These pumpkin spice cookies are moist, supremely soft, with hints of chewiness at the edges, and have a wonderful flavor from being sweetened with honey. There’s no pumpkin purée in them—the pop of pumpkin flavor comes from the pumpkin pie spice. The honey makes it a soft, limp dough, which must be chilled before baking so your cookies bake up thick and puffy. These cookies appeared on my blog and were an instant reader favorite.–Averie Sunshine

How do I bake cookies that stay puffy?

Make sure that you chill you dough for at least an hour. You can also pop your dough mounds into the freezer if you have issues with patience–just don’t let them freeze through, you want them cold, not iced. 20 minutes should be enough.

A few other tips–let your butter soften so it can be easily creamed but don’t let it get too warm. Just warm enough to combine with the sugar and flour. For those of you that like numbers, 67°F is the perfect temperature for “room temperature” butter. Finally, instead of flattening the dough mounds, leave a little peak in the middle so they retain some thickness.

How should I store these cookies?

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or the cooked, cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 4 months.

Pumpkin spice cookies stacked on a wooden cutting board.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

4.75 / 4 votes
These lovely spiced pumpkin cookies are spiced perfectly, easy, and pumpkin-pie-delightful. Delicately flavored, with a soft center and crisp edges, they're the autumn treat you've been craving.
Angie Zoobkoff
Servings18 cookies
Calories154 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time4 hours


  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice, (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt, (optional)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, and egg, and beat on medium-high speed until well creamed, light, and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes), stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Don’t shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluffy.
  • After scraping down the sides of the bowl, add the honey, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Again scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, if using, to taste, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  • Using a 2-inch cookie scoop, form mounds of dough and place them on a large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 5 days before baking. (The unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough for baking them as needed.)
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line the baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  • Place the mounds of chilled dough on the baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Don’t bake room-temperature dough; the cookies will spread and bake thin and flat. Bake the cookies for 8 to 9 minutes if you prefer super soft cookies or 9 to 10 minutes if you like soft yet slightly firmer cookies. The cookies are ready to come out of the oven when the edges have set and the bottoms are just barely beginning to turn golden brown and the tops are beginning to set but may still appear undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. (You can store the cookies in a resealable container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 4 months.)


Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 154 kcalCarbohydrates: 24 gProtein: 2 gFat: 6 gSaturated Fat: 3 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 24 mgSodium: 69 mgPotassium: 40 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 13 gVitamin A: 174 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 18 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Averie Sunshine. Photo © 2014 Averie Sunshine. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This is a nice and easy recipe that makes a nice-sized batch of pumpkin spice cookies with that nice chewy, soft quality usually only found with fresh molasses cookies. It is tempting to over-bake them, but if you want the chewy center to stay soft, just give the cookies 9 minutes, 10 at the most, in the oven. The bottom will be just slightly browned.

I found my antique ice cream scoop was exactly the right 2-inch size if filled scantly. I covered the mounds with plastic wrap, just gently pressing down as I smoothed the plastic, and gave them a bit more than 3 hours. Cooking on parchment made cleanup easy, and the cookies came off just fine. I plied my friends and some perfect strangers with them, and all agreed they were lovely, delicately flavored, yummy cookies.

The last couple that came home with me were finished off with a cappuccino. All gone! If I could cut back a little on the brown sugar I might feel more virtuous, but the sweetness level was very pleasant, and the honey flavor came through without being overwhelming. The spicing is just perfect.

These pumpkin spice cookies are so delicious when baked during a beautiful fall. The dough was simple to make and took only approximately 10 minutes from start to fridge! I used store-bought pumpkin pie spice, which gave the cookie a perfect pumpkin pie flavor in a portable treat.

I found it worked better to put the dough mounds on a Silpat-lined pan instead of putting them on a plate and then transferring them to a pan. The dough stuck to the plate but luckily did not stick to the plastic wrap cover. I wanted my cookies soft, so I baked them for 9 minutes.

When they came out of the oven, they were puffed and just as described with a dark edge and a soft center. Unfortunately, as they cooled, they also flattened. They still stayed soft though. I will make these again, as they are so easy and delightful.

Soft and puffy? Yes. Spice? Yes. This is an excellent pumpkin spice cookie recipe, even though there’s no pumpkin flavor to them at all. It took 10 minutes to really cream the butter. I refrigerated the dough overnight. The baking time was just right at 10 minutes.

I baked my cookies on parchment paper, which worked beautifully. My recipe yielded 17 wonderfully delicious cookies. They tasted amazing warm and at room temperature, remaining soft and puffy even the next day. They were fantastic cookies, spiced perfectly and full of all the joys of fall.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Pumpkin spice ANYTHING—sign me up! These pumpkin spice cookies exceeded my expectations. The rest of my family loved them, too, including my beagles. The dogs went crazy over them. I love a soft cookie, but I kept these in the oven for a full 10 minutes. They came out perfectly soft, and they stayed soft and fresh in a plastic resealable bag on the counter. Well, at least for 24 hours they did. I’d have to hide them in the garage if I expected them to go uneaten for longer than that. I have a few cookies hidden, unbaked, in the back of the fridge. I’ll surprise the family later this week. I’m sure the beagles will come running as soon as they smell these little lovelies baking.

    1. THese will be a hit as the weather gets cooler, Mike. And, hey, beagles gotta eat, too, right?