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

 

261 Comments

  1. These were super easy but I thought the pumpkin flavor was lost. That being said, they were delicious– especially as a vehicle for cream cheese frosting– , everyone loved them and the dough is perfect for freezing. Another plus? They’re right sized– a two bite cookie, which is nice.

  2. These cookies are really delicious – soft in the middle and crispy on the edges, the pumpkin flavor was really well incorporated into them – I didn’t taste it at first but then I understood it was there 😀 I can understand why they are in roll up form – the sugar-butter-spicy layer adds another dimension of flavor.. thank you for the delicious recipe, Sally.

  3. I enjoyed this recipe. As other reviewers have suggested, it is a fussy one but worth the effort for the ooooos and ahhhhs.
    I rolled the dough out on my silicone mats and used it to help roll them up. Made the process so much easier for me. I did have to adjust the shape of the cookies after cutting because the log settled into an oval in the fridge. The fact that they were oval wasn’t a big deal but I wanted the look for the photo submission. I prefer the thicker cut, better for dunking in my morning coffee!
    I did hope for a more pronounced pumpkin flavor but they were still good. I made the mint chocolate checkerboard cookies as well and those were my favorite of the two. More challenging, more impressive, and more flavorful.
    These recipes were enjoyed by many and I received lots of compliments (along with one “that’s just wayyy too much work” haha!).

  4. Kristin Miles says:

    These were finicky but in the end turned out great.

  5. Wow, these are so good! They took more effort than a normal drop cookie but they are worth it! Such great pumpkin and fall flavors. Loved it with the maple icing!

  6. This was a fun recipe. The instructions were perfect and made it easy to make. I’m always making chocolate cookies so this was a nice change. My family loved it!

  7. Very delicious cookie! I understand topping with frosting/icing, but really no need, we think they are fabulous as is!!!:)

  8. I made these cookies with some leftover pumpkin (thanks for the ‘How to use leftover pumpkin post). I’ve never made roll cookies before, but these intrigued me. I’m very happy I took the chance. These cookies were delicious! I loved the cinnamon/pumpkin spice flavor. My family opted for the maple icing, which was amazing (tasted like maple candy). Only issue I had was the rolling part. I think I needed to flour my counter more as the dough was sticking. I worked it slowly and pinched places where it pulled apart and they came out fine. The family voted and wants more next time I have extra pumpkin. Thanks for another great recipe and pushing me out of my baking comfort zone!

  9. Kathi Lindquist says:

    I love the combination of flavors. I think the maple icing would have been great but I didn’t have pure maple syrup so I made the plain icing with maple extract. Still very good.

  10. The ingredients are items I typically have in my kitchen. The instructions were not difficult to follow. I also viewed the video. The cookies were very good and as stated at the beginning of the recipe, the spices are strong regarding flavor which I like. I utilized the maple icing and it indeed complimented the cookies. I would definitely recommend this recipe.

  11. The pumpkin flavour isn’t strong, but the cookies have lots of flavour from the filling. I did not glaze them and, a day later, the flavour was much better. I used a little more pumpkin than the recipe stated and it was the one ingredient I added by weight. I had no problems with cracking. 13 minutes was perfect baking time.

  12. These were delicious! I ended up needing more pumpkin (mine must have been really wet…it went from 86 g to about 32 g after I blotted it), and I stuck with cinnamon and ginger for the spices since I’m not a big fan of pumpkin spice. Opted for no icing since they were delightful as is 🙂 everyone loved them!

  13. I am not great with a rolling pin so getting them shaped was a challenge for me but they turned out great. I lovd the texture of these and they gave me the taste of a cinnamon roll in a bite sized format.

  14. Great recipe! I’m usually intimidated by roll cookies and cakes, but this recipe was easily follow and (per usual with Sally’s recipes) turned out just like it was supposed to. I read the troubleshooting tips carefully and didn’t end up needing them! The dough rolled perfectly. The cookies came out dangerously bite-sized. I made both the glaze and the frosting. The spicy cookies were heaven with the cream cheese frosting. The maple glaze was equally addictive but it turned out very sticky for me and made it a little messy to serve. I’ll be adding these to my fall list!

  15. Love new cookie recipes…especially seasonal ones. A couple of other ideas. I used a very fine strainer to remove the moisture of the pumpkin, pressing down on the pumpkin with a spoon. I let the dough sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes before rolling so it was easier to roll. Finally, I decided to combine the frostings so did a maple cream cheese frosting and topped it off with some toasted pecans (I like a little crunch) and white chocolate drizzle. YumO!!

  16. I love all the pumpkin spice flavour these cookies provide, they are Fall in cookie form! They were fun to make with my kids too. The dough is a bit tricky to roll up, but we managed, and the cookies turned out great.

  17. Hi Sally!

    These cookies were divine! My kids and husband inhaled it!:) definitely a keeper! Thank you for a great recipe!!

  18. These were quite tasty! Definite emphasis on the pumpkin spice flavor rather than just the pumpkin, but very flavorful either way. And yes, more work than drop cookies,, but if you plan ahead for the chilling time it really isn’t that bad, and they come out looking really good!

  19. I made these tonight and topped mine with homemade boiled Apple Cider icing using your Maple icing recipe but subbing in reduced Apple Cider.

    They taste delicious! Thank you Sally for your helpful recipe notes!

  20. Diane Schmidtke says:

    This recipe was a big hit with the family. Super easy to make. We loved the maple frosting. Next time, I want to make the cream cheese frosting.

  21. Sushil Kaur Nama says:

    I always wanted to try a different recipe. Since it was autumn and the month of Halloween it was such a good recipe to make. I followed it to the letter made sure read all the instructions. It was easy and came out really great. Thank you so much

  22. Maureen Foster says:

    Really liked these cookies. My husband took some for his lunch while playing golf. He loved them and so did his golfing buddies. Spread the love.

  23. Amanda L Noonan says:

    I want to make this recipe, but for around 10 people. Does it cut in half easily?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Yes, you can make a half batch if you prefer. Otherwise, you can make the full recipe and freeze the second cookie roll (before cutting) for later – see recipe notes for freezing details.

  24. Lauren Vanderlugt says:

    These were fun to make! My dough was easy to roll so that made it fun and not stressful. I found that when I blotted the pumpkin I only had about 40 grams so I took an additional 2 tablespoons, blotted them, and got my total pumpkin up to about 70 grams.

    Minus one star because I was a little sad that these didn’t expand in the oven. They are tiny cookies! If I did this recipe again I would try to roll one giant log to make bigger cookies. I would also try to max out the pumpkin by blotting A LOT and getting to the 75 grams mentioned with more than 6 tablespoons.

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