Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

A creative technique keeps these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies from becoming cakey.

By Yankee Magazine

Sep 11 2023


Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Photo Credit : Kristin Teig and Liz Neilly

We love the texture of snickerdoodles and the flavor of pumpkin. But when you add a wet ingredient like pumpkin puree to cookie batter, you end up with a cakey cookie. That’s why it’s so important to heat the pumpkin in a skillet for a few minutes to cook out as much water as possible. With that little bit of extra effort, you get the perfect flavor and texture. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice here, substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.


2 dozen cookies


¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon baking soda
Cinnamon sugar, for rolling


Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a small frying pan, cook the pumpkin puree over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is drier, darker in color, and making crackling sounds, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat your oven to 375°F and set your racks to the upper- and lower-third positions.

In a large bowl, using a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and egg yolks to the butter mixture and stir, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda; beat until combined.

Pour your cinnamon sugar into a shallow bowl (you’ll need about a cup for this many cookies). Break the dough off into pieces the size of Ping-Pong balls and roll them into balls, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between. Bake until the cookies are puffed and golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.