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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

60 Comments

  1. I made these at 2am this morning. Fantastic? I had to add a little more flour because my dough was wet but once I did it was as you described. Thank you so much for making me look like I know what I’m doing lol my friends are raving sbout them. I used dark chocolate chips and dried mixed berries.

  2. I just made these cookies and they are amazing! So delicious! I used white chocolate chips and cranberries and these are the perfect autumn cookies. They are my new favorite! Thanks Sally!

  3. I made these over the weekend. I accidentally bought pumpkin pie mix instead of pumpkin purée. I was worried it would ruin the cookies but they tasted great! I’ll have to try making them again with the purée next time. Thanks for another great recipe Sally!

  4. What if we do not want the add-ins? I have some picky cookie eaters in my family that just want the oats and the pumpkin flavor…

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    1. Hi Jeri, you don’t need to add anything. The cookies are wonderful plain!

  5. Mmm, just made these with chocolate chips and pecans…delish! Next time I want to try the pumpkin seeds, yummy 🙂

  6. I just made these for a party and they were a smashing success. The only problem is I now have an unshakeable craving and must make more!

  7. I just made a batch and i’m devouring one right now. Absolutely delicious. Good call on the dried cranberries. Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe 🙂

  8. Wondering if there is anything I can use to substitute the molasses…. we are not molasses fans

    1. Hi Amy, you could try maple syrup or honey instead.

  9. I’ve made these twice in the past two week, and HOLY MOLY, big winner here! Both times I used the same add-ins: chopped pecans, semi-sweet and white chocolate chips. In the second batch, I pressed in some caramel pieces (before baking) that I wanted to use up. These are perfect in texture and taste exactly like fall. Another killer recipe, Sally!

  10. I made this outof this world, used Peanut M&M’s, then used a Caramel buttercream filling and a Maple cream cheese filling to make whoopie pies, delicious

  11. BEST cookies EVER. I’ve decided this will be the basic recipe and I will just keep changing the add ons. This first time I used mixed nuts and cranberries; can’t stop myself. I’ve become the cookie monster!!!!
    Thank you 🙂

    Rosa

  12. Stephanie Adams says:

    Oh my goodness! These ARE the BEST pumpkin cookies I’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing the recipe. We have a favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe we make all of the time and I wanted to have pumpkins cookies, because ’tis the season, but still wanted oatmeal chocolate chip. And these are perfect. I am going to turn into a pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie because I have eaten so many in making this 3 times in the last week. Anyway, thanks again for a delicious recipe!

  13. I am in LOVE! It is starting to get hot here in the desert so time to pull out some of my pumpkin. Was hunting around and found this recipe. SO HAPPY I DID!!
    These cookies are amazing. I used milk chocolate chip cookies and pecans.
    How long did you leave on the cookie sheets to cool?

    1. Hi Lori! I leave them on the cookie sheets to cool for about 10 minutes. Then gobble them up. They’re the best! Thanks for reporting back.

  14. I just had to tell you that I absolutely adore this recipe. I found it last fall while looking for pumpkin recipes, and it’s been a great success every time. I always tend to have half-used bags of chips or dried fruit in my cupboard left over from other baking projects, so it’s also a fantastic recipe to use up some of those extras. I was inspired to write in after I brought a batch to work (the last of my white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and dried cranberries) and immediately had a coworker hunt me down to rave about them.

    In case any of your readers are curious, I’m at 5,000 ft and these cookies bake up perfectly. I increase the baking time a few minutes to firm them up a bit more, but they’re still moist.

  15. Wow! Just made these with banana instead of pumpkin (because it’s June) and used chocolate chips and coconut as my add-ins (and used whole wheat flour). They are delicious! Thank you!

  16. I am new to your blog but I’m already a big fan. I rarely bake but tried these cookies. They were so good I made a second batch with different add-ins. I love the various add-ins and can’t wait to try other combinations.
    What made this baking experience less stressful was your directions, tips, explanations and pics of not just the finished product but how things should look throughout the process. That made such a difference for someone like me who is dipping her toes back into baking after a long hiatus. Thank you so much Sally…I can’t wait to try another recipe ASAP!

  17. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate veggies into recipes for my toddler. Also, compared to other oatmeal cookie recipes these are relatively low in sugar so I felt good giving these cookies to him as a treat. I switched 1 cup of white flour for 1 cup of whole wheat, used black strap molasses, and added 2 table spoons of pumpkin but made extra sure to drain my pumpkin so there wouldn’t be too much liquid. As for add-ins, I used raisins only but would have loved some crystallized ginger… though prob not a 2 year olds fav addition. Anyway, they are amazing and my kid is eating them up! Thanks for the great recipe.

  18. What happens if I use quick oats instead? I don’t want to go back to the store!

    1. That is fine, but perhaps leave out 1 Tablespoon of flour.

  19. May Ann Steinbeisser says:

    These are awesome!!! I made them with homemade pumpkin puree, pecans, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Everyone I gave them to just loved them! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  20. I substituted maple syrup for molasses! Equally as delicious.

  21. Jess Kinghorn says:

    Sally – These are unbelievable. And, I used a new prepared pumpkin brand – Farmers Market Organic. It is head-and-shoulders above other canned/boxed pumpkin I’ve used-so fresh and not overprocessed. Highly recommend!

    I cut the sugar in half and used cranberries as my only add-in, but so many other add-ins could work.

    Thank you for this great recipe.

  22. Hi Sally,
    I’m wondering if you think these can be made into bars?
    Thanks!

    1. Absolutely– I fear a 9×13 baking pan may be too big. How about you just see what size it best fits into. Maybe a 9-inch square baking pan is best. I’m unsure of the bake time.

  23. Sally, these are the most delicious, addictive cookies I have ever tasted. My new favorite for forever! My add-ins are half cranberries, half cinnamon chips (which really give them a nice Christmas flavor). I brought some to work on Christmas Eve, and all of my co-workers were gushing about them, asking for the recipe. Thank you!

  24. I was craving something pumpkin-y today so I made these. They really hit the spot. SO good and the perfect size! I own all 3 of the OXO cookie scoop sizes but rarely use the large scoop. I might have to re-think that. Thanks, I can always count on your recipes. Good luck with your new cookbook.

  25. My stepson and I love to spend time baking together.  So when we were craving pumpkin chocolate chip cookies over the weekend, we decided to go old school and look for a recipe that did not use a cake mix. (I’m a busy working  Mom with four kids, so semi-homemade is often a reality of our life)  Last night, I made these cookies with my 12 yr old stepson and my 4 yr old son. With a little guidance, the boys were able to make this recipe without too much intervention from me. We used a regular spoon to drop our cookies and they were PERFECT! The ingredients and directions are SPOT ON! I have tried many recipes from blogs and this is the first time our final product looked exactly like the pictures! This was a wonderful bonus for my stepson who felt really proud of himself when our cookies looked just the the pictures, and tasted delicious too! We look forward to trying more of you recipes!

  26. Hi Sally, I did these cookies with white chocolate and cranberry last week and I already loved their smell! I just add half of the butter indicated.. They are so soft, tasty and true, I think I became addicted 🙂 I think those are one of the best cookies ever! Congratulations and thank you for the recipe! 🙂

  27. Made these today..added chocolate hips and pumpkin seeds. Great recipe!!!! A keeper.

  28. Hi Sally! I am a freshman in high school and brought these cookies to class today, they were a hit! Definitely the best I have ever had! Thank you for your amazing recipes! xoxoxo

  29. Hi Sally! I was wondering, can this recipe be halved? Also, I only have sweet cream butter on hand. Will this work? Thank you! Last year I tried your pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, can’t wait to try these ones!

    1. It can be halved, but it might be a little tricky halving the egg yolk. How about making them all and freezing the extras?

  30. These cookies were amazing! They have great flavor and texture. I used 1/4 cup maple syrup in place of the molasses. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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