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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4.87 from 44 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
4.87 from 44 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. Julie says

    Thank you for sharing your story and your heart. Prayers for you as you navigate life, it is a bumpy road with many awesome side streets.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

  2. Doris says

    God bless your family and you Lisa. I’m a nurse, and am so glad you got to hold your boy as he went from one place,to another. Your words are beautiful, and his death was not in vain..Love the description of you by your daughter lol! By the way..l like crisp cookies . My kids like soft. Would l just bake a few for me longer? Thank you for posting this,on what is undeniably a still difficult time for you. Live and hugs from Southern California.

    • Lisa Longley says

      If you like your cookies crisp and they like them soft, I would don one tray as the recipe is written and the other with a few more minutes. Thank you so much for all of your kind words!

  3. Monica says

    5 stars
    What a beautiful tribute to Elliot! Years after posting this recipe, it is still being shared and appreciated in honor of your sweet boy 💖 My daughter baked these last night to surprise our family, and WOW! What a surprise! They really are delicious, and so easy to make! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, and Elliot’s cookies, which we will continue to enjoy and share for many years to come ❤

    • Lisa Longley says

      The notion that you all enjoyed these cookies while also thinking about Elliot as a family absolutely melts my heart. Thank you so so much.

  4. Patty says

    As an Oncology Nurse I see a lot of death, but I can’t imagine what you and your family went and continue to go through. Thank you for sharing your story of love and perseverance through an unimaginable loss. I can’t wait to make these yummy cookies thinking of you as an amazing mom and make the hardest decision of all, to let go for love.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Patty.

  5. JenP says

    5 stars
    My condolences on the loss of your son. Thank you for sharing your family’s story.

    Wow a great cookie recipe! I used a commercial GF Flour blend since we need that in our house. I used a small cookie scoop for shaping and I skipped the sugar coating too. I used 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/2 t ground ginger and 1/4 t ground nutmeg to amp up the spices. I also used 30 g molasses and 270 g white sugar to imitate brown sugar, because I love brown sugar with pumpkin. Yield: about 55 cookies

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

  6. Amanda Hall says

    4 stars
    I am not a fan of cinnamon, but I think this recipe could use a bit more of it for warmth. 1/2 tsp for 3 dozen cookies doesn’t seem like much – I’d probably add at least 1/4 tsp more.

    Other than that, they were good cookies. My boyfriend, a food scientist, said he liked the layers of flavor, which the sugar and pumpkin, along with the crispness of the cookie, provided. Overall a very good recipe – thank you!

  7. Lindsay says

    Quick question…have you ever used this recipe to make cutout cookies? Do they hold their shape?

    • Lisa Longley says

      This recipe, unfortunately, won’t hold its’ shape as cut cookies. Sorry!

  8. Ashley Lofstrom says

    5 stars
    TBH, I almost always scroll down to the recipe or click the “skip to recipe” button because I’m usually in a rush (impatient). For some reason, I read this article. My heart breaks for you and your family, and I cried a little reading this. Please except my virtual hug 🤗 I made these with my 11 y.o. daughter and 3 y.o. daughter, and because baking-with-a-three-year-old, added sprinkles to the sugar. These turned put delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and this recipe ❤

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you so much for your kind words. You making them with your kids absolutely melts my heart.

  9. Kyla says

    5 stars
    Lisa, I made these cookies with my three little boys today. Thank you for sharing the gift of Elliot’s life and story. It touched my heart and brought even more love into this world as we baked together <3 <3 <3

    • Lisa Longley says

      It makes my day that you made these with your kiddos. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Debra Ulrich says

    Lisa-my condolences.
    I hate wasting food stuff can I add the egg white to the recipe?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Unfortunately, I do not recommend adding the egg white to the recipe. But you can use it and the left over pumpkin in this recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Braid. Use the egg white in place of the whole egg to brush the pastry.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners