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
- 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed
- 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.
Nora these cookies look so good. I want to make them for my son for Christmas. One question, Does the frosting harden so when I store them, they don’t stick to each other. Or should I not store them on top of each other.
I’m glad you love the cookies, Lisa. I bet your son will love them! The frosting will harden somewhat, especially if you place them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I’m not sure they would stack well without sticking. Maybe 2 high, with a layer of wax or parchment paper between would work okay. Wishing you happy holiday baking!
Not only are these the best pumpkin cookies—they are the best cookies I’ve ever made or had!! The vegan icing tastes just like cream cheese. I used pumpkin spice instead of the spices. Try this recipe—it’s a winner! I plan to make these for Christmas gifts!
Thank you for a great recipe!
You are welcome! I am honored these are the best cookies you’ve ever had! Thank you for your glowing feedback and review! Wishing you lots of happy baking!
Nora – Our Thanksgiving was almost exclusively brought to the table by Nora Cooks and it was awesome! These cookies were the perfect end to the meal. If you’re looking for a pumpkin treat – stop looking and make these, delicious!!
Hi Missy. I am honored! I’m so thrilled your feast was awesome! Thank for your wonderful review and feedback on the cookies!
The most delicious cookie I’ve ever had!
I subbed coconut oil for the vegan butter, added one banana, and added a carob drop on top of each iced cookie.
The icing is just like cream cheese!
Can’t wait for the party!!!
Total hit! Moist and delicious… agree with others, best cookies I’ve had!
your recipes are a go-to for me! i basically learned how to cook and bake from all your recipes. thank you!
These are amazing! The best pumpkin cookies I have had!
Thank you for sharing, Rachel! I’m so glad that you loved the cookies. They are one of m favorites!
Swapped out the pumpkin for purple sweet potato (I grew soo many in my garden. Trying to use them up) and it came out fantastic! So delicious! Nora recipies never fail me
Hi Lisa. Well that’s fun! Were the cookies purple? Thanks for your wonderful feedback, and for using my recipes! Wishing you happy cooking!
I made these this afternoon. Gorgeous! Could I add walnuts or would that effect the fluffyness?
Your recipes are no fail!!! 💗💗
Thank you for such a wonderful review, Kay! Yes, walnuts would be a delicious addition to these cookies. Fold them into the batter after it has come together.
Thank you! I’m a beginner baker (pandemic acquired skill)but your recipes have inspired me to bake every week! The videos and photos are so helpful. And no precious animals are harmed. Love!
Wow, these cookies are fantastic! They are so incredibly soft and fluffy, and the cream cheese frosting with a sprinkling of nutmeg is divine. An absolutely delicious recipe!
Hi Coby. I’m glad you love the cookies! We love them at our house as well! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review!
These are just so decadent and delicious! I was making them for my neighbors for Halloween, but my husband and son keep eating them! I might need another batch! The thing I love most about your recipes is that they are all relatively simple, but yet they taste so sophisticated. Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes!
Hi Kendra. Your positive words mean very much to me! Part of my goal is to create recipes that are easy and delicious! It is great to know they are! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful feedback and review!
Made these for a pumpkin carving party with my kids and grandkids,,, they were a big hit! Out of 11 people, only 2 are vegan,,, and they were the only cookie,,, enjoyed by the entire crowd!
Hi Robin. Thank you for sharing your fun story and positive feedback and review! You party sounds like such fun! I’m thrilled the the cookies were a hit!
This frosting is magical!! I took a taste and was shocked at how it tasted just like I remember cream cheese frosting tasting. The cookies are also delicious and nice and soft. And I love that there was the perfect amount of frosting for the amount of cookies. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe!
Hi Ellie. I’m so glad that you love the recipe! I know what you mean about the frosting, I love it! Thank you for sharing your fabulous feedback and review!
Absolutely delicious and easy to make!
Thank you for sharing. your great feedback!
Hands down not only the best vegan pumpkin cookie…I’d argue these are the best pumpkin cookie recipe EVER. I had several folks ask me for the recipe. Make these.
I’m so thrilled the cookies were a hit! Thank you for sharing your fun and great feedback!
These cookies are divine. I divided the batch and made one half with regular flour and one half with GF and they’re both delicious. The frosting is magical. I’ll probably use it on a carrot cake I’ve been wanting to make. As usual, Nora, you’ve succeeded!
Hi Jan-marie. I know what you mean about the frosting! I love it as well! I’m so happy you loved the cookies! Thank you for your kind words, and for sharing your great feedback!
I didn’t make the frosting, but the cookies are SO GOOD! Pillowy soft and absolutely delicious.
Made these tonight and put half of them into a cupcake pan. These are delicious! The icing is also amazing. It is so neat what a little apple cider vinegar can do!
With out a doubt these are the BEST pumpkin cookies. The frosting get soft and runny at room temperature however. I will frost and put them in the refrigerator but when taken out it will get runny again at room temperature. i just frost them right before I serve them. Hard to give them away to friends and family if the frosting is drippy.
Hey Nora, is it possible to substitute the vegan butter for vegetable oil? Just wondering
Yes, that should work just fine.
Super yummy cookies, and not overly sweet. I’m still fairly new to being vegan but let me just say you have made the transition so much easier for me! I’ve never had a bad recipe on this site, thank you!!
Thank you for your positive words about my site! I’m really glad it is helpful for you, and that you are enjoying my recipes! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback! Wishing you happy cooking!