Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

These irresistible pumpkin cookies are topped by a cloud of brown butter frosting.

Updated October 12, 2020

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Editor’s Note: Soft pumpkin cookies are one of those fall desserts that everyone loves, but not everyone has a great recipe for. Now you do! These delicious cookies are bursting with rich ginger-and-spice flavor, and the brown butter frosting topping ensures that these cookies are every bit as decadent as other famous fall desserts. Each bite is a little taste of heaven.

Pumpkin cookies are elevated to ambrosia here by a rich and creamy browned butter frosting. Each cookie is a bit like having your very own little pumpkin cake. As beautiful as they are delicious, they’re just perfect for a chilly October or November night—even Thanksgiving night—since these are arguably more delicious than pumpkin pie.



  • Cookies
  • 1/2
    cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4
    cup (275 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4
    cup (180 ml) pumpkin puree
  • 1/3
    cup (80 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoon (8 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2
    teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2
    teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4
    teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2
    cup (188 g) all-purpose flour
  • Frosting
  • 1/2
    cup (114 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups (360 g) powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. To make the cookies, in a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and egg yolk, pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Mix well. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Using a 1⁄4-cup (60-ml) measure, pour a little batter onto the cookie sheet and nudge it into a circle with the back of a spoon. Continue with the remaining batter. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until the cookies spring back. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets.

  3. Meanwhile, to make the frosting, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is golden brown and you can see little flecks of brown in the butter. Watch carefully so you don’t overcook. Add the salt and powdered sugar to the browned butter. Stir in the cream a vanilla. The frosting will thicken as it sits, so add more cream as needed.

  4. Frost the cookies with the warm icing and sprinkle with the cinnamon.


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