Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles! These soft and chewy cookies are healthy and easy to make! Made with real pumpkin, spices, and white whole wheat flour, they’re sure to be a hit with the whole family. 

pumpkin snickerdoodles on a grey surface with a mug of tea and a rack of cooling cookies in the background

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t think I either ate or made a snickerdoodle until well into my thirties.

My family is a chocolate chip / oatmeal raisin cookie family, so the soft, cakey, sugar-coated snickerdoodle was elusive to me. But no more! I’ve taken the bull by the horns (or the snicker by the doodle? Is that a thing?) and started making snickerdoodles a thing for my family.

Of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so this isn’t a traditional snickerdoodle recipe. These are pumpkin snickerdoodles. Some might even say that the presence of white whole wheat flour means these are healthy snickerdoodles, though I’d argue that they’re still very much a cookie through and through. 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are soft and cakey on the inside with a perfectly-spiced crunchy sugar crust on the outside. They come together in one bowl and are made with ingredients you’ve probably already got on hand. Shall we make some?

pumpkin, butter, sugar, spices, egg, and flour on a grey background

What do I need to make Pumpkin Snickerdoodles?

  • Pumpkin! Homemade pumpkin purée or canned are both fine. 
  • Flour. I used white whole wheat flour in this recipe. 
  • An egg. To bind this shizz together.
  • Butter. Because we’re worth it. 
  • Sugar. We’re doubling down with both brown and white.
  • Spices. It’s a cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg situation. 
  • Baking powder and salt. As one does. 

process photo of making pumpkin snickerdoodles

How do I make these pumpkin snickerdoodles?

Simple, friends! 

We’re going to start with a classic butter / sugar / egg situation. I like to use my stand mixer to get this classic ménage à trois all worked up, but you can also use an electric hand mixer, or, worst case, a whole lotta elbow grease. 

Then the pumpkin purée goes in. The mixture will look pretty funky at this point, but don’t worry, once the flour goes in it’ll straighten things out. 

process shot of pumpkin snickerdoodles being mixed in a metal bowl

As I’ve said many times before, I’m lazy AF and do not care for washing extra dishes. My solution to this when I’m baking is to sift my dry ingredients over the wet, rather than into a separate bowl. That is if I can even be bothered to sift in the first place. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. 

Anyhoo, the dry ingredients go in, and then everything gets mixed but not over-mixed. You know? Of course you do.

pumpkin snickerdoodle dough rolled into balls and covered in sugar

Now it’s time to snicker your doodles. Or is it doodle your snickers? Whatever it is, here’s what you’re going to do:

Whisk up a little bowl of spiced sugar and set aside. Then roll generous tablespoons of dough into your hands to make little balls (<– hee hee). It doesn’t matter if the balls are perfect, because we’re going to smush them anyways (<– hee hee).

I tend to roll up 3-4 balls at a time and then toss them into the sugar to coat. Place the sugared balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then repeat with the remaining dough. 

Once your balls are all done, we’re going to flatten ’em out. The best way to do this is with a flat-bottomed glass that you’ve coated in sugar (you do this by dipping the glass into water and then into the sugar bowl). This step may not seem necessary, but it prevents the glass from sticking to the cookies as you flatten them.

Bake those cookies up, and then just try to resist them as they cool. So good and pumpkiney and spicey! 

pumpkin snickerdoodle dough pressed flat with a glass coated in sugar

Pro tips / recipe notes

  • How long will these cookies last? A few days at room temperature in an airtight container, or up to three months in the freezer if you’re a literal psychopath who keeps baked goods for that long. 
  • Can I use canned pumpkin purée? You may! But homemade is totes fine too. 
  • Can I freeze the dough before baking? You may! Do everything right up to and including flattening the cookies, and then freeze them unbaked in a single layer. Once they’re frozen just pop them into a freezer bag, and you’ll have pumpkin snickerdoodles ready to bake on a moment’s notice!
  • I can’t find white whole wheat flour. Bummer, man. But worry not, you can substitute it with a) whole wheat pastry flour, b) half all purpose and half regular whole wheat flour, or c) just all purpose flour. 

overhead photo of pumpkin snickerdoodles cooling on a wire rack with a mug of tea to the side

Hey Nutrition Lady, what’s the deal with white whole wheat flour?

Here’s the deal: regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour are typically milled from hard red wheat berries. Whole wheat flour contains the entire berry (bran, germ, and endosperm) while all-purpose flour has had the bran and germ removed and contains the endosperm only.

White whole wheat flour is milled from hard white wheat berries, and much like regular whole wheat flour, contains all three components of the wheat berry. The bran of the hard white wheat berry yields a lighter coloured, more tender, and sweeter-tasting flour, which is perfect for making baked goods that you want to be on the healthier side without tasting like a brick of bran.

Whole wheat pastry flour is made from soft white wheat berries, and is more tender with a lower gluten content than the hard wheat varietals.

overhead photo of pumpkin snickerdoodles and tea in a black mug

Other pumpkin recipes you might enjoy:

Healthy Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Chai Latte
Homemade Pumpkin Purée
Soft Pumpkin Cookies from Sustainable Cooks

Pumpkin snickerdoodles on a grey background
5 from 7 votes
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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles! These soft and chewy cookies are healthy and easy to make! Made with real pumpkin, spices, and white whole wheat flour, they're sure to be a hit with the whole family. 

Course cookies
Cuisine American
Keyword Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chilling time 1 hour
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 116 kcal
Author Katie Trant

Ingredients

For the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

  • 3/4 cup 6 oz / 170g room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the cinnamon sugar:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Instructions

  1. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or an electric hand mixer, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy. 

  2. Add egg and pumpkin and mix until well blended.

  3. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt over the wet mixture. 

  4. Mix until just combined, then place the snickerdoodle dough into the fridge for at least one hour.

  5. When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F, 180°C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.   

  7. Scoop out about 2 Tbsps of chilled snickerdoodle dough and roll in a ball in the palms of your hands. 

  8. Toss with cinnamon sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until sheet is full, giving cookies some space for spreading.

  9. Take a smooth bottomed glass and dip the bottom in water and then in the cinnamon sugar. Press onto the cookies to slightly flatten. If the glass starts to stick to the cookies, re-coat the bottom in sugar.

  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool cookies. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Nutrition values are an estimate only.
  • How long will these cookies last? A few days at room temperature in an airtight container, or up to three months in the freezer. 
  • Can I use canned pumpkin purée? You may! But homemade is totes fine too. 
  • Can I freeze the dough before baking? You may! Do everything right up to and including flattening the cookies, and then freeze them unbaked in a single layer. Once they're frozen just pop them into a freezer bag, and you'll have pumpkin snickerdoodles ready to bake on a moment's notice!
  • I can't find white whole wheat flour. You can substitute it with a) whole wheat pastry flour, b) half all purpose and half regular whole wheat flour, or c) just all purpose flour. 
Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Potassium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 10g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 18.4%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 2.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This recipe was originally published October 28, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on November 20, 2018.

 

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles! These soft and chewy cookies are healthy and easy to make! Made with real pumpkin, spices, and white whole wheat flour, they're sure to be a hit with the whole family. #pumpkin #snickerdoodles


 

Comments

    • The bag I have is from Bob’s Red Mill, so if your local shop carries that brand you may be able to find it. I’m sure though that you could make millet flour by whirling millet around in a food processor until it reached a powdery stage if you were so inclined.

  1. looks awesome, Katie! What do you think would happen if I reduced the butter and substituted for apple sauce?
    — Jen

    • Jen, I’ve already reduced the butter a bit from the original recipe and increased the pumpkin puree. You could try going a bit farther, but at the end of the day this is a cookie and if you go too far you’ll end up with a gummy little cake. Try it out bit by bit, you’ll know when you’ve gone too far!

  2. After a weekend of indulgence I was determined to get back on board the healthy-eating bandwagon … but more pumpkin makes these healthy, right??! They look amazing!

  3. Katie, I just made this recipe this week. As you may know, I have known as the “snickerdoodle lady” in our neighbourhood and WOW, the addition of pumpkin to this favourite has made me even MORE popular. And I love that they can be frozen just before baking, so the house can smell great in a jiff, any time I want! When I printed out the recipe, I made THREE copies, as I know that I’ll be asked for it. Thank you.

  4. I cannot resist the small plump local pumpkins at our rural farmers market in October. I roast and freeze. I made these for an upcoming visit with the grandchildren and they loved them. So good!

  5. Thanks for the tip about using the bottom of a glass to flatten. You’re so creative! These cookies are delish 🤤

  6. I have just a small tweak to suggest for these yummy cookies. Hold off preheating the oven as you are going to refrigerate the dough for an hour or so. Then turn the oven on.

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