Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies


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My Mom loved fall. I guess I’m really missing her these days because I have made a number of her recipes lately and this recipe for Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies is from her collection.

I’m a huge fan of pumpkin and I love these cookies. They’re soft, about two bites each, and full of pumpkin goodness. The recipe card was stained so I’m sure my Mom made them often but I have never made this recipe before.

Old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies on a plate next to a pumpkin on a table.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

There are many reasons to love these old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies. They are soft and pillowy with a noticeable pumpkin flavor and warm spice.

It’s an easy, from-scratch

This pumpkin cookie recipe makes five and a half dozen cookies. If you don’t want to make them all at once, freeze the dough in tablespoon portions so you can take out just what you want to make.

If you bake them from frozen add a couple of minutes to the baking time. Start with adding 1 or 2 minutes and check your oven to see if they are beginning to brown.

What do soft pumpkin cookies taste like?

This pumpkin cookie recipe is light and airy. They are cake-like and soft. The pumpkin flavor is upfront with warm delightful fall spices rounding out what I also like to call pumpkin spice cookies.

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies Ingredients

  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • Large Egg
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

What is the difference between pure pumpkin and pumpkin pie mix?

Pure pumpkin is 100% pumpkin puree with nothing added. Pumpkin pie mix, on the other hand, is slightly sweetened and has spices already mixed in it.

The pumpkin to spice balance in this old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies recipe is good so using the pumpkin pie mix will not provide the same results. Pumpkin pie filling also includes water which will affect the texture of the cookie.

Substituting pumpkin pie mix for the 100% pumpkin puree is not recommended for this old fashioned pumpkin cookie recipe.

This soft pumpkin cookie uses only part of a can of pumpkin. Don’t throw the excess away, see below for more recipes that use less than a full can of pumpkin.

  • Line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. This will keep the cookies from sticking or browning too much.
  • These old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies do not spread much at all. You can get at least a dozen on a baking sheet.
  • Use a cookie scoop to make the cookies uniform in size. That way they will bake evenly.
Unbaked cookie dough on a baking sheet.

What Readers Say:

“These were soft and delicious.” ~ Diana

“Love these cookies! I sprinkled a bit of sugar and cinnamon on top.” ~ Celia

What can I do with leftover pumpkin puree?

When I first made these pumpkin cookies from my Mom’s recipe box, I wasn’t sure what to do with the leftover pumpkin. So I developed two recipes you might also enjoy.

This pumpkin spice milkshake uses a quarter cup of pumpkin puree. If you remember the morning television show The Chew it was featured during their last fall season. A pumpkin spice margarita is a great fall take on the classic cocktail.

How can I serve old fashioned pumpkin cookies?

I love the warmth the cinnamon and nutmeg bring to the cookie. They make a great snack, or lunchbox treat and are perfect after dinner with a pumpkin spice caramel mocha, pumpkin spice hot chocolate with butterscotch whipped cream, or regular coffee or tea.

The inside of a soft pumpkin cookie.

What can I add into soft pumpkin spice cookies?

This cookie is so soft, there aren’t too many things I’d add-in. If you like a pumpkin and chocolate combination toss in one cup of mini chocolate chips. I wouldn’t use larger ones because they would overpower the cookie.

You could try finely chopped pecans as well. Again, larger pieces would take over the cookie. Start with half a cup of pecans and mix them in. You can then decide if you want to add more.

If you’re really looking to do something extra special to these cookies or just to change up the recipe a bit, you could make a simple cream cheese frosting. Just spread a small dollop on top of each cookie. Or, you could make a yummy sandwich cookie too! It’s always good to have options.

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More delicious Pumpkin treats you’ll love

While these old fashioned soft pumpkin cookies from scratch are the perfect way to fill the cookie jar, sometimes you need other kinds of pumpkin desserts. Pumpkin cheesecake is the perfect addition to a fall dessert table as are chocolate pumpkin pound cake, or this pumpkin layer cake with a maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

But if it is more cookies. you are looking to try pumpkin cranberry biscotti, pumpkin snickerdoodles, or pumpkin raisin cookies.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and 5-star review on the recipe card below. If you really love this recipe, please share it on your social media!

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies fill your cookie jar with a taste of fall.
4.93 from 54 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Desserts and Sweets
Cuisine: American
Servings: 66



  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick, softened
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Line rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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  1. 5 stars
    These turned out tasty. I left some for my mom for when she got home. My mom texted “OMG these cookies are delicious”.
    I made a double batch and the cookies were pretty big and needed more time. My partner didn’t love the cookies as much as my mom but he said he doesn’t like cake type cookies.

  2. What a great treasure to have. I know how much I love going through all my mom and gram’s recipe cards. You just can’t beat a family recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Husband wanted a treat with pumpkin in some sort of soft cookie and I found these. They were a hit! Nice balanced calm flavor and soft pumpkin treat! Will be making these again! And loved adding walnuts to some of them too:) Thx for sharing!

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