Pumpkin Spice Roll Cookies

Enjoy cinnamon roll cookies with plenty of pumpkin spice in this fall-inspired icebox/slice-and-bake-style cookie recipe. These pumpkin spice roll cookies start with a 1 bowl pumpkin sugar cookie dough that you’ll roll out and top with brown sugar and plenty of pumpkin pie spice. After rolling up into logs, chill the cookie dough before slicing and baking. Choose cream cheese icing or maple icing as the final finishing touch before serving.

pumpkin cinnamon roll cookies with maple icing on top

These are just like cinnamon roll cookies, but with a pumpkin spice makeover. Taste testers raved about their distinctive cinnamon and spice flavors and we couldn’t choose which icing was better, so you have two options below!


Pumpkin Spice Roll Cookies: What to Expect

  • Flavor: The pumpkin flavor is light, but the spice flavor is strong especially on day 2. One of my recipe testers said “the pumpkin flavor comes through and it’s just the right amount of pumpkin spice.” They’re like pumpkin cinnamon rolls in cookie form and you can choose a cream cheese or maple icing. If all of that sounds tasty to you, you’ll most definitely love these fall cookies!
  • Texture: Each cookie is soft in the center with buttery brown sugar spice swirls and deliciously crisp edges. They take on a slightly crunchier texture on day 2, similar to dense shortbread.
  • Ease: Once you get going, the recipe is pretty simple. However, since they aren’t typical drop cookies and require precise measurements, I consider these an intermediate baking recipe— definitely a fun project for a fall afternoon.
  • Time: Set aside enough time to chill this cookie dough after you roll and assemble it into logs. Without chilling, it’s impossible to neatly slice the cookies and if you manage to slice a few decent cookies, they’ll lose shape and over-spread in the oven. Don’t waste your ingredients and efforts– chill this dough. After all the prep, chilling, baking, and a few minutes of cooling, this recipe typically takes a little over 3 hours.

pumpkin cinnamon spice roll cookies with cream cheese icing on top

The Trick to Working Pumpkin Into Cookie Dough

These pumpkin spice roll cookies start with a pumpkin spice sugar cookie dough. Pumpkin puree takes the place of an egg, so these cookies are egg-free like my other naturally egg-free baking recipes. Pumpkin is quite wet and can ruin the texture of cookie dough, especially a dough that requires specific shaping. As you might remember from these brown butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies and my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, the trick to working pumpkin into cookie dough without it changing the cookie’s texture is to rid its excess moisture.

Here’s what you’ll do: Start the recipe by blotting 6 Tablespoons of pumpkin puree with a clean kitchen tea towel or paper towels. The amount of liquid could surprise you! After drawing out some moisture, you should have about 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree.

  • Why Is This Important? It might seem like a silly and pointless step, but it’s crucial to the success of this pumpkin sugar cookie dough. Without doing this, the dough will be a sloppy mess that’s impossible to roll and shape.
  • Do You Always Do This with Pumpkin Cookies? No, it’s not always necessary. You can skip this step when making my soft pumpkin cookies because we want the extra moisture from the pumpkin to produce soft and cakey cookies. Think about your end result and if you want chewy, dense cookies or cookie dough that can you can easily handle and shape, it’s likely best to remove some moisture from the pumpkin.

pumpkin and other cookie ingredients in bowls

Step-by-Step Photos & Details

After you ditch some of the pumpkin puree’s moisture, it’s time to start preparing the cookie dough. Like many cookie recipes, this recipe starts with creamed butter and sugar. Remember that room temperature butter is cool to the touch– not overly soft– and you can read more about how this affects your baking’s success on my Room Temperature Butter page. Beat the pumpkin and vanilla into the creamed butter and sugar until combined and don’t worry if the mixture appears curdled because it will all come together when you add the dry ingredients.

This is a 1 bowl cookie dough– add the dry ingredients one by one right into the wet ingredients.

side-by-side photos showing the wet ingredients and the final dough

The rest of the process is like my regular cinnamon roll cookies. Divide the dough in half, and then roll out each half into 10×8 inch rectangles (which is slightly larger that the regular version). The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Now you can top with melted butter and cover the butter with a brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon mixture.

pumpkin sugar cookie dough on marble counter

rolled out pumpkin sugar cookie dough with butter and cinnamon sugar topping

Using your fingertips, carefully roll each up into a log. If your cookie dough is cracking, I have troubleshooting tips to help you listed below. Wrap up the logs and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. After that, slice and bake your pumpkin spice roll cookies. It’s not too difficult, especially if you understand the process before you get started.

2 pumpkin roll cookie dough logs before chilling

pumpkin spice roll cookies before baking

close up photo of pumpkin swirl cookies with maple icing on top

pumpkin cinnamon swirl cookies with cream cheese icing


Maple Icing or Cream Cheese Icing?

The cookies don’t necessarily need a finishing touch, but if there’s an opportunity for glaze, let’s seize it. Now which should you choose? Taste tasters LOVED the cream cheese icing, but it covers up the pretty swirl. Maple icing was another favorite and you’ll appreciate that it eventually sets, so the iced cookies can easily be stacked, stored, and/or transported. Both the maple icing and cream cheese icing recipes are included below.

You might even like these with salted caramel or the brown butter glaze from these brown butter pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Lots of choices!


Can I Use This Dough for Pumpkin Cookie Cutter Cookies?

Yes, but I find this dough a little difficult to work with when using cookie cutters. Instead, I strongly recommend just using my sugar cookies and adding 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon when adding the flour.

If you decide to use this dough, make sure your work surface and cookie cutters are lightly floured and take your time re-rolling any scraps of dough. For specific instructions, it would be best to follow my printable sugar cookie recipe instructions (steps 4-9) using this pumpkin cookie dough.


Troubleshooting the Dough

  • Dough is Too Soft to Roll: If your butter was too soft or if you didn’t blot enough moisture out of the pumpkin puree, your cookie dough may be too soft to roll out in step 3. Add 1 Tablespoon of flour to the dough and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Dough is Too Crumbly to Roll: A few times I tested this recipe, the weather was quite dry and I noticed that my dough was dry, too. This also could have been because I blotted *too much* moisture out of the pumpkin. If your cookie dough is too crumbly to roll out in step 3, add 2-3 teaspoons of pumpkin puree (not blotted) to the dough and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Dough Log is Tearing/Cracking: First, roll the dough out thin enough– about 1/4 inch thick. Second, make sure your work surface is floured well because otherwise the dough will stick to the counter and create cracks and tears as pictured below. If the dough is still cracking/tearing as you’re rolling it, flour your hands and try to pat the tears back together. If you notice the dough is cracking because it’s too dry, moisten your fingertips with a little water to help mold the cracks back together.

Let’s avoid this! ↓↓

rolled up pumpkin dough that has cracked and fallen apart

Print
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pumpkin cinnamon roll cookies with maple icing on top

Pumpkin Spice Roll Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes (includes chilling)
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 50 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These pumpkin spice roll cookies are icebox cookies that combine a pumpkin sugar cookie dough with a brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice filling. Overall, the pumpkin flavor is faint but the spices are strong. Choose cream cheese icing or maple icing as the final finishing touch before serving. Review recipe notes and watch the video before starting.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (170gunsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150ggranulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (86gpumpkin puree (moisture blotted, see note)*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Icing (Or Use Maple Icing in Notes)

  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup or 112g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. First, make sure you have removed excess liquid from the pumpkin puree by blotting it as much as you can with a clean kitchen tea towel or paper towels. This dough will not turn out properly with the pumpkin’s excess moisture. After blotting excess liquid, you should have about 1/3 cup (75g) to use in the recipe. See recipe note.
  2. Make the dough: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and vanilla extract, and then beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine. It’s ok if the mixture looks curdled. Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined and a thick dough forms.
  3. Shape and fill: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. If you want to be accurate and weigh the dough, each half should be around or a little more than 12 ounces each. On a floured work surface using floured hands, pat each into a small rectangle. Then, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each portion of dough out into a 10×8 inch rectangle. It should be about 1/4″ thick. As you’re rolling, use your hands to help keep the sides straight as you see me do in the video. Spread half of the melted butter onto each rectangle– doesn’t need to be exactly half, just eyeball it. It will be a thick layer of butter. Mix the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together then sprinkle evenly over each. Using the back of a spoon, pat the brown sugar and spices down into the butter to help it stick.
  4. Working slowly using your fingertips, tightly roll up each rectangle into a 10-inch log. If the dough is cracking at all, use your fingers to smooth it out. (See troubleshooting above if needed.) Wrap the dough logs in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Chill the dough logs for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days in the refrigerator. (Or freeze for up to 3 months, see freezing instructions below.) The pictured cookie dough logs chilled in the refrigerator for 1 day.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  6. Remove dough logs from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, cut each into slices that are slightly less than 1/2 inch (between 1/4 and 1/2 inch is perfect). You’ll have around 24-26 cookies per log. Arrange sliced cookies onto baking sheets 1.5-2 inches apart. If the slices have lost their round shape, use your fingers to help mold them into perfect circles again. Not necessary of course, but you can see me do it in the video.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until very lightly browned around the bottoms. (As the cookies bake, you can make the icing in the next step.) Remove finished cookies from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 full minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.
  8. Make the cream cheese icing (or the maple icing listed in the recipe notes): In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the butter and beat until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract, and then beat on medium speed until combined. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if desired.
  9. Spread cream cheese frosting (or drizzle maple icing) on warm or cooled cookies.
  10. Cover plain or iced cookies and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked cookies (with or without icing) freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. As noted in step 4, you can chill the rolled up cookie dough logs for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze the logs for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen logs in the refrigerator, then continue with step 5. You can also freeze the cookie dough after step 2 (before rolling/shaping it) for up to 3 months. Prepare the dough through step 2, divide into two portions, flatten both halves into a disk as we do with pie crust, wrap each in plastic wrap, then freeze. Thaw completely at room temperature, and then continue with step 3.
  2. Pumpkin: Measure the pumpkin before blotting it. Blot as much of the moisture out of the pumpkin puree as you can before using in this dough. See photo in the post for a visual. Less moisture is a good thing here! After blotting excess liquid, you should have about 1/3 cup (75g) to use in the recipe. Use pure pumpkin (such as canned pure pumpkin), not “pumpkin pie filling.”
  3. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. You need this amount in both the dough AND the filling. This is in addition to the ground cinnamon already called for in the recipe.
  4. Maple Icing: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter with 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Drizzle over warm or room temperature cookies. Icing will set after about 1 hour.
  5. Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand), Rolling Pin, Pastry Brush, Baking Sheets

Keywords: pumpkin spice roll cookies

How to Join the October Sally's Baking Challenge

Make the pumpkin spice roll cookies plain or with your desired icing/glaze. If you aren’t into this recipe, here is the alternate baking challenge recipe:

  1. any previous challenge recipe you haven’t made yet OR
  2. Mint Chocolate Checkerboard Cookies. Feel free to skip the mint flavoring for plain checkerboard cookies. You could even tint the vanilla cookie dough orange, which would look festive for Halloween.

After you make the pumpkin cookies or alternate recipe, email us your recipe photo. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below.

By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Gift Card. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on October 31st at 5pm eastern. The winner will be selected at random, emailed their prize, and posted in the November Baking Challenge blog post on November 1st 2021.

Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about Sally’s Baking Challenge. Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as new challenge post is published!

138 Comments

  1. Really delicious recipe! The cream cheese frosting makes them taste like a mini pumpkin cinnamon roll meets cookie. The first half of my dough was too moist, which I realized post-spread, so I went with it and mixed the spread into the dough, refrigerated over night, and rolled out/cut/baked as if it were a normal sugar cookie recipe. This also worked great, but the successful rolled version was definitely my favorite.

    1. Cookies were sooo good. Nearly ate all 50 in one day but really easy recipe. Will be sure to make these again. Thanks Sally.

  2. This is a great recipe! My family said it tasted just like fall should! Thank you Sally for this gem of a cookie!

  3. These are quite possibly my new favorite cookie! I’ve been making Sally’s Cinnamon Roll Cookies for a few years now around the holidays, but the addition of the pumpkin and spices really takes this recipe to a new level. My only advice is not to be like me and try to roll up dough that’s too dry. I used canned pumpkin that had been frozen and thawed, and I think some of the liquid had naturally separated prior to me squeezing it out. I struggled with and ultimately failed to roll up my first log. I added a tsp of pumpkin as suggested by Sally in the post, and the second log rolled up like a dream.

  4. This is a fun fall recipe! Great alternative to pumpkin muffins/breads or pies (which are my usual go-to for this time of year. Since there are no eggs, it’s a great recipe for little ones to help with and not have to worry about them sneaking a taste. Although mine didn’t come out looking very pretty (I may have absorbed too much water from the pumpkin), they were still delicious.

  5. This is a great fall recipe. Not difficult to make and taste delicious! Will definitely make these again!

  6. This recipe is fantastic. The video is so helpful for a newbie baker like me. This was my first attempt at a roll cookie and it was so successful! I didn’t have any maple syrup so I tried the cream cheese frosting (delicious but heavy for my taste) and Sally’s vanilla icing, too – it was my favorite! So much fun to bake.

  7. Oh my gosh, these cookies are delicious. They were an instant hit with my family and friends. I made a maple glaze for them. Thank you for such a great recipe.

  8. These cookies were great! The video and reading the recipe post was very helpful in making sure they turned out right. I’m not sure if my pumpkin puree was more watery than usual, but to get the 75g of blotted pumpkin, I had to use 3x as much wet puree as the recipe calls for. The dough was perfect with 75 grams of blotted pumpkin, so I recommend using a scale in case your pumpkin is watery as well. I always use a little extra salt in cookies, about 1/2 tsp was just right for me. I did not make the icing but didn’t think the cookies were missing anything. Would make again!

  9. With or without icing these are so good! I loved how easy they were for how impressive they look when they are all done. Super soft, moist + a great mix of pumpkin + cinnamon!

  10. These pumpkin spice rolled cookies are like miniature cinnamon rolls! I love the cinnamon swirl and they taste delicious! Although I did have a little tear when I rolled the dough, I patched it up as best as I could and it baked out fine! Happy Fall and Happy Halloween to Everyone!

  11. Instead of blotting the pumpkin puree to remove excess moisture, could I cook it? I’m a novice baker so, I apologize if that’s a stupid question.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kat, We honestly never have because blotting it is so easy! But you can certainly try it if you’d like.

    2. Hi Kat,

      I’m going to be making these tonight but I usually sit my pumpkin puree in a mesh strainer for about 5-10 minutes and let the excess water drip out, works like a charm every time and even for Sally’s pumpkin pie recipes. Good Luck!

  12. I made these yesterday for a party we were having last night. Very easy to make and it made a lot of cookies. Subtle flavor, which was good. I would be curious to make them again and make the roll thicker, which would make fewer but bigger cookies. Also, I would bake them on the lower side of the cooking time to keep them soft. All in all, a great recipe.

  13. I absolutely adore these delicious rolled pumpkin cookies. I made the recipe step by step and the result has been great! I send you a big hug for Happy Halloween !!!

  14. Yvonne Peterson says:

    The cookies are delicious, but a little more dry than I like for cookies. I used a plain vanilla glaze. I didn’t want to have to keep them refrigerated with the cream cheese frosting, and the maple seemed like it would be a little too sweet.

  15. BEST cookies! I made them for my friends and they loved them! I didn’t have time to add any icing but they were still a big hit.

  16. This recipe was so fun! My sister said it reminded her of flat cinnamon rolls haha The cookies had a nice chew to them and a ton of cinnamon sugar flavor. Directions were really easy to follow and I liked that there were two options for the glaze. These cookies are a showstopper!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Meghan, We are so glad that you enjoyed these!

  17. Enjoyed making these cookies. Wondering if adding more pumpkin is a possibility. Cinnamon Sugar did add good flavor.

  18. I had a bit of trouble with the dough cracking and breaking, but a bench scraper helped when rolling up the cookie dough logs. I chose not to ice the finished product and like them just how they are: a spicy, buttery cookie that reminds me just a bit of biscotti. This recipe challenged me a little more than I expected, but as usual, I am very glad I made it. Thanks again, Sally and team for these challenges!

  19. Great recipe which was fun to make and we all loved to eat! I left mine in the oven a little too long (15min) as they hardened more than I expected as they cooled – would probably do 13-14min next time. Yummy with cream cheese icing!

  20. Kendall Dupuis says:

    These cookies turned out great, even without icing! They’re so cute and perfect for fall. I had a bit of trouble with the dough ripping when rolling it out, but I just added a bit more flour and it turned out fine.

  21. I made these with gluten free flour. I just used the Walmart brand and did a 1:1 for the flour and it turned out fantastic. I had trouble rolling them and they came out pretty ugly, but they were still delicious.

    A tip for anyone who is going to do them, make sure you watch the video and try to copy the technique to roll the dough.

    Another tip is for the pumpkin puree. I left mine sitting overnight in the fridge sitting on top of 2 coffee filters on top of a strainer. Nothing dripped down but the coffee filters absorbed a ton of the moisture and it came out great. If I was going to do it again, I would use more coffee filters, probably 6 and maybe put some paper towels underneath that as well.

  22. These are beautiful and fun cookies to make and eat. I debated 4 vs 5 stars because they aren’t likely to make reappearances in my baking, but they really make me want to try the cinnamon roll ones and the recipe instructions made the process very doable! It just felt more fiddly than I’m accustomed to for cookies… I guess I’m not usually a fancy cookie baker 🙂
    Minor adjustments, mostly circumstantial: forgot the cinnamon for the filling so added some to the maple icing, made a half batch of this first, for the first log, browning the butter cause I felt like it. Icing was awesomely yum but set really fast so it was hard to get onto the cookies. It was late, it’s cold here, and my kitchen is drafty… All played a part. Will need more powdered sugar for the second log! But the cookies are tasty enough without icing. Strong ginger flavor from the pumpkin pie spice mix instructions… Kind of taste like ginger roll cookies! Not a bad thing.

  23. I made this recipe for Canadian thanksgiving and everyone really loved it. It was really fun to enter the baking challenge for the first time this month. Thanks for another great recipe Sally, and Sally’s team.

  24. These are so cute and so delicious! I used the maple glaze since I didn’t have cream cheese on hand and it added just the right amount of extra sweetness. These would be the perfect treat to bring to a party.

  25. This recipe was absolutely amazing! I made these to take to a party and they were a hit! They are so delicious and so easy to make. The icing added the perfect sweetness on the top! I will definitely be making this recipe again! It is one of my favorites.

  26. So fun to make and easy! I loved these cookies, they were so crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside! Also not too sweet! Made so many so my family were happy. Thanks for yet another amazing challenge recipe!

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