Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies

Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
Avoiding gluten doesn't have to mean skipping dessert. Here's how to make our favorite gluten-free pumpkin cookies.

Updated: Mar. 11, 2024

When it comes to fall baking, pumpkin recipes have our hearts. Pumpkin is cozy, warming and festive. It’s as welcome in a back-to-school lunchbox as on a Thanksgiving dessert table. These gluten-free pumpkin cookies have all of the flavor and none of the wheat.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies in a stack, next to a cooling rack with more cookies and a cup of coffeeTMB Studio

Key Ingredients for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies

The secret to achieving chewy, tender gluten-free cookies lies in the perfect balance of ingredients. Here’s what makes this recipe work really well.

  • Gluten-free flour mix: The trick to gluten-free baking? Most alternative flours can’t replace wheat flour one-to-one. Gluten-free recipes call for an all-purpose mix of a few gluten-free flours, which are combined together to mimic the protein, fiber and starch content of wheat. For this gluten-free pumpkin and cookie recipe, you can use a store-bought gluten-free flour blend or make a homemade gluten-free flour mix.
  • Canned pumpkin puree: It may surprise you, but when it comes to canned vs. fresh pumpkin, canned wins for baking, hands-down. Not only is canned pumpkin easier (and often cheaper) than homemade, it’s generally the most consistent in terms of texture, flavor and moisture content: three crucial elements of a baked good.

Directions

Step 1: Start the dough

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies step oneTMB Studio

Before you get started, preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter with the brown and granulated sugars until light and fluffy. This is easiest to do with a stand mixer or a hand-held beater, though possible with a wooden spoon and elbow grease!

Beat in the egg, along with the vanilla.

Step 2: Stir in the pumpkin

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies step 3TMB Studio

Add the canned pumpkin. Mix well, until the batter is a uniform color.

Step 3: Add the remaining dry ingredients

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies step 4TMB Studio

Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder. It’s important to pre-mix these dry ingredients to ensure that the smaller quantities are evenly distributed when added to the batter. Gradually, add the flour mix to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Step 4: Portion out cookies

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies step 5TMB Studio

Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, portion out tablespoon-sized dollops of dough onto greased baking sheets. Space them about 2-inches apart so they have room to spread while baking.

Step 5: Bake

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies step 6TMB Studio

Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: If your oven doesn’t heat evenly, it helps to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through. Switch the bottom and top sheets, and flip them so the rear is to the front.

Step 6: Cool

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies step 7TMB Studio

After removing cookies from the oven, move to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 7: Make the glaze

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies glaze in a bowlTMB Studio

In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla with just enough milk to achieve a pouring consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk and the glaze becomes watery, shake in a bit more powdered sugar.

Drizzle the glaze generously over the cookies.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies being drizzled with glazeTMB Studio

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookie Tips

How can I make gluten-free pumpkin cookies my own?

  • Spices: pumpkin pie mix, nutmeg, Chinese five spice or cardamom
  • Chips: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or chopped up pieces of chocolate
  • Nuts: chopped walnuts or pecans

How do you store gluten-free pumpkin cookies?

Freshly made pumpkin cookies make perfect desserts. If you can’t eat them up right away, glazed cookies are best kept in the fridge, as they contain milk. They will last up to three days.

Unglazed cookies can be stored at room temperature, tightly wrapped or sealed in an airtight container, for up to three days.

Bear in mind that gluten-free cookies do tend to try out faster than wheat-containing cookies do. A warm-through in the microwave will revive a crumbly cookie, but they will taste best the first day or two.

Want to store them longer? Freeze unglazed cookies, tightly wrapped, for up to a month.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 4 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • GLAZE:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin; mix well. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over cookies.

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 87 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 87mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.

These yummy pumpkin cookies are light and fluffy, almost like cake cookies, and they are not overly sweet. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen