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A Recipe for Soft, Cakey Pumpkin Cookies Made With Egg Whites: Serve Plain or Choose Your Mix-In(s)

Homemade pumpkin cookies

Homemade pumpkin cookies

A Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

My husband and I LOVE these cookies, which means we need to give some away ASAP when we make a batch, or else we'll eat them all in a day. On the plus side, the plain cookies, especially made with egg whites, are lower in calories than many other cookies out there, so we don't feel TOO badly if we have a couple (few) extra. (MyFitnessPal lists these cookies at about 75 calories apiece. Want even "skinnier" pumpkin cookies? Substitute a half cup of unsweetened applesauce for the butter. See how to make these at just 42 calories each, with a recipe from the Realistic Nutritionist.)

Make These Cookies Deliciously Plain or With Extras

While we prefer to make our pumpkin cookies plain for ourselves, we usually mix in or top them with something extra and sweet when we bake them for family or friends. Things like....

  • Raisins, regular or golden, or a mix
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried currants
  • Chocolate chips
  • Hershey's Kisses pressed into the top of the soft cookies right out of the oven (check out this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies ... yum!)
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Rolled oats (about 1 - 1.5 cups for this recipe, mixed in with the dry ingredients)
  • A glaze (There are many different glazes or icings for pumpkin cookies. One we like is to combine 1.5 cups of sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of fat free milk, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, then whisk until fully mixed and, using a fork, drizzle this over the cooled cookies. FYI: You can add a little more milk if the glaze is too thick.)

Cook Time

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 25-35 minutes

Serves: approximately 2.5 dozen cookies


  • Flour, 2.5 cups
  • Sugar, 1.5 cups
  • Baking powder, 1 tsp.
  • Baking soda, 1 tsp.
  • Cinnamon, 2 tsp.
  • Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp.
  • Ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. (Be sure to grind them up really well, or else you'll be biting down on chunks of clove in your cookies, which isn't so pleasant.)
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
  • Butter, 1/2 cup (or 1/2 c. of unsweetened applesauce)
  • Pumpkin puree, 1 cup
  • Egg whites, 2 (or 1 full egg w/ yolk)
  • Vanilla, 1 tsp.
  • (Adding a mix-in? We use a cup of whatever that is, sometimes a cup and a half.)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree (canned or homemade), egg whites, and the vanilla extract to the butter mixture.
  5. Beat the wet ingredients until creamy, then add in the dry ingredients.
  6. If you're going to add things like chocolate chips, raisins, etc., do so now.
  7. Drop the dough by the tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheets or parchment paper and flatten each just a bit.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  9. ***Want another super easy alternative? Try this: Buy a box of yellow cake mix and a 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree, then drop by the spoonful on a cookie sheet and bake for just about 8 minutes until they're browned. You can also use spice cake mix to ... well, spice things up a bit.

Try Not To Eat Them All at Once

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© 2013 Deb Kingsbury

So, how do YOU make pumpkin cookies? Any other suggestions?

Sp Greaney from Ireland on July 22, 2020:

They look delicious. I like how you listed other ingredients you could add to the recipe if you preferred.

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on December 19, 2013:

I love anything with pumpkin in it. I will be trying these one day.

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on December 18, 2013:

I am really grateful for your suggestion of adding applesauce instead of butter. I wanted to make some not-so-caloric cookies for my sweet husband, and this looks great! Thanks!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on December 18, 2013:

I like anything pumpkin so these really appeal to me.

JanieceTobey on December 07, 2013:

Oh, man, these cookies sound delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

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