by Olena

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

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Olena Osipov
5 from 14 votes

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These Healthy Pumpkin Cookies are soft and chewy inside with a crisp exterior and packed with pumpkin seeds for texture. Best of all, all you need is a single bowl and 30 minutes! The resulting cookie is packed with fall flavors thanks to the warming spices and will become your family’s most requested sweet treat this autumn.

If you love pumpkin treats, you have to try this healthy pumpkin cake, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and almond flour pumpkin bread too!

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies on a baking tray with pumpkin seeds

Fall-Spiced Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

These healthy pumpkin cookies are the perfect way to kick off the fall baking season, with tons of baked goodies to come, including healthy pumpkin pie, a gingerbread loaf, and apple muffins – let’s start off simple with these pumpkin spice cookies! Soft, chewy, and packed with flavor – these pumpkin oatmeal cookies combine nourishing ingredients for a hearty cookie you won’t feel guilty for indulging in. In fact, you could even enjoy one with breakfast!

These pumpkin oatmeal cookies fall between a classic oatmeal cookie and a regular pumpkin spice cookie. They combine pumpkin puree and warming pumpkin spice mix into an oatmeal and whole wheat (or spelt) flour-based cookie batter. While I love baking with alternative flours, like almond flour (which I’ve used to create a skillet cookie, chocolate chip cookies, and snickerdoodles), whole wheat and spelt have become my go-to healthy ‘all-purpose’ baking option. When combined with oats, these healthy pumpkin cookies are packed with nourishing ingredients (and way better than the tons of ’empty calories’ in store-bought cookies!).

While baking, the smell emanating from your oven is practically a siren-call to anyone within distance, too. You’ll be swatting away kids (and husbands!) – then seeing their eyes light up when the cookies are ready to eat. Now that’s a win in my books for a healthier pumpkin spice cookie!

Even better, these soft pumpkin cookies are so wonderfully soft and chewy and flavorful, and freezer-friendly! So, I recommend doubling (or tripling) the recipe and storing some in the freezer throughout the fall season (to join the ranks of pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread). Plus, if you want to make more healthy cookies, you might enjoy the recipes for sugar-free oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cranberry cookies, or almond flour chocolate chip cookies.

Why This Recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies Works?

  • These healthy pumpkin cookies are made with no butter, refined white flour, or refined sugars!
  • In fact, they are naturally sweetened using maple syrup or honey!
  • Each cookie comes in at around 90 calories per cookie, filled with nourishing ingredients rather than ’empty calories’ so you don’t have to feel guilty.
  • This recipe requires just 10 simple ingredients, which are primarily made up of pantry staples!
  • The pumpkin spice cookies are soft, moist, and slightly chewy and packed with warming spices and flavor for the perfect autumn inspired treat!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • Pumpkin puree:  Make sure to use pureed pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie filling (which is mixed with spices and will throw off the taste and consistency of the cookies). You could also use homemade pumpkin puree, but the liquid content may differ – so the flour/oats may need to be adjusted.
  • Sweetener: These healthy pumpkin cookies are naturally sweetened with maple syrup or honey. For a sugar-free alternative, you could use monk fruit syrup instead (I haven’t tried this, though).
  • Coconut oil: Use coconut oil or any neutral/mild cooking oil (like avocado oil). When using coconut oil, the cookies become slightly firmer when fully cooled.
  • Egg: All you need is one egg for this soft pumpkin cookies recipe. For a vegan version, you may be able to use a flax egg, though I haven’t tried.
  • Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla extract for the best flavor results.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: I use homemade pumpkin pie spice.

If you don’t have pumpkin spice (or all the ingredients to make your own), I recommend at least using cinnamon (about 1 tsp) with a pinch of nutmeg and ginger powder and/or allspice.

  • Baking soda: To provide lift and texture to the pumpkin oatmeal cookies.
  • Oats: Use old-fashion oats (rolled oats), or quick-cooking oats – the texture of these healthy pumpkin cookies will vary based on which you use.
  • Flour: You can use whole wheat or spelt flour for this recipe. I can’t guarantee results when using regular flour, as the flours react differently, and I haven’t tried regular AP flour, almond flour, or gluten-free flours.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Technically optional, but I like the added texture and nutrients.
  • Cooking spray: Used to grease the baking sheets. Alternatively, you could use a little neutral oil.

Keep reading below (after the recipe how-to) for more information on any add-ins and recipe variations!

How to Make Healthy Soft Pumpkin Cookies

There is a full recipe card below.

These healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies come together in one bowl with a whisk and a spatula. No mixer required!

  • Prepare the tray: First, preheat the oven to 350F/176C and line two large baking sheets with either unbleached parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and spray with cooking spray. Then set aside.
  • Combine the wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until well combined. Then add the melted coconut oil and whisk again.
  • Add the dry ingredients: Stir in the oats and then the flour, mixing until a thick dough forms. Finally, add the pumpkin seeds and fold in gently to distribute them.  
  • Bake the pumpkin oatmeal cookies: Use a small cookie scoop to transfer the cookie dough to the prepared sheet, flattening slightly with the back of the scoop (as the cookies don’t spread when baked). I added 9 cookies per baking tray. Then bake for 15 minutes (in batches if needed). Finally, remove the pumpkin spice cookies from the oven, allow them to cool for several minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool further before enjoying!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

When it comes to large add-ins (nuts, chocolate, coconut), I recommend adding around ½ cup in total.

  • Chocolate chips: I recommend using dark chocolate chips or chunks (use keto/sugar-free versions if preferred). Add around 1/4-1/3 cup.
  • Chopped nuts: In place of the pumpkin seeds, you could add finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • Coconut: I recommend using unsweetened shredded coconut and adding around ¼ cup to the pumpkin oatmeal cookies dough.
  • Dried fruit: Raisins, finely chopped dates, or cranberries would work well in these Fall pumpkin spice cookies.
  • Pumpkin spice latte cookies: You can add around 1 tsp espresso powder or 1-2tsp instant coffee powder to the cookie dough for ‘PSL’ cookies.
  • Protein pumpkin cookie: I recommend using a plain or vanilla whey protein powder and only add one scoop. Different protein powders can cause various changes to the texture of the batter (for example, vegan protein powders are usually very drying), so I can’t guarantee results.
  • Vegan pumpkin spice cookies: You can experiment with a flax/chia egg. Also, use maple syrup as the sweetener.

Tips for Best Results

  • Use highquality pumpkin puree: There is definitely a difference in using a good and bad brand of pumpkin puree – both in texture, flavor, and natural sweetness. I recommend using high-quality, organic puree like ‘Farmers Market’, which I use. It’s wonderfully creamy and has an excellent flavor for these healthy pumpkin cookies.
  • Add coconut oil last: Don’t add warm coconut oil to the whisked egg to avoid oil solidifying and/or cooking the egg. Add it as the last liquid ingredient.
  • Don’t over bake the cookies: As the cookies don’t spread or brown a lot, it can be tricky to know when they’re ready. 15 minutes has always worked well for me. Be careful not to overbake them.

These cookies don’t spread. Be sure to flatten them before baking. You can do so with the back of the cookie scoop or your hands (wet your fingers with a bit of water to avoid sticking, if needed).

FAQs

Why is pumpkin used in baking?

There are several reasons why someone might want to use pumpkin puree in a recipe. It can provide moisture and a subtle sweetness to substitute oil (and a little sugar). In fall-themed recipes like these pumpkin spice cookies, it is also used for the color and subtle pumpkin flavor.

Can you substitute pumpkin pie filling for pumpkin puree?

Please don’t. The ingredients and flavor are different, which will negatively impact the flavor and consistency of your healthy pumpkin cookies. If you can’t use tinned pumpkin puree, you could make homemade puree – but, even then, it may need recipe tweaks as the consistency of the pumpkin can differ.

How are pumpkin cookies healthy?

These contain whole wheat or spelt flour, which is more nutritious than regular white flour. On top of that, these cookies contain oats, are naturally sweetened with maple or honey, and use coconut oil rather than butter, The result is a cookie that contains a lot more nourishing ingredients (to fill you up and nourish your body) and less empty calories.

How many calories are in a pumpkin cookie?

For these healthy pumpkin cookies, there are about 87 calories per cookie, though this will vary slightly based on the exact flour, sweetener, and type of oats used. It will also change if you decide to mix in any add-ins like nuts, chocolate chips, or coconut.

soft pumpkin spice cookies

Serving Recommendations

  • Breakfast: These healthy cookies would be perfect for layering in a fall themed yogurt parfait.
  • Snack: These cookies are great for a healthy after school snack or sneak a few into your kids lunchbox for a surprise sweet treat!
  • Dessert: Warm slightly and serve with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.
  • Fall themed charcuterie board: Follow my basic how to build a charcuterie platter instructions and include a selection of pumpkin or apple themed treats along with some mixed nuts, sliced seasonal fruits and cheese cubes.

Making Healthy Pumpkin Cookies in Advance

Make ahead: You can freeze the unbaked pumpkin oatmeal cookies by scooping them onto the tray then freezing and storing them in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen. Adding an extra few minutes to the baking time.

Storing: Store the pumpkin oatmeal cookies in a cool, dry place, just loosely covered. These cookies are very moist, so don’t wrap them or place them in a cookie jar/airtight container, or they’ll become too soft, too soon. When stored, loosely covered, they should last several days (2-4 or up to 6 in the fridge, also loosely covered).  

Freeze: Freeze the cookies on a baking tray (with spaces between) until frozen solid. Then transfer to a Ziplock bag and store for up to two months. To enjoy a cookie, simply remove it from the freezer and allow to thaw for several minutes at room temperature.   

More Favorite Recipes

healthy pumpkin cookies
Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies {Easy to Make!}

These Healthy Pumpkin Cookies are soft and chewy inside with a crisp exterior and packed with pumpkin seeds for texture. Best of all, all you need is a single bowl and 30 minutes! The resulting cookie is packed with fall flavors thanks to the warming spices and will become your family's most requested sweet treat this autumn.
5 from 14 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 egg large
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil measured after melting
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree not pie filling
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Add maple syrup, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt; whisk until well combined.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Then add coconut oil and whisk well. This will help to avoid warm oil to solidify and/or cook the egg.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Add oats and stir to mix.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Add flour and mix well until thick dough forms.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Add pumpkin seeds and give a few stirs.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Using small cookie scoop, place batter on previously prepared sheet and flatten with the back of a scoop or hands. Cookies do not spread, I had 9 cookies per sheet. Bake in batches for 15 minutes.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
  • Remove from the oven and let cookies cool for a minute, then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool off a bit more.
    Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

Make Ahead: You can freeze the unbaked pumpkin oatmeal cookies by scooping them onto the tray then freezing and storing them in a Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen. Adding an extra few minutes to the baking time.

    Store: Store in a cool dry place open. Do not wrap or place cookies in a jar. The more air, the better.

      Freeze: Freeze the cookies on a baking tray (with spaces between) until frozen solid. Then transfer to a Ziplock bag and store for up to two months. To enjoy a cookie, simply remove it from the freezer and allow to thaw for several minutes at room temperature.  

        Notes

        • You can use virtually any oil. Mild tasting oil like avocado oil is the best. Not that coconut oil is mild tasting. Olive oil will work too it’s just its taste will be more prominent in the pumpkin cookies. As coconut oil is solid, once cookies cool off their texture will be more crunchy on the outside. Just a tad.
        • No flour substitutes. You have to use only whole wheat or spelt (sprouted) flour.
        • Different protein powders can cause various changes to the texture of the batter (for example, vegan protein powders are usually very drying), so I can’t guarantee results.
        • Vegan pumpkin spice cookies: You can experiment with a flax/chia egg. Use maple syrup as the sweetener.
        • Add-ins: Add up to 1/4-1/3 cup of chocolate chips, chopped nuts, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut or dried fruit.
        • Chopped nuts: In place of the pumpkin seeds, you could add finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
        • Pumpkin spice latte cookies: You can add around 1 tsp espresso powder or
          1-2 tsp instant coffee powder to the cookie dough for ‘PSL’ cookies.
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs. 

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 643IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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        olena osipov in the studio

        Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

        My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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