pumpkin snickerdoodles

About These Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These pumpkin snickerdoodles are soft and fluffy like cake on the inside, but with a crisp cookie exterior covered in pumpkin pie spice sugar. The cookies taste like fall, with lots of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor. These flavors also intensify the longer they sit, and become even more flavorful and prominent the day after baking.

The best part? Unlike other pumpkin cookies or snickerdoodle cookies, you don’t need to chill the dough before baking! Simply make the cookie dough (it takes around 10 minutes!) and bake the cookies.

Looking for more snickerdoodle recipes? Check out this Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream of Tartar (one of the most popular recipes on Hummingbird High!) and My Best Snickerdoodle Recipe (which makes the cookies with cream of tartar).

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Now let’s talk about all the reasons why you should make these pumpkin snickerdoodles:

This recipe combines two fall favorites: soft pumpkin cookies and snickerdoodles.

Can’t decide between soft pumpkin cookies and classic snickerdoodles? Well, why not have both! These cookies are a cross between soft pumpkin cookies and cinnamon snickerdoodles!

The recipe comes together quickly.

Unlike other soft pumpkin cookies or traditional snickerdoodle recipes, you don’t need to chill the cookie dough before baking. As a result, you can make the cookie dough for these pumpkin snickerdoodles in 15 minutes!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make these pumpkin snickerdoodles, here’s everything you need to make them:

Shopping List For Pumpkin Snickerdoodles Recipe

  • all-purpose flour
  • cream of tartar
  • baking soda
  • kosher salt
  • pumpkin puree
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • pure vanilla extract
  • unsalted butter
  • dark OR light brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • ground cinnamon

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and their potential substitutions:

Cream of Tartar

You need 2 teaspoons cream of tartar to make these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.

Is cream of tartar necessary for snickerdoodles?

You can make snickerdoodles without cream of tartar. But doing so will change the cookies’ flavor, texture, and appearance! Learn more in my blog post asking “Can You Make Snickerdoodles Without Cream Of Tartar?”.

Pumpkin Puree

You need ½ cup pumpkin puree to make these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.

What is canned pumpkin puree?

In the United States, most grocery stores sell canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin consists of pumpkin (or sometimes, according to this Kitchn article about pumpkin puree, squash!) that is de-seeded, peeled, roasted, and pureed. Many American recipes instruct you to use this pumpkin puree in both sweet and savory recipes. My favorite brand of canned pumpkin puree is Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin.

I can’t get canned pumpkin puree where I live. What can I use instead?

According to my international readers, canned pumpkin puree can be difficult to get outside of the United States. But no worries! You can make your own pumpkin puree at home. 

Simply process a pumpkin or the yellow or orange squash of your choice (my favorite is butternut squash) by peeling its skin, slicing it in half, and carving out the pumpkin/squash seeds. Cut the pumpkin/squash into 1-inch chunks and place the chunks on an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Toss with 1 Tablespoon neutral oil. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until fork-tender. Then, use a food processor to puree the pumpkin/squash. Use the puree immediately, or refrigerate in a ziptop bag or an airtight container for up to 3 days. After that, freeze for up to 3 months.

If you plan on using homemade pumpkin puree to make this recipe, bring the pumpkin puree to room temperature. Using pumpkin puree that’s too cold will result in a lumpy cake batter that’s hard to whisk together. Alternatively, using a pumpkin puree that’s too hot could potentially scramble the eggs in the batter.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

You need 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the cookie dough, plus another 1 Tablespoon for the snickerdoodle topping.

There’s no need to buy pumpkin pie spice. You can make it at home with my recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice!

pumpkin snickerdoodles

How To Make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Here are the basic steps to make pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies from scratch:

  1. Prep the ingredients for the recipe. (Prep Time: 5 minutes)
    The prep process for these cookies is easy! All you need to do is measure out the ingredients beforehand. That’s it!

  2. Make the cookie dough and snickerdoodle topping. (Work Time: 10 minutes)

  3. Assemble the pumpkin snickerdoodles. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
    The fastest and easiest way to make picture-perfect cookies is to invest in a cookie dough scoop. These handy tools scoop the dough into dough balls that bake into perfect cookie circles every time. In general, I use a 3-Tablespoon sized cookie dough scoop to make my cookie recipes. Doing so makes perfect 3- to 3.5-inch wide cookies.

  4. Bake the snickerdoodles. (Bake Time: 10 minutes per batch)
    I like to bake the cookies one pan at a time. I find that doing so makes the best cookies, ensuring that none of them have overly burnt bottoms or raw centers. However, to save time, you can bake two sheet pans at a time. Position a rack in the upper-third position of the oven, and a second one in the lower-third position of the oven. Bake a pan on each rack, swapping their positions half way through the Bake Time.

Best Recipe Tips

  • The cookie dough will look curdled after you add the pumpkin puree mixture—but that’s totally okay, I promise! Once you add the dry ingredients to the dough, it will come together again.

  • The recipe instructs you to make the cookie dough first, then chill it in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to preheat the oven. During that time, the quick chill in the fridge will help firm up the cookie dough and make it easier to work with. If you find that your cookie dough is still too soft and making a mess when you roll it in the sugar topping, simply chill it for longer!

  • For the best snickerdoodle cookies, be sure to cover your cookie dough balls with a LOT of the cinnamon sugar topping. But be warned: you may still end up with some of it leftover since the recipe makes a generous amount. I like to save the leftovers in an airtight container to sprinkle on my breakfast oatmeal and toast throughout the rest of the week—I wouldn’t keep it any longer than that though (because I mean… you did roll raw cookie dough in the stuff, lol).

More Snickerdoodle Recipes

More Drop Cookie Recipes

Get the Recipe: Soft, Fluffy, But Also Crispy Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These pumpkin snickerdoodles are soft, cakey, and fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and rolled in a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice sugar!
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For the Cookie Dough

  • 3 cups (13.5 ounces or 383 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup tightly packed (5.65 ounces or 160 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (5.25 ounces or 149 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

For the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Topping

  • ¼ cup (1.75 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


  • Mix the dry ingredients for the cookie dough. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix the wet ingredients for the cookie dough. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla.
  • Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and wet ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.
    Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the pumpkin puree mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Chill the dough while you prep your oven and pans. Place the bowl of dough in the refrigerator while you prep your oven.
    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Make the pumpkin snickerdoodle topping. Whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice for the topping in a shallow bowl.
  • Assemble the cookies. Use a 3-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion the cookie dough into balls, dropping them directly into the bowl with the topping.
    Toss until the cookie dough balls are completely and generously coated.
    Place the cookie dough balls at least 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans.
  • Bake the cookies. Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still soft. The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool.
    To encourage them to fall, bang the sheet pan with the cookies against a wire rack.
    Cool the cookies on the pan on the rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch.
    Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. 
  • Serve and store. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
    The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.