Favorite Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

These flavorful and moist pumpkin oatmeal cookies are super soft without being cakey. Truly one of my favorite ways to enjoy the fall!

pumpkin oatmeal cookies on a white plate

Your weekly daily dose of pumpkin is here. And you might want to listen up. This recipe is one of the best.

You’re aware of my cakey pumpkin cookie problem, right? It took me 12 tries to develop a soft (not cakey!) pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. And last month, I finally nailed it! Those soft-baked cookies have been a HUGE hit on my website so far. Try crumbling them over vanilla ice cream…

I gave myself a new challenge over the past few weeks… to keep things exciting.

2 images of pumpkin oatmeal cookie dough in a pink bowl and baked pumpkin oatmeal cookies

I’m an oatmeal cookie kind of girl. My favorite cookie varieties all include oats: oatmeal raisin, oatmeal scotchies, oatmeal creme pies, I could go on and on. I’ve been craving a soft, slightly chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookie. Lots of texture without any of that cakey business. I baked a ton of different batches of pumpkin oatmeal cookies in 2 days, changing ingredients ever so slightly, and here is the winning recipe.

These pumpkin cookies are better than I ever expected.

I brought them to my friends Kristen and Seth before heading out to a double date sushi night. They both couldn’t resist a taste before dinner. My friend Erin came over the next day and she too – couldn’t resist. She said they were the best cookies she’s ever eaten. I made another batch of the pumpkin oatmeal cookies to bring to my friend Marie when we visited her last weekend in Cleveland. She described them as “better than an oatmeal creme pie” and “ohhhhhhh I need another one.”

Can’t argue with any of ’em!

2 images of pumpkin oatmeal cookie dough on a silpat baking mat and a hand holding a pumpkin oatmeal cookies

They’re dense like an oatmeal cookie should be, incredibly moist and soft-baked style without tasting like a cakey pumpkin muffin.

I made three different varieties to share with my friends because I couldn’t choose what add-ins I wanted.

  • The first? Cranberry Chocolate Chip. Oh-so-delish, obviously.
  • The second? White Chocolate Cranberry. Pumpkin and white chocolate are a match made in heaven.
  • And the third variety I made? Dark Chocolate Pecan with Pumpkin Seeds. I think I liked those the best! ♥

pumpkin oatmeal cookies on a yellow plate

So many goodies to choose from for your pumpkin oatmeal cookies! Do you want to know the best part? This recipe is one of the easiest cookie recipes I’ve ever made. There is no mixer required. There is no dough chilling required. No extra work, no extra dishes, no waiting around for dough to chill! When I want a pumpkin cookie, I want it NOW. And thankfully, you can have it now.

A few notes before you begin:

(1) The dough is very heavy, sticky, and thick. It will not be dry like some cookie dough. It’s very wet.

(2) Use a cookie scoop for ease. The dough is rather sticky and will get all over your hands, so make use of your cookie scoop. I find that a cookie scoop is especially helpful when working with little bakers. Don’t have a cookie scoop? You should buy the one I swear by (in size large). Or you can use a spoon. Use about 2-3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. It depends how large you want your cookies. When you place your cookie dough balls on the cookie sheet, press down ever so slightly. Don’t flatten the cookies, but just press them down lightly. This will give them a “spreading head start.”

(3) A third note about my cookies: don’t leave out the molasses. In the first test trial of these cookies, I didn’t add any molasses. The cookies were completely flavorless, despite the amount of spices I used! Molasses is one of my favorite fall/holiday flavors and you will love it inside these cookies.

(4) The egg. Oh the egg. I wanted my pumpkin oatmeal cookies to have a rich, tender texture without tasting cakey. Now I’ve explained to you before what an egg’s purpose is in cookie dough. I’ve also explained to you that replacing an egg with pumpkin will fix the cakey cookie problem. In the second test trial of these cookies, I did not add any eggs and the cookies were sort of dry. In the third test trial, I used an egg. Too cakey! The solution? Just use 1 egg yolk. Surely you know how much I love using egg yolks in cookies, right? So much richness!

(5) Last but not least, I found that my cookies have the best flavor and consistency on day 2. Similar to banana bread and carrot cake. The molasses and spices have melded together and the pumpkin flavor really comes out. The cookies are soft and slightly chewier. In fact, there were leftover cookies by day 4 (I had made a double batch) and they were STILL so soft and flavorful. Now that’s what I call a cookie success.

pumpkin oatmeal cookies on an orange plate

So ladies and gentlemen… (do any males read my blog besides my dad? I know Kevin pretends to.) …I bring you my favorite pumpkin oatmeal cookies!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

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pumpkin oatmeal cookies on a white plate

Soft-Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15-18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These flavorful and moist pumpkin oatmeal cookies are super soft without being cakey. Truly one of my favorite ways to enjoy the fall!


  • 2 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups total add-ins* (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pecans, white chocolate, or a combination)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together. Fold in the oats. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium size bowl. Whisk in the molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Once combined, whisk in the egg. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and whisk until thick and combined completely. Pour into dry ingredients and gently mix. The dough will be very thick, heavy, and sticky. Keep mixing until just combined, no more. Fold in your add-ins.
  4. Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets. About 2 or 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie. Slightly flatten the help the cookies spread in the oven. Do not flatten completely. See my photo above for a visual. If desired, press a few of your add-ins onto the top of the cookie dough balls for looks.
  5. Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges, and still appearing soft in the centers. My cookies took 14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. The cookies’ flavor is best on day 2. Cookies remain fresh and soft stored in an airtight container for 10 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of the pumpkin pie spice, you may use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground allspice.
  3. Pumpkin: This recipe is tested with Libby’s pumpkin puree, which is much less “watery” than other brands (such as Trader Joe’s). More water in your pumpkin = cakey cookies. If you think your pumpkin puree is too moist, add a paper towel to a bowl. Top with 3/4 cup pumpkin puree. Top with another paper towel and “blot” the pumpkin to remove some moisture.
  4. Add-Ins: Use 1 and 1/2 cups total add-ins. For example, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of pecans, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. Enjoy!
  5. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: pumpkin oatmeal cookies


  1. These look good! I was wondering if I could use coconut oil instead of butter? Thank you!

    1. Use butter– coconut oil isn’t too great in these cookies. I’ve tried!

  2. I loved these!!!  We definitely taste the molasses and not the pumpkin, but they are so good! Mine were chewy, which was incredible to me! Thank you for sharing this amazing cookie!

  3. I’m not sure if we are all eating the same cookie, but these cookies were a disappointment. My first thought while making these was that the recipe called for too much butter and too much sugar, but I followed it anyways. I should have followed my instinct. The cookies were too sweet, and they were “damp”.  I am an experienced baker, and these cookies lacked the slight crunch and chewiness of a good chewy cookie recipe.  Now I have a bunch of damp, chewy, overly sweet cookies that literally give me a headache when I eat them because of the sweetness. If you have time to experiment (which I don’t), cut down the sugar by a third, especially if adding add-ins, and cut the butter by half. I believe one commenter eliminated the butter by mistake, and the cookies came out good. Makes sense since pumpkin is a high fiber, high moisture food, and can be used like applesauce to reduce butter and add moisture to baking products. I wish I would have made the same “mistake” as her. 

  4. Hi Sally, 

    1. I am so used to weight measurements that I am lost without them. Could you please update this recipe with weight measurements for me? 
    2. Could I use quick oats instead of whole oats in this recipe? Or any other recipe for that matter. I hear you say that we can’t substitute whole for quick. What about quick for whole? 

    Thank you for your time! 

    1. Would also appreciate some metric measurements ^^

  5. Can you make these without the add ins?

    1. Sure can!

  6. I don’t usually leave reviews for recipes but had to for this one. At first I thought the flavor combination sounded strange and that there was too much going on but the flavors really work and these cookes are ah-ma-zing! I made 2 combinations…half with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and the other half with dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. I am NOT a fan of white chocolate but those were my fave! I’m also not one for sweets but I could eat a lot of these cookies! I didn’t think they were too sweet at all. The dough is a wet dough but when they were baked the edges were crispy but the inside was soft and chewy. I can’t wait to try them tomorrow since you say they’re best the 2nd day. Thanks for the fantastic recipe! I will be making lots and lots of these in the future!! 

  7. Sammi Harasymchuk says:

    This recipe is awesome!!! Two people at separate times commented that they were the best cookies they have ever had!!!
    All of your recipes that I tried have been hits and I never need to “fix” them. Love your blog Sally! Always look forward to reading a new post!

  8. Why did you melt the butter instead of using softened?

    1. For a chewier cookie. It really works!

  9. I made these tonight. I omitted the molasses because I didn’t have any. And I used dark chocolate chips. FANTASTIC!  I was going to bring them to work tomorrow but considering I inhaled 3 right out of the oven and can’t stop thinking about them, I think I’ll keep them all for myself 🙂

    1. Ha – Keeping them for yourself is totally allowed 🙂 Glad you liked them so much!

  10. Hi Sally, any way to cut down on the butter? 😉

    1. Hi! 
      To cut down on (dairy/ high fat content) butter you could use a non-dairy butter, such as the rand Earth Balance. Use exact amount (2 sticks). Or you could any kind of oil; coconut adds a bit of sweetness, olive adds a richness. I would also recommend avocado or almond oil.

      Hope this helps! Let me know. 

  11. Just made these and had to put them out of reach, love the subtle pumpkin flavor.

    Instead of dried cranberries I used fresh, halved berries and really like the tangy flavor that they add. A lot of recommendations that I read else where about using fresh said to up the sugar, I did NOT do this. In fact I left out all of the white sugar a cut back on the brown, too. They’re delicious and you can actually still taste the individual flavors!

  12. These cookies are always my go-to; I’ve been making them for a couple years now and they never disappoint! I followed Sally’s recipes to a T and they turn out delicious (And yes, better the next day or two). Today I splurged and added 2 cups of my mix-ins because I got a little crazy with my fresh dehydrated cranberries. They gave the sweet cookie some tart and didn’t over power the spices. THIS time I added dark chocolate chips, walnuts, pepitas, and pitted pruneswith my cranberries 

    Thank you for your awesome blog! I also love your baking book  

  13. Has anyone tried making these with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour or one of the other gluten free flour substitutes?

    1. I used Arrowhead Mills gluten free flour as a one to one substitute for regular flour. I always use parchment paper to keep gluten free cookies from breaking apart when taking them off the cookie sheet. They tasted great. To make them look like the picture, you would need to flaten the dough balls more before baking.

  14. I make these year after year exactly as written and they are my favorite cookie. Thanks for sharing! These cookies are perfect as written!

  15. Just took these beautiful cookies out of the oven and let them cool enough where I could nibble on one. I followed the recipe exactly and added white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and pecans. They are delicious! My cranky hubby, who raged at me earlier this evening, had to suffer in silence as the wonderful aroma filled our house. He’s not getting any until he says the 2 magic words! LOL

  16. Lacemaker427 says:

    When I made these cookies, I was apparently pretty distracted during the mixing, as AFTER the first batch went into the oven, I noticed the TWO sticks of butter on the counter,…silently mocking me!  I thought the cookies might possibly be okay, so I decided not to get out the hari-kari blade and end it all just yet :), I waited to test them (and just polished the blades in preparation — yes, of course I’m kidding).  I generally cut about 25% of a cookie recipe’s sugar, so I simply deleted the white sugar in this recipe.  The brown sugar and molasses gave me more than enough sweetness, so that worked; but the “no butter” thing still concerned me.  

    I waited, then the timer rang, and I moved the cookies to the cooling rack, chewing my fingernails as I waited to try one.  Finally, time’s up!  Bite, chew, WOW!  They were absolutely delicious, and the texture was just fine which really shocked me.  I know that the walnuts, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate had a part in making these cookies absolutely out-of-the-park delicious!  Next time I make them, however, I will probably use just 1 stick of butter.  My family didn’t notice any problem with them just as they were, and they gobbled them all up with some serious enthusiasm!  I was sneaky and I never admitted that this batch had such a silly mistake.

    My mother-in-law had a cookie recipe like none other that were based on a similar mistake, and they were every family member’s favorite cookies.  They very quickly became the most requested Christmas cookie!  The moral of the story is this:  don’t panic and buy airline tickets to Siberia just because you made an error with a recipe.  It might just turn out extremely well, or maybe no one will think there is anything missing.  If not, next April First, you can write your error in to King Arthur Flour’s “Flourish” April Fool’s Day blog, and you will see that you are not nearly alone.  The annual event begins with funny stories and even funnier photos from THEIR OWN BAKERS’ worst fails of the year, so you will be in very good company.  I have added to that blog twice; once for an error of my own, and 4/1/17 was my daughter’s “Great Popcorn Fail!”  I now am the proud owner of a very large plastic bowl with absolutely no bottom to it!  It is a picture frame now!

    Happy baking, ladies!  Some good, some bad, and those are all funny,…eventually.

  17. Hi Sally! I made these a couple of years ago and they were a hit! I am a pumpkin lover! I have a question for you. I want to use pumpkin seeds this time around. They are not dried. Do I have to dry them in the oven prior to adding to the cookie dough? 

    1. Yes, I would.
      So glad you enjoy this pumpkin cookie recipe!

      1. Thank you! I am a fan! Do you a recipe to roast them?
        BTW Love your cookies recipes and muffins! Happy Thanksgiving! 

  18. Hey sally, 
    I have read a few of your recipes and tried one or two I just wanted to say hi from another “sallye” who is also obsessed with baking. You give great tips on how to problem solve! One article I read you suggested to spoon dry ingredients to ensure your results are not so dense…thank you so much works much better, I use it all the time now!

    Keep on sharing your recipes and suggestions! 

    Sincerely, Sallye

  19. I really love the flavor of the cookies, a bit too sweet for my taste so I’ll reduce some of the sugar next time.
    But they turned out very soft, they easy break apart, what could I change to get a chewy not soft cookie?
    Thank you Sally!

  20. Jennifer DiIorio says:

    I just put these together and all I taste is molasses. I was looking for a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. Not sure what to do with the batter, but I can’t give these out for Halloween. I have a batch in the oven so I’m waiting to see how they turned out.
    Not happy right now.

    1. Hi Jennifer! If you ever want to try my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, I use maple syrup for an added lovely flavor. Not as over-powering as molasses.

  21. Sandra Morris says:

    Hi Sally
    Can you make this with fresh pumpkin puree – we don’t seem to have tinned pumpkin in the UK unless you buy it from Amazon

  22. I made these cookies today. The only changes I made were to substitute half white whole wheat flour and to reduce the chocolate chips (and total add-ins) to 1 cup. The cookies are heavenly. The kitchen also smells heavenly. The calorie count is insane though (I made 20 cookies from this recipe and according to myfitnesspal, each cookie has 270 calories! And that was with only 2/3s of the add-ins. I would love to see you tweak this to make it a bit healthier. I really want a second cookie!!!!!!!

  23. I agree with the previous comment about this being a damp cookie, missing that chewy quality of a cookie. Tastes more like a pumpkin bread. If I try again, may reduce the pumpkin purée & wet ingredients. Loved trying a new recipe though! Thank you for the inspiration!

  24. Just made a batch of these and used golden raisins instead of cranberries and substituted whipped salted butter. They’re very good but not sweet enough so I sprinkled the top with some coarse sugar. Thank you for the recipe

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally