These pumpkin pie cookies are buttery, brown sugar cinnamon shortbreads with a creamy pumpkin pie filling! They have a dollop of fluffy whipped cream for the whole pumpkin pie experience - in a cookie. The combination of crisp buttery shortbread cookie and creamy, spiced pumpkin filling makes these the perfect fall and Thanksgiving cookie. They’re like mini pumpkin pies!
If you love pumpkin pie, you’d love these mini pumpkin pies! They have a buttery, flaky pie crust and are so delicious.
🥧 Why you'll LOVE this recipe
- Shortbread: The crust is a brown sugar cinnamon shortbread cookie!
- Pumpkin: They are filled with a delicious traditional pumpkin pie filling.
- Easy: These pumpkin pie cookies are super easy to make and will be sure to impress anyone. You can top with store bought whipped cream if in a pinch.
Not enough pumpkin? Instead of topping them with plain whipped cream try it with pumpkin whipped cream!
📝 Key ingredients
Read through for all the tips you will need for success!
Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the cookie and have better texture. You could use salted butter, but it does have a little more water content so the texture of the cookie will be slightly different.
- Pumpkin purée: Pure canned pumpkin purée will give you the most consistent results! Make sure it’s about the consistency of hummus or thick Greek yogurt. Make these popular pumpkin cheesecake bars with any leftover pumpkin puree.
- Evaporated milk: A widely popular ingredient in pumpkin pie, it adds creaminess and richness to the filling. If you don’t have it on hand you can use heavy (whipping) cream or half and half.
- Pumpkin pie spice: A mixture of spices typically used in pumpkin pie - cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. You can purchase it pre-made or make pumpkin pie spice yourself!
- Heavy whipping cream: You’ll need heavy whipping cream for the dollops of whipped cream on the cookies. I used 35% cream for the perfect thick and creamy whip.
- 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.
If you love cookies with a pumpkin filling, you'd love these pumpkin cheesecake cookies.
👩🍳 How to make Pumpkin Pie Cookies
Cookie Dough step by step
Step 1: Combine softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
Add egg yolk, cinnamon, vanilla, and mix together well until smooth and creamy.
Step 2: Sift flour into the egg and butter mixture and fold together until a soft dough forms.
Step 3: Scoop the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon balls and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Indent each ball with your thumb.
Form walls to hold the filling in by pressing the sides of the cookies with your fingers.
Step 4: Place the baking sheet into the freezer to chill while you preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) and get started on the filling.
Pumpkin pie filling step by step
Step 1: Whisk together brown sugar and egg in a medium bowl.
Step 2: Add pumpkin purée, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin spice, and evaporated milk into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine.
Step 3: Remove from freezer and leave 2 inches of space around each cookie so they can spread in the oven. Add pumpkin pie filling into the centers.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden brown. Cool for one minute before using a spatula to carefully transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Bake the rest of the cookies.
Step 4: Add the cold cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar into a stand mixer. With a chilled wire whisk attachment whip until stiff peaks form. It’s ready when it’s thick, creamy, and holds its shape. Transfer into a piping bag with a star tip.
Pipe a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix on each cookie right before serving!
✔️ Expert tips
- For the best cookie dough consistency: Weigh your flour using a scale! If you don’t have a scale, fluff the flour with a spoon before spooning it into a measuring cup - don’t pack it in. Scrape any excess flour off the top with the back end of a knife without packing it in.
- Chill the cookie dough: This allows the gluten to relax, hydrates the starch, and helps prevent the cookie dough from spreading too much in the oven.
- Use parchment paper: This prevents the cookies from sticking to the pan and also helps them spread perfectly.
- For pretty cookies: Give them a few inches of space to spread on the baking sheet while baking so that they don’t all merge into one cookie.
- For the perfect whipped cream: Use cold whipping cream (35%) and chill the bowl and whisk for the best results! This helps the fat in the cream stay as cold as possible while it whips up, making an exceptionally thick and creamy whipped cream.
🥄 Make ahead and storage
These pumpkin pie cookies taste best the day they’re made but will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They may get softer as they sit in the fridge because of the filling, you can reheat them in the oven and they’ll get crispy again. I recommend only piping the whipped cream right before serving because it doesn’t store too well.
You can make the cookie components well ahead of time! To make the cookie dough ahead of time, mix and shape the dough - freeze for up to 5 days on a parchment lined baking sheet.
The filling can also be made ahead of time - keep it in the fridge in an airtight container or jar for up to 2 days until you’re ready to bake the cookies.
The whipped cream is better whipped and piped on right before serving! Feel free to make this pumpkin whipped cream if you want even extra pumpkin flavor.
❔ Why did my cookies spread too much in the oven?
This could be because of a variety of factors! How did you measure the flour? Using a scale will give you the most accurate results.
Did you chill the dough? This helps hydrate the starch, preventing spreading. A cold cookie dough will also prevent spread because the butter won’t melt as quickly in the oven.
Oven temperature also plays a very important roll. If the oven temperature is too low, the butter will melt before the cookies bake and set - making them spread too much. I recommend having a separate oven thermometer that you could check, because ovens tend to have inaccurate temperature ratings.
📖 Recipe FAQs
Yes you can! You may need to adjust the baking time accordingly. Larger cookies may take one to two minutes longer and smaller cookies may take one to two minutes less.
I haven’t tried it, but if you use pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin puree the consistency and flavor will be totally different. That’s because pumpkin pie filling has all of the spices and sugar already added into it.
Yes, I highly recommend chilling the dough. I recommend making it first, popping it into the freezer for a quick chill, and then working on the filling.
🍂 More related recipes
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Pumpkin Pie Cookies
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour 300g
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
Whipped Cream Topping
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream cold
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt. Beat together with a paddle attachment until thick and creamy. Scrape down the bowl so it’s evenly incorporated.¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 cup butter, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add egg yolk, cinnamon, vanilla, and mix together well until smooth and creamy.1 large egg yolk, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sift flour into the egg and butter mixture and fold together until a soft dough forms. It’ll be crumbly at first before it starts to come together.2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon balls and place onto the parchment paper. Press an indent into the middle of each ball with your thumb.
- Press the sides of the cookies with your fingers to form walls to hold the filling in.
- Place the baking sheet into the freezer to chill while you preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C) and get started on the filling.
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Combine brown sugar and egg in a medium bowl. Whisk together.1 large egg, ¼ cup brown sugar
- Add pumpkin purée, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin spice, and evaporated milk into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine.½ cup pumpkin purée, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ¼ cup evaporated milk
- Take the shaped cookie dough out of the freezer. Space out the cookie dough so there is about 2 inches of space around each cookie so they can spread in the oven. You can bake these cookies in a few batches.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie filling into the middle of each cookie. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly golden brown. Let them cool for one minute on the baking sheet before using a spatula to carefully transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Bake the rest of the cookies.
Whipped Cream Topping
- Pro Tip: Pop your bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer 5 minutes before getting started for a very thick whipped cream.
- Add the cold cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar into a large bowl or stand mixer. Whip the mixture with a wire whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. It’s ready when it’s thick, creamy, and holds its shape. Transfer into a piping bag with a star tip (I used a Wilton 1M).½ cup heavy whipping cream, ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Pipe a dollop of whipped cream on each cookie right before serving! Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix on each cookie.
- Weigh the flour with a scale for the best cookie dough consistency
- Chill the cookie dough for cookies that aren't too thin and don't spread too much.
- Use parchment paper to prevent the cookies from sticking to the pan and help them spread perfectly.
- Give them a few inches of space to spread on the baking sheet while baking so that they don’t all merge into one cookie.
- Use cold whipping cream (35%) and chill the bowl and whisk for a super thick and creamy whipped cream.