Tis the season for pumpkin spice sugar cookie recipes! I had plans to post this on the last day of November but we had a snow storm which knocked out our internet.
This happens frequently as I live in the forest. Not the best for running a blog but it’s great for mental health! I love the smell of pine mixed with freshly fallen snow this time of year.
Back to the cookies though, these will be your new favorite: a soft pumpkin spice sugar cookie recipe with a cinnamon sugar sprinkled buttercream frosting! Chef’s kiss.
There’s a lot of pumpkin going on in these cut out pumpkin spice cookies. Both the cookie and the buttercream frosting have real, canned pumpkin in it. Not to worry, though, the pumpkin won’t be overwhelming. It’s just right.
Combined with pumpkin pie spice and a cinnamon sugar topping, these cookies will wow your taste buds.
Remember cinnamon sugar toast growing up? It’s kind of like that but combine it with pumpkin spice, buttercream frosting, and soft sugar cookies. Perfect fall flavors!
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*
- Part 1: Making the Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- Part 2: Making the Pumpkin Spice Buttercream
- Part 3: Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Recipe with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- Soft Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions
- Save the Tutorial for These Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Topped Buttercream Frosting
Part 1: Making the Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
To make deliciously soft pumpkin spice sugar cookies with real pumpkin, you’ll need:
- baking powder
- pumpkin pie spice
- an egg
- vanilla extract
- canned pumpkin
- salted butter
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a medium sized mixing bowl, combine three and a half cups of all purpose flour with two teaspoons of baking powder and one and a half teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
When measuring the flour, use the scoop and level method. That is, scoop some flour into a measuring cup using a regular sized spoon. Once a mound of flour is at the top, use the flat side of a knife to scrape the excess flour back into the bag of flour. Alternatively, use a kitchen scale and measure out 420 grams of flour.
Set this bowl aside for later.
In a stand mixer, add one cup of cold, cubed salted butter with 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Cream the butter with the sugar using the paddle attachment until well combined.
To the mixer bowl, add in one egg, one and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup of canned pumpkin puree. Make sure to use canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
Mix until just combined with the creamed sugar/butter.
To the stand mixer, slowly add in the dry ingredients that are in the medium sized mixing bowl.
The mixture will be a bit more wet than a typical sugar cookie recipe due to the canned pumpkin. This is why there is a bit more flour in the recipe. More flour will also create a softer, cakier cookie.
On a floured surface, roll the sugar cookie dough into a ball. This will help prevent stickiness when rolling. Also, add some flour into the rolling pin.
I use my Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin to roll the cookies to 3/8″ thick. This helps create a softer, thicker cookie, as opposed to 1/4″ thick.
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the designs. I used a mini pumpkin cookie cutter as I was sharing these cookies at Thanksgiving.
Pro tip: When making cookies for an event that is known to have a lot of desserts, make mini cookies! People are more likely to grab one because they can justify a small cookie versus a standard sized cookie.
Place your cut out sugar cookies onto a lined aluminum baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. I like to line my cookies with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
The cookies are done when the centers don’t look wet. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet. While the cookies are cooling, begin making your buttercream frosting.
Part 2: Making the Pumpkin Spice Buttercream
This is a delicious crusting buttercream recipe that has the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor. I have a whole post dedicated to this pumpkin spice buttercream recipe if you want to know the ins and outs. Otherwise, you’ll find the recipe card below.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- room temperature salted butter
- room temperature unsalted butter
- canned pumpkin
- pumpkin spice seasoning
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
It is imperative that your butter is room temperature for the buttercream to come together better. If you are starting with cold butter, you can beat the butter long enough so that it comes to room temperature if necessary. Just make sure to only proceed with the rest of the ingredients once the butter is at room temperature.
Part 3: Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Recipe with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
Okay, let’s start putting all these delicious flavors together for some soft pumpkin spice sugar cookies! Once you have your cookies baked and buttercream made, it’s time to start piping.
For mini pumpkin shaped cookies, you’ll want:
- two piping bags
- one Wilton tip #5 piping tip
- one Wilton star tip (such as the 16, 18, or 22)
- cinnamon sugar mix
Place the tip #5 into one piping bag and the star tip into another piping bag. Then, cut the piping bag so that part of the tip is out.
Scoop the pumpkin spice buttercream into each bag until the max fill line, or about one cup. You will add more as you need. Adding too much at once will leave you with tired hands.
Use the bag with the tip #5 to squeeze out pumpkin “lines” and the star tipped bag for the stem.
Now for the finishing touch that really brings these cookies alive: cinnamon sugar topping. Mix together some granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, then use a sifter or fine mesh to sprinkle it over the buttercream.
Allow the cookies to form a crust, at least 30 minutes. Then, for the ultimate soft pumpkin spice sugar cookie, arrange them into air tight containers and freeze the cookies for at least an hour.
When arranging the cookies, keep them a single layer, as the cookies aren’t fully crusted yet. You will need multiple containers. I just love these containers and use them all the time for cookies.
When you’re ready to serve the cookies, take them out of the freezer and allow them to defrost for 30 minutes before opening the lids. The cookies will be sooooo incredibly soft. You can freeze the cookies for three months before eating these in case you’re wondering.
Soft Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rubber Spatula
- Rolling Pin adjustable if possible, see above for recommendation
- Piping bags
- Wilton tip #5 and star tip
- Cookie cutter I used a mini pumpkin cookie cutter
Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 3.5 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup cold, cubed salted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg
- 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Remove 1/2 cup of salted butter and 1/2 cup of unsalted butter from the refrigerator and set aside to come to room temperature. This will be used for the buttercream frosting later.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and the pumpkin pie spice. When measuring the flour, use the scoop and scrape method.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed until well combined.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and mix until just combined.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients from the medium sized mixing bowl until combined. The mixture will be sticky.
- On a floured surface, roll the sticky dough into a ball. This will make it easier to roll out the dough. Add some flour to the rolling pin as well and roll the dough out to ⅜" thick. Cut out the cookies with the cookie cutter and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the top of the cookies no longer appear wet. Repeat until all of the cookie dough is used.
Pumpkin Spice Buttercream Frosting with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- Once the butter has come to room temperature and in a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter on high with the paddle attachment until lighter in color. This will take a few minutes.
- Add the canned pumpkin puree and mix until just combined.
- To the butter and pumpkin mixture, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together a bit before turning on the stand mixer to low to combine. You can also cover the mixer with a towel to prevent a powdery mess. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
- Place the buttercream into two piping bags, one with the Wilton tip #5 in it and another with a Wilton star tip in it.
- Decorate the cooled pumpkin sugar cookies with the buttercream, using the tip #5 bag to pipe the pumpkin shape and the star tipped bag to pipe the stem. Once all of the cookies are piped, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix over the cookies.
- For extra soft pumpkin spice sugar cookies, place the cookies in a single layer into an airtight container. Freeze the cookies for at least an hour or up to three months. See the above section for my recommended containers. Allow the frozen cookies to defrost in the container for 30 minutes before opening the containers and serving the cookies.
Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling?
Canned pumpkin only contains pureed pumpkin while pumpkin pie filling containers other ingredients necessary to fill a pie.
Don’t I need to chill the dough before baking?
This is a no-chill, no-spread sugar cookie recipe. I like to be able to roll out, cut out, and bake my sugar cookies all at once without waiting. Who likes to wait any longer than necessary for cookies, right?
We get away with not chilling the dough by using cold, cubed butter. When baking in batches, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies and place them onto a sheet of parchment paper to continue cooling. Cut out the next set of cookies and bake them on the same baking sheet. Repeat the process as many times until the dough is used.
If you cannot use all the dough at once, you may freeze the dough for 3 months or place it in your refrigerator for a week. The dough may spread more, so after rolling and cutting out the cookies, lay the cookies onto the baking sheet and freeze them for 10 minutes. Then, bake the cookies.
Can I package these cookies?
Yes! You can package buttercream sugar cookies. I have a very detailed post on packaging buttercream sugar cookies for your reference.
Can I stack buttercream sugar cookies?
Yes and no. Do definitely wait for the cookies to be fully crusted, at least 8 hours, before stacking them. I like to stack cookies once they are at their destination. I typically stack them so that they are staggered and not fully on top of each other to help protect the designs.
That being said, I did travel with these exact cookies stacked in a staggered manner 45 minutes in the car to Thanksgiving. They did survive but I’m not sure if I can promise the same for your cookies. To play it safe, travel with them in a single layer and then stack at the party/event.
Can I freeze buttercream sugar cookies?
Yes, in fact this recipe encourages you to freeze the cookies for an extra soft pumpkin spice sugar cookie. You can freeze the cookies for up to three months, decorated or undecorated. Use an airtight container and allow the cookies to defrost completely before pulling them out of the container.
Save the Tutorial for These Soft Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Sugar Topped Buttercream Frosting
Use the image below to pin this pumpkin spice cut out sugar cookie recipe to your Thanksgiving or fall board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social share icons on the top of the page to share it to your favorite social media site.