These Pumpkin Spice Cookies are my seasonal take on a traditional rolled sugar cookie. Tasty as is, and fantastic to use for decorating!
For example, pumpkin spice season - for me - started in early July.
We were elbows deep in all things pumpkin, reveling in warm fall flavors... on the same days we’d go hang out at the local beach.
Today, I’m sharing my recipe for pumpkin spice cutout cookies. This (well, the upcoming, anyway) time of year is all about baked goods, after all!
It’s specifically a rolled pumpkin spice sugar cookie, making it a great recipe for cookie decorating, and a great excuse to make fall leaves cookies, Halloween cookies, or even Thanksgiving cookies.
Fall colors AND fall flavors are always a winning combination, IMHO!
A Note on “Pumpkin Cookies”
To be clear, this is a recipe for pumpkin SPICE sugar cookies, not a pumpkin cookie recipe. There’s no actual pumpkin in this recipe, whether pumpkin puree or otherwise.
While I love pumpkin flavor in general - especially with fall spices - pumpkin purée can add a bit of a wild card to sugar cookie dough.
When making rolled sugar cookies, I love a super predictable, consistent dough - and I find that actual pumpkin sugar cookies tend to spread.
Sorry about that, but trust me - these easy cookies are fantastic nonetheless!
Enjoy them with a cup of tea, a pumpkin spice latter, or mug of hot apple cider... maybe take them on a hike to go look at fall leaves. It’s the perfect way to enjoy this time of year!
This is a super simple recipe for pumpkin spice sugar cookies, using ingredients you can find at most grocery stores:
All purpose flour
Dark brown sugar
Pure vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If your local grocery store doesn’t happen to carry pumpkin spice - or if you want more control over the flavour - you can make your own custom combination of spices - a lot of people do!
Usually, you’d want some combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and/or allspice.
While these cookies are great on their own, I love coating them with royal icing - a simple frosting made with powdered sugar, some form of egg, and lemon juice or water.
It dries hard, and is ideal for decorating homemade sugar cookies with.
Not a fan of royal icing?
Feel free to slather these pumpkin spice sugar cookies in your favourite cream cheese frosting!
As far as equipment goes - beyond mixing and measuring implements, I recommend having:
I highly recommend using a rolling pin with adjustable thickness guides.
I love this for anything I need a rolling pin for, but it’s especially good for something like this, where you want to maintain a really consistent, even thickness across all of your cookies.
The link is to the one I have, I LOVE it.
You can use any cookie cutters you like with this recipe.
If you’re decorating, you’ll want a
Large Piping Bag at the very least.
(I didn’t bother doing any detail piping for the cookies photographed for this post, though!
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is the pictorial walk through with step by step instructions and additional information and tips.
Make the Cookie Dough
First thing to note: You can make this in the bowl of a stand mixer (fit with a paddle attachment), or in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
I’ve taken to using a hand mixer for almost everything, recently. It can definitely be a workout, for this recipe!
Add eggs to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
Add vanilla extract, and mix until well incorporated and smooth.
Carefully add this dry ingredients / flour mixture into wet ingredients, beating on low speed until fully incorporated.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, chill for 1 hour.
Note: You can make your dough ahead of time, and chill for up to a couple days, if needed.
Roll, Cut, & Bake
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a little flour over your (clean!) work surface.
Roll chilled dough out to about ¼″ thick (can be slightly thicker).
I like to use a Rolling pin with adjustable thickness guides to roll dough, as it really helps keep it to perfectly consistent thickness.
Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you’d like, place cut cookies 2″ apart in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
As your first batch is baking, gather the rest of the dough, gently knead it together, roll and cut. Repeat as necessary.
You can place your cookie sheet on a wire rack if you’d like, to help the baked cookies cool faster.
Note: If you’re decorating the cookies with the flooding technique, I recommend placing a second pan over a batch of fresh-from-the-oven cookies, and pressing down gently but firmly.
This flattens out any uneven puffiness that may have occurred during baking, giving you a perfectly flat cookie.
If you’re not decorating them, the undecorated cookies can be transferred to an airtight container or freezer bag and stored at room temp for several days, in the fridge for a week or more, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Decorating Your Pumpkin Spice Cookies
I like to decorate my cookies right on the sheet pan, or on a parchment lined surface - makes cleanup easier!
Portion enough icing out for each color into a small bowl, color with the right amount of Gel Food Coloring to get the color you want.
Note: Stir slowly and gently, to avoid creating air bubbles.
I piped these pumpkin spice sugar cookies with a super basic border and flood technique, after thinning my royal icing to the desired consistency.
See my post Sugar Cookie Decorating for Beginners for full details on how to achieve the right consistency for borders and fill, and tips to get the best results when decorating!
Storing Decorated Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Once fully dried - I mean it, FULLY dried - These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
I like to lay them flat, in layers, with each layer separated by a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper.
FULLY dried cookies can also be frozen for several months, if needed.
I recommend individually sealing them in cellophane bags before putting them in the freezer. “Airtight” is important - if any moisture gets in, they can be destroyed when thawed.
More Cookie Decorating Posts
Looking for more excuses to roll some sugar cookie dough out? In the mood to break out the royal icing? Here are some more delicious recipes and tutorials you may be interested in!
Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Decorating Dalek Cookies
Easy Royal Icing
Easy Spider Web Cookies
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies for Decorating
Nightmare Before Christmas Cookies
Sugar Cookie Decorating for Beginners
Traditional Royal Icing
.. and be sure to check out our Cookies & Bars recipe section for even more delicious cookie recipes!
Share the Love!
Before you chow down, be sure to take some pics of your handiwork, for posterity and social media! If you Instagram it, be sure to tag me - @CelebrationGenerationCA - or post it to My Facebook Page - so I can cheer you on!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense. Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and/or a comment below!
Rolled Pumpkin Spice Cookies for Decorating
- 1 cup Butter softened
- 1 ½ cups Brown sugar packed
- 3 Large eggs
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 3 ¼ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoon Pumpkin Spice
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth and fluffy.
- Add in eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Add vanilla extract, and mix until well incorporated and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and salt together. Carefully add this dry ingredient mix into wet ingredients, stirring until fully incorporated
- Wrap dough in plastic film, chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- On a floured counter, roll cookie dough out to about ¼″ thick (can be slightly thicker).
- Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you’d like, place cookies 2″ apart on prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until bottoms look lightly golden.
- Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes before moving. Cookies need to cool completely before decorating.