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. Lillian Conde says:

    This was an awesome recipe! Can’t wait to share with friends and family❤️

  2. Annie Barletta says:

    These cookies are the perfect fall treat – I brought them to a party and they were a hit! Do not sleep on the maple glaze…it is divine! These cookies are equally tasty as they are impressive. Thank you Sally for another one to add to the repertoire!

  3. These sort of tasted like pumpkin-cinnamon shortbread. A very attractive cookie! I made them with a powdered sugar glaze.

  4. These were a big hit at work even without the icing! Everyone commented about how soft they were inside despite a little crunchy texture. The only fail came in rolling out the dough. The first log I rolled up was perfect but the second one was a crumbly mess. I ended up only baking about six cookies of the roll. Might not have had enough flour to keep from sticking to the counter. Thanks for another great challenge!

    1. Tiffany Whittemore says:

      I am not sure what you are rolling on, but what I have found was I have much better rolling success when it is not on my granite countertops. I rolled these out on my wood cutting board and it was easy!

  5. Jessica Edwards says:

    These are amazing!!

  6. Kelsey Foster says:

    My cookies didn’t come out as expected. I squeezed out ALL of the excess moisture from my pumpkin puree, and didn’t catch my mistake in time to add more puree. (I yielded less than the 1/3 cup.) My cookies were hard to roll, and several did break apart after slicing, BUT even though they did not come out to plan – they were still very yummy, and my husband said they taste like “fall and happiness.” They aren’t pretty enough to share with the neighbors lol, but they definitely won’t go to waste in our house.

  7. Paula Sullivan says:

    Well, now you did it. My old pumpkin cookie recipe I used for about 20 years has now been replaced with this one. Yummy!

  8. This cookie is TASTY. Both crunchy and soft and the spice level was perfect. They’re also just really impressive looking though really not a challenging recipe. I chose to use the maple glaze. I did make the mistake of not sifting the powdered sugar and there were some clumps I couldn’t get out – then it was clogging up my piping tip (it did say to sift in the directions but what can I say, I’m a skimmer sometimes!).

  9. These were a bit difficult to Put together as I think the dough is a little particular, but once I got it they were good! My husband and kid said they were the best cookies ever (even though mine weren’t as pretty). I did the cream cheese frosting and I ended up eating the leftover with a spoon! So good!

  10. These were amazing! They were so easy to make and everyone loved them! Thank you for the recipe!

  11. Kryssandra Ayed says:

    So yummy! My 9 month olds first cookie!

  12. This is such a great recipe! I made them with my little brothers and they had so much fun! They were delicious! Thank you so much Sally for another great recipe!

  13. What cute cookies! I am going to add these to my Christmas cookie tins and sub coarse sugar for the icing so they won’t smear. Everyone loved these and I so love the monthly treat of baking something new with y’all!

  14. I did this for the October baking challenge and found it really good! Not too challenging but I got the dough perfect- no cracks!!

    The flavour of the cookies is AMAZING. It’s like fall in your mouth. I used the cream cheese icing because it’s my favourite. Really fun recipe!

  15. These are so fun! The maple glaze was delicious

  16. Kathryn Welch says:

    The recipe itself was clear and thorough. I find these cookies to be a little fussy–I think you could get the same flavor without having to layer and roll the dough…
    I used the maple icing option, which was perfect. The cookies tasted better the next day and set up and traveled well.

  17. Mary Jo Carson says:

    Perfect cookies! We love the cinnamon roll ones, so was super excited to try these. They went above and beyond! Yummmmm

  18. Love these cookies and they were a hit with friends! However, the baking time and temp was way too much. Thankfully I did these in two batches- I cut all according to the directions, under 1/2″, and baked the first batch at 350 for 13 min. The bottoms burned. At first those cookies were very hard, but they actually softened up over a little time. The second batch I lowered the temp to 350 and baked for about 15 min and they came out just right. And, the frosting recipe was the right amount for this amount of cookies (I almost always have too much frosting.) I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin in these but they were good!

    1. Oops, I meant I lowered the temp to 325*

  19. Yummy! This is a very forgiving recipe. I made two batches because who doesn’t love pumpkin and cinnamon spice. My second batch weight was off (I have to weigh the dough because that’s how I roll hehe) I thought I might have missed an ingredient but went for the bake anyway. The cookies turned out great! That swirl is mesmerizing. A tip I took from reviews was rolling out on wax paper and then using this to help roll my cookies. This method worked great and I had no issues with cracking dough. After I took them out of the fridge I used my hands to make the log round again. These will definitely be on my Christmas cookie trays.

  20. Made these pumpkin spice rolled cookies 10 and 13 year old grandsons loved them and ate too many. They we’re easier to make than I anticipated too.

  21. Sadly, these were just ok. One of the few Sally recipes that flopped for me. They tasted good, but just too fiddly (and I’ve made macarons!). Too much filling, spilled out all over the place, and I could not get the dough to roll without cracking, even following Sally’s troubleshooting tips. I only got one roll with the swirl after a lot of caressing the dough back together, and taking out some of the filling so it held together better. The other roll completely fell apart and I couldn’t save it, so I mushed everything together into a log, sliced and baked and it came out with something of a marbling effect. Both cookies tasted good although they were different in texture and flavor, but way too much work and stress for cookies.

  22. Molly Hollingsworth says:

    I got so many compliments on these cookies! Everyone asked me for the recipe. So long as you closely follow the recipe, they’re not too difficult!

  23. Loved this recipe! I’ve never made roll up cookies before and this recipe is so easy to follow and the cookies are amazing!!!!

  24. I used 1/2 the amount of pumpkin pie spice for the filling and made the maple icing. They were SO good. Even my oldest kid, who normally doesn’t like pumpkin-flavored foods, gobbled up a bunch of these cookies. They were all consumed within a 24 hr period so I made another batch on the weekend. Family members were counting their “share” and arguing over them – that is HOW GOOD THESE ARE!

  25. OMG! These cookies are amazing! I made half a batch because I wasn’t sure if I’d like them and now I regret it. I wish made the whole batch. They have a nice crunchy exterior and a soft delicious interior.

  26. These cookies are the bomb! Awesome flavour and texture!

  27. I am usually not very good at making roll cookies regardless of its ingredients. But with Sally’s attention to detail instructions, I really could make roll cookies. They do not only taste great, they also look great! Can we also add some ground pecan into the filling?

  28. These are so good! I’ve never made roll up cookies before, or even slice a bake cookies before, but Sally’s recipe is easy to follow!

  29. Maija Rawnsley says:

    Great recipe! I did squeeze too much moisture out of the pumpkin to start with, but I caught my mistake and added some extra so I had enough. Also, with the first log I rolled, I definitely did not use enough flour and it stuck to my cutting board. The second one turned out perfectly.

  30. These were delicious! The cream cheese frosting was a great addition. Plus my kiddos love making “swirly whirly” cookies 🙂

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