Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

I had been wanting to use honey in cookies for awhile.

I thought it would pair really well with pumpkin pie spice. I was right.

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

I don’t know if it was just this recipe, or a if it’s my new oven that I’m still getting used to after moving, or if in general adding honey to cookies makes them puffy, but it sure made these cookies puff right up.

I’ll take it. Because despite their puffy status, which can sometimes mean cakey, these aren’t cakey at all.

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

MY OTHER RECIPES

They’re moist, supremely soft, with hints of chewiness at the edges, and their flavor is pure fall.

I used pumpkin pie spice in them, rather than pumpkin puree. I have a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies which uses pumpkin puree and it was a hard recipe to nail.

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

In general, baking cookies with pumpkin puree can turn cookies into little pumpkin cakes, unless you’re using a small amount – under 1/4 cup or so. But at that point, you don’t taste it anyway, and all the flavor comes from the spices. Because on it’s own, I think pumpkin puree is bland and gross.

So I skipped the puree and went with pumpkin pie spice for all the flavor, and none of the potential for cakey cookies.

Soft & Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies (not cakey!) - Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

I used 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, which is a pretty hefty amount, but it flavors the entire batch of cookies very nicely. They’re robustly spiced, without being overdone. If you are more sensitive to spices, you may wish to dial down the amount.

If you can’t find pupmkin pie spice, it’s usually a blend of about 1 part cinnamon, to one-half part allspice, to one-quarter part each of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

For example, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon each of  ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Give or take. It’s all personal preference. Play around with what works for you, and if you already keep those spices on hand, it’s cheaper to DIY than buy pre-made and you can tweak it to your liking.

Soft & Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies (not cakey!) - Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

I added cornstarch to the dough, my workhorse for creating super soft and supple cookies. I’ve used it in at least 15 cookie recipes, including Lofthouse-Style Soft Peanut Butter Chip Sugar CookiesSoft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil CookiesM&Ms CookiesSnickers CookiesTwix Bar CookiesCaramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Smores Cookies. It never disappoints.

The dough must be chilled before baking, no exceptions. It’s a scientific impossibility to take warm dough and have it bake up into thick, puffy cookies. Warm dough is limp and spreads much more while baking. Chill your dough if you want puffy cookies, period.

They’re like puffy little pillows. Lightweight, supremely soft, delicate, and just melt in your mouth.

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

The intensity of the pumpkin pie spice, with notes of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves shining brightly, give the cookies such great depth of flavor.

The brown sugar helps keeps them soft and adds a richness of caramel-like flavor.

The flavor of the honey is much more subtle, but it’s there if you look for it. And what it seemingly did for the texture, blew my mind, and I plan to experiment more with it.

If you’re a fan of spice cake, pumpkin, brown sugar cookies, soft gingersnaps or soft molasses cookies, add these little pumpkiny puffballs to your list.

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies - Super soft cookies that just melt in your mouth! You're going to love these puffy cuties!!

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

The cookies are moist, supremely soft, with hints of chewiness at the edges, and their flavor is pure fall. The pumpkin pie spice serves to lend a great burst of flavor without being overdone. If you’re more sensitive to spices, dial it down, to taste. Because of the honey in the dough, it’s a soft, limp dough and must be chilled before baking so your cookies bake up thick and puffy. If you’re a pumpkin fan, these easy cookies are an easy way to celebrate fall flavors.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup honey (I used clover from TJs)
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (yes tablespoons, not teaspoons)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Directions:

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluffy, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the honey, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds (I made 17). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds very slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool; bake for 9-10 minutes if you like firmer cookies (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 10 minutes while oven preheated, and were baked for 8 minutes). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
  6. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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What do you bake with honey? Have a favorite pumpkin recipe? Links welcome!

169 comments on “Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies”

  1. Honey and pumpkin sounds amazing! I’m ready for fall and these cookies are perfect for this chilly weather we’ve been having in NJ!

  2. To die for!!! Good tip on the pumpkin puree. My cookies were on the cakey side. I am going to have to give these a whirl!

  3. You had me at “soft and puffy cookie”!!! Delish!!!

  4. I love everything about these cookies. Thick cookies are my weakness, plus these scream fall with the pumpkin pie spices.

  5. I love baking with honey, and this is such a fabulous recipe to use it! My (soon to be) father in law makes his own honey right at home since he has a few bee hives and we always have soooo much honey! Love the pumpkin pie spice in these cookies – I’m totally trying these :)

  6. I always know where I can go to find some delicious cookie recipes. These look SO good!

  7. These cookies look so appetizing and I can say for sure that they are really tasty. I`ve cooked them for breakfast today and my kids just loved them! Now this recipe is one of my favorite.

  8. Yes please to puffy cookies. Wish I had that whole stack in front of me!

  9. OMG, Averie! These + me = trouble. They look so soft and perfect!

  10. The texture of these cookies looks spot on, and the flavor is just what I’ve been craving. Everything pumpkin spice, for every meal, and snack, and drink. Your pictures are lovely, too!

  11. mmm! those sound too good to be true! hooray for pumpkin!

  12. Great point about pumpkin flavored things really only being pumpkin spiced flavored things. I love the idea of honey in a cookie, such an under utilized flavor!

  13. I adore your recipes and photos! it just got me thinking though. You create & photograph a new dessert basically every day/ many times per week… and do you only receive income when you sponsor a product? I guess what I’m saying is that all of these ingredients cost money. Do you pay for everything out of Scott’s income? Sorry this is a personal question, I was just curious given that you bake so many things.

    • I support myself fully, 100%. No help from anyone! I just want to throw that out there :)

      And yes, I pay for all the ingredients myself. Sometimes vendors send me stuff, like a jar of vanilla or a tub of yogurt, but I make my income through the ads on my website on the sidebars. And yes, it’s expensive to bake because not everything works out and sometimes I have to make things a few times to get it right. When I am writing cookbooks, that’s the worst in terms of $$$ because I have to test at least 3x and it feels wasteful b/c we could never eat it all, so I am just giving it all away to others the minute it comes out of the oven. Money in, recipe tested, money gone. It’s just the nature of the beast – and I only hope I sell enough books to make it all worthwhile!

  14. YUM! They look so darn good.

  15. Averie, you are the queen of cookies. These totally look like thick, puffy, golden, gorgeous pillows of pumpkin-inspired perfection. And all hail the chewy cookie – no cakey duds for this lady. I’m determined to bake as many pumpkin-y recipes as I can in the next month and I’m adding this to my list.

  16. These sound amazing! Would raw honey work too?

  17. You know, I’ve seen a ton of pumpkin recipes around Pinterest but this is honestly my favorite! I just opened my first can of pumpkin this holiday season and I am in full gear for pumpkin recipes. These cookies are next! (Btw made your pumpkin bundt cake today – amazing! Posting tonight – I think!) :)

    • That is beyond sweet of you to say that this recipe of mine of all the pumpkin ones you’ve seen is your fave! WOW!! Because there are tons and tons and tons! So thank you!

      And I didn’t know you were making that cake! That’s one of my fave cakes, ever, on my whole blog! I am so glad you tried it! :)

  18. These look wonderful, can’t wait to give them a try. Thanks for the pumpkin spice mix I will certainly make a batch of these cookies.

  19. Ahhh Averie! I am totally obsessing over this recipe. I adore pumpkin and I’m currently undergoing a pumpkin craze. I’ve been having pumpkin spice (with pumpkin puree) overnight oats every morning and I’m in love. I am making these cookies either tomorrow or Friday! So excited to see how the honey turns out!

  20. I agree – pumpkin pie spice is so much better than pumpkin puree. I am not a fan at all. Even though I know most of it is butternut squash, I can acctually handle and enjoy butternut puree.

    But the spices? YES!

    I made some cookies today that turned out cake-y. They were cookie bars, but I should have made them into muffins.

    • Pummpkin has a way of puffing everything up. It’s great in cakes, muffins, etc but not so much in cookies. It’s so hard to get a chewy cookie with pumpkin so I sort of have stopped trying and just rely on the spices for flavoring!

  21. I really like your description of the process. It makes me want to make them now. I’ll definitely be making these for an upcoming function. Thanks!

  22. I actually like the idea of pumpkin cookie without pumpkin … you always think outside the box, Averie! I need to try one of your puffy cookie recipes just to taste the texture; I am SO curious! Favorite pumpkin recipe? Either your pumpkin spice granola or these pumpkin cookies (http://thesweet-toothlife.blogspot.com/2013/09/whole-wheat-pumpkin-maple-chunk-cookies.html)

  23. Wow! These look amazing!! Honey and pumpkin- two of my favorite things. Definitely want to try these out :)

    http://www.dressdinedwell.wordpress.com

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