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!
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.
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.
What’s in Pumpkin Spice Cookies?
To make these pumpkin spice and honey cookies, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 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.