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Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Aaahh! That wonderful aroma of Frosted Pumpkin Cookies baking in your house! I know there are other frosted pumpkin cookie recipes, but this one is truly amazing and one of our favorites. My taste testers often remark, “Why are these so good?”

I’m not really sure how to answer that one. I’m in wonder myself.

The Story of a Recipe

This recipe was clipped out of a local paper and given to me by Bill, a fellow employee who loved when I’d bring in treats to share. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the original creator was, but I have tweaked the recipe a little anyway, so maybe that doesn’t really matter. The cookies taste like they were adapted from a pumpkin bar recipe. They are a little more fluffy and cake-like than the gooey, chewy cookies I typically turn out in my kitchen. And the delicious, butterscotch frosting adds the perfect sweetness to complete the dessert.

frosted pumpkin cookies on a plate
a half-eaten pumpkin cookie lying across another frosted pumpkin cookie

Adapting the Recipe

The original recipe made a LOT of cookies. Which I’m not opposed to. But the more cookies you have, the more time it takes to frost. And there are only three bodies at home right now. Storing frosted cookies takes a little more planning and space than regular cookies do.

So I cut the original recipe in half so that we’re only making thirty cookies at a time. It divided very well except for the pumpkin. A can of pumpkin is 15oz which is not quite the equivalent of two cups. Originally I was just using one cup of pumpkin for this recipe and the cookies bake fine. And taste good. But they just weren’t as wonderfully delightful as the full batch made with 15 ounces of pumpkin.

So I adjusted my measurements and used about 1 Tablespoon less than 1 cup of pumpkin, and again they were successfully amazing! I swear this is a magical recipe that defys logic! I’ve been making them this way ever since.

If you’d like to make a double recipe, just use an entire can of pumpkin. Be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling. And when making this regular recipe, don’t just eyeball 1/2 a can of pumpkin and call it good. Measure it out, about a tablespoon shy of one cup, because for some reason it makes all the difference!

three frosted cookies stacked on a plate

Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

Soft pumpkin cookies with a buttery glaze, perfect for fall!



  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • scant 1 cup canned pumpkin*
  • 2 cups flour


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰.
  2. In electric mixing bowl, beat butter and shortening together. Add brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and spices and mix well. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix in pumpkin and then gradually add flour until well combined.
  3. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
  4. For Frosting: In a medium saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and milk. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Let
    frosting set until firm enough to spread or cool in refrigerator for 8-10 minutes. Spread frosting over cookies.


* I know this is an odd measurement, but they really taste best if you measure about 1 Tablespoon shy of 1 cup or double the recipe and use an entire can of canned pumpkin

If you love these Frosted Pumpkin Cookies as much as I do, please be sure to comment, rate and share!

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