Iced Pumpkin Cookies

iced pumpkin cookies (gluten-free)

These iced pumpkin cookies — well, their gluten-ful counterpart — featured heavily in my fall baking rotation when I was hit by the PUMPKIN EVERYTHING bug in 2005. (I’ve since recovered . . . slightly.) My first time making them, my brain missed a beat when it came to the amount of pumpkin called for and substituted cup with another word — hint: three letters, starts with a c, not an uncommon measurement when it comes to pumpkin puree — you got it, that one cup became one can.

But you know what, it worked. The cookies were moist without being wet, soft but not so much so to make them no longer suitable for handheld consumption, and because of the additional pumpkin — and ignoring the icing — clearly appropriate for breakfast. (What, pumpkin is healthy, right?)

After the icing sets, I like to package these cookies up in zip-top sandwich bags in groups of three (that’s how many fit across), or six if I’m planning on sharing. Into a freezer bag and ice chest they go, and then I just pop a bag out the night before I want to eat them, because I totally wasn’t kidding about the breakfast thing (they’re also great in a lunch box). Does the icing tend to get a bit messed up? You bet. Does it matter? Absolutely not. For a snack, dessert or with your morning coffee — I bet a homemade pumpkin spice latte would be AWESOME with them — you can’t go wrong!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

(heavily adapted from

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Baking Time: 16-17 minutes

Makes: 3 dozen


Dry Ingredients:

  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour
  • 40 grams (1/3 cup) garbanzo fava flour
  • 48 grams (1/4 cup) potato starch
  • 16 grams (2 tablespoons) arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Wet Ingredients:

  • 57 grams (1/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 128 grams (2/3 cup) evaporated cane juice or granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 213 grams (1/2 of a 15-ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 7 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) vanilla extract


  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) powdered sugar, sift after measuring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice¹
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoon) milk, half and half or heavy cream


Bake and Cool Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl (2-quart) whisk together dry ingredients (millet flour through 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice); set aside. In a medium bowl (4-quart) mix together butter, evaporated cane juice and egg (use a spoon or hand mixer) until well-combined and somewhat lightened in color, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add canned pumpkin and vanilla extract and stir until color is uniform. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stir until lump-free.

Drop level tablespoons (a portion scoop is your friend here, the batter is quite wet) of batter on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1″ – 1 1/2″ space between cookies. Bake one sheet at a time in the preheated oven, about 16 – 17 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Cool on pan for about 1 minute before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

Ice Cookies:

Once cookies have cooled completely, prepare icing. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar through milk until smooth. Transfer icing to a zip-top sandwich bag and snip just a small amount of the corner, allowing the icing to flow (or a pastry bag fitted with a very small, circular tip). Drizzle icing evenly over cookies. Allow icing to set completely before serving or storing.

Once iced, the cookies are best stored — wrapped in single layers — in the freezer. To serve from the freezer, remove from wrappers and arrange in a single layer on plate, loosely tent with plastic wrap and allow to defrost at room temperature (only a couple hours).


¹ I use Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice — besides the usual ingredients, it also includes some citrus peel and cardamom. Not a huge deal if you can’t find it, just use your favorite blend!

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  • Reply
    October 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Would it be “criminal” to have them WITH the icing for breakfast? 🙂

    I’m in the Autumn mood for a decadent brunch this weekend!!

    • Reply
      Heather Sage
      October 21, 2013 at 9:48 am

      NEVER! It’d never be criminal to enjoy these with icing for breakfast — granted, I do live in the land of chocolate cereal :D.

  • Reply
    Kathy Smith
    November 1, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Has anyone tried these without xantham gum?

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