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.
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?
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.
How do I make these pumpkin snickerdoodles?
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.
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.
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!
How long will pumpkin snickerdoodles 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.
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.
Other pumpkin recipes you might enjoy:
For the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
- ¾ cup 6 oz / 170g room temperature butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 3 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the cinnamon sugar:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or an electric hand mixer, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and pumpkin and mix until well blended.
- Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt over the wet mixture.
- Mix until just combined, then place the snickerdoodle dough into the fridge for at least one hour.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F, 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of chilled snickerdoodle dough and roll in a ball in the palms of your hands.
- Toss with cinnamon sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until sheet is full, giving cookies some space for spreading.
- 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.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool cookies. Enjoy!
- 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.
This recipe was originally published October 28, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on November 20, 2018.