Cookies with cheesecake middles on parchment paper
Cookies and Bars,  Seasonal

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

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These pumpkin cheesecake cookies are crispy on the edges, chewy in the middles, and have a creamy pumpkin cheesecake middle. The cookie has ribbons of graham crumbs for extra flavour and texture. The cookie dough is so easy to make and comes together in one bowl without an electric mixer. This recipe makes 12 large cookies. You can make smaller cookies if you prefer but I prefer the larger proportion of filling with the larger cookies. 

Why you will LOVE this recipe:

  • Pumpkin cheesecake: The middles are filled with a molten creamy pumpkin cheesecake. 
  • Easy: the dough is made using melted butter and without an electric mixer. The cookies aren’t stuffed, you just scoop the cheesecake mixture into the middles for an even easier cookie. 
  • Graham crumbs: Graham cracker crumbs are folded into the dough at the end for swirls in the cookies. 
  • Pumpkin spice: The cookies and cheesecake are lightly spiced with pumpkin spice, enough to let the pumpkin flavour shine through. 
cookie with molten pumpkin cheesecake broken in half

The best one bowl cookie dough recipe

I use variations of this one bowl cookie dough in most of my cookie recipes. It makes the perfect easy to make cookie that has crispy edges and soft and chewy middles.

It uses melted butter so you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. I always forget to leave out my butter until the last minute so this is such a time saver for me! And you don’t need a mixer if the butter is melted. Just a wire whisk works perfectly.

The cookie dough does turn out a little on the gloopy side as soon as it’s mixed together, so it needs to sit in the fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes before scooping. Once the dough is scooped, it needs to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This gives the butter enough time to resolidify, making a thicker cookie. This is also so important for developing the flavour. 

The cheesecake filling

The filling is so easy to make. The cream cheese needs a good whisk before adding in the rest of the ingredients. Then everything is whisked together until smooth and that’s it! Keep it in the fridge until you use it for filling the pumpkin cheesecake cookies. 

stack of cookies filled with pumpkin cheesecake

Key ingredients

Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below. But read through these for all the tips you will need for success!

Cream cheese: Use full fat cream cheese for the best results. Low fat cream cheese has a lot of water content and will result in a watery cookie.

Pumpkin puree: Use a store bought canned pumpkin puree or make your own. Make sure that the puree is very thick, like a thick greek yogurt. It needs to stick to the spoon when you flip it upside down. Either reduce the puree or strain it with a cheesecloth. 

Graham crumbs: I bought pre-crushed graham crackers but you can also crush them at home in a bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor. If you can’t find graham crackers you can also use digestive biscuits or any other similar cookie.

All purpose flour: Weigh the flour to get the most accurate results. If you don’t have a scale, measure properly by stirring the bag and spooning gently into a measuring cup. Scrape the excess off the top with the flat edge off a knife without packing it into the cup.

Pumpkin spice + cinnamon: The cheesecake filling has a touch of pumpkin spice and there’s a bit of cinnamon in the cookie dough. This gives the cookies the perfect fall flavour. Here’s a recipe to make your own pumpkin spice mix.

pumpkin cheesecake cookie on parchment paper

Step by step

Step 1 – Wet ingredients. Combine the cookie wet ingredients and whisk well until thickens and smooth.

Step 2 – Dry ingredients. Sift dry ingredients into the wet and fold until incorporated. Add graham crumbs and fold a few times to make swirls.

Step 3 – Shape. Chill the dough in the freezer for 10 minutes so it becomes firm. Scoop or roll into 12 balls and arrange on parchment lined baking sheet. Press the middles down to make indentations. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Step 4 – Filling. Whisk cream cheese and sugar together until completely smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until use.

Step 5 – Bake. Scoop the cheesecake batter into the cookies, arrange on baking sheet leaving at least 4″ of space in between the cookies, and bake at 355°F (180°C) for 12-14 minutes. The edges will be golden brown when they are ready.

Step 6 – Finish them off. Let the pumpkin cheesecake cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Break graham crackers over the cookies and press the pieces into the cookies. Enjoy!

FAQ

How do I make chewy cookies?

These cookies come out super chewy even if you over bake them, just as long as you measure the flour properly. Weigh the flour for the best and most consistent results. If you don’t have a scale, use a measuring cup properly: mix the flour with a spoon to fluff it up and carefully spoon it into the measuring cup. Scrape the rest off without packing in the flour. Underbake the cookies a bit for extra chew.

Why is my cookie dough too soft to scoop?

Pop the dough back into the freezer to firm up a bit before scooping it out. If you measured the flour correctly (see above paragraph) then you shouldn’t add any more. The cookie dough is very soft right after mixing but will firm up quite a bit!

How does the cream cheese middle stay in the center of the cookie?

You make an indent in the middle of the cookie with the back of your cookie scoop or fingers for the cream cheese mixture. If you overfill the middles that is ok! As the cookies bake they will spread along with the cheesecake filling.

Is it really important to chill the cookie dough before baking?

Do not skip this step! You need the gluten to relax and the butter in the cookie to firm up again. That way you get the best chewy texture in your cookie. Your cookie will look and taste completely different if you don’t chill it! Chill for longer than 30 minutes or overnight for even better flavour and texture. The longer it chills, the deeper the flavour.

How do I get perfectly round cookies?

To get perfectly round cookies, push the edges in with a spoon as soon as they come out of the oven. This evens out any uneven edges and will help make a thicker cookie. This will only work while the cookies are still hot and pliable.

Check out these other recipes:


Happy baking!

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Cookies with cheesecake middles on parchment paper

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

Mary
These pumpkin cheesecake cookies are crispy on the edges, chewy in the middles, and have a creamy pumpkin cheesecake middle. The cookie has ribbons of graham crumbs for extra flavour and texture. The cookie dough is so easy to make and comes together in one bowl without an electric mixer. This recipe makes 12 large cookies. You can make smaller cookies if you prefer but I prefer the larger proportion of filling with the larger cookies.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chill Time 40 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Baking, Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 large cookies

Equipment

  • Cookie sheet

Ingredients
  

Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup butter melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅛ cup all purpose flour 260g
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 graham crackers optional

Filling

  • 5 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree room temperature

Instructions
 

Cookie Dough

  • Combine melted butter, sugars, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth and thickens. Add egg and vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
    1 cup butter, ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sift flour, baking soda, and cinnamon right into the bowl. Fold just until incorporated and no more dry streaks remain.
    2 ⅛ cup all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Add graham cracker crumbs and fold the dough a few times to swirl the cookie dough. Let the dough chill in the freezer for 7-10 minutes so that it firms up enough to scoop or roll.
    ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • Scoop or roll 12 balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Using the back of the scoop or your fingers, Make indents in the middles to make space for the filling. Chill the portioned cookie dough for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or overnight.

Filling

  • The day of baking, whisk together softened cream cheese, brown sugar, sea salt, and vanilla in a bowl until completely smooth. Add egg yolk and pumpkin puree, whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until use.
    5 oz cream cheese, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 large egg yolk, ¼ cup pumpkin puree

Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).
  • Place chilled and scooped cookie dough on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4” of space between the cookies (they will spread).
  • Using two spoons, scoop cheesecake filling into the middles of each cookie. They need to be filled all the way up, it’s ok if you overfill. The cookies will spread and contain the filling.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Using a spoon, push in any irregular edges to make the cookies perfectly round. Break graham crackers and press pieces over the cookies. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack and baking the next batch.
    2 graham crackers
  • The cookies will keep well stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Notes

Make ahead: You can make and portion the cookie dough the day before. This will give them plenty of time to chill completely and for the flavour to develop.
Freezer batch: Prepare the cookies according to instructions and freeze the dough with the cheesecake filling on a baking sheet in a single layer. Once completely frozen, transfer into an airtight container or bag. This prevents the frozen dough from sticking. Take out raw cookies and place them frozen on a baking tray. Bake them from frozen, adding 2-4 minutes to the bake time.
Keyword cheesecake cookies, cheesecake stuffed cookies, crispy chewy cookies, pumpkin cheesecake

3 Comments

  • James Moldenhauer

    This is confusing.

    This quote from the article says “Pumpkin puree: The cake batter has a whole two cups of pumpkin.”

    This quote is from the recipe “¼ cup pumpkin puree”

    • Mary

      Thanks so much for catching that! I accidentally added that sentence in from my pumpkin chocolate cake recipe. It wasn’t supposed to be there – all fixed!

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