These gluten free pumpkin cookies are the softest, most delectable cookies you’ll ever eat! They are remarkably light in texture, and literally melt in your mouth. Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with a luscious brown sugar frosting, this dairy-free cookie recipe is the perfect dessert.
Fall baking is probably my favorite kind of baking. I love the spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and all of the fall baking classics, like apple crisp, pecan pie, and cinnamon rolls! But on top of my fall baking list this year: gluten-free pumpkin cookies.
Why You’ll Love These Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies
- Texture- Think super soft loft-house style sugar cookie meets pumpkin spice. These cookies are pillowy and moist, and will literally melt in your mouth.
- Taste- I use both cinnamon and nutmeg to spice these cookies just right, but add brown sugar to the frosting. It creates such a beautiful harmony of flavors. Pumpkin and brown sugar were just meant to be together.
- They are so easy!- Unlike other cookie doughs, this one requires no refrigeration prior to baking. You can easily make the dough, and bake it immediately. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool before frosting!
Gluten-Free Cookie Baking Tips
- Sift the dry ingredients together to prevent clumping.
- Use a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the baking sheets. This will ensure all of your cookies are the same size and cook evenly.
- To prevent your cookies from sticking to the baking sheet, always line the baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- These specific cookies are done baking with the edges and tops are set. Be careful to not over bake!
How To Make Pumpkin Gluten Free Cookies
- Preheat the oven– Prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- Mix together the wet ingredients– Beat together the sugar and palm shortening, and then stir in the remaining wet ingredients.
- Sift together the dry ingredients– Sifting together the dry ingredients will prevent clumping, leaving you with a smooth cookie dough.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredient– The cookie dough will be thick, but not too thick that it won’t hold it’s shape on the baking sheet. I suggest scooping the dough using a cookie scooper. This will ensure all of the cookies are uniform in size.
- Bake the cookies– Cookies will be done when the tops and sides are set.
- Dissolve the brown sugar– No one likes gritty frosting! Dissolving the brown sugar in the almond milk and vanilla extract take about 10 minutes, but it’s so worth it!
- Finish making the frosting– Once the brown sugar is dissolved, add the remaining ingredients and beat well until fluffy and smooth.
- Frost the cookies– I like to use this little frosting spatula to do this.
- Devour– This job is not a hardship. I promise. HAH.
Dairy-Free Brown Sugar Frosting
Move over dairy-laden cream cheese! Often, when you come across a pumpkin cookie recipe, the cookie is topped with cream cheese frosting. But when you’re dairy-free, cream cheese isn’t an option (and I have yet to meet a dairy-free cream cheese I actually like – and yes, I’ve tried tons of them).
This dairy-free brown sugar frosting is exceptional. It tastes like a wonderful vanilla buttercream frosting, but has an added depth of flavor with the brown sugar. The brown sugar adds a dreamy caramel or toffee-like flavor due to the molasses in it.
It’s so tasty I actually want to use it on my gluten-free carrot cake. I promise, cross my heart- hope to die, you will NOT miss cream cheese frosting in this recipe!
Important Tip – Dissolve The Brown Sugar
Make sure you stir together the unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, and brown sugar, and let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes, before adding the remaining frosting ingredients. This will dissolve the granules of the brown sugar, ensuring your frosting is smooth and luscious.
How To Store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature (unless you substitute real dairy somewhere in the recipe, then please store in the refrigerator) and consume within 3 days.
If stacking the cookies in a container, I find it helpful to separate the layers of cookies with sheets of parchment paper. The parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking together (wax paper would probably work just as well, too).
For the cookies
- 1 cup palm shortening
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup pure pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the frosting
- ¼ cup vegan butter (or ghee, or palm shortening)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or another dairy-free milk)
- 1 ½ cups organic powdered sugar
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F), and prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the palm shortening and organic cane sugar for about 30 seconds.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and stir in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the tapioca starch, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt.
- Now add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl of the electric mixer, and stir until combined.
- Drop 2 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared bakings sheets, leaving space between the dough for it to spread.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes. Cookies are done when the tops and sides are set.
For the frosting:
- While the cookies are baking, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, vanilla extract and the unsweetened almond milk. Set aside to sit for at least 10-15 minutes. The almond milk and vanilla extract will dissolve the granules of brown sugar as it sits, so the frosting will be smooth.
- Once the cookies are completely cool, whisk in the vegan butter and the organic powdered sugar. If the frosting is too thick, add more almond milk, teaspoon by teaspoon, until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Mix for 3-5 minutes on medium-high, until the frosting is smooth, light, and fluffy.
If you are not dairy-free, you absolutely can top these cookies with cream cheese frosting. That said, this dairy-free brown sugar frosting is sooooo good, you'll at least want to try it once (and then I think you'll give up cream cheese frosting for good)!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 121mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 1g
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