Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies — These pumpkin spice cookies are made without pumpkin puree but are full of flavor thanks to the pumpkin pie spice! These are so soft and fluffy!

stack of Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

Cozy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I’ve been wanting to use honey in cookies for awhile. I thought it would pair really well with pumpkin pie spice. I was right.

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. 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. 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 its own, I think pumpkin puree is bland and gross.

Pumpkin Spice honey Cookies 

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

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 and it never disappoints. They’re like puffy little pillows. Lightweight, supremely soft, delicate, and just melt in your mouth.

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.

stack of four Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

What’s in Pumpkin Spice Cookies?

To make these pumpkin spice and honey cookies, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch 
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

Pumpkin Spice Cookies recipe

How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cookies

To make these pumpkin spice honey cookies, first cream together the butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. Then, add in the vanilla, honey, and pumpkin pie spice and continue mixing until combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (be careful not to over work the dough!). 

Scoop the cookie dough into balls and chill for at least three hours, and up to five days. Once the dough has had time to chill, bake the cookies until the edges are set. If you prefer softer cookies, don’t bake for more than 9 minutes! For firmer cookies, bake these for roughly 10 minutes. 

Store these pumpkin spice cookies airtight at room temperature for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to four months.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies on wood countertop

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Yes, this pumpkin spice cookie recipe is easily doubled. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to bake the cookies on multiple baking sheets since you don’t want to overcrowd them! 

Can I Omit the Cornstarch? 

Technically yes, but your pumpkin spice honey cookies won’t turn out as soft and fluffy as mine did. 

Pumpkin Spice Honey Cookies stacked on top of each other

Can I Add Mix-Ins to These Cookies? 

I’ve only ever made these cookies as written, but I bet you could add mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts to these pumpkin spice cookies if desired. This is a really soft dough, so you’ll want to be gentle when folding in the mix-ins. 

Can I Make These Gluten-Free? 

I’ve only made these pumpkin spice cookies as written, but if you have a gluten-free flour blend that you’ve used before and trust, you can certainly try it in this recipe! If it works out, please leave me a comment down below. 

stack of four Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

Tips for Making Pumpkin Spice Cookies 

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.

Also note that 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.

Lastly, you can freeze the cookie dough after you’ve scooped and shaped it and bake off these cookies one by one if desired. You’ll likely need to add a minute or two to the total bake time if using frozen cookie dough, but otherwise you won’t have to alter the recipe 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!!

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Soft and Puffy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These pumpkin spice cookies are made without pumpkin puree but are full of flavor thanks to the pumpkin pie spice! These are so soft and fluffy!

Yield: 17 cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 18 minutes

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

Instructions

    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.
    6. 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).
    7. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

17

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 92mg Carbohydrates: 24g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 12g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g

More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes: 

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — Moist pumpkin cake is topped with a creamy homemade cream cheese frosting. This easy fall dessert is perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more!

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread — Super soft, tender, moist pumpkin bread with a slightly crunchy cinnamon sugar topping!! The mini loaves are EASY, brimming will fall flavors, totally IRRESISTIBLE, and accidentally vegan!!

Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — These pumpkin oatmeal cookies are bursting with chocolate chips in every bite! They’re thick, hearty, perfectly chewy, and not at all cakey.

The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread — This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is truly the best homemade pumpkin bread you’ll ever make. It’s moist, packed with chocolate chips, and tastes like fall!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies – Rich, fudgy brownies topped with pumpkin and chocolate chips!! An EASY, no mixer brownie recipe that’s FASTER than using a boxed mix!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake — This cake is more like a gooey, very rich pumpkin pie bar or piece of pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust.

Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake — Between the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and caramel sundae sauce, it’s one of the moistest cakes ever.

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

  1. The dough is cooling in my fridge right now! I just wanted to leave a comment saying how happy I am that I got exactly 17 cookies as well. There are so many recipes out there that make less than expected and this is spot on. Thank you!

  2. I made these yesterday and doubled the recipe (good thing because that dough is addictive!!). Your recipe nails the flavor–they channel the pure essence of autumn! Mine turned out flat as pancakes, unfortunately–I thoroughly chilled the dough (and added more flour to the remaining dough, which helped somewhat, but I definitely did not achieve the chunky loft of your cookies!) I’m committed to getting the consistency right on these, so may have to tweak things for our elevation (about 5000 ft), and will buy the King Arthur flour to see if that gives me a different result.

    It would be so helpful if you could put the *weight* measurement of the flour (I went to culinary school in Europe where recipes are always measured by weight, instead of volume, and it really makes for more precise and successful replications of baked products). Thank you!

  3. Just found this recipe on pinterest and I can’t wait to find it! Your blog is my go-to resource for cookie recipes, and every single one has been amazing. I can’t wait to try this!

  4. I was curious if you’ve ever used cake flour in this recipe, or the Reese’s Pieces Soft Peanut Butter Cookies? If you have, do you have to change the amount of flour that is called for in the recipe? Thanks!

    • I was curious if you’ve ever used cake flour in this recipe, or the Reese’s Pieces Soft Peanut Butter Cookies? = No and no.

      If you have, do you have to change the amount of flour that is called for in the recipe? = Yes, you will. You will need more. How much more, I don’t know and the texture isn’t what I prefer in cookies. I like AP flour (or even a bit of bread flour) in cookies, but not cake flour. The texture it produces in cookies isn’t for me.

  5. LOVE THIS RECIPE!! nothing goes wrong with this, my family love it! and I love it more! thanks for sharing!! :)

  6. These did not spread at all. I feel like the cornstarch is why and unnecessary. The best thing about these cookies is they are not very sweet. I would not make again :/

    • The cornstarch makes them soft but if you feel you don’t want it, then you could omit it. When you say the cookies did not spread at all, in my experience that generally means the dough was over-floured. When measuring flour make sure you use a very light hand. I have a feeling that you may have used a bit too much flour and the dough was stiff, therefore they didn’t spread. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  7. So I really did want to make something with pumpkin puree in it so I added some anyway. Maybe half a cup? I added a 3/4 cup more flour to balance it out and a handful of cranberries. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light. The bake time was longer about 11 minutes, and I couldn’t leave them glossy in the centre. Long story short they came out fantastic anyway. A little cakey, a little chewy; like a muffin and a cookie had a baby.

  8. These cookies are absolutely delicious! I ate 3 before I even realized it! I did cut down on the pumpkin spice a little (I used about 1.5 tbsp), which allowed the honey flavor to come through a little more. The taste is so rich and warm, but light all at the same time, and the TEXTURE of these cookies is divine!! I always know I can count on your recipes to be great, and I always love to see your photography! I made the cinnamon sugar pumpkin mini muffins for work potluck and they were a complete hit!! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I love the texture on these cookies too!

      And glad the cinn-sugar pumpkin mini muffins were a potluck hit! Keep me posted if you try other recipes!

  9. These look so yummy! You take the best pictures…so tempting! I am wondering if I can replace the cornstarch with the same amount of dry jello vanilla instant pudding mix?? 

    • I think that would be okay because I have made plenty of pudding cookies and know how pudding mix generally behaves, but again, haven’t personally tried it. Make sure not to use sugarfree pudding mix. That doesn’t behave well upon baking it. Use the regular instant (with sugar).

    • Thank you! I decided to just buy some corn starch and make the original recipe, just to be safe! I made the dough last night, and am letting them chill in the fridge. I tried a sample of the cookie dough and it was very good–the honey flavor really stands out. I will bake them tonight! Something to look forward to!

    • Yum! Very good! They are moist and chewy and soft, and remind me of gingerbread or oatmeal cookies for some reason. 

      • Glad you’re enjoying them! I love both gingerbread and oatmeal cookies and perhaps the honey + the pumpkin pie spice creates a certain flavor you associate with gingerbread or oatmeal cookies.

  10. I was so excited about this recipe!! I don’t know what happened…I followed everything exactly as the recipe says, but they came out super flat and gooey.  Basically tasted like a gingersnap, only super soft in texture and no glorious puff :(  The only thing I did to deviate from your recipe was sift the flour  – but I don’t see how that could have been the problem, since sifting aerates flour and would only help…right?

  11. I finally discovered why these cookies came out too flat! The dough is very soft straight out of the mixer so they easily get somewhat thin when lightly pressed by hand. To fix this I scooped them onto a pan, placed it in the freezer for 20ish minutes and then rolled them into balls. At this point, they’re much firmer and can be lightly pressed while staying thick. Simply chilling the dough before scooping would probably work just as well. Perfect puffy cookies!

  12. Would walnuts be a good addition to these? And would I need to change anything else?

    Thanks!

  13. I made one batch with and one without and both were a huge success! I had to add a minute to the walnut ones but otherwise didn’t change anything.

  14. I wanted to know if anyone, including you, have ever tried making these with gluten free flour and if they came out close to the same. So many recipes I want to try but I need to be gluten free. Pillsbury makes a great GF flour. Thank you!

    • No I have not personally tried so really cannot speak from experience. If you have a good GF flour you like for other baking, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here if it normally works well in conventional recipes as a swap.

  15. Your picture of this recipe on Facebook shows a box of Jello Pumpkin Spice Pudding but it’s not in the recipe.???

    • People steal photos, recipes, etc. and republish/repost on FB so if you have a link to the FB post, that would be helpful. It does not sound like my recipe but they probably stole my photos.

  16. This is the site I clicked on that brought me to this site and it is the site with the photo I described in my previous email: https://www.smartschoolhouse.com/easy-recipe/homemade-pumpkin-spice-recipes

  17. Hi Averie, These cookies look so good. I do have a question. Could you make the cookie dough and freeze it? Trying to get all my cookie doughs done and frozen, so I can just pull out thaw and bake for Christmas. Thanks for any help you can give me. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend. :)

    Rating: 4

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