If you love fall spices, pumpkin, and soft cookies, this recipe is for you! This Easy pumpkin crinkle cookies recipe has a soft, cakey texture inside, a slightly crispy exterior, and the perfect fall spice flavor, making it perfect for Thanksgiving brunch or any holiday!
- What are Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies?
- Brief Highlight Of Our Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies Recipe:
- Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies Ingredients
- Tools you'll need
- How to Make Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
- How to Serve
- How to Store & Re-Heat
- Make Ahead
- How to Freeze
- Tips for Making The Best Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
- Why are my Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies flat?
- More Holiday Inspired Cookies Recipe:
- 📋 Recipe
What are Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies?
Pumpkin crinkle cookies are a type of soft pumpkin-based cookie dough. These balls of pumpkin cookie dough are dipped in powdered sugar before baking. As they expand in the oven, cracks appear in the powdered sugar coating, creating their "crinkled" appearance. Like brownies, the best pumpkin cookies have crisp, firm edges and a moist center.
Brief Highlight Of Our Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies Recipe:
- Taste: These Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies offer a delightful combination of warm fall spices, sweet pumpkin, and chocolate chips. They have a soft, cakey texture inside and a slightly crispy exterior, making them a perfect treat for Thanksgiving brunch or any holiday occasion.
- Texture: The cookies have a soft and cake-like texture on the inside, with a slightly crispy and crackled exterior due to the powdered sugar coating. The addition of mini chocolate chips provides a pleasant burst of sweetness and richness.
- Method: Making these cookies involves mixing ingredients, rolling the dough into balls, and coating them with granulated sugar and confectioners' sugar before baking. The chilling of the dough is essential to achieve the desired texture and prevent spreading during baking. These Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies are a delightful addition to any fall or holiday dessert table, and they are sure to impress with their flavor and appearance.
Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies Ingredients
Note: The full ingredients list is provided in the recipe card below.
- Butter: It gives richness, tenderness, and structure to the Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies.
- Light Brown Sugar: It functions as a sweetener and provides flavor. It also helps to create a soft and chewy texture. Cookies without sugar would be much harder and less tasty.
- Egg: The addition of eggs to cookies serves a few purposes. First, eggs add structure and chewiness to the cookies and moisture. Egg also helps to bind the other ingredients together, creating a more cohesive cookie dough that holds its shape when baked. Additionally, eggs contribute flavor and richness to cookies, making them more satisfying.
- Pure vanilla extract: It enhances the flavor.
- Flour: It helps to create a structure for the cookies, adding some thickness and chewiness; it also helps to bind the other ingredients together, making more consistent Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies.
- Spices: I blend ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg.
- Canned 100% pure pumpkin puree: I use Libby's 100% pure pumpkin puree.
- Mini Chocolate Chips: They add a bit of sweetness and richness. I use Ghirardelli Mini semi-chocolate chips, but you can use any chocolate chips.
Tools you'll need
- Hand-held mixer or stand mixer
- plastic wrap
- large bowl
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
- small bowl
- baking rack
- Dry measuring cup with spoons
- 1-inch ice cream scoop
How to Make Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
Note: The full instructions are provided in the recipe card below.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.Add the pumpkin puree and beat until well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture in 2 increments into the mixing bowl. Scrape the bowl once and mix until well combined; be careful not to over-mix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, for at least 2 hours and overnight. Place the granulated and confectioner sugar in separate small bowls and set aside. Roll tablespoonfuls of chilled dough into balls, then roll in the granulated sugar generously in the confectioners' sugar. Arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds and preheat to 350 ºF—line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bake until the pumpkin crinkle cookies spread, the tops crack, and the edges are just firm, 14 to 16 minutes, switching. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the pumpkin crinkle cookies with more confectioners' sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Spices: Instead of blending ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg, you can use your favorite warm spices combinations.
- Sugar: You can swap the light brown sugar for a dark brown for a richer flavor. For crispier Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies, use granulated sugar and bake them a little longer. For less sweet Oatmeal Cookies with Coconut, reduce sugar to ¾ cup.
- All-purpose flour: You can substitute it with whole wheat flour, gluten-free flour blend, or almond flour for a different texture and flavor.
- Unsalted butter: If you only have salted butter, you can use it in the recipe, but reduce the amount of added salt by half.
- Pumpkin puree: You can use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned, but ensure it has a similar consistency and moisture content.
- Eggs: For an egg-free option, use flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water per egg) or applesauce (¼ cup per egg).
- Vanilla extract: You can replace it with almond or maple extract for a different flavor profile.
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies: Fold a cup of chocolate chips into the cookie dough before chilling. The combination of pumpkin and chocolate is delightful.
- Spiced Pumpkin Cookies: Increase the spices in the recipe for a more intense flavor. Add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves, and a pinch of ground ginger to the dry ingredients.
- Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Cookies: Make a cream cheese filling by beating together 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Roll the dough balls as usual, but flatten them slightly; place a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the center, then roll the dough around the filling to enclose it.
- Pumpkin Spice Glaze: Mix 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and 2-3 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies for extra sweetness and spice.
- Maple Glaze: Replace the confectioners' sugar coating with a maple glaze. Mix 1 cup of confectioners' sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk or heavy cream until you reach a smooth glaze consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.
How to Serve
Serve your Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies on a platter or cookie tray. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar for a festive touch. Enjoy them as a treat for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving gatherings, or a delightful afternoon snack. Pair with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a cozy combination. Serve alone or alongside other seasonal desserts or ice cream for a delicious spread.
How to Store & Re-Heat
To store: Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies can be kept airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
To reheat: Warm them in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5 minutes to reheat.
Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies dough can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze
Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies dough can be frozen for up to 2 months: Drop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons onto a sheet pan, let them set in the freezer until solid, then place them in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe, but add 1 to 2 extra minutes to the baking time.
Tips for Making The Best Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
- Chilled Dough: It's crucial to refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 2 hours (or even overnight) before baking. Chilling the dough helps it firm up and prevents the cookies from spreading too much during baking, resulting in a better texture and shape.
- Use good-quality Pumpkin Puree: Opt for 100% pure pumpkin puree without any added sugar or spices. Using a good-quality pumpkin puree will enhance the flavor of the cookies.
- Don't Over-Mix: When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix just until combined. Over-mixing can lead to tough cookies. Mix until the flour is incorporated and there are no dry streaks left, but avoid overdoing it.
- Proper Spices: The combination of ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg in the right proportions gives these cookies their delicious fall flavor. Make sure your spices are fresh for the best taste.
- Roll Dough Balls Generously: When rolling the dough into balls and coating them in sugar, be generous with the sugar coating. The sugar creates the signature crinkled appearance on the cookies as they bake.
- Parchment Paper: Line your baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent the cookies from sticking and to make clean-up easier.
- Even Size: Use a 1-inch ice cream scoop or measure the dough to ensure that each cookie is of uniform size. This way, they will bake evenly.
- Proper Baking: Position your oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven to ensure even baking. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking for consistent results.
- Don't Over-Bake: Bake the cookies until they spread, crack on top, and the edges are set. Be careful not to over-bake them, which can result in dry cookies.
- Cooling: Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This will help them set properly without becoming too firm.
- Store Properly: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. If you want to keep them soft, add a slice of bread to the container to help retain moisture.
Can you freeze-baked Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies?
Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies, freeze well for up to 2 months. Allow the cookies to cool completely before layering them between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months: Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prepare the cookie dough and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. This allows the flavors to meld and results in a more developed taste. Make sure to tightly cover the dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying.
Can I use fresh pumpkin instead of canned puree?
While the recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree, you can substitute it with fresh ones if desired. Make sure the fresh puree has a similar consistency and moisture content. To make fresh puree, roast or steam pumpkin pieces until soft, then blend or mash until smooth.
How do I achieve a more pronounced pumpkin flavor?
You can increase the pumpkin puree slightly if you prefer a stronger pumpkin flavor. Experiment by adding ¼ to ½ cup of pumpkin puree to the recipe.
Why are my Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies flat?
Here are the 4 most common reasons why cookies spread so much.
- The Butter Is Too Soft: Butter is the foundation of delectable cookies. The butter should be left at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour until it's pliable but still cool. (it should hold a thumbprint with a bit of resistance). When creamed with sugar, room-temperature butter has the right consistency to incorporate air. Because of the trapped air pockets, the Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies rise and become fluffy. If the butter is too warm, it will not incorporate enough air, resulting in a lower rise in your Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies. Furthermore, butter that is warmer than room temperature melts in the oven instantly, encouraging the dough to spread quickly with it. A quick fix is to chill the Dough. Refrigerate the remaining dough for one to two hours or until it feels firm. This chills the butter, preventing it from spreading too quickly in the oven. Although your cookies will not be as fluffy as once, they will not turn into pancakes.
- You're Baking on Hot Baking Sheets: After the first Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies has been baked, a new batch of dough is transferred to the baking sheet. While the first batch was perfect, the second batch spread a lot, possibly to the point where the cookies fused. What happened? Everything comes back to the butter. Hot baking sheets cause the butter to melt quickly, bringing the dough with it. A quick fix is to Cool the Baking Sheets Under Running Water for a few minutes so they're warm, not screaming hot. Then rinse them off under room temperature water until they're no longer hot to the touch. Then, dry them off and place your Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies on the cool sheets.
- Your Oven Is Too Hot: If your Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies consistently come out flat, no matter what recipe you use, your oven is probably too hot. Here's what's going on. In an overheated oven, the butter melts quickly before the other ingredients have firmed up into a cookie structure. As a result, as the butter spreads, the entire liquid cookie spreads. A quick fix is to reduce the temperature of your oven and increase the baking time. In the long run, consider purchasing an oven thermometer and keeping it in your oven so you know the exact temperature of your oven. Then you can adjust the heat as needed or consult the oven's manual to learn how to calibrate it.
- Incorrectly Measured Ingredients: If your flour, butter, and sugar ratios are off, the cookie might spread too quickly. This can occur if you aren't precise with your measurements. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, for example, and you add a slightly heaping cup instead of leveling off the cup precisely, you'll end up with too much. This is because sugar sucks up liquid, and when those cookies bake, it'll release the liquid and cause the cookies to spread out. Likewise, if you use too much butter, the Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies will end up flat and greasy. And if you use too little flour, the amount of butter and sugar will be proportionally too high, meaning the cookies will spread for the above reasons. A quick fix is to bulk it up a Little. If you used too little flour, stir a couple more tablespoons into the batter. Otherwise, shape your Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies and freeze them on the baking sheet until they're solid. Although the cookies might still spread some, the frozen butter will counteract the action. If all else fails, consider repurposing your flattened cookies: crumble them up like ice cream toppings or mix-ins, or stir them into cake batter for a decadent treat.
More Holiday Inspired Cookies Recipe:
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Fig Cookies
- Snickerdoodles cookie
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Pecan Snowball Cookies
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
How to Make Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies
- 325 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled off
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree , canned
- 2 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar for coating
- ½ cup of confectioners' sugar for coating
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt until creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add the pumpkin puree and beat until well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture in 2 increments into the mixing bowl. Scrape the bowl once and mix again until well combined; be careful not to over-mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Place the granulated sugar and confectioners sugar in separate small bowls and set aside. Roll tablespoonfuls of chilled dough into balls, then roll in the granulated sugar and generously in the confectioners' sugar. Arrange 2 inches apart on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 ºF—line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Bake until the pumpkin crinkle cookies spread, the tops crack, and edges are just firm, 14 to 16 minutes, switching. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the pumpkin crinkle cookies with more confectioners' sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To store: Pumpkin Crinkle Cookies can be kept airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- To reheat: Warm them in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5 minutes to reheat.
- The pumpkin crinkle cookie dough is very sticky; at first, you may not think it will form into a ball. However, once chilled, the dough will hold a study shape.
- The Cookie Dough can be frozen for up to 2 Months: Roll the dough into balls, let set on a baking sheet in the freezer, then place in a ziplock freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer.
- Pumpkin Clinkle Cookies, freeze well for up to 2 months. Allow the cookies to cool completely before layering them between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months: Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also freeze the cookie dough before rolling it out. Prepare the dough, drop the cookie dough in heaping tablespoons onto a sheet pan, let them set in the freezer until solid, then place them in a freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake directly from frozen, as directed in the recipe, but add 1 to 2 extra minutes to the baking time.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.