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

 

263 Comments

  1. These cookies were amazing! So much easier to make than they look, and especially good with the Maple Glaze!

  2. Sharon Neaves says:

    Loved this recipe! Great way to start a new season and easy to make. I especially loved the spiced flavour and they look so lovely too! Would definitely bake these again!

  3. I really enjoyed making (and eating) these cookies! The tutorial made an intimidating process relatively easy by sharing what to expect each step of the way. The flavor is fantastic even without the icing – My family will enjoy these again sometime soon!

  4. Another delicious cookie. They almost don’t need any icing but I love the maple glaze. It’s very important to get the right consistency of the dough so that it rolls properly. The directions and video are super helpful for every step. Thanks Sally!

  5. Wow, these cookies are delicious!! These are going to get added to my top 10 cookie list. All though they are full of pumpkin taste, it’s not overwhelming. My dough was really sticky, although I did blot my pumpkin, but I didn’t want to make it too dry. It was a rainy day so that may have added to it. I opted to roll these out on floured wax paper which helped a bit, although I now realize I made my rectangle 8×10 instead of 10×8 (no wonder I only got 30 cookies!!) I don’t know how anyone gets perfect round rolls, but who cares as they’re just going in my cookie whole
    I couldn’t decide between the cream cheese frosting or the maple glaze so I Frankenstein them (why not the best of both worlds!) by adding maple syrup and some cream to loosen it up to pipe. Anyway, it was fun to do this challenge and these will definitely show up again at thanksgiving or Christmas.

  6. I have never baked cookies with pumpkin but decided to try this recipe during the October baking challenge. It was absolutely delicious! I added a little bit of rum to the cream cheese frosting which gave it a nice flavor. My friends and family loved these cookies. I will definitely be making these again!

  7. I love pumpkin everything and these cookies are a new add on to my fall baking recipes. The pumpkin and maple flavor together is amazing!! thanks for a great recipe!

  8. This recipe was delicious. I didn’t use any icing because the cookies were sweet enough and my family loved it. Definitely recommend

  9. I was pleasantly surprised that these cookies were easier than they looked. And they were delicious which made the little extra work involved worth it! It was perfect for a fall weekend afternoon activity. The pumpkin flavor is light and complimented the maple icing perfectly (with a little salt added). Thanks, I will definitely make these again!

  10. These cookies were great. The cream cheese icing put them over the top. I loved making them with my daughter!

  11. I expected more of a sugar cookie with pumpkin..but these were buttery and an awesome texture to boot. The spice level was perfect. I sprinkled them with Turbinado sugar instead of adding an icing. Super yummy.

  12. This was such a fun recipe to make! The pumpkin is so festive, but the spice makes these cookies. Delicious!

  13. This was a fun baking project! The cookies were a hit with my family.

  14. These are even better than your Cinnamon Roll Cookies! We loved them without the frosting, but even more so frosted!

  15. Cassie Carswell says:

    Sooooo yum!!! These kindergarten step by step instructions were perfect to make a complicated cookie do-able! My son prefers the naked cookie to my daughter who tried to drink the maple glaze LOL. Either way, naked or glazed, these cookies are divine ❤

  16. Terri Lin Jones says:

    So excited with these Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Watching the video helped me get the pumpkin drying. I I made the cream cheese topping. Everyone loved the spices! Not too much pumpkin. Lots of spice!

  17. These cookies are delicious, everyone I shared them with loved them! I topped mine with the maple glaze.

  18. I served these at a church trunk or treat event and they were a hit! I made the cream cheese frosting for some of them, and left the rest unfrosted and they were super tasty both ways. If you love the cream cheese frosting taste I definitely recommend using it, but if you want that cinnamon sugar taste to come through stronger you can leave unfrosted and it still tastes great (and not dry at all).

  19. This is the tenth baking challenge recipe I’ve completed this year and it is one of the most crowd pleasing! It yields a ton of cookies, so if I make it again, I might freeze one of the rolls.

    The pumpkin flavor and spices are very subtle and not at all overwhelming; they’re perfect for anyone who loves fall and those who just tolerate the obsession, too.

    I highly recommend keeping the dough as chilled as possible before rolling to prevent cracking. When my first one started to crack as I was rolling, I quickly put the remaining dough in the fridge until I was ready to work with it. The second roll was perfect and I had no issues with cracking.

  20. Alicia Schorsch says:

    These cookies are super cute! They were so fun to make, and a complete hit at work!

  21. A nice fall flavored shortbread cookie with a beautiful finished look.

  22. Michelle Drzyzga says:

    These are probably the most involved cookies I’ve ever made. I don’t typically go for things that require rolling but they were surprisingly simple to make!

    Went with the cream cheese icing and followed the directions exactly. Came out great!

  23. Wow! These are amazing cookies! They’re a bit fussier than I normally go for, but I had to try them. A silicone baking mat made shaping them much easier than I anticipated. I made the cream cheese frosting and put it in a bag, snipped of the corner, and piped it on top. There was just enough, but it was a bit thick. Next time, I may look for a drizzle instead of a frosting. I didn’t try the maple drizzle because I assumed that the cookies had enough flavor and the maple would get lost. You can bet that I will be baking these again!

  24. I am really happy that I decided to make these! They were not hard to do and worth the little extra effort it took to make them. Most of all THEY TASTED AWESOME!!! Adding to my favorite cookie recipe now!

  25. forgot to rate it….

  26. I cooked mine 5 minutes longer and they have a nice crunch to them.

    Perfect fall cookie!!

    Thanks Sally!

  27. Lisa McLellan says:

    Yum! This recipe, made our whole house smell delicious and they tasted delicious! My 9 year old helped me make these and we decided to skip the icing.

  28. Delicious! My daughter and I were putting off making these because they seemed a little daunting, but in fact, they were not! The dough rolled very easily and everyone enjoyed them.

  29. Hi Sally, I have loved every single recipe of yours I have tried, and the pumpkin spice roll cookies were no exception. When ever I want want to try a new baking recipe, I always come to this website first. The pumpkin spice roll cookies were delicious and fun to make. I appreciate that you include gram measurements in you recipes because it makes it both easier and more precise. Thank you for the amazing recipes

  30. I made these for the baking challenge. As usual, the recipe does not disappoint! I didn’t have any cracking when I was rolling the dough, but I did get some breakage when wrapping the logs to refrigerate them–so I recommend being really gentle. For the spirals that fell apart when slicing, I just spread them out on another cookie sheet and baked for a little shorter time–not as pretty, but still delicious!

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