These Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies are filled with Cheesecake and rolled in a simple sugar and pumpkin pie spice mix. They're ultra soft, chewy, and the perfect addition to your holiday table. All you need is 10 ingredients and 20 minutes to make!
I absolutely love incorporating pumpkin and butternut squash into my cooking and baking once the seasons change!
If you love savory pumpkin and squash recipes, I highly recommend my Gluten Free Pasta Bake with Butternut Squash and Butternut Squash Risotto. And for a healthier option, you can't go wrong with Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats with Spiced Apples (Dairy Free!).
You are officially ready to incorporate pumpkin into your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now let's get you ready for pumpkin dessert with these fall cookies!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Perfectly bite sized. These pumpkin cheesecake cookies are made with a 1 tablespoon ice-cream scoop. They're the perfect small dessert for holidays like Thanksgiving when you'd like a taste of a couple of sweets or for packing in school lunchboxes for littles.
- A favorite fall baking activity. When the weather cools down, baking with the whole family is a must. If you and your family love these cheesecake filled cookies, you're guaranteed to love my Gluten Free Apple Cider Donuts or my Pumpkin Cranberry Energy Bites!
- These cookies don't taste gluten free. You know what I am talking about. There's nothing worse than dry and over crumbly cookies and unfortunately, if you've been gluten free for some time, you've likely experienced this a few times. These gluten free pumpkin cookies are just as soft, buttery, and chewy as the classics.
Tools You'll Need
- Stand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- 1 tablespoon ice-cream scoop
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cooling rack
What You'll Need for The GF Cookie Batter
Creaming together the sugar and unsalted butter is the first step in making the best light and fluffy pumpkin cheesecake cookies. Try this method in my Gluten Free White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies, too!
Pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla comprise the wet ingredients in our cookie batter. I use canned pumpkin puree, but if you've made a homemade pumpkin puree, that will work out well, too. Just make sure not to buy pumpkin pie filling - it looks very similar to pumpkin puree but is sweetened.
The best gluten free flour to use is an all-purpose flour blend. I do not recommend making these gluten free pumpkin cookies with gluten free flours like almond flour or cassava flour because their absorbency is far different and would require altered measurements and additional testing.
After preparing the cookie dough balls, we will toss them in a simple mixture of pumpkin pie spice and sugar for the perfect finishing touch. I stock a pre-made pumpkin pie spice in my pantry, but if you'd like, you can make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice using cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
What You'll Need for the Cheesecake Filling
Cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt are the only ingredients you'll need to make the super simple cheesecake filling (aka the best topping for pumpkin pie cookies). I highly recommend baking with kosher salt if you have it, but if needed you can use table salt or sea salt and halve the amount called for.
- Brown sugar substitutions: I prefer to bake these pumpkin cheesecake cookies with light brown sugar but dark brown sugar can be substituted. Note that pumpkin cookies baked with dark brown sugar will be darker in color and bolder flavor due to the additional molasses.
- Unsalted butter substitutions: I highly recommend using unsalted butter, but you can use salted butter, if you prefer. Simply omit the kosher salt from the cookie dough batter.
- GF flour substitutions: If you are not gluten free, you can substitute all purpose flour 1 to 1 for the gluten free flour blend.
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- Cream the butter and sugar. Place butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Mix in the pumpkin puree. If the mixture looks a little grainy and/or curdled, this is okay - it will become smooth once the dry ingredients are added in.
- Finish the pumpkin cookie batter. Add the egg and vanilla separately, mixing to combine between additions. Meanwhile, in a separate medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until just combined.
- Form the cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop pumpkin cookies onto parchment paper, using a 1 tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop.
- Chill the cookies. Place the pumpkin cookies in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Prepare the cheesecake filling. Next, whisk together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside, keeping at room temperature.
- Coat pumpkin cookies in cinnamon sugar. Remove the pumpkin cookie dough balls from the refrigerator, then gently toss each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated.
- Form a small crater in each cookie. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball, pressing outward, until a 1 - inch crater is formed.
- Fill pumpkin cookies with cheesecake filling. Dollop about 2 teaspoons of cheesecake mixture into the center of each pumpkin cookie. This is easiest to do using a small teaspoon, a small ice-cream scoop or a piping bag.
- Bake and cool. Place the gluten free pumpkin cookies in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Once baked, let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Prep Ahead Options
If you'd like to prep these pumpkin cheesecake cookies ahead of time and bake right before serving, follow steps 1-6 and store the cookie dough balls in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to bake.
I also recommend refrigerating the cream cheese filling in a separate airtight container, then allow it to come to room temperature when you're ready to fill the pumpkin cookies with cheesecake.
Gluten free cookies can be vegan, but not always. This gluten free pumpkin cookie recipe is made with both butter and eggs, making them suitable for vegetarians. If you are looking for a vegan and gluten free cookie recipe, make sure they are made without eggs, dairy, and gelatin.
I recommend 1 to 1 gluten free flour blends for the best soft and chewy gluten free pumpkin cookies with a tender crumb. I use Bob's Red Mill, but your favorite 1 to 1 blend will work, too.
Yes, absolutely. If you'd like to freeze this cookie dough, place it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator after forming the dough balls. Once the dough balls are frozen solid, about 2 hours, transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. Then, when you'd like to bake them, remove them from the freezer, place the dough balls back on a cookie dough sheet and thaw completely in the refrigerator before continuing the remaining instructions.
Yes, the only ingredient in canned pumpkin puree should be pumpkin. If necessary, buy a brand with a certified gluten free label to confirm no chance of cross contamination in your pumpkin cheesecake cookie batter.
Cookie Making Tips and Tricks
- Use room temperature butter and eggs. This helps ensure all ingredients are able to mix well and make the best, soft and fluffy batter.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl after each addition of ingredients. If the butter is not well mixed into the batter, it will melt out of the sides of the pumpkin cheesecake cookies and burn while the cookie bakes.
More Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes You'll Enjoy
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (4 ounces)
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Spiced Sugar Coating Ingredients
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Cheesecake Filling Ingredients
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- Place butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well creamed, scraping down the bowl of the mixer as needed. Add pumpkin puree, and mix until combined, scraping down the bowl again. The mixture will look curdled, but do not worry. It will mix together completely once the dry ingredients are added.
- Next, add egg, mixing until combined. Scrape down the bowl, and add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine gluten-free all purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low until just combined. Remove from the mixer, and scrape the bottom of the bowl, ensuring the mixture is well combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and scoop cookies onto parchment paper, using a 1 tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop. Place the cookies in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- While the dough chills, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice for the spiced sugar coating mixture. Set aside.
- Next, make the cheesecake mixture by whisking together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside, keeping at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and gently toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and gently press your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball, pressing outward, until a 1 - inch crater is formed.
- Once each cookie has a crater formed in the center, dollop about 2 teaspoons of cheesecake mixture into the center of each cookie. You can do this by using a small teaspoon, a small scoop or a piping bag.
- Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Once the cookies are baked, let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- The cookie batter can be made and scooped ahead of time. Simply freeze the dough balls instead of chilling. Wrap tightly, and store frozen for up to 2 weeks. Before baking, remove from the freezer, and let thaw completely, at room temperature for 1 hour.
- This recipe can be made using regular all-purpose flour. I recommend a cake flour.