Soft Pumpkin Cookies w/ Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

When the leaves start to turn and the air proceeds to chill, there is one thought that bursts into my mind like a child leaping into a pile of fallen leaves: Pumpkin. It is pumpkin season, my little cookies, and I couldn’t be any happier! Pumpkin is quite possibly one of my favorite flavors in existence, and I know I am not alone in this. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin milkshakes, Pumpkin Pie Blizzards, pumpkin bread; Autumn is Pumpkin-palooza.

Slowly, the pumpkin recipes have been sprouting up on blogs all over just like pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. It is time that I give fall (and pumpkin) a proper welcome. Hence this pumpkin-packed post. Pumpkin-haters, I shall not apologize, for even you will fall in love with this recipe (no pun intended): Soft Pumpkin Cookies.

Let me start by saying that these might but some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. They are certainly my favorite pumpkin treat. Even my mother who doesn’t get very excited by sweets is in love with them and declared them as her new favorite. They are so delicious and I know you’ll agree.

These pumpkin cookies are amazingly soft, fluffy, and moist. I’ve never seen such a pillowy-perfect texture in all my years as a cookie connoisseur. They literally melt in your mouth. My mother put it best when she said, “You don’t even need teeth to eat these!” Basically, an autumn angel gently plucked each little cookie straight from the clouds in the sky, added pumpkin, and gave us this:

You see that? That’s mile-high, soft, pumpkiny goodness. They’ve got great pumpkin flavor plus the sweetly nostalgic holiday tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg. They’re incredible all on their own. But, me being me, I had to take them over the top. So, I finished these babies with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting. Now, we’re really in heaven.

A few quick words on the frosting before we get cookin’ here:

It’s amazing.

It’s beautifully smooth and creamy with just the right amount of butterscotch flavor. There’s just a kiss of it. Therefore, this luscious frosting isn’t too sweet and doesn’t steal the cookies’ pumpkin spotlight. With all it’s smooth butterscotch wonder, this frosting would be fabulous on a cake or anything else you can think of. If you take nothing from this, at least save this sweet icing to your recipe repertoire. (But really, you should make these incredible pumpkin cookies too.)

If frosting isn’t your thing but you still want a topping for these cookies, then pop in tomorrow to see a whole new way to top ’em off: Sweet Cinnamon Glaze.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

For the cookies

For the frosting

  1. I swear, recipes get me every time with the “softened butter” thing. Don’t wait until your ready to get baking to take out your butter like I always do. Get it out beforehand so it’s room temperature & ready when you’re ready.
  2. You can make these cookies as big or as small as you like (I prefer bigger cookies). Just adjust the oven times accordingly.
  3. The frosting recipe yields a pretty big batch. Since I only used it for half the cookies, I had A TON leftover. So what did I do? I freezed it! Buttercream frosting freezes very well. It just needs a re-whipping after it thaws!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

(I’m not sure where this recipe originated from)


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy.
  3. Blend in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract.
  4. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  5. Mix flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture a little bit at a time.
  6. Drop tablespoonfuls (or more, depending on how big you like them. Mine were about 2 tbsp.) 3 inches apart on baking sheets.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges.
  8. Remove warm cookies and transfer to racks.
  9. Let cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile, make the frosting (recipe follows). Frost cookies as soon as they are cooled. Store in an airtight container.

Butterscotch Buttercream Frosting

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

YIELD: Makes about 2 1/4 cups


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 + 1/2 cup butterscotch-caramel topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
  • 1 to 3 Tbsp. milk


  • 1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  • 2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 1 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Beat in up to 2 Tbsp. additional milk for desired consistency.

These are some of the best cookies ever. They’re pumpkintastic. Make them & fall in love.

Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Holiday, Snacks, The Smart Cookie Cook, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. Welcome Fall! I love using pumpkin and now the time is just right so I don’t have to feel like a fool in 90 degree weather. These look so yummy! I love the butterscotch frosting; its making me want so right now!

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  3. These cookies are awesome with a cake-like texture and so easy to make. The frosting is definitely the topper to these delights. I will definitely be baking up these cookies over, and over and over. Thanks Colleen.

  4. We’re having a pumpkin food themed dinner party next month…I’m thinking these might be on my short list of what to make. I’m very intrigued with the butterscotch frosting….and I too continue to learn the hard way to take my butter out of the fridge in advance…

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  6. Just took the first batch of these cookies from the oven and even without the frosting they are AMAZING! Sometimes it’s hit or miss with cookies here in Colorado because of the altitude, but these are light, puffy and soft. I just added about 2T of flour to the recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,

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  10. Those look so good. I am always looking for a different type of cookie then the norm. Bonus is my husband loves pumpkin and butterscotch so this should be perfect for him. Thanks for posting.

  11. Can you give a rough idea of how much the recipe serves if you don’t make the cookies super small or super large?

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  16. I do consider all of the ideas you’ve presented on your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for novices. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  17. I enjoyed mtg u @ Clinton today. Also loved your pumpkin cookie.My husband was mad because I didn’t bring one. R u going to there next wk or any other market?

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