Things have been much busier than I would like lately.  I’ve been stretched very thin, the kids have been sharing illnesses, etc. etc.  Sometimes I feel like I’m ready to pull my hair out.  Those are the times when I head into the kitchen to bake.  Baking helps clear my head and improve my mood almost instantly.  People often ask me how I’m able to bake so much, and phrase the question as though baking is a chore.  What they may not understand is that I love it, it makes me happy and it soothes my soul.  The night I made these pumpkin snickerdoodles, that’s exactly what was going on.  Baking therapy.

When I decided on these particular cookies, I wasn’t thinking much about my choice and was more interested than the process of baking than the end result.  Luckily for all of us the result were these soft and puffy, subtly pumpkin cookies with warm fall spices.  Snickerdoodles aren’t normally in my top tier of irresistible cookies, but I found myself craving them at work and making sure I had one every night after dinner.  One batch makes a lot of cookies but instead of halving it, make the full batch and share them with friends, family, neighbors, whoever.  It’s a nice way to get in your baking therapy and officially welcome fall.


For the cookies:

  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Dash of allspice


  • 01

    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the pumpkin puree.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend.  Scoop the dough (about 2½ tablespoons) and roll into a ball.  Coat the dough ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough to fill the sheets, spacing the dough balls 2-3 inches apart.  Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture, and use the bottom to flatten the dough balls slightly.  Recoat the bottom of the glass in the sugar-spice mixture as needed.

  • 03

    Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until just set and baked through.  Let cool on the baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining dough.  Store in an airtight container.


  • These look fantastic! I’ve been looking for some pumpkin cookie recipes and might have to try these!

  • Great seasonal treat! This is the second or third recipe I’ve seen for this! Must make.

  • I love these! Perfect for the first day of fall!

  • I totally agree about baking – soothes the soul and is a great outlet for stress. I find times with my freezer filled with baked goods that I just made because I needed to unwind!!

  • Amber

    I enjoy baking, too. I use it as my “therapy” and sometimes more than I like to admit, I use it for procrastination….I really need to clean the bathroom but instead I will bake something. :)
    Thanks for all of you awesome recipes. You site is my go to place when I need a recipe for something. Thanks for the great work.

  • I love anything pumpkin, especially this time of year, and these look amazing!

  • I do not make Snickerdoodles very often. They are (or at least when I make them) a firmer cookie than I like. I like the idea of adding pumpkin and I’m sure it helps to soften them up. I will have to give this one a shot.
    -Thanks as always!

  • I have these cookies scheduled to post on Monday! They are so good and the house smelled fantastic when they were baking!

  • I’m feeling for you. Stretched-to-the-max, pull-your-hair-out times suck! I would say “hold in there, this crazy time will pass” but I know it doesn’t really help in the moment. Thank goodness for baking! :) These look and sound fantastic. This is probably the first time I’ve actually been interested in making Snickerdoodles. I hope this crazy time passes quickly for you and that the kids start feeling better soon!

  • I am the same way with baking! Snickerdoodles aren’t my absolute favorite cookie but these are sounding really good right now. Happy Friday!

  • Liss

    I’m with you- baking is my stress relief! These look yummy :)

  • I love snickerdoodles so I have to try the pumpkin version. Looks wonderful!
    Thanks for your post:-)

  • These look great. Nice and light! Hope Andrew and Ms. BBQ are feeling better. It’s always the worst when our babies are sick.

  • Heidi

    I understand the ‘baking for therapy’… I’ve been baking for an order allll week and still, I’m going to try and find the time to squeeze these into my schedule tonight :) Hopefully, soon, you won’t be worn so thin.

  • Carolyn

    Yes, I am the same way! I love to bake, it’s like it’s MY time. The other night while family was over and visiting I whipped up a batch of your pumpkin butterscotch cookies. LOVE! It makes me happy to bake and to share my baked goods :)

    Thank you for sharing xo

  • Thank you for posting this recipe. I was talking about Snickerdoodles a few nights ago and these sound delicious!

  • Nicci

    This may be a dumb question – but can you use canned pumpkin for the puree? Do I need to mix it with anything or water it down?

  • MMMMMmmmmm. I made reg snickerdoodles w/ pumpkin cream cheese last week. These sound like a great recipe too!! Must try. Thanks!

  • Liz N

    Annie, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels stretched in a million directions lately! Baking is definitely therapy for me. This recipe is the perfect way to start Fall (officially!). I’m planning on making this recipe for tomorrow night’s Poker Night. Should be a hit! Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

  • Annie

    Yes, pumpkin puree from a can or homemade. Either way it’s pumpkin puree.

  • Annie

    Thankfully the end is definitely in sight. I’m finishing up my 2013 calendar and will be on an easier rotation at work. And yes, knowing it will pass really does make it better! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  • Ooo! These look delicious. I can hardly resist normal Snickerdoodles… so adding pumpkin? Genius.

  • I love snickerdoodles!!!!

  • These caught my eye the minute I saw the title. I love snickerdoodles, but always forget about baking them. How creative to add pumpkin! Must try these asap.

  • So glad to hear that! :) I’m planning on making these cookies with my son tomorrow. I can’t believe it will be my first time cooking with pumpkin this fall. Can’t wait! Thanks for the baking therapy you provide for all of us. ;)

  • These look soft and glorious! Love!

  • Jen

    Ahhh, baking therapy. I totally agree. I’m not so much into the rush of “getting dinner on the table therapy”, but rather putzing around the kitchen with flour, sugar, eggs and leaving the kitchen with warm, sweet goodness to savor and share.

  • Alice

    I’m the same way. Somehow now that I’m working more hours than ever and still commuting two hours a day, I’ve been cooking and baking almost more than ever. It’s delicious therapy.

  • I know what you mean. When I’m on a call month I usually end up bringing in treats for call. Most people don’t see how I do it, but it’s my therapy! These look great. I do, actually, LOVE snickerdoodles…and these are perfect for fall. I’m sure my co-workers will appreciate it next month!

  • Yum yum yum, I love how you added pumpkin to traditional snickerdoodles, I’m eager to see how strong of a taste it has or if it’s just a hint of pumpkin

  • bttrflybabydoll

    Oh I can’t wait to make these! They look sooooo good!

    I know exactly what you mean about baking therapy.

  • The day baking becomes a chore is the day that I have to walk away from my kitchen and never look back! Though I’ve yet to make snicker doodles I have bake a lot of cookies and other sweets, some for my family some for others but all of it was a pleasure and certainly took me to my happy, soothing place.
    Hoping that your road ahead has less bumpy travels for you in the next little while.

  • Be still my heart…these look fabulous!

  • hang in there, annie! you have a lot of fans rooting for you :)

    oh, and these look so tasty btw! so light, fluffy, and perfect for fall! i love pumpkin!

  • I love the idea of using pumpkin in snickerdoodles. I can’t wait to try these. I hope your little ones are feeling better! ♥

  • Yum! The cinnamon would work great with the pumpkin. Great idea!

  • Heather

    Hi Annie! I just found your blog and think I’ve hit GOLD! I made these cookies today. They are YUMMY!!!

    I made a couple changes/additions, I thought I’d pass along.

    I reduced the flour to 2-1/4 c and added 1-1/2 c old-fashioned oats.

    I added 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. allspice. (I like the pumpkin-pie type spices…I guess you can tell!!)

    Other than that, I followed your recipe to the letter. I think the flavor and the texture turned out great (not bad for a novice cook like me)!

    I’ll be a regular visitor from now on! Thank you for your blog and wonderful recipes!!

  • Thank you SO MUCH for your blog, and for this amazing recipe. I’m spreading your genius by featuring your recipe on my blog and linking it right back to yours…keep on blogging!! xo

  • Deebi27

    I LOVE snickerdoodles…cinnamon and I go together like cake & icing. I use cinnamon on pancake/waffles! Sooo, adding pumkin to the mix…you bet…yumminess! Here’s to a good week ahead!

  • Hannah

    I just made these, and i followed the directions perfectly, they turned out great. The taste is wonderful, light and fluffy. BUT the only thing i would change is that 2 and a half tablespoons per ball of dough is a little much, especially if you are trying to get a couple dozen. also, they don’t spread a lot while baking, so mine turned out to being very thick because i only slightly pressed them down with a cup. other than that, it is a great recipe!!

  • Baking to clear your head…yes; sounds familiar!
    These cookies look stunning and are such a great alternative for the classic snickerdoodles.

  • BrendaB

    These are delicious!! Thank you for the recipe. Baking is good therapy for me too, and just calms my world.

  • Wendy G

    I have always said that the cost of ingredients and the gear (hello beautiful KitchenAid stand mixer…)has saved me tons of money in therapy. There is something so satisfying about measuring each little bit out, watching that mixer go and then feeling so accomplished when the end result is delicious! I also always refer to your blog as my Baking BFF :)

  • Aubrey

    I love your blog! I love baking and cooking and today has been a horribly rainy day. But the tortellini soup has made it bearable! These cookies look amazing and I’m about to make them right now. I can’t wait to pass them on to my friends tomorrow!

  • Sally

    Love your blog. I baked these cookies this past weekend. It was a big hit. Thank you

  • I made these snickerdoodles over the weekend and they were perfect, soft, with a hint of pumpkin and delicious. I really enjoy your recipes.

  • Jamie

    These cookies were perfect to kick-off our amazing fall weather. THANK YOU!!

  • Patti T,

    My family loves snickerdoodles, I can’t wait to surprise them with these. Every time I see a recipe like this I think, “Know why didn’t I think of this??”

  • Carolyn B

    I like to freeze cookie dough and wondered if you have done that with this dough? I’m assuming the pumpkin is the moisture used instead of a second egg so it should be fine. Just thought I’d ask in case it does not freeze well.

  • Annie

    I haven’t frozen this particular dough but I think it would be fine. Enjoy!

  • These are sooo going on my fall baking list! :) I love snickerdoodles and I love pumpkin so putting the two items together sounds divine. :) I don’t think I have any plain nutmeg so I think I am going to use pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon and nutmeg for inside the cookie and to roll it in. Still should make for a yummy cookie. :)

    Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. :)

  • I made chocolate snickerdoodles a few weeks ago and could have eaten the whole batch (over 3 dozen!) all by myself. They were really irresistible!

  • Baking is total therapy!

  • Heidi

    I decided to try this recipe since I don’t care for pumpkin pie but love all the fall smells. Can I just say “holy cow”!!! They were amazing! Hard to stop eating them! Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Julie

    I made these last night and they are DELISH!!!

  • These look wonderful! I love, love snickerdoodles, and what a great addition…pumpkin!

  • Kelly M.

    I am dying for these. My question is, is there a way to get the firmer, crispier cookie from these? If so, how? I adore snickerdoodles, but my favourites are the crispier/thinner less cakey ones.

    Regardless, I’ll make these anyway. I’m mad for pumpkin right now!

  • Keterah

    I made these last week and they were very good! All my friends thought so too :)

  • Annie

    I haven’t met a pumpkin baked good, especially a cookie, that is firm or crispy. Pumpkin makes almost everything cakey and soft. Sorry!

  • I made these this afternoon and they are very good! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • I made these yesterday. This is a fantastic recipe! Perfect consistency of puffiness and softness and NO spreading! Thank you. Everyone enjoyed them!

  • Adia

    I made these last night and thought the flavors, especially with the ginger in the cinnamon/sugar mix were phenomenal. However, I would have wanted a cookie a little less cake-like and more chewy (though the fluffiness was nice). Would substituting baking soda for the baking powder work? Either way, great recipe and thanks! Can’t wait to try the chicken pot pie.

  • Annie

    Unfortunately cookies with pumpkin will be cakey rather than chewy because it makes everything very soft.

  • Are you even kidding? One of my favorite childhood cookies but now even better!

  • I love snickerdoodles and pumpkin! Can’t wait to try these.

  • Oh WOW! I made these last night, and I’m pretty sure that this recipe will replace my standard snickerdoodle recipe for good. I love the soft texture of these! The pumpkin taste was truly only a hint, but I loved them anyways. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sheena

    I just made these cookies tonight, they turned out AMAZING! I think I’m in love! :-) Thanks for sharing!

  • Ena

    I made these last night for a girls potluck dinner night and they were a huge hit, so delicious, thanks for the recipe!

  • Colleen

    These caught my eye…my one question is..normally snickerdoodles are made with Cream of Tartar. These don’t have it. Is there a reason for omitting?


  • Annie

    Not that I’m aware of.

  • Laura

    These sound great! Can I make the dough and chill it overnight and bake in the morning or is that too long of a time to be chilled??

  • Annie


  • This are amazing, they are easy for my students to make but gourmet enough that the teachers love buying them! We have baked and frozen 20 batches so far for our annual Pumpkin Blaze and bake sale. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    Carolyn: I just made 3 batches of these for my freezer cooking group. We are doing a pumpkin themed item for our side exchange this month and these immediately came to mind! I went ahead and baked the cookies, let them cool, then froze them on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes. I then put them in zip-loc bags in the freezer. The next day I did take one out and let it thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes. It was still delicious and moist! The pumpkin really helps with the moisture and it does retain it through freezing.

  • Elizabeth from Indy

    Laura…that’s what I did with my second batch and it turned out great!

  • Carrie S.

    Made these yesterday and they were an absolute hit with the family! These cookies are soft with a slight chewiness and a hint of spices….totally yummy!

  • Melissa L.

    Made these today and they are wonderful. Full, soft and delicious. The only slight change was I used a Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix to mix with the sugar to roll the dough in as I did not have ginger. Taste wonderful and I know I’ll be making them again and again for family & friends.

  • Melanie S (@LanieInCan)

    I made these yesterday. I substituted ww flour for half the white. Took a few of them to a special person at work this morning… Made her day (and mine, too)! Thanks. :o)

  • Anna

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Annie! I made them this weekend for family and friends and they were definitely a hit! : )

  • Jenn

    Thank-you Heather! I made these cookies this weekend and all I tasted was flour, not real appetizing but knew with some tweaks these could be great.

  • Thank you for the tweaks. This recipe seems a bit off. Too much flour and not enough spice perhaps…thanks for figuring that out! I stopped making them as snickerdoodles and just added chocolate chips in hopes they might be worth eating. I’m about to throw out this batter and try something else. The recipe as posted is not to my personal liking.

  • Heather

    Hi Jenn–

    If you made the cookies with the modifications I suggested and they tasted like flour–I’m SOOOO sorry!! I only made one batch, and for me, the pumpkin was the star flavor BUT I am not much of a cook or baker, so I may have very easily flubbed up the ingredients. Perhaps best to stick with Annie’s originals, huh?! ;) I’m going to try again and see what happens. Did you have ideas on what should be tweaked?

  • Renae Springer

    Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie, and pumpkin is my favorite thing about fall, so I couldn’t wait to make these! Brought them to a candle party this week and they were a big hit! Good thing I took most of them to the party because the dozen I saved for myself were gone in 24 hours – so yummy – thanks for the recipe!

  • Jenn

    OH gosh, I’m sorry, no, it was Annie’s original recipe that tasted like flour. I’m hoping this weekend to make the cookies and looking forward to trying with your tweaks. I think your modification will be great!

  • Heather

    And you know what, I left off the most important (to me) “tweak” I made: I added butterscotch chips!! (and I always recommend the name-brand rather than store-brand variety)…they made a BIG difference to me! I hope you like the “tweaked” version!! :)

  • Jasmine

    These were AMAZING!! Even my coworkers who were not pumpkin lovers said they were really delicious. A lovely cookie, not too sweet. :)

  • Sam

    i made these a few weeks ago to bring to school and they were amazing! i’m not really a pumpkin fan but i, along with everyone else loved them. i topped them with a glaze of confectioners sugar and milk which made them even better!

  • Erin

    Do you have any suggestions for for spicing these up a bit? I made them for the first time tonight and they are really good, but I am thinking if they were a little more spicy they would be phenomenal! Perhaps the glaze for your pupmkin scones?

  • Annie

    I like them as they are but I’m sure you can adjust them to your liking.

  • These are amazing! I don’t usually like pumpkin in cookies, but they are perfect here. I’ve made them twice, and what I found I like is a fairly flat cookie cooked long enough that the edges get crispy. This avoids the usual over-moistness of a pumpkin cookie. Thanks for sharing!

  • Katie @ OhShineOn

    these look amazing… absolutely amazing. i have some canned pumpkin in the fridge as we speak… i think i know how i’ll use it up!

  • Becky

    I made these and they were AMAZING! I used ww flour and added the ginger to the dough and only used cinnamon sugar for the tops. They remind me of pumpkin pie. DELICIOUS!

  • Cathy

    Just made these cookies and OMG! The best! My hushand loved them….keeper for this 2012 fall season.
    Many thanks for sharing.
    Cathy aka mb

  • Stacey

    Great recipe but may I suggest adding more pumpkin puree. They didn’t quite have the pumpkin flavor I was looking for. Needless to say, they all did get eaten up quickly though. Will be a new Fall Favorite around here.

  • annieseats

    Unfortunately if you add more pumpkin puree, it will change the texture of the dough and make it unworkable.

  • The Darjeelings

    i just made these (with a few changes) and they were so yummy! i even blogged about them :)

    thanks for the fabulous recipe! and beautiful pictures :)

  • Julie

    I’m wondering if I did something wrong when I made them, as mine were not cake-like at all. They were almost more like pie crust (not in a dry flaky way, but dense and kind of floury). They don’t look dissimilar to the pictures posted, but mine were quite disappointing. I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the dough, but I’m thinking it would be better suited as a base to a pie, or bar-like dessert.

  • They were so good! I added the ginger and allspice to the flour mixture instead of the sugar coating mixture. The kiddos love them!

  • jessi

    Just made these cookies and they turned out awesome!! I did change it a little I used pumkin spice instead and used 1 heaping cup of pumpkin puree to give it a more pumkin flavour. But really great recipe! Thanks!

  • I was really disappointed with this recipe! They just seemed like they were missing something…flavor, spice, etc. I won’t be making them again.

  • these cookies are amazing. pumpkin clouds in your mouth. go for it.

  • I just added these to my Thanksgiving menu for this year. They have become my go-to cookie since you posted the recipe last year. I could eat the whole batch myself, but love sending them to my friends and family, too. Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  • theniftyfoodie

    I just made these last night, and oh my gosh…these were SO good! So soft and chewy. Thanks for sharing!

  • tania6185

    I’ve been making these cookies since about Thanksgiving of 2011, and I just can’t get enough of them. I can my own pumpkin, and though I use the pumpkin for other things as well, I always make sure to save some to make a batch (or 4, lol) of these. Even my extended family loves them, and they are extremely picky. They are so enamored with them, in fact, that I got 3 or 4 pumpkins as gifts from them last year. Of course, I gladly thanked them with cookies!

  • Elleanor Eng

    I just put the batter in the fridge and realized I used pumpkin pie mix instead of plain pureed pumpkins, which has cinnamon, ginger, sugar, nutmeg, and all spice in it already. A little nervous that if I go ahead and coat the cookies they’ll be too sweet.