These soft gluten free pumpkin cookies are so light and fluffy they melt in your mouth! Made with almond flour and lightly sweetened with maple syrup these cookies are sure to be a hit!
Pumpkin cheesecake cookies: your new favourite fall cookie
I actually first made these almond flour pumpkin cookies last fall and they ended up going viral on both Instagram and Tiktok. And for good reason! Everyone loved how light, fluffy and full of flavour these little pumpkin cookies were. In my opinion they are the ultimate fall cookie to bake this fall.
Don't believe me? Here are three reasons why you need to make these cookies:
- They're lightly sweetened. Although there's nothing wrong with eating a classic cookie, sometimes you just want the perfect 'not-too-sweet' cookie to pair with a coffee, or latte. These cookies are only lightly sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar, making them the perfect mid-day pick me up.
- They're gluten free and dairy-free! Made with a mix of almond and oat flour, these pumpkin cookies are a great option if you are gluten free! I also chose to use coconut oil instead of butter, making it super easy to make these dairy free and paleo pumpkin cookies!
- They are SO easy to make. Seriously. All you need is 10 minutes of hands on prep time and you are on your way to making the BEST cookies ever.
Bonus: Packed with pumpkin spice and everything nice, these are the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving, Friends-giving or Fall picnic potluck! Be prepared though because you are about to be asked for the recipe ( a lot) ).
Ingredients needed for almond flour pumpkin cookies
Almond Flour – One of my favourite gluten free flours to bake with! I love the texture almond flour gives in these almond flour pumpkin cookies. It creates the perfect little pillows of soft delicious-ness. I know almond flour can be expensive we get ours at Costco and I believe the exact same one is also on Amazon- this is the almond flour I use! It comes in a large bag that I find lasts us a long time!
Oat flour- Since these cookies are literally as fluffy as clouds, we needed something extra to help keep these cookies together. I added in a few tablespoons of oat flour. You can use any oats you have on hand- quick, minute or rolled (if you are gluten free- use gluten free oats)!
** Flour note- I know every time I bake with gluten free flours I always get asked if you can substitute with regular flour. I have not tried any other flour combinations for this recipe so I DO NOT know how they will turn out. If you decide to try please let me know how they are!
Coconut oil- As I say in most of my recipes I personally like using coconut oil in my baked foods (we buy this giant coconut oil tub found here). I love the subtle coconut flavour it brings to treats. However you can 100% substitute the coconut oil for the same amount of butter for the same texture.
Coconut sugar- For a paleo sugar option! If you do not have any coconut sugar on hand- dont worry you can easily just replace this with brown sugar for a direct substitute.
Maple syrup- Natural sweetness and a rich caramel flavour. Just make sure you are using the REAL stuff for the best flavour (I have not tried any other liquid sweeteners).
Pumpkin puree- Make sure you use pumpkin PUREE not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling comes with the spices and sugar already mixed into the can, whereas pumpkin puree is just pumpkin! I’ve made this mistake before (and currently have 2 cans of pumpkin pie filling in the cupboard)!
Pumpkin pie spice- For convenience I used a pumpkin pie spice blend for these gluten free pumpkin cookies. If you do not have a pre-mixed spice blend on hand you can make your own super easily by just combining ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves (this recipe is great) and setting it aside for the whole season!
Egg- One large egg is all you are going to need for these cookies! I have not tried making these with any egg replacer or flax eggs!
For the cream cheese frosting:
Cream cheese- Any cream cheese will work! I personally use a low fat cream cheese, however the choice is yours. You can even use yogurt if you aren't planning on storing these for too long.
Icing sugar- Otherwise known as powdered sugar. This helps create the perfect lightly sweetened frosting for your pumpkin cheese cake cookies.
Milk- We need a touch of milk to get the best frosting texture. Choose whatever milk you normally use!
How to make pumpkin thumbprint cookies
Now that we have our ingredients in order, lets get started on making these little pillows of pumpkin spice delicious-ness.
First you are going to want to grab two medium sized mixing bowl.
Step one: In one of your mixing bowl, combine almond flour, oat flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
Step two: In your other mixing bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients. This includes, your coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract,coconut sugar and pumpkin puree.
note: for the smoothest batter, I recommend allowing your coconut oil to cool after melting. This avoids it clumping once added with the other ingredients.
Step three: Complete your dough by slowly adding the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until fully combined.
Step four: Now for the hard part- waiting! Place your dough in the fridge for AT LEAST 30 minutes. I know it may be tempting but I highly recommend that you DO NOT SKIP this step. Letting your dough chill allows the coconut oil to harden and the dough to thicken, making it easier to roll into balls. While you are waiting you can combine your coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small shallow bowl.
Step five: Once chilled, remove your dough and roll into balls (about 2 tablespoon worth in each cookie)- the recipe should make about 12-13 cookies. Roll balls in your cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a prepared baking sheet. To make your 'pumpkin thumbprint cookies' gently push down using your thumb on each cookie to create a cavity. You want your thumbprint to be big enough to be filled with your cream cheese frosting. For best results I recommend gently twisting your thumbs a few time to create more of a circle shape.
Step six: Time for baking! Bake these cookies for about 12 minutes at 350F. While they are baking prepare your frosting by whisking together the cream cheese, maple syrup, icing sugar and milk in a small bowl.
Step seven: Allow your cookies to cool and spoon a dollop of the cream cheese frosting into each cavity, sprinkle with any additional cinnamon sugar and enjoy your pumpkin cheesecake cookies!
For best results- store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for longer term storage!
Can I make these paleo pumpkin cookies?
Yes! These are super easy to make paleo.
For anyone that is wondering what paleo means. The paleo diet refers to the 'paleolithic diet'. Essentially it involves eating as our prehistoric ancestors ate. This incudes foods that would typically be hunted or gathered such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Although I myself do not follow a paleo diet, I always try to make my recipes as accessible to everyone as posssible. So if you are following a paleo diet here is my only swap to make these the best paleo pumpkin cookies EVER:
- Leave out the cream cheese icing. I promise these fluffy pumpkin cookies are still just as good without it. Sadly cream cheese (even dairy-free) doesn't exactly fit the paleo lifestyle.
More nourishing fall baking ideas:
Loved these pumpkin cheesecake cookies? You need to try some of my other cozy fall sweet treat recipes.
Some of my favourites include:
- Chai oatmeal cookies
- Salted caramel blondies
- Chocolate chip cookie bars
- Single serving apple crisp
- Cinnamon crunch banana bread
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these gluten free pumpkin cookies don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
- 1 +¾ cup almond flour
- 4 tablespoon oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 large egg
Cinnamon sugar coating
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Cream cheese frosting
- ¼ cup cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon milk
- In a medium bowl combine combine almond flour, oat flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla and pumpkin and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Place dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes. While your dough is chilling, combine cinnamon sugar coating in a small shallow bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Once chilled, remove dough and roll into balls (about 2 tablespoon worth)- recipe should make about 12-13 cookies. Roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a prepared baking sheet, gently pushing down using your thumb to create a thumbprint cavity on each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes. *be careful not to over bake, cookies are done when the bottoms begin to brown..
- Allow to cool. Whisk together cream cheese frosting ingredients and spoon some of the frosting into each thumbprint cavity, sprinkle with leftover cinnamon sugar.