These are hands down the best vegan pumpkin cookies ever! Soft, bakery style pumpkin cookies with a tangy and sweet white frosting that tastes like cream cheese frosting (with no cream cheese!). Best of all, they’re easy to make in 1 bowl.
I have been looking for the perfect vegan pumpkin cookie recipe for YEARS, long before I started this blog. Since I never found it, I finally decided to make one myself. You see, I wanted pumpkin cookies that were melt-in-your-mouth delicious, not a healthy breakfast cookie recipe. They had to be generously frosted, soft and tender, and full of pumpkin pie spices.
I hope you love these cookies as much as my family and I do! They are perfect for bringing to holiday parties and get-togethers of all kinds. Your family and friends will never believe these cookies are vegan!
How to make vegan pumpkin cookies:
In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugars until creamy. I used Melt brand here, but also like using Earth Balance and Miyoko’s brand. Now add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until combined. I used a hand mixer but you could use a large wooden spoon, your arm will get quite the workout! (see recipe card below for full ingredient amounts and instructions. This is just an overview + tips.)
Next, add the flour, then sprinkle the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt on top of the flour. Mix until just combined and a dough is formed. The dough will be wetter than most cookie batters.
Place heaping tablespoons onto a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper, then flatten the cookies a bit with moistened hands. Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-14 minutes, until the tops are no longer shiny.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Meanwhile, make the frosting.
Tangy and sweet frosting
This frosting is incredible. It’s sweet but a little tangy, and tastes a lot like cream cheese frosting, without needing any cream cheese (vegan or otherwise)! The secret? A tiny bit of apple cider vinegar.
To make it, beat the vegan butter with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes until creamy, then add the powdered sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time, but don’t add much or it will quickly become runny! If you’ve added too much milk, add more powdered sugar.
Make sure your cookies have cooled completely before frosting, or the frosting will slide right off and melt.
How should I store vegan pumpkin cookies? These are best stored in the refrigerator, on a plate or platter covered loosely in plastic wrap. They will last about 4 days this way. You can keep them at room temperature, but they won’t last as long.
Can you freeze pumpkin cookies? I would recommend freezing the cookies without frosting, rather than frosted cookies. But yes, you can freeze the cookies.
Can I make them gluten free? To make the cookies gluten free, try using a quality all purpose gluten free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1:1. Don’t sub almond or coconut flour, it will not work.
Want more Vegan pumpkin recipes?
- Starbucks Copycat Vegan Pumpkin Scones
- Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
- The Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- 1 Bowl Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
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The Best Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter with both the white and brown sugars. You can use a hand mixer or even a large wooden spoon if needed. Next, mix in 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (you won't use quite the whole can!) and vanilla, until well combined and smooth.
- Now add the flour to the bowl, and sprinkle the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt on top of the flour. Stir until just combined and a dough is formed. The dough will be wetter than most cookies, but do not worry, that is correct.
- Place heaping tablespoons (about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons) on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the cookie somewhat, as they will not spread much during baking. The dough will be sticky, so wet your hands before pressing down. Not so much that they are dripping, but just so the dough won't stick.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes, until the tops are no longer shiny. The cookies will have puffed up a bit as well. Remove from the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Make the Frosting: Using a hand mixer, beat the softened vegan butter for about 2 minutes until creamy, then add the powdered sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla and beat everything together until smooth and creamy, adding a tablespoon of non-dairy milk at a time as needed. If you add too much milk and it gets runny, you will need to add more powdered sugar.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, frost generously and sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
- Leftover cookies are best stored in the refrigerator, on a plate covered with plastic wrap. They will stay good for 3-4 days this way. You can store them at room temperature for 1-2 days, but I prefer how they taste from the refrigerator and they will last longer.
- You can freeze the cookies without frosting, but I would not freeze frosted cookies if you can help it.
- For the vegan butter, I used Melt and was quite pleased with the results! Earth balance or Miyoko's brand will also work.
- Recipe adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron.