Dairy Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

A woman's hand holding a dairy free pumpkin cookie with frosting.

Fluffy dairy free pumpkin cookies – that come topped with a decadent dairy free cream cheese frosting? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not! This recipe is a must-bake for all fall enthusiasts. It’s perfect for a Thanksgiving treat, Halloween dessert, or just your run-of-the-mill autumn weekend.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for the cookies themselves, with selected ingredient notes:

Flour, sugar, vanilla, egg, pumpkin, dairy free butter, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  • Pumpkin puree – You want plain canned pumpkin puree for this, not pumpkin pie filling (the latter has seasonings and sugar added, which would throw off the proportions in this recipe).

If you want to make the optional frosting (highly recommended!), here are the ingredients for that with selected notes:

Dairy free cream cheese, powdered sugar, dairy free butter, and vanilla.

Instructions

You’ll find the full recipe instructions and amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of the page, but here’s a helpful overview with tips and photos.

Start by mixing creaming together the butter and the sugar.

Butter and sugar mixed together in a bowl.

Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.

Butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and pumpkin mixed together in a bowl.

In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin spice mixed together in a bowl.

Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. The dough will seem a slightly softer than other cookie doughs; that’s normal.

Pumpkin cookie dough in a bowl.

Use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Baked dairy free pumpkin cookies on parchment paper.

While they’re cooling, make the frosting using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer). Mix together the dairy free butter, dairy free cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. (It should easily come together into a spreadable frosting after 30 seconds or so – but if for some reason it’s still too dry, just add a splash of dairy free milk.)

Frosting in a mixing bowl.

When the cookies are cool, spread the frosting on the cookies you plan to enjoy that day. Top with a little pinch of pumpkin spice, and dig in!

Quick note – the frosting will be quite soft when you first spread it on, but then will form a glossy icing-like topping after sitting out for a few minutes.

Dairy free pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting on a baking sheet.

Recipe FAQ

Here are some common questions that may come up as you prepare this recipe:

What can you use as a substitute for pumpkin pie spice?

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute it with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves or allspice.  Instead of the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, use 1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and ¼ tsp allspice. If you don’t have both cloves and allspice, use an extra ¼ tsp cinnamon in it’s place.

How should you store dairy free pumpkin cookies?

Frosted cookies should be eaten the same day. Unfrosted cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. Extra frosting should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Frost when ready to enjoy the cookies.

Can you freeze pumpkin cookies?

Yes, feel free to freeze these in a large zip top bag or food storage container. Let the cookie defrost on the counter for a little bit when ready to enjoy, or speed up the process with a few seconds in the microwave.

Allergens in this recipe

* Disclaimer:  Always double check ingredients and product packaging to confirm a recipe meets your allergy needs.  While I try to note potential allergens below, there is always the chance I may miss something or that manufacturer formulations may change.

As written, this recipe is dairy free.

Depending on your choice of ingredients – specifically, the dairy-free butter and dairy-free cream cheese – you can also make this recipe soy free and nut free. For example, Violife cream cheese does not contain soy or nuts (at the time of publish). Country Crock plant butter sticks with avocado oil do not contain these by ingredients either, though there is a cross contamination warning for soy (if that’s an issue, use the Earth Balance soy-free sticks).

This recipe does contain wheat/gluten (in the flour) and eggs. I have not tested substitutes for these ingredients, but imagine that a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend would work in the recipe. I also believe a flax egg could be substituted for the regular egg to make this egg-free.

Three dairy free pumpkin cookies on a plate.

More dairy free pumpkin recipes

Looking for more delicious pumpkin recipes? Try one of these tasty options:

I hope you enjoy these dairy free pumpkin cookies as much as my family did! If you get a chance to try them, I’d love for you to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

No one will guess that these fluffy, decadent cookies are fully dairy free!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free pumpkin cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 137 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • ½ cup dairy-free butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (plus optional extra for garnish at the end)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the cream cheese frosting (optional):

  • ½ cup dairy free cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup dairy free butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the dairy-free butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Use a cookie scoop to portion out the cookie dough on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 12-13 minutes at 350 degrees F, until cookies are turning a light orange-golden color around the edges and don’t look wet on top anymore. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.
  7. Meanwhile, as the cookies cool, prepare the optional frosting. To the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl, if using a hand mixer), add the dairy-free cream cheese, dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Use the whisk attachment on the stand mixer to combine the ingredients until light and fluffy.
  8. When the cookies have cooled, spread frosting on top of the cookies you plan to eat today. Garnish with a little extra pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Store extra cookies unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature, and store extra frosting in a container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Frost when ready to enjoy.
  • This recipe makes a large batch of 36 cookies. Feel free to halve the recipe if you prefer making a smaller batch.
  • The frosting should come together easily after about 30 seconds of mixing. However, if you happen to get a drier batch of dairy free cream cheese and notice it’s not coming together, just add a splash of dairy-free milk.

 

Nutrition analysis (approximate per cookie with frosting): 137 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 135 mg sodium, 22.5 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 1 g protein, Vitamin D: 0%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 3%, Potassium: 0%


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Three dairy free pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting next to an orange napkin, with a text overlay with the name of the recipe.

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