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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

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

Do you like oatmeal cookies? My favorite cookie varieties all include oats: oatmeal raisin cookies, oatmeal scotchies, oatmeal creme pies, I could go on and on. Today we’re making pumpkin flavored with extra pumpkin spices. I baked many test batches, changing ingredients ever so slightly, and here is the winning recipe.

These pumpkin cookies are better than I ever expected. In fact, one taste tester said, “these are the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.” (And she has tested a lot of my cookie recipes!) Another described them as “better than an oatmeal creme pie” and then said “ohhhhhhh I need another one.”

Can’t argue with either of them!

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:

  • Cranberry Chocolate Chip
  • White Chocolate Cranberry
  • Dark Chocolate Pecan with Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
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!

And it’s a great place to use your homemade pumpkin pie spice!

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 young 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. 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 as soft and cakey as these pumpkin cookies. Have you tried my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies or pumpkin snickerdoodles yet? In both of those recipes, you’ll see that replacing an egg with pumpkin fixes the cakey cookie problem. In a 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. I love using an extra egg yolk in my chocolate chip cookies. So much richness!
  5. Last but not least, I found that my cookies have the best flavor and texture on day 2—similar to banana bread and carrot cake. The molasses and spices mingle 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
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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: 1518 cookies 1x
  • 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 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, pepitas, chopped pecans, 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: You can find pumpkin pie spice in most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon—you will still add that.
  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.
  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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. 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!

  2. 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!! 

  3. 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!

      1. These were really good. Since the butter had to be melted anyhow, I browned it. I added cranberries and toasted walnuts and butterscotch chips. I used Libby pumpkin and still blotted out moisture and the texture was great. 10/10 will try again.

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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  

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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? 

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!!!!!!

  12. 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

  13. Loved these! Relatively easy to make (a necessity for me) and were delicious. I added chocolate chips and chopped pecans. They came out perfect at 13 minutes. Chewy, oatmeal-y, not overly sweet. Exactly what I wanted!

  14. In the spirit of Autumn time (my favorite season) I made these cookies. I used you favorite combo of add-ins: pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and chocolate chips.

  15. Oh my goodness!!! What a delicious fall/Thanksgiving cookie!! The house smells as good as these cookies taste!! Thank you Sally for another wonderful recipe!! Also I really appreciate the details & tips for success in all your recipes!!

  16. hello,
    can you tell me any suggestions for making them at high altitude? I’m at 6800 ft and usually add a little extra flour, but wanted to know if you have a suggestion.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sally! We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful:

  17. Absolutely loved this cookie, I can no longer make oatmeal cookies the regular way again – they now must have PUMPKIN! Yum! 🙂

  18. Can almond flour be substituted for all purpose? I want to make these for some friends that are gluten free.

    1. Hi Clarissa, almond flour is usually not a suitable swap for all purpose flour. A 1:1 GF flour substitute (like Cup4Cup) would be a better bet, but we haven’t tested it. Let us know if you do!

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