Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

posted in: Cookies & Bars, Desserts, Pumpkin        date:

pumpkin snickerdoodles

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about family and traditions and that sort of thing. Truth be told, I always find myself feeling a little contemplative this time of year, but I feel it more since becoming a parent. Celebrating holidays without family has been our normal the past few years, and we are okay with that. I can’t help but wonder, though, if Clara will eventually feel like she’s lacking something. Every time Eric or I have talked to our sisters recently, Clara says, with this adorably hopeful voice, “Maybe I see her soon.” It kind of breaks my heart. She won’t have memories of big Thanksgiving or Christmas meals with a bunch of family. She will, however, have memories of our own holiday traditions (like baking cookies together and making waffles for Christmas morning breakfast) and celebrating with our friends. Hopefully that will be enough.


One thing that always gets me in the mood for the holiday season is baking, and nothing cheers me up like baking with my girl, so we got in the kitchen yesterday morning and made these cookies. Clara’s response when I asked her if she wanted to make cookies was, “I do my byself!” Yep, that’s my girl. She loved counting the scoops of flour, whisking the dry ingredients, and turning on the mixer. She’s obviously enjoyed eating the cookies, too.

I thought I didn’t like snickerdoodles until my then-new neighbor, Kelli, brought us a plate shortly after we moved into our house. They were so good and made me wonder why I never liked them before. This version has the added benefit of having pumpkin, making it perfect for this time of year. These are soft, delicately spiced and so, so good.

pumpkin snickerdoodles

  • YIELD: about 3 dozen cookies
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon 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 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • For the coating:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the the pumpkin puree and continue mixing. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. 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.

  • 2

    When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350˚. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and mix to blend. Use a cookie scoop (about 2½ tablespoons) to scoop out the dough. I prefer to scoop an entire sheet, then roll them into balls. When you’ve got a full sheet of dough balls, roll each in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Dip the bottom of a flat drinking glass in water and then into the cinnamon sugar. Press on each ball to flatten slightly. Recoat the glass as needed.

  • 3

    Bake the cookies for 10-13 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 sound so delicious — simple and classic with a great pumpkin twist. Yay!

  • This looks like a perfect holiday recipe! I just love snickerdoodles, and the pumpkin in there sounds awesome.

  • I’m sure these are extra special just by virtue of the fact that Clara helped make them! And I am also sure that she will have the best holiday memories with you guys, so don’t even worry about it.

    • Thanks, friend! You always know what to say to cheer me up. 🙂 And yes, baking is always more special when Clara helps. Definitely one of the highlights of being a parent, for sure.

  • These cookies are fabulous!! And I hear you. . you know what? making your own family traditions and memories and celebrating with friends is GREAT! I’m sure you are making joyous memories that your daughter will always remember and can continue when she has kids! Last Christmas, we spent the holidays with just friends as well. We had just moved to Madison and my husband didn’t want to travel. We did, however, meet up with my sister’s family (4.5 hrs away) halfway in between Wisconsin and MN AFTER Christmas. . the kids didn’t mind spending Christmas without seeing their cousins or grandparents . . as long as you make it special, it’s all good. Do what you can, I say.

    • Oh my goodness. Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing that story with me.

  • amethystmoon

    I love snickerdoodles and pumpkin. Putting the two together is genius!