Pumpkin Cookies with Candied Pepitas

Chilling the dough for these helps it firm up and keeps the pumpkin cookies from spreading too much during baking. It also makes the dough easier to handle.

pumpkin cookies topped with white icing and candied pepita seeds
Photo: Brie Passano
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
13 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 13 mins


  • 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin

  • ½ teaspoon orange zest

  • 2 8 ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened

  • cup powdered sugar

  • 1 recipe Candied Pepitas


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1 tsp. of the pumpkin pie spice, the baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl beat brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla with a mixer on medium to high until combined. Stir in pumpkin and orange zest. Beat in flour mixture until combined.

  2. Divide the dough in half. Roll one dough portion between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove top sheet of parchment from each dough half. Use 2- to 2 1/2-inch pumpkin-shape or round cutters to cut dough, dipping cutters in flour to prevent sticking. Place cutouts 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Reroll scraps once between sheets of parchment paper and chill 30 minutes before cutting. Bake 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove; cool on a wire rack.

  4. For icing, in a medium bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Beat until light and fluffy. Spoon icing into a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe icing onto center of each cookie. Top with Candied Pepitas.

Candied Pepitas

In a 6-inch heavy skillet heat 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and 1/8 tsp. salt over medium-high heat, shaking skillet several times to heat sugar evenly (do not stir). Heat until some of the sugar is melted and syrupy. Begin to stir only the melted sugar to keep it from overbrowning, blending in remaining sugar as it melts. Reduce heat to low. Continue to cook and stir until all of the sugar is melted and golden. Stir in 1 tsp. butter. Add 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) to the skillet, stirring to coat. Transfer to a sheet of greased foil. While mixture is still warm, use two forks to separate into clusters. Cool completely.

To Store

Layer unfrosted or unfilled cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months. Frost or fill cookies after thawing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

139 Calories
7g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 48
Calories 139
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 78mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0.3mg 2%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 0.8mg 4%
Potassium 61mg 1%
Folate, total 19.9mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles