Pumpkin Spice Cookies filled with Cream Cheese? If that sounds like the perfect Fall dessert to you, its because they are! Soft and chewy, tender and delicious, these Pumpkin Spice Cookies are what’s missing from your classic Fall baking routine!
These are the ultimate Pumpkin Spice Cookies and they make a great Fall dessert! They’re soft, fluffy, perfectly spiced and absolutely delicious. These giant cookies are filled with pumpkin spiced cream cheese and are baked to tender and chewy perfection. Dunk one in a glass of milk for your morning breakfast, midday snack or after dinner dessert. Either way, these warm and flavourful pumpkin spice cookies deserve a spot on your Fall baking list. Like, ASAP. They’re going to be a hit with the entire crowd!
Are you in the Fall baking spirit yet?! I don’t know if it’s the excessive amount of Halloween baking shows on the Food Network I just so happen to be watching these last few days. Or, if it’s just the way I can’t deny how good my house smells when I bake anything that has ANYTHING to do with pumpkin spice. But I am…I’m in the Fall baking spirit. And, if you wanna be, and you’re just looking for your sign to finally start. Look no further, my friend. COOKIES WITH PUMPKIN SPICE AND CREAM CHEESE CENTERS. And that’s not just any ol’ cream cheese centers, either. We’re talkin’ pumpkin spiced cream cheese centers! Because, it’s Fall. And can there ever really be enough pumpkin spice to go around?!
These cookies with pumpkin spice actually (unintentionally) came out ginormous. But, I ain’t complaining. They’re perfectly soft, tender and incredibly chewy. You can decide to make smaller versions, if you wanna and bake up more. Or, keep them big like I did. Either way, when you bite into one of these babies, your taste buds are surely in for a treat!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES
With only 11 simple ingredients, these pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese filling need to be on your Fall baking list. Like yesterday.
- Pumpkin Purée: For that nice pumpkin flavour and keeps these cookies nice and moist. For time and convenience, I used canned pumpkin purée. However, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, feel free to make your own pumpkin purée out of sugar pie pumpkins. You will need one cup for this recipe (and will likely have to squeeze out the excess moisture to avoid soggy cookies). PRO TIP: If using the canned stuff, be sure to grab pure pumpkin purée and NOT pumpkin pie filling.
- Cream Cheese: THE cookie filling. The cream cheese is spiced with a little bit of vanilla, pumpkin spice and sugar and then portioned out and frozen. When the cookie bakes in the oven, the cream cheese filling makes them soft, chewy and extra delicious.
- Butter: Adds flavour and texture. Makes these cookies soft and moist. Unsalted is best since we add a pinch of salt ourselves and you don’t want to risk them becoming too salty. Room temperature butter is way easier to work with and whip and is usually best in most baking recipes!
- Flour: For stability and texture. I used whole wheat here to keep these cookies on the lighter side. But, you can use regular all purpose white flour instead, if you prefer. I haven’t tried this recipe with gluten free flour at the time of writing this post. So, if you beat me to it, let me know how it goes in the comment section down below!
- Sugar: For sweetness, of course! Balances out the warm flavours of the pumpkin spice and pumpkin purée.
- Vanilla: A popular baking staple! For sweetness and to enhance the flavours of the rest of the ingredients.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Each play their own roles in getting the cookies to rise/expand in the oven as they bake.
- Pumpkin Spice: Where most of the warm, Fall forward flavours come from! Of course, we easily make our own pumpkin spice at home. However, if you absolutely must, you can substitute store bought (1:1). Essentially, pumpkin spice is a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and really make these cookies scream Fall!
- Egg: For texture, flavour and structure. Since the pumpkin purée already accounts for a lot of the moisture in this pumpkin spice cookie recipe, we only need one egg.
- Salt: A little goes a long way in baking! A single pinch will enhance the flavours and really balance out the taste of the overall cookie.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES (KEY TIPS)
- Chill the cream cheese filling for at least one hour and then work quickly once it’s out of the freezer. The only way you’re going to be able to efficiently work with the cream cheese filling is if it’s chilled enough to handle. That way, you can easily enclose it in the cookie batter. EXTRA TIP: The cream cheese, even though frozen, will melt at a fast speed once taken out of the freezer. Work as quickly as you can to ensure it doesn’t melt before you’re able to get to it. If you notice that it’s starting to soften, simply pop it back in the freezer and work from there (this should be easy to do, since you’re washing your hands between each cookie, anyway).
- Chill the cookie dough. Since we handle the dough a lot in an effort to “fill” it with the cream cheese, the best way to do this is to chill the cookie dough before attempting to form or shape it. A chilled dough will be way easier to work with. Chilling it for at least one hour will give you the best results.
- Use a cookie scoop, tablespoon, ice cream scoop or another form of measurement to ensure that each cookie is uniformly shaped with the same amount of batter in each. That way, they’ll all bake up in the same amount of time and look the same after they do. For smaller cookies, use about 1.5 heaping tbsps of batter (I used an ice cream scoop, so for reference, that’s one scoop). And for the giant ones you seen in the pictures, use 3 tbsps of batter (2 ice cream scoops).
- Wash your hands in between rolling each cookie into balls. It’s a sticky batter and washing your hands in between forming each cookie (aka having clean hands before moving on to the next one) is crucial in order to ensure the dough doesn’t become a sticky mess.
- Don’t overcrowd the sheet pan and work in batches if you have to. The cookies need room to breathe as they will expand quite a bit as they’re baking up in the oven. Make sure you leave enough room (about 3 inches) in between them to allow this to happen and for air to circulate so they can cook all the way around and through.
- Cool the cookies on a wire rack before serving. They’ll harden/firm up a bit as they cool. EXTRA TIP: Allow them to cool for 10 or so minutes on the baking sheet straight out of the oven. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Trying to move them too quickly while hot straight out of the oven might break them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Since these pumpkin spice cookies have cream cheese centers, I recommend storing any leftovers in the fridge where they’ll last the longest and stay the freshest. Keep them in an airtight container and they’ll be good for up to 5 days.
These cookies make a great Fall or Winter breakfast, snack or dessert all on their own! But, if you’re looking to get somewhat fancy or crazy with it, a little Irish Coffee with Baileys or a classic Espresso Martini never hurt anybody, now did it?! A scoop of ice cream, a dollop of pumpkin spiced whipped cream or a plain ol’ glass of milk for dipping are also great serving options.
These cookies are best freshly baked straight out of the oven! However, you can still freeze them for up to 2 months, they just might lose their soft and tender chewiness. Individually wrap them and let them sit at room temperature until thawed when ready to eat.
Alternatively, you can freeze the cookie dough balls (follow the recipe up until step number 9) and then bake as needed. Perfect for quick Fall treats at any time as there is no need to thaw the cookie dough before baking. Simply bake in a 320° oven for 20-25 minutes or until soft and baked through. Follow the recipe card directions for cooling before eating or serving.
FOR THE PUMPKIN SPICE COOKIES
- 2.5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1.5 cups Sugar
- 1 cup Pumpkin Purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
FOR THE PUMPKIN SPICED CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- 6 oz Cream Cheese
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice
FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR DUSTING
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ginger
- Make the Filling: In a large bowl, add the ingredients for the cream cheese filling (cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice). Blend with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Portion the cream cheese mixture out into 1 tbsp portions, set in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten a bit with your fingers. Place in the freezer for at least one hour to chill (this will make them way easier to handle when you try and fill the cookies).
- While those are chilling, make the cookie dough. In a large bowl, add the pumpkin purée, butter, egg and vanilla. Blend until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and pumpkin spice.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend until well combined. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for about an hour so it's easier to handle.
- Make the Cinnamon Sugar Dusting. In a small plate or bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk until combined.
- When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the chilled dough and cream cheese filling (you must work quickly as the cream cheese will soften the longer it sits at room temperature)*. Measure out the desired amount of cookie dough per cookie using either a cookie scoop, tablespoon or ice cream scoop (which is what I used, for reference). For smaller cookies (yield will be about double), you'll need about 1.5 tbsp of batter per cookie. For giant ones, like the ones you see in the photos, you'll need about 3 tbsp of batter per cookie. Line the portioned cookie dough out on a piece of parchment paper.
- Individually pick each portion up and use your hands to flatten and shape. Place one piece of the chilled cream cheese in the center. Then use your hands and fingers to wrap the dough around the cream cheese and enclose it. Rub the ball between your hands to smooth it out. Wash your hands before moving on to the next dough portion. Repeat until all portions are filled with the cream cheese and rolled into balls.
- Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar dusting until they're coated all the way around.
- Place the balls on the prepared parchment lined baking sheet with enough space (about 3 inches) in between them to breathe and expand as they bake. You'll probably have to work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan (I had to do mine in 2 separate batches). Gently press each ball down just a little bit and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the outer edges are golden and set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. They will continue to firm up as they cool.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 297mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 4gSugar: 43gProtein: 6g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO LOVES COOKIES, TRY MY COOKIES IN A JAR RECIPE! IT MAKES A GREAT GIFT AND CAN BE CUSTOMIZED TO SUIT ANY HOLIDAY (HINT HINT: HALLOWEEN OR THANKSGIVING!)
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