These are the best Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies! Creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling and a chewy cookie, topped with brown sugar spiced pecans. Pumpkin season is upon us and these fluffy pumpkin cookies are my favorite for the fall season.
I can’t get enough pumpkin dessert recipes in the fall and winter. Particularly, pumpkin cheesecake. I like to make pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars, these chewy pumpkin cookies and pumpkin creme brulee.
All of the pumpkin recipes I just mentioned are great fall desserts. Easy recipes that are loved by all.
This Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie recipe is easy to love. These cookies have a great soft texture, and all the warm cozy fall flavors. The perfect fall treat for any pumpkin lover.
- Cream Cheese – Full-fat cream cheese is best.
- Pumpkin Puree – I use Libby’s Pumpkin Puree for all my pumpkin desserts. It has great consistency and only one ingredient…pumpkin.
- All Purpose Flour – I have not tested these cookies with any other type of flour.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – A little graham cracker crumbs in the cookie to give it the taste of a cheesecake crust.
- Corn Starch – Helps with the cookie consistency.
- Kosher Salt – I use Diamond Crystal Salt for this pumpkin cheesecake cookie recipe. If using Morton’s kosher salt then only use 75% of the amount called for.
- Baking Powder – A leavener.
- Baking Soda – Also a leavener to help cookies rise.
- Butter – Using unsalted butter allows you to control the salt level of the pumpkin cookies.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar helps give that chewy cookie texture.
- Granulated Sugar – I like using a mix of both sugars for sweetness and texture.
- Eggs – Make sure the eggs and egg yolks are room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract – I recommend using pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste for the best flavor.
- Pumpkin Spice – My favorite is The Spice House Pumpkin Spice. Also called pumpkin pie spice.
- Pecans – These are an optional topping.
How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
These Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies have the perfect amount of pumpkin pie spice and are easier to make than you think. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have the smells and tastes of fall in your kitchen in no time.
- Step 1: Whisk all dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl then set aside.
- Step 2: Cream butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Alternatively, you can use a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer.
- Step 3: Add egg and yolk then mix on low-medium until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula then mix in vanilla extract.
- Step 4: Mix in dry ingredients just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Step 5: Scoop cookie dough balls with a 3oz scoop and place on parchment lined sheet tray. Chill cookies for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight.
- Step 6: Beat room temperature cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute. Add brown sugar then continue mixing for an additional minute.
- Step 7: Mix in vanilla, salt and 1 egg on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and continue mixing cream cheese mixture for another 20 seconds.
- Step 8: Blend pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice into cheesecake mixture.
- Step 9: Preheat oven to 350°F. Use the back of a 3oz scoop and press down on top of each of the cookie dough balls to make an indent. You’ll want it to be about ¼ inch thick in the center.
- Step 10: Mix pecan, brown sugar and pumpkin spice in a small dish then sprinkle over top of each cookie. Add 2-3 tsp of pumpkin cheesecake cream cheese filling to indent then top with pecan mixture.
- Step 11: Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes until cheesecake is set but slightly jiggly. Cool cookies on a cooling rack completely before eating.
Substitutions & Variations
When making Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies there are a few things you can substitute or change in the recipe and still end up with a scrumptious fall cookie!
- Pecans – These are optional, leave them off or add them. You can also substitute walnuts in place of pecans on the cookies.
- Vanilla Bean Paste – Vanilla bean paste can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for the pure vanilla extract.
- Pumpkin Spice – Use any pumpkin spice you like OR you can make your own. Typically I’ll add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice when making my own pumpkin pie spice recipe.
- Graham Crackers – Use store bought graham cracker crumbs or blend your own graham crackers in a food processor or blender until you have a fine crumb.
- Pumpkin – Swap out pumpkin flavor for strawberry and make my strawberry cheesecake cookies. They are to die for!
Tips For Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- Room temperature ingredients are best for baking cookies. Particularly the eggs and butter in this pumpkin cookie recipe. This goes for the cream cheese and pumpkin puree in the pumpkin cheesecake filling as well.
- Chill the cookie dough before filling and baking. It allows the dough to absorb the moisture and helps the pumpkin cookies not to spread.
- Let cookies cool completely before eating. Cool for 2 minutes on the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way. You can also place the cookies in the fridge.
- “Scoot” the cookies to get that perfectly round shape. You do this by scooting a biscuit cutter around each cookie as soon as it’s out of the oven. It’s key to do this immediately while cookies are still hot otherwise it will not work.
- Pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin pie filling are not the same thing. Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree.
- Try making a pumpkin spice sugar by adding 1/3 cups granulated sugar with 1 tsp pumpkin spice in a small bowl. Use the cookie dough from my Cinnamon Toast Crunch cookies, roll them in the pumpkin spice sugar and bake according to directions for a pumpkin snickerdoodle.
- Use a light colored cookie sheet to bake cookies rather than a dark cookie sheet. Darker cookie sheets will burn the bottom of your cookies.
Storing Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Store pumpkin cheesecake cookies in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can be stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
These pumpkin cookies can also be frozen for up to 1 months. Freeze the cookies in a resealable freezer bag, I like to double my bags up, then store the bags inside an airtight container.
To defrost, let them come to room temperature on the counter or you can leave them in the refrigerator overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
I would advise against homemade pumpkin puree in most recipes because of the watery consistency. Libby’s pumpkin puree is a tried and true pumpkin puree that has great consistency and contains only 1 ingredient…pumpkin.
This can happen if you don’t chill the cookie dough for the specified amount of time before filling and baking. Another reason your cookies may spread too much is if your baking soda, baking powder or corn starch is out of date or measured incorrectly.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies are best kept in the fridge because of the cheesecake filling. Dairy product doesn’t keep well outside of the refrigerator in most cases. Store these pumpkin cookies in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap inside of your fridge.
Your cookie dough or baked cookie can become sticky if the dough was not chilled long enough or if there wasn’t enough flour added.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- 1 stand mixer
- 2 mixing bowls
- 1 electric hand mixer
- 1 whisk
- 1 baking sheet
- 1 3oz scoop
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1½ tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp kosher salt Diamond Crystal brand
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temp
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temp
- 1 egg yolk room temp
- 1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- 8 oz cream cheese room temp
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 egg room temp
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree room temp, I use Libbys
- ¾ tsp pumpkin spice
Pecan Topping (optional)
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
Making Cookie Dough
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl
- Cream butter and both sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy
- Add egg and yolk then mix on low-medium until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula
- Mix in vanilla
- Mix in the dry ingredients until just a streak or two of flour is visible. Do not overmix
- Scoop cookie dough with a 3oz scoop and place on parchment lined sheet tray. Chill cookies for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight
Making Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Beat room temperature cream cheese on medium speed for 1 minute. Add brown sugar then continue mixing for an additional minute
- Mix in vanilla, salt and 1 egg on low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and continue mixing for another 20 seconds
- Blend pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice into cheesecake mixture
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Use the back of a 3oz scoop and press down on top of each cookie to make an indent. You'll want it to be about ¼ inch thick in the center
- Add 2-3 tsp of pumpkin cream cheese filling to each indent
- Mix pecan, brown sugar and pumpkin spice in a small dish then sprinkle over top of each cookie
- Bake 12-15 minutes until cheesecake is set but slightly jiggly. Cool completely before eating