These gluten free pumpkin cookies are soft & light! The perfect balance of pumpkin and spice, these moist cookies are hard to resist. They are topped with a cream cheese frosting (totally optional!). Make these today and you will find that these are the best gluten free pumpkin cookies!
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I absolutely love fresh cookies, hot out of the oven. Seriously, what’s better than a warm cookie melting in your mouth?? And I think we can all agree that cookies just don’t taste the same 4 or 5 days after cooking.
I finally figured out the trick to having fresh cookies readily available...without having to do a lot of work. Freeze your cookie dough!! All you do is make the cookie dough and cook what you want. Take the leftover dough, scoop it by the tablespoon into cookie dough balls and then freeze!
Cook 1 or 2 cookies whenever you want. There is no need to defrost them either; you can even cook straight from the freezer!
- Canned Pumpkin: Use canned pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Butter: adds moisture to the cookies. Butter is recommended, this recipe has not been tested with margarine.
- Egg: 1 large egg will do the trick
- Brown Sugar: The sugar is split between part brown sugar and part granulated sugar. The brown sugar makes the cookies extra moist.
- Granulated sugar: Adds Sweetness!
- Flour: I used the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour 1: 1 ratio. Any flour that is a 1:1 ratio baking flour will work. The flour must contain xanthan gum.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: help make the cookie rise!
- Cinnamon & Pumpkin Pie Spice: Adds that good pumpkin spice flavor!
- Cream Cheese: Use softened cream cheese. Let the cream cheese sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. Pick low fat cream cheese for an option that is lower in fat and calories.
- Powdered Sugar: adds sweetness to the frosting, use less for a less sweet frosting
- Vanilla: just a small dash, adds flavor to the frosting
This recipe works with both all purpose flour and with gluten free flour!
Gluten Free Flour:
Use a gluten free flour that has a 1:1 ratio baking blend. My favorite brands are King Arthur’s baking 1:1 ratio flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 ratio baking flour. Both of these flours contain Xanthan gum, which is important in helping the cookies turn out.
All Purpose Flour:
Use white, all purpose flour if not concerned about making these cookies gluten free. This could also be substituted with half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour to give the cookies a little extra nutritional boost.
Measuring the Flour
Measure the flour by scooping spoonfuls of flour into the measuring cup and leveling off at the top with a knife. Packing flour in the measuring cup or not leveling it will result in too much flour and a dry cookie.
This recipe makes 22 cookies. If you are wanting more cookies, I would recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.
Make it gluten free or non-gluten free based on the type of flour used!
Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoon on a cookie sheet and press down lightly with the back of a spoon to flatten the cookie.
Round Plump Cookies
Drop the cookie dough by the tablespoon on a cookie sheet and do not flatten with a spoon. The cookies will rise and have a round top.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips
Chocolate makes everything better, in my opinion! Feel free to get creative and add some extra goodies to the dough! Make these GF Pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips by adding ½ cup of chocolate chips to the dough.
Here's some more ideas of ingredients to add into the dough:
- White Chocolate Chips (½ cup)
- Chopped walnuts or pecans (½ cup)
- Craisins (½ cup)
- Coconut (¼ cup)
The frosting is completely optional. I personally think the cookies taste great without frosting. If you prefer added sweetness, definitely make the frosting and drizzle on top. The frosting is very sweet, so drizzling it helps add the perfect balance of sweetness. This is perfect so that you can still taste the pumpkin flavor.
1 cookie without frosting: 1 cookie contains 75 calories, 1 gram of protein and 13 grams of carbohydrate.
1 cookie with frosting: 1 cookie with frosting has 130 calories and 13.7 grams of carbohydrate.
Pumpkin Nutrition Information
Here’s some fun nutrition information on pumpkin:
- Pumpkin is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin K and fiber! In fact, ½ of a cup provides about 200% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your immune system, eyes and in supporting cell growth. (More on vitamin A)
- Are these cookies healthy because they contain pumpkin? In reality, these cookies realllly don’t contain that much pumpkin per individual cookie. It equals out to about 1 tsp of pumpkin per cookie. So while the pumpkin does help cut down on the amount of fat used in the recipe, unfortunately you’re not getting loads of health benefits from just 1 cookie. I guess you’d have to eat the whole batch to get the health benefits of the pumpkin…. Just kidding!
Make it Healthier!
- Use half the amount of butter and and replace the other half with applesauce to cut back on the fat
- Replace part of the brown sugar with applesauce
- Leave off the frosting (they really do taste good alone!)
- Store these in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- If frosting the cookies, they must be stored in the refrigerator.
- The cookies taste best when at room temperature or warm. Heat them in the microwave for a few seconds or let them sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes before eating.
Tips for Success
- Use a Silicone Non-Stick Baking Mat to make clean up easy. Place the mat on your cookie sheet and bake the cookies on top of it. Throw the baking mat in the dishwasher when done for easy cleanup.
- Don’t overcook! These cookies took about 10 minutes to cook in my oven. I would recommend setting the timer for 8 minutes, checking them, and then cooking another 2 minutes if still not done. They should look soft, but not doughy when done.
- Freeze your extra dough and then cook a couple cookies whenever desired. Simply drop your tablespoon of cookie dough on to waxed paper, freeze for a few hours, then place in a freezer safe bag. Whenever you want a cookie, just preheat the oven, place on a pan, and cook away!
More Gluten Free Desserts
- Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
- No Bake Cheesecake Parfait
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- 1.25 cups 1:1 gluten free baking flour (King Arthurs or Bob's Red Mill) OK to sub with All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 8 oz low fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until combined.
- In a seperate medium mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat using an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Mixture should be creamy.
- Add in egg, pumpkin and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Mix using an electric mixer just until combined. Don't overmix!
- Drop the cookie dough by rounded heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. For flatter cookies: gently press down the center of the dough using the back of a spoon. For round cookies: do not press down the center.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick is clean when inserted into the middle of the cookies. Don't over bake or they will be dry.
- Allow cookies to cool, and then drizzle frosting over the top (optional). Enjoy!
- Combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed, until combined and creamy.
- Drizzle over the top of cooled cookies.