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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

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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. Krista says

    5 stars
    I stumbled across this when googling pumpkin sugar cookies. Thank you for sharing this story, I was touched. Much love to you. And I’m looking forward to trying your recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much Krista. ❤️

  2. Gillian says

    5 stars
    This is hands down the BEST pumpkin cookie recipe I have ever had the pleasure of making. I favorited this recipe real quick. I made them exact and they were phenomenal, but for the last batch I omitted the sugar for dusting to see what would happen. They were even better! A delicious, buttery, soft, pumpkin-y, just sweet enough cookie. (Cookies with sugar on the outside always give me a headache.) I will most definitely be making these again and again. Thanks!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Psssst . . . . I usually skip the sugar dusting too because I’m too lazy, lol! So glad you liked them!

  3. Georgia says

    Lisa- I came across your blog on accident. Your post touched me so deeply. I have a little one at home and my heart just goes out to you. I immediately started crying. I pray that you continue to find joy and comfort in the next days and weeks.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much Georgia. It has been a little over nine years now. I still think about Elliot every day. But the pain isn’t as deep now. Comments like yours mean so much to me, thank you.

  4. Tiffany Chadwick says

    I haven’t made these… yet. (I will try them this weekend!) But I just wanted to say, normally I scroll past the “story” part of recipes I see online. But something about this one made me stop. I had tears in my eyes reading it. I’ve never met you, and I know this post was made in 2015/2017…. but I just wanted to send you virtual internet hugs. I cannot imagine what that could have been like. Sending love!!!

    (Also, I plan on using browned butter instead of normal butter. In my opinion it makes all cookies better!) *hugs*

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Tiffany! And OMG, these would be AMAZING with brown butter!

  5. Carmen says

    These sound delicious! I have homemade pumpkin puree, and sometimes it is moister than canned. Will it work in this recipe?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Carmen! I haven’t tried this recipe with homemade puree. I would suggest that if you want to try it with homemade you simmer the puree until has more of the consistency of the canned puree so you aren’t dealing with the moisture issue.

  6. Terry says

    I am so sorry for your loss. I too, removed my son from life support, 43 years next February, Somehow it was yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago. I love pumpkin, and I love sugar cookies! It will be an honor to make these cookies. I have a bake sale coming up. These will be the perfect addition ❤

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh Terry, I am so so so sorry. Making that decision is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And your sentence “somehow it was yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago” perfectly summarizes how I feel 9 years later. Sending you so much love.

  7. Ms Rivas says

    Can easy pumpkin pie mix work as well in recipe?

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m not sure what you are referring to – a cake mix or canned pumpkin pie mix – either way, sadly, no. This recipe was tested as written, and canned pumpkin pie wouldn’t work in replacement of the pureed pumpkin.

  8. Angie von de Wall says

    5 stars
    I subbed GF flour and used 1.5 cups icing sugar in icing. My students love these-dough, cookies, icing, the whole shebang! Thank you :)

  9. Michelle says

    I just found this recipe on your site. Omg! I can’t wait to make these in honor of your son. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I cannot even imagine the pain that you go through. As far as your decision on that day. You made the right decision as a former hospital worker and a mom of 3.

  10. Chris says

    5 stars
    Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith . . . It is the price of love.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you Chris.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners