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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4.92 from 35 votes

posted: 08/19/17

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are absolutely amazing! Deliciously soft sugar cookies, full of pumpkin fall flavor! This easy pumpkin cookies recipe is bound to become a family favorite!

A stack of the Pumpkin Sugar Cookies has a light golden color with a hard exterior and soft interior.

This is a pumpkin cookie recipe that you all have really enjoyed, so I thought I would add a video to it and update the photos. The post was written in September 2015 and the photos were just updated August 2017.

This week marked the five year anniversary of Elliot’s death.

What is so weird/tricky/frustrating/maddening about grief is that you don’t really know how or when it will strike. Four years ago, when we should have been celebrating Elliot’s first birthday, everyone was bracing for us to struggle through September 9th, the first anniversary of his death. But it was September 1st, when we should have been taking pictures of him shoving cake in his mouth, that really floored me.

An overhead photo of the Pumpkin Sugar Cookies have a light golden color.

And this year while I was really anticipating Elliot’s birthday to be rough, it was the anniversary of his death that was hard.

I have never really talked about his death publicly. Probably because we had to make the unbearable decision to take him off life support, and I know that that is controversial. We did so with a lot of counsel from his doctors. And when I say counsel, I mean I asked them what they would do if it was their own child and watched their eyes fill with tears at the mere thought. They made it very clear to us that our options were very limited, and were so kind in helping us come to a decision.

I will never forget watching Gavin say goodbye to Elliot . . . though he didn’t entirely understand what that meant.

I will never forget Elliot squeezing my finger and second guessing myself and having his nurses reassure me that this was common in patients with only lower brain functioning.

And I will never forget Nathan and I promising Elliot that we would never look at this life as a tragedy. So many people have asked me how I possibly made it through losing a child, and honestly the answer to that question is a work in progress. But what I come back to over and over and over is that moment when I was holding him and he was taking his last breaths and he was all unhooked from machines and I was promising him that I would not let his death be a black mark on my life.

A stack of the Pumpkin Sugar Cookies has a light golden color with a hard exterior and soft interior.

Just before school started this fall, and I promise this relates, Quinn drew a picture of me with something giant. I asked her what it was and she said it was me . . . sad because I missed her because she was at school and with a giant sandwich.

She gets me. I’m an emotional eater. Lol!

So . . . . I made these cookies on the anniversary of Elliot’s death this year. The foundation of these cookies are these perfect sugar cookies that I made 7.2 million times while my mom was dying. They are my ultimate comfort food. Scratch that. The cookie dough for these cookies is my ultimate comfort food.

I had had a conversation with Cathy just a few days before making these pumpkin sugar cookies and she mentioned these cookies, and the ratio she used of pumpkin and eggs to make the perfect cookie. She was dead on! I used it to make the pumpkin sugar cookies and it resulted in what might be the best damn cookie I’ve ever eaten. I’m not kidding.

So I’m not going to say that these soft pumpkin cookies fixed the anniversary of Elliot’s death. But if I’m being 100% honest, they totally did make it a little easier.

A stack of the Pumpkin Sugar Cookies has a light golden color with a hard exterior and soft interior.


Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
4.92 from 35 votes

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Serves: 24 cookies
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are absolutely amazing! Deliciously soft sugar cookies, full of pumpkin fall flavor! This easy pumpkin cookies recipe is bound to become a family favorite!


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar + more for rolling
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 14 TBSPS unsalted butter 1 3/4 stick at room temperature
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • With your mixer on medium, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the egg yolk, then vanilla, then pumpkin until well combined.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until well combined, with your mixer set to low. Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and refrigerate the cookie dough for 20 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into one inch sized balls. Roll in sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or silicon mat and press down slightly. Space the cookies about two inches apart.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. (I baked mine in three batches)
  • Let cool on the pan for about two minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Serving: 1cookie Calories: 156kcal (8%) Carbohydrates: 22.1g (7%) Protein: 1.5g (3%) Fat: 6.8g (10%) Saturated Fat: 4.2g (26%) Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 25.2mg (8%) Sodium: 49.4mg (2%) Potassium: 4.2mg Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 12.2g (14%) Vitamin A: 868.5IU (17%) Calcium: 8mg (1%) Iron: 0.1mg (1%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

did you make this

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

I'd love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Other Great Pumpkin Recipes:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Apple Dump Cake

Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Melissa Bernard says

    5 stars
    Made these using a chia “egg” and vegan butter- they are delicious!

  2. Lisa Keys says

    Well now. We are both named Lisa, we both love pumpkin and we have both lost a son. I guess that makes us two peas in a pod. I am so very sorry for your loss and like you baking gets me through the overwhelming grief that just sometimes creeps up on us from out of nowhere or when we least expect it. I love this recipe and that you have the courage to share Elliot’s story. It’s important <3

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh, Lisa. I always hate hearing that someone else is in this awful club, this grieving parent club. But I’m also grateful for others who understand what it means.

  3. Natasha says

    What a touching story. I admire your strength. And I will definitely be baking these cookies in the upcoming months. Thank you.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much Natasha!

  4. Elaine says

    Just came across your recipe someone posted on Facebook. First let me offer my sincere condolences on the pasting of your son. It has been a few years but I am sure the profound sadness is still fresh. Take comfort that he is with the angels and free from pain and suffering. Now, back to the cookies, look yummy going to bake them this week when my 10 year old Granddaughter will be spending a few days with us. I will be thinking of you and your beautiful son the whole time……

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you too much for your kind words, Elaine!

  5. Gai says

    what a sad, emotional, and beautiful site you have here.You have written well of the grief at losing your precious son, and I can not imagine the pain you have been through or the decisions you have had to make.All can read of your great love.I didnt expect this when i was looking at a sugar cookie recipe!Just so you know a I will say a prayer for you as I make your cookies, and tell all who eat them in a small town in Australia of your courage and story.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Gai

  6. Karri Elkins says

    I saw a photo of these cookies on a friend’s facebook post. She sent the requested link and as I started to read I had my breath taken away. I just need to tell you, though this is my first introduction to Wine and Glue, and to you, I am still weeping as I think of you and your precious child. I am so, so sorry you lost him. So, so sorry you were put in such a position to make such a decision. Your child. Your heart. We are all one heart in our love for our children
    Sending you my love and prayers for your peaceful heart. Rest In Peace, sweet Elliot

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh Karri, thank you! So many people don’t know what to say and opt to say nothing. I appreciate more than you can know that you said something. Thank you.

  7. Karen says

    I too lost a son, 47 years ago, we put flowers on his grave every bday, and funeral day and Memorial Day, I will tell you the heartache is still there wondering what if and what would look like or his life be like now but I will tell you it does get easier over time so hang in there hold your memories and pictures close give other children lots of hugs and do talk about him with them — all my kids talk about their little/big brother every holiday and their kids all know and do to-

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for this sweet note, Karen! My daughter, Quinn, was born just 11 months to the day after Elliot died, and she talks about him all the time. It’s both heartbreaking and amazing. And as you said, I’m sure it always will be.

  8. Joan Leotta says

    Read your post and want to extend a hug…our son died at age 19, in 2002… March and then his birthday month of April are very hard for us.. I understand and am glad the baking helps.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words Joan. And I’m so sorry for your loss. I swear it is like losing an arm. You learn to go on, but life really isn’t the same.

  9. Jacqueline says

    I’m so sorry to hear your story. Today I’ll be baking these in honor of Elliot.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Jacqueline!

  10. Shawna says

    Do you use the pumpkin pie filling that has sugar and spices in it or the one without?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Nope, just the 100% pumpkin purée

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners