here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- Add chocolate chips: Craving a chocolate-rich version? Make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Sugar Cookies by folding in 1/2 cup of your favorite dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or, top the final baked cookies with our Raw Vegan Chocolate Avocado Frosting!
- Add cream cheese frosting: Use the homemade vegan cream cheese frosting recipe from our Healthy Carrot Cake Bars or our Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Simply whisk together then spread a thick layer on the cooled cookies!
- Use pumpkin pie spice: If you’re short on individual spices, substitute in 2 teaspoons of a pumpkin pie spice blend!
We tested this recipe using wheat-based, all-purpose flour and cannot confirm gluten-free flour will work, but we suspect a 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill, would likely work well.
It’s our favorite go-to gluten-free flour blend we use in most of our gluten-free baking and generally have success! Please avoid using single gluten-free flours such as oat flour, coconut flour, and almond flour. These will not work well as a 1:1 replacement.
Definitely! If you’re out of canned pumpkin puree, or can’t find it on the shelves at your local grocery store, substitute in a homemade pumpkin puree. Just be sure to properly dry it before adding it to the batter.
We haven’t personally tested this ingredient substitution, but it may work. If you’d like to experiment with it, we’d recommend using refined coconut oil for the best, neutral flavor. You may also want to increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon to compensate for the lack of flavor. If you give it a try and have good results, please let us know in the comments section down below.
How to Freeze Vegan Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
These cookies can be frozen before or after baking.
- To freeze before baking: Scoop the cinnamon-sugar coated cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet with just enough space between them so that they are not touching (they do not need a full 2 inches!). Place the cookie dough balls into the freezer and flash freeze the cookie dough for 1-2 hours, or until the cookies are frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer the cookie dough balls to a freezer-safe container or freezer bag such as a Stasher bag. Bake from frozen for 15-17 minutes, or until puffy and golden.
- To freeze after baking: Let the vegan pumpkin cookies cool to room temperature then flash freeze for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer-safe container or bag and keep them for up to 3 months. Then, when ready to eat, set the desired amount of cookies at room temperature until sufficiently softened.