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
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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!

208 Comments

  1. Great recipe! My kids and husband loved it! I am a novice baker and there were many times my family would take a bite and tell me to try again. Not this recipe! Whew!

  2. Jessica Powers says:

    This is my first baking challenge and they are a smashing hit! Maple icing adds a nice touch.

  3. Absolutely amazing recipes. My family and friends all love these cookies more then snickerdoodles. They definitely need a soft and gently loving hand with rolling but if you follow all the tips and hints they roll up like a dream. Thank you for all of your amazing recipes.

  4. These are pretty yummy, very sweet tho. I’ll definitely add these to my Christmas baking each year tho, they look great! I couldn’t really taste pumpkin in mine but I did have to make my puree from scratch since Pumpkin puree doesn’t seem to be a thing in Australia! Might try roasted pumpkin instead of boiled pumpkin next time.

  5. These were an incredible hit with everyone. Did a batch with the maple icing, which went over amazingly. Now have to make another batch and do cream cheese on top. Definitely one of the more popular things I’ve baked recently

  6. These are amazing. A huge hit with my husband and son, so much so that I’ve already made them twice this week! I will say that it takes me far more than 86g of pumpkin to yield 75g after blotting. This could be because I’m having to use the organic puree since HEB has been out of Libby for weeks; so for me, it takes closer to half a can. Overall, these are going to become a year long staple in my house!

  7. These cookies are SO good! They taste amazing and are the perfect amount of pumpkin spice without being over the top. They are also so satisfying to bake because the swirl just makes for gorgeous looking cookies. I actually ended up making a half batch of both types of toppings (the maple drizzle and cream cheese frosting) and then mixing them together because I liked the idea of the cream cheese frosting but wanted something slightly more drizzleable. Aesthetically and tastewise, I ended up preferring the cookies without any frosting at all. Personally, I thought they were a little too sweet with the frosting and why would you want to cover up such a beautiful swirl?? On the other hand my husband really loved the frosting and preferred it that way so they were a hit either way for us. I would 100% make these cookies again, they are well worth the effort and the recipe was a breeze to follow!

  8. Wow!!! These are so yummy and if you follow Sally’s recipe and tips they turn out beautiful!!! I am so excited that they turned out! Thanks Sally for another wonderful recipe!

  9. Hi! I was wondering if I could make this without a stand or hand mixer? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Leah, it will take a bit of arm muscle, but you can certainly cream the butter and sugar together by hand. You may be tempted to start with extra soft butter to make creaming by hand easier, but that won’t do the cookie dough any favors. Make sure the butter isn’t too soft and see our room temperature butter page if needed.

  10. Dawn Anderson says:

    My first challenge recipe and… Meh… I’m not a huge fan of these cookies. The recipe was straight forward and easy to follow. My dough did crack on one log making for some ugly cookies. They taste ok, a bit dry. I probably won’t make them again but it was a fun baking project.

  11. I didn’t take a picture from the first batch, they were gone before they cooled down 😀
    (We had some guests and they were a hit.)
    I do have to make my pumpkin puree from scratch, it’s not something you can buy canned in the Czech Republic, but it still worked out really nice. I also made some tiny ones for my cookie jar It’s a keeper.

  12. I must have squeezed a lot more water out than I was supposed to because I had to use closer to 1.5 cups of pumpkin to get the 1/3 cup after squeezing. My rolling technique still needs work. The first roll had a lot of cracks. I formed the 2nd roll on parchment and the rolling was MUCH easier (learned to do that from Great British Bake Off). Used the cream cheese icing but piped it on so you could still see the swirls. Felt I could taste the spices much more than the pumpkin. But overall, everyone loved the cookies.

  13. Betty Jean Chopick says:

    This recipe seemed long and complicated and I had to shop for ingredients I don’t have on hand – but oh my it was worth the time and trouble! They are delicious and beautiful and novel. I have baked every cookie known to man but never heard of anything like this before. Wonderful for Christmas! hmm..a Red or Green sprinkle. Taking to Birthday Party tomorrow to show off! Thanks so much Sally!

  14. Surprisingly tasty cookies! Rolling was definitely fiddly and I had to add a bit of extra flour (as mentioned in the tips) to make the dough more workable.

    I added wet salted caramel to the cream cheese frosting which really worked out well with the spices. The cookies were beautifully soft the next day and tasted even better!

  15. These cookies are super yummy! The recipe was very simple to follow and as always, I love the pictures to match alongside! My first roll cracked on me but I think it’s because I may have blotted the pumpkin a little too much! My second roll thankfully cooperated though! I can’t wait to try this recipe again!

  16. Kathleen Prudencio says:

    Beautiful to look at, wonderful to smell, and delicious!

  17. Love this recipe! It’s something different, looks impressive, and delicious.

  18. I got a little over zealous squeezing the moisture out of my pumpkin so my cookies were a little dry and there were some cracking issues. But my kids love them and it’s a fun twist on the usual fall cookies!

  19. I made an apple version using apple pie spice, apple butter instead of pumpkin purée and boiled cider glaze instead of maple. They were fantastic!!

  20. This was the first time I’ve ever used one of Sally’s recipes and it was so delicious! My whole house smells so comforting and warm now. It’s the perfect bake for a rainy day inside 🙂

  21. Super yummy! I am not a pumpkin lover and this recipe was not overwhelming with pumpkin! Great flavour!

  22. Delicious and fun to make.

  23. This cookie recipe takes a love of cookies and cinnamon rolls and mixes them together with very tasty results! I toped them with the cream cheese frosting and they turned out great! Definitely would make these again!

  24. Holly McElroy says:

    Can you use margarine instead of butter in this recipe for the dough?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Holly, we don’t recommend it. Margarine does not have the same chemical makeup as butter. It’s much more watery. We strongly recommend using butter.

  25. Lauren Hanson says:

    I had a hard time with these cookies. I waited for the bottoms to very lightly brown for what seemed like a long time. By the time they did, my cookies were very dry. I recommend making twice the amount of icing to over compensate for this if this happens to you.

  26. These cookies were so fun! My three year old loved helping roll them out and then roll them up. They’re not too big, which I like, just a taste of something sweet and deliciously fall!

  27. These are tasty
    As always I reduced the sugar a bit and did not do a glaze but my family doesn’t prefer ultra sweet.
    These are an easy recipe and the end result looks so wonderful.
    I’ve never made an icebox cookie before.
    Taste is . I think these would make a great Christmas Cookie as well!

  28. This recipe went a lot easier than I expected to from my prior experience with a roll cookie (not your recipe!). I made a hybrid of the two icings you recommended and did a maple cream cheese icing since I couldn’t decide — it was delicious! Everyone loved them. I might add a tad less pumpkin spice next time though as I thought it was a bit overwhelming making the actual pumpkin flavor difficult to taste, but that might just be me 🙂 Thanks for another fun recipe!

  29. Great recipe!! Very easy and fun to do, and of course the results were delicious! Would definitely make again! 🙂

  30. I learned so much making these and it was not limited to draining/drying the pumpkin puree.
    I also learned it is time for new glasses.
    I was following the recipe to a T and then realized I had grabbed and used lemon flavoring instead of vanilla. I continued making them anyway just to get the experience. Baking they smelled great and to my relief the lemon and pumpkin played well together. I will make them again, correctly this time. And since they were good with lemon, I know they will be fabulous with vanilla.

1 2 3 4 5 7

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

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

×