chewy spice cookies + pumpkin cream cheese frosting

by Brittney

These molasses spice cookies are soft, chewy and perfectly spiced! Topped with a pumpkin cream cheese frosting, these delicious cookies are great for any autumn celebration!

My autumn baking list always includes some form of pumpkin spice cookies, but this year’s version definitely exceeded expectations. Soft and chewy spice cookies made with molasses and topped with a super creamy pumpkin frosting — a flavor packed treat perfect for the season!

close up of spice cookie

the inspiration

The inspiration for these cookies comes from an old Taste of Home magazine recipe for little spice cookies that are served with pumpkin dip — it’s something that I look forward to baking every autumn. But this year I wanted to make a more individual version that didn’t require any dipping so I transformed the dip into a deliciously creamy frosting! I also made a few other adjustments here and there, but the resulting cookies have all the wonderful flavors that I love in the original version.

spice cookies with pumpkin frosting

chewy spice cookies

In addition to the regular lineup of cookie ingredients, this recipe also calls for molasses and a variety of spices to really develop those deep and warming flavors. While you can switch up the spices, the molasses is an essential ingredient as it’s what gives these cookies their wonderfully soft and chewy texture. For this recipe, I recommend avoiding blackstrap molasses (it has a really intense flavor) and sticking to something lighter (such as Grandma’s Molasses). Just ¼ cup (80 g) of molasses is all you need for the perfect flavor and texture. 

The dough will be quite sticky right after you’ve mixed it, which is why I suggest chilling the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes (and up to overnight) prior to baking. The quick chill also enhances the flavor of your cookies and will keep them from spreading too much.

Then just roll your chilled cookie dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. No need to press them down, the cookies will flatten as they bake!

frosted spice cookies

pumpkin cream cheese frosting

While these cookies are great on their own, I still love the addition of pumpkin frosting to really up the fall flavors and make them the perfect treat for any halloween or thanksgiving gathering!

To make the frosting, you’ll need just cream cheese, pumpkin puree, powdered sugar and a few spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg). Start by combining the cream cheese and pumpkin puree, then add the spices and powdered sugar and your frosting is ready! Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your frosting is perfectly smooth and creamy:

  • Make sure you’re using canned pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter is already sweetened and seasoned with spices.
  • Let your cream cheese come to room temperature before using to avoid any lumps in your frosting.
  • The frosting is easily spreadable, but if you prefer a thicker frosting you can continue adding powdered sugar a few tablespoons at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
spice cookies with pumpkin cream cheese frosting

For more cookie inspiration, make sure to check out these recipes!

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spice cookies with pumpkin frosting

chewy spice cookies + pumpkin cream cheese frosting


  • Author: Brittney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 26 cookies

Ingredients

spice cookies

  • softened butter ¾ c (170 g)
  • granulated sugar ¾ c (150 g)
  • dark brown sugar ¼ c (50 g)
  • egg 1 large
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • molasses ¼ c (80 g)
  • flour 2.5 cups (300 g)
  • (spooned and leveled*)
  • baking soda 1.5 tsp
  • salt ¼ tsp
  • ground cinnamon 1 tsp
  • ground ginger ½ tsp
  • ground cloves ½ tsp
  • ground nutmeg ¼ tsp

pumpkin cream cheese frosting

  • cream cheese (softened) 4 oz (110 g)
  • pumpkin puree 1 c (230 g)
  • powdered sugar ¾ c (90 g)
  • ground cinnamon ½ tsp
  • ground cloves ¼ tsp
  • ground nutmeg ¼ tsp

Instructions

spice cookies

  1. Beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and molasses.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
  5. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the dough into balls using about 1.5-2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie.
  9. Place the formed cookies on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes. They will flatten as they cook.
  10. Let the cookies sit for five minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool.

pumpkin cream cheese frosting

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin puree until smooth.
  2. Mix in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Continue beating until light and fluffy. For a thicker consistency, add a bit more powdered sugar.
  3. Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting.

Notes

Spooned and leveled: Scooping a measuring cup into a flour container can result in much more flour than intended, which can affect the success of your cookies. To get a more accurate measurement, use a spoon to lightly scoop flour into the measuring cup until it’s completely full. Then run the back of a knife over the cup to gently scrape off any excess.

  • Category: baking and desserts
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: pumpkin spice cookies, spice cookies, pumpkin frosting

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2 comments

Monika October 9, 2021 - 7:10 pm

3/4 cup of butter is about 170 grams. Can you please confirm how much butte we’re to use?
Thanks.

Reply
Brittney October 9, 2021 - 10:54 pm

Thank you so much for catching that! 3/4 cups is the correct amount so the conversion should indeed be 170 g.

Reply

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