Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies are soft sugar cookies with the warm and comforting flavors of pumpkin pie spice topped with a velvety smooth cream cheese frosting. They are perfect whenever you want to enjoy a classic Fall or pumpkin spice season treat! And, they are easy to make! This recipe starts with the perfect sugar cookie base I use for my Swig Cookies, which you will want to try next!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Sugar: Both granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar are used in the sugar cookie dough. (Have a little extra granulated sugar for pressing the dough as well.) Confectioners’ sugar is not the most common sugar in cookie dough, but do not leave it out! It adds some texture and softness to the cookies.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: With pumpkin spice in the title, we can’t leave out the pumpkin pie spice! For the most flavor, make your own spice to use in this recipe and all of your other pumpkin spice recipes!
Cream of Tartar: Cream of tartar is not a cream at all, but a powdery acid. It can be found in the baking aisle, near the spices at your local grocery store. It enhances both the flavor and texture of the cookies.
Can I Make The Dough Ahead Of Time?
Yes! The cookie dough can be made and frozen to bake at a later time. Here’s how:
- Make small dough balls and put them on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the dough balls are frozen.
- After they’re frozen, put the dough balls into freezer-safe bags. Label and add baking instructions. They will last up to 2-3 months.
- When ready to bake, take the frozen dough balls out of the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. This should make them slightly softer, but they should still be cold.
- After they’ve thawed a bit, use the bottom of a glass or your hand to gently flatten the dough balls.
- Bake the cookies, adjusting the baking time as necessary.
- While the cookies are baking, make the frosting.
Storing & Freezing Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- After the cookies have been baked and frosted, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- You can freeze these cookies frosted or unfrosted. First, lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer until frozen. Then, transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to one month. Don’t forget to label and date your container!
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar, plus extra for pressing cookies
- ¾ cup (94 g) confectioners' sugar
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 5 ½ cups (687.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on medium speed until just combined.
- Add oil and add eggs. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Continue mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, drop dough onto a lined baking sheet.
- Roll each cookie dough ball until it is smooth and round. Set each cookie dough ball back onto a lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. (I usually put 6 cookie dough balls onto each cookie sheet.)
- Using the bottom of a wet kitchen glass that has been pressed into granulated sugar, press down on each cookie dough ball until the center of the cookie is pressed flatter than the edges (like a well in the center). Repeat this on all cookies.
- Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until edges are just slightly starting to brown and the center no longer appears wet. Allow the cookies to cool as you make the frosting.
- NOTE: It is important to NOT over-bake the cookies. Be sure to check your cookies at 7 minutes. Every oven is different and overbaking can result in a tough, crumbly, tasteless cookie.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Blend for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until fully incorporated. (You can also use a hand-held mixer.)
- Gradually add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of the frosting over each cooled cookie. Enjoy!
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
This cookie is perfect for fall! The cookie is soft perfectly seasoned with pumpkin spice. The cream cheese frosting complements the cookie so well.
Lightly spiced tender cookie with the delicious cream cheese frosting, love it!
A soft and perfectly spiced cookie! Don't skip the cream cheese frosting. It really complements the spices!
I love that these aren't overly 'pumpkin spicey', and that cream cheese frosting really balances the whole thing!
Just a delightful lightly spiced sugar cookie. I love the hint of spice and it's perfectly topped with cream cheese frosting!