Perfect Little Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Buttercream

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 20, 2020

Hey everyone, I hope you are doing well! I’m popping in with a fun fall-inspired cookie recipe today that’s been on repeat in this house. 

First, I want to thank you all so much for your support for Oh She Glows for Dinner! I’m immensely grateful for each and every one of you who believe in me and in what I create. It’s sounding like cozy, plant-based meals to enjoy at home is a theme you’re really eager for, and hearing this makes me so happy because this book was almost the end of little ‘ol me…hah ;) jk. Well, it was my biggest challenge to date, but sooo worth it and I’m thrilled with how it all came together. Now that I get to cook from this book in my own kitchen, it’s pretty darn special. I can’t wait for you to be able to do so as well.

Your pre-orders help a lot because the more pre-orders we have, the better chance we have to get the book stocked in more numerous and varied retailers, such as independent stores, chain stores, and online retailers, allowing everyone to locate the book more easily and support their favourite stores. I appreciate your help so much!! Click here to find out where you can pre-order your copy so you can start cooking up these delicious, cozy recipes as soon as it’s hot off the press! Not much longer to go now. :) If you pre-order, don’t forget to claim your pre-order Bonus Bundle here until October 13th.

Okay, now it’s time to ring in the fall season with a brand-new, lightly spiced, and completely addictive frosted pumpkin cookie. 

Sending you all my love and good vibes for the new season ahead!

4.7 from 9 reviews

Perfect Little Pumpkin Cookies with Spiced Buttercream

Vegan, soy-free


Why hello there, beautiful pumpkin season! These lovely pumpkin cookies are lightly crispy around the edges, tender and chewy in the middle, and the perfect light-tasting base for my Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream. My recipe tester, Nicole, says they are like “airy, pumpkin spiced clouds with a delightful outer shell to sink your teeth into!” If you aren’t in the mood for frosting, and prefer a lightly sweet, wholesome-tasting cookie, they also taste great without the buttercream. You can use store bought pumpkin pie spice for convenience, or this recipe for Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix. In the Tips section, I’ve provided sifted whole-grain spelt and all-purpose white flour swap options for the white/light spelt flour. Be sure to check them out before you begin as the flour substitutions aren’t direct 1:1 swaps. This recipe is adapted from my Easy Vegan Sugar Cookies with Pink Frosting.

20 cookies
Prep time
Cook time


For the wet ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown rice syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the dry ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (83 g) almond flour*
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (127 g) white/light all-purpose spelt flour**
  • 3 tablespoons (27 g) arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g) soy-free vegan butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 g) powdered icing sugar, sifted if necessary
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line one extra-large baking sheet (or two medium-sized sheets) with parchment paper.
  2. To a small bowl, add the wet ingredients: grapeseed oil, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, brown rice syrup, ground flax, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  3. To a large bowl, add the dry ingredients: almond flour, spelt flour, arrowroot starch, cane sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture (being sure to scoop all of the wet ingredients stuck to the sides of the bowl), and stir until it comes together into a dense, very thick dough.
  5. The dough will be very sticky, but this is normal! Scoop a slightly heaping 1 tablespoon of dough into your hand, and roll it into a ball. Continue with the remaining dough, placing each ball onto the baking sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart. If needed, you can lightly wet your fingers during this process. Do not flatten the balls before baking as they will spread out on their own.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes until lightly golden (I like baking them until lightly golden as the edges get a bit crispy during cooling). Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet. To speed up the cooling process, cool the cookies for 10 minutes on the pan then transfer the cookies to the fridge until completely cooled.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting: To a large bowl, add the vegan butter. Using electric beaters, beat the butter until smooth (about 30 seconds). Add the powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Starting on low speed, beat until smooth and fluffy, gradually increasing the speed as the ingredients combine. It will look very crumbly at first, but it will eventually come together and become fluffy. If the frosting is still too dry, you can thin it with a tiny bit of almond milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time), and continue beating until smooth. If it’s too thin, you can add a little more powdered sugar and beat again until smooth.
  8. Spread the frosting onto the completely cooled cookies, and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, if desired. Serve and enjoy! Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. The cookies will soften when sealed in a container.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 20 cookies (with frosting) | Calories 148 calories | Total Fat 6.6 grams
Saturated Fat 1.3 grams | Sodium 91 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 21 grams
Fiber 0.9 grams | Sugar 11.5 grams | Protein 1.6 grams

1 of 20 cookies (without frosting): 88 calories, 3.6 grams total fat, 0.3 grams saturated fat, 59 milligrams sodium, 12.7 grams carbohydrates, 0.9 grams fibre, 3.3 grams sugar, 1.6 grams protein.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.


* Be sure to use almond flour and not almond meal which is much coarser.


** I prefer the white/light spelt version. If you can find some, it’s so lovely in these! If you can’t find it in the store, though, you can sift whole-grain spelt flour before using. The flour won’t be as fine and delicate as white/light spelt flour, but it will work in a pinch. To sift: place a large bowl on top of a kitchen scale, and tare the scale to zero. Spoon flour into a fine mesh sieve, and gently shake the sieve side-to-side until you have about 127 grams of sifted flour in the bowl. Discard the coarse flakes that remain in the sieve. Using sifted whole-grain spelt flour produces a more wholesome flavour and texture. Alternatively, you can use 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (127 grams) all-purpose white flour instead of white/light spelt flour. When using all-purpose white flour, the cookies will taste a bit less sweet and complex compared to spelt flour.


Flours are measured using the “scoop and shake until level” method, where you scoop the measuring cup directly into the flour and shake the cup side to side until the flour is level. I recommend weighing the flour whenever possible for the most accuracy.

For those of you who missed my earlier announcement, Indigo is hosting a wonderful contest in celebration of Oh She Glows for Dinner! Plum members who pre-order my new cookbook are automatically entered in this wonderful prize package. It is a great time to do so, because the book is on sale for 22% off right now (Please note, I don’t know when this sale ends). Click here to enter!

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly H. Pedrini September 21, 2020 at 10:35 am

Is there an alternative to powdered sugar for the Buttercream Frosting that could work on the Pumpkin Cookies?


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Hey Holly, Thanks for your question! I’m sorry I don’t know of a swap for the powdered sugar in buttercream. Maybe another reader has one they recommend though. :)


Lillian McTernan October 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Hi, Holly! I’ve been trying to cut back on my sugar intake, so I’ve been subbing Swerve for sugar in most recipes. I know they make regular/granulated, powdered, and brown sugar alternatives, and they’re all 1 for 1 substitutions. I’m not sure if that addresses the kind of substitution you’re looking for or not — I know that looking for alternatives can be a wild ride. :)


Camille R September 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

I adore these cookies! Since Angela shared the recipe i’ve made them 3 times and they’re always gone within minutes.
I wanted to mention, in case anyone had been wondering, that these freeze very well! I iced them and froze them in a single layer then piled them up in an airtight tupperware with parchment paper layers. You can take out one at a time and they thaw in 5-10 minutes are remain super moist :) (perfect if your spouse has a tendency to eat 8 in one sitting)


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 23, 2020 at 6:52 am

Hey Camille, I’m so happy that you’ve made these a few times already and loved them. Sounds like our house…I’ve been making them weekly and can’t get enough. Thanks for sharing your freezer tips, such a great idea!


Laura September 23, 2020 at 12:50 pm
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These cookies are just little bits of fall goodness. Will definitely make again. My dough was not sticky and the cookies didn’t flatten out as much as thought they should but they were still yummy. The only substitution I made was to use instant tapioca for the arrowroot starch. Any thoughts? Can’t wait for the new cookbook!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 25, 2020 at 9:38 am

Thank you Laura! Swapping in instant tapioca for the arrowroot likely caused those changes you experienced. I’m glad you still enjoyed them though! :) Happy fall baking


Laura September 27, 2020 at 5:54 am

Thanks, Angela. I’ll try it with the arrowroot next time.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 28, 2020 at 10:50 am

Anytime :) I hope you enjoy the next batch too. We’re making them weekly around here lately. :)


Emily September 24, 2020 at 1:38 am
Recipe Rating:

Nice, another pumpkin recipes for this season. I also love to try making different types of cookies. Thank you Angela!


Idol Worth September 25, 2020 at 9:00 am

It looks so yum! Thank you for sharing the recipe!


Q September 25, 2020 at 4:47 pm

These sound amazing, and I’m so happy to hear from you! I hope all has been well with your family these past few months. I just pre-ordered the latest cookbook through a local store here in NYC, and it’s so nice to have something to look forward to! Your first cookbook is still my absolute go-to; I’ve had three different people text me during lockdown asking for the avocado pasta recipe, and several other pages are dog-eared and vinegar-speckled from use. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the new one.

These cookies sound fantastic, and I’m going to pick up everything I need to make them on my next bi-monthly grocery trip. My girlfriend loves snickerdoodles and frosting, and these sounds like a perfect, pumpkin-y combination of both. I think I’ll grab the ingredients for some hot apple cider to go along with them, and plan a nice fall picnic in Central Park for our quarantine bubble of two. Thank you for spreading the joy!


Leslie September 26, 2020 at 7:07 am

These are delicious and super easy to make. I’ve made them 3 times and they don’t last , gone super quick. Excellent recipe again, thank you !


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 28, 2020 at 10:51 am

Hey Leslie, I’m so glad you enjoy the cookies so much! Sounds like you’re making them as much as we are. :) Thanks for letting me know!


Natascha September 27, 2020 at 10:53 pm

So excited to see a recipe back on the blog! Just pre ordered your book!
Is there something I can sub the brown rice syrup for? It is not something I often have in my kitchen. Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 28, 2020 at 10:49 am

Thank you for the kind words Natascha! :) To be honest, I have not tried swapping the brown rice syrup. I used it because it’s great for binding powers and it also lends a nice crisp edge after baking…but this isn’t to say that they 100% won’t work if you swap it. I’m just not positive on that one. :) There i arrowroot starch in these which helps with binding so it may be okay. Adding maple syrup could work and is probably what I would start with…it’s a bit more sweet than brown rice syrup, so you may find you want to decrease the dry sugar just a touch. If you try anything I’d love to hear how it goes :)


Amber Steed November 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Love these cookies!! I didn’t have brown rice syrup either so used honey, which may make them a bit sweeter but not sure. They were still fluffy with a light outer crust though.

Related question – I wondered if anyone had tried reducing the sweeteners, versus using some sweetener alternatives. I could see these still being delicious but less sweet. Note that I didn’t use any icing.



Patrice September 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm

Will definitely be trying these! I pre-ordered the book last week and am SO excited to dive in :). Congrats again xx


Fiona October 1, 2020 at 5:34 pm

These were AMAZING! They made me excited for fall when I made them. 😊 Mine also did not flatten out, and I used arrowroot starch, so it was not the tapioca starch that the other reader mentioned using that caused her cookies to also remain in a ball shape. I made a note to flatten mine more next time. Thank you!


Meridith October 3, 2020 at 5:41 pm
Recipe Rating:

I am a sucker for iced cookies, so I knew as soon as I saw this recipe that I had to make these cookies, and I was not disappointed! They are delicious! I have made them twice, the first time they were gone in 24 hours and I just finished icing the second batch and anticipate they won’t last the weekend. The first time my cookies spread out a bit more and looked like the photo, this time they stayed more in their ball shape but they still taste just as good. They are a lovely fall treat, spicy and sweet but overly so. Thanks for this great vegan recipe Angela!


Nicole Madsen October 12, 2020 at 4:51 pm

Hi Angela! Just wondering, would I be able to substitute corn starch for arrow root? Or is that a bad idea… thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:31 am

Hey Nicole, That’s a great question! I can’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I haven’t tried this swap out yet myself. If you try anything I would love to know how it goes! Happy cooking :)


Nicole Madsen October 12, 2020 at 7:40 pm

I made these with corn starch instead of arrowroot and they turned out soooo delicious! They remind us of cinnamon buns :-) what do I do with this leftover buttercream frosting? Any ideas?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:31 am

Oh, so glad it worked!!! Thanks for letting us know :)


Margaret October 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

These look delicious. I wonder if I could sub pureed banana or melted vegan butter for the grapeseed oil? Thanks for another fall-worthy dessert!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:32 am

Hey Margaret! Oh I love those ideas. I think melted butter would work for sure, but im less certain about the pureed banana. If you try anything I would love to hear how it goes!


Anne October 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

I would love to bake these, but I don’t have any grapeseed oil on hand. Can you suggest a good substitute? Thank you.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:38 am

Hey Anne, I haven’t tried it yet but I think melted vegan butter would be really nice. :) I might also reduce the added salt a bit if using this swap. I’m not sure whether other oils would work, it would have to be something pretty light tasting like a refined coconut oil or olive oil. Hope this helps and happy baking!


Peggy October 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm

Just received your new cookbook today. Oh She Glows for Dinner. As I was thumbing through it I stopped on O Canada! Spiced Maple Cream Torte. You forgot to include the amount of cashews for the spiced maple cream part! I was thinking of making it can you please let me know? I hope the rest of the cook is okay? Thanks Peggy


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:30 am

Hey Peggy, I am sorry for the confusion here – what my publisher opted to do in this recipe is move the cashews at the start/top of the ingredient list (so you will see it says “1 1/2 cups raw cashews” at the top). They do this because the ingredient is used first in the directions (soaking the cashews), so it comes first in the ingredient list. I hope this helps clarify! :) Happy cooking and thank you so much for your support for my new book!


Libby October 18, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Any subs for the arrowroot starch? Would corn starch work?


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:27 am

Hey Libby, I apologize for the delay in my reply as I got behind with some comments and am playing catch up. I haven’t tried this swap yet but it very well could work fine! If you try anything out I would love to know how it goes for you!


Lindsey October 19, 2020 at 9:23 pm
Recipe Rating:

These cookies are new favorites in our household, and my husband wants to eat whole vats of the icing! I love the perfect fall flavors and that the icing makes it possible to store these cookies in stacks, unlike most iced cookies.
I’ve been addicted to your website, cookbook, and app since I went vegan seven years ago, and, every week, I cook one or more of your recipes. I’m so excited about the new cookbook that, next week, I’m only cooking from it each day, and I can’t wait to try all of the new dishes!
Thank you for inspiring my vegan lifestyle with delicious, healthy, honest recipes. Your food is my absolute favorite!


molly October 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Hello – QQ! For those that don’t keep brown rice syrup regularly stocked in the pantry, is there an easier liquid sweetener that can be used? Would maple syrup work?

Excited to try!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2021 at 11:21 am

Hey Molly, I’m so sorry for the delay in reply! I got behind with my comments and I’m playing catch up :) To be honest, I have not tried swapping the BRS for maple syrup so I’m not sure. I do know that the brown rice syrup helps bind things so my biggest worry would be whether they would hold together enough with that swap. If you try anything I would love to hear how it goes! I hope 2021 is off to a great start.


Libby October 25, 2020 at 6:48 pm
Recipe Rating:

I just made these and had the same problem as other readers in that the cookies didn’t flatten out. The only substitution I made was to use Angela’s recommended amount of AP flour rather than the light spelt flour because 1) I couldn’t find it and 2) I really didn’t want to buy a special bag of flour just for these cookies anyway. The domed tops were difficult to frost evenly and they didn’t look very pretty. I wanted to make them into sandwich cookies so I’d have a flat surface to frost, but they were too thick for that. I’m not sure I’d make these again.


Martine October 26, 2020 at 12:56 pm
Recipe Rating:

These were a huge hit, we made them twice! A few modifications… omitted the brown rice syrup and cane sugar – we still found them plenty sweet with just the 3T maple syrup as the only sweetener – probably because I added chocolate chips ;) No one could believe there was barely any sugar in the cookies.

I also swapped the spelt with oat flour to great success in the first batch. I made them with spelt the second batch, and they were denser whereas the oat were fluffier. Both were great!


Val October 26, 2020 at 2:51 pm

I’ve been following your food adventure for quite some time now. I bought your book Oh She Glows and I must say it’s the most used cookbook I’ve ever owned. Everything, with one EXCEPTION has turned out perfect. Right now I keep struggling with the Classic Glo Bar. I follow it exactly but I use Maple syrup instead of brown rice syrup. Could this be why the bars do not hold together?

Please advise
[email protected]


Dennis Yannakos November 10, 2020 at 5:51 am
Recipe Rating:

Thank you for the recipe! The taste is truly my jam! I made a huge batch for storage. My whole family likes it too!


Liz November 14, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Delicious, easy to make, and you’re right – addictive!!😍


Rahul Yadav November 30, 2020 at 12:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

These are the best cookies EVER! I tried this recipe several months ago and now everyone requests I bring them to everything! Seriously so delish!


Arjun December 12, 2020 at 4:09 pm
Recipe Rating:

This cookies are so awesome. Although, the first time I prepared it and it was a bit coarse and I didn’t understand why, until my wife and me read your instructions thoroughly again did we discover it was my mistake – I used almond meal instead of the almond flour you wisely recommended. So sure enough, this time we used the almond flour and it came out better. My family and I loved it. Thanks Angela.


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