MEET THE SOFT HEALTHY PUMPKIN COOKIES that convince people to fall in love with pumpkin. I perfected this recipe a couple of years back and AK readers fell in love — for good reason!
Here’s the deal, Tony told me he didn’t like pumpkin. I was like WHO ARE YOU? Then I made these soft pumpkin cookies covered in a light salted maple frosting and he basically ate the entire batch over two days. That’s when you know they’re really, really good.
Honestly, I’m obsessed too. I couldn’t stop myself from sneaking bites here and there throughout the day.
They’re pillowy, healthy pumpkin cookies that taste like a cross between pumpkin pie and a soft pumpkin Lofthouse style cookie, which is perfect because that was basically my inspiration for this recipe.
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Ingredients in these healthy pumpkin cookies
Guess what? These soft pumpkin cookies are pretty dang healthy, too! They’re made with simple ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Coconut oil: you’ll need a bit of coconut oil for moisture in these pumpkin cookies.
- Pumpkin puree: for that delicious pumpkin flavor! Feel free to use a can or make your own pumpkin puree with fresh pumpkin.
- Organic cane sugar: I like to use organic cane sugar in this recipe but you can also use regular sugar or coconut sugar. Just note that coconut sugar will make the cookies a bit darker in color.
- Maple syrup: just a tablespoon of pure maple syrup gives these cookies that cozy fall flavor.
- Egg: you’ll just need 1 egg in this recipe. I also think that a flax egg would work well to keep these pumpkin cookies vegan.
- Vanilla extract: for a little additional flavor.
- Almond & coconut flour: we’re using a mix of almond flour and coconut flour to keep these cookies gluten and grain free.
- Baking soda & salt: so that they bake up properly.
- Pumpkin pie spice: feel free to use pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice or you can use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger & allspice or cloves.
- For the salted maple frosting: you’ll need some more maple syrup, butter (or vegan butter), almond milk and powdered sugar (or my paleo powdered sugar).
The best salted maple frosting
The cookies themselves are paleo and dairy free without the frosting, but honestly, what’s a pumpkin cookie without a little creamy frosting on top?! Not as good if you ask me.
To make it you’ll simply mix together the powdered sugar, pure maple syrup, melted butter and almond milk. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste. At first, it will seem a little thin, but after sitting for 5 minutes, it gets nice and thick for spreading.
I personally love the frosting because it’s light, yet both sweet and a tiny bit salty, just the way most things in life should be. Pretty sure I want to frost my favorite carrot cake muffins with it too!
Tips for making these healthy pumpkin cookies
- Do not use substitutes. Almond flour should not be replaced with any other flour, nor should you attempt to replace the coconut flour. The cookies are perfect as-is! I do have dairy free & vegan options to try substituting below and in the notes section.
- Pack your almond flour. You can pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar. It makes all the difference! Do not pack the coconut flour.
- DIY the pumpkin puree. Check out all of my tips and tricks for making your own pumpkin puree if you can’t find any canned!
- They’re delicious from the freezer. These cookies get softer as the days go on so I recommend keeping them in the freezer. I know this seems weird, but I froze a bunch of these cookies, then tried one straight from the freezer and they were incredible!
How to make these pumpkin cookies vegan, dairy free & paleo
- To make dairy free: these gluten free pumpkin cookies can easily be made dairy free by just swapping in vegan butter in the frosting. The cookies themselves are delicious even without the frosting (though the frosting takes these the next level).
- To make vegan: try using a flax egg instead of the regular egg (learn how to make one here!) Also, remember to use vegan butter in the frosting (or omit the frosting).
- To make paleo: use coconut sugar in the cookies themselves and simply omit the frosting.
Store or freeze them for later
- To store: feel free to keep these healthy pumpkin cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, then transfer them to the fridge or freezer. I recommend the freezer.
- To freeze: make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then transfer them to an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper or freezer-safe bag before storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months (with or without the frosting). I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy!
More pumpkin recipes you’ll love
Get all of our amazing pumpkin recipes here!
I highly suggest baking yourself a batch of these healthy pumpkin cookies and frosting them up ASAP. They really soft, but get even softer as the days go on. Everyone is gonna go CRAZY for these bad boys.
I hope you enjoy these healthy soft pumpkin cookies. If you make them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.
Soft Paleo Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Maple Frosting
Healthy soft pumpkin cookies with an addicting salted maple frosting! These melt-in-your-mouth gluten free pumpkin cookies are grain free, easily dairy free and taste like a slice of your favorite pumpkin pie. The perfect dessert for fall and holidays!
- For the cookie dough:
melted and cooled coconut oil (or sub melted butter)
organic cane sugar (regular sugar or coconut sugar will also work!)
pure maple syrup
egg, at room temperature
packed fine almond flour (do not use almond meal)
pumpkin pie spice*
- Optional if not using frosting: Roll dough in cinnamon sugar (1/4 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
- For the Salted Maple Frosting:
pure maple syrup
unsweetened almond milk, plus 1-2 teaspoons more to thin if necessary
of sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the coconut oil, pumpkin puree, sugar, maple syrup, egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined and smooth. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Process until a dough forms. Allow dough to sit for 5 minutes.
Next use your hands to roll dough into golf sized balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar if you’d like. Place on prepared cookie sheet then flatten each dough ball with the palm of your hand, but still keep the cookies nice and round. They should be about 1/4 inch thick before baking because we still want them to be nice, thick and fluffy. Bake for 8-11 minutes.
Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before frosting. Makes about 12 cookies.
For the frosting: In a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, pure maple syrup, melted butter and almond milk. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste. If frosting is too thick, you can add a teaspoon or two more milk to make it spreadable. Frost each cookie then enjoy! Sprinkle top of frosting with a little cinnamon for a gorgeous look. Cookies will get softer each day. Cookies can be stored in a container at room temp for a few days, then I recommend storing them in the fridge.
*If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can mix together: 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves.
See the full post for tips, tricks & storing instructions!
Servings: 12 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie (with frosting)
Saturated fat: 6.7g
This post was originally published on October 11th, 2018, republished on October 17th, 2021, and republished on September 12th, 2022.