Gluten-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – These soft, chewy gluten-free pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies are perfect when the weather gets chilly!
All I want to do lately is read, bake, and watch movies. ‘Tis the season?
I got a craving for pumpkin cookies, but didn’t want cakey pumpkin cookies. They’re great, don’t get me wrong, but my particular craving was for chewy pumpkin cookies.
These gluten-free pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies TOTALLY deliver. They have a soft, chewy texture with plenty of pumpkin and spices in every bite. Basically, they’re the perfect fall twist on gluten-free snickerdoodles, and we can’t get enough this season!
Here’s what you need to make our soft, chewy gluten-free pumpkin snickerdoodles recipe…
This Easy Gluten-Free Cookie Recipe, At A Glance:
Here’s What You Need To Make These Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies:
- Brown Butter. I tried several versions of this pumpkin snickerdoodles recipe with softened butter, but they all lacked a little something. Browning the butter first adds SO much flavor to every single bite. Don’t skip this step! If you’ve never browned butter before, I recommend our How To Brown Butter tutorial! (Note: this will not work with vegan butter.)
- Sugar & Brown Sugar. Next comes a blend of sugar and brown sugar. This gives us plenty of moisture and softness, while also adding chewiness to the cookies.
- Pumpkin Puree. Unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pie filling!) adds intense pumpkin flavor that’s lovely withe spices. You won’t use a whole can (I know that’s annoying!), but it’s the secret to nailing that soft and chewy texture. Trust.
- Pure Maple Syrup. A secret I learned from A Latte Food. It won’t overpower the cookies, but adds great flavor and improves the texture of these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies.
- An Egg Yolk. Just the egg yolk rather than the whole egg gives chewiness and richness that these cookies need for the best texture. (Psst! Here’s 3 ways to separate eggs if it’s your first time!)
- Vanilla Extract. I love vanilla, pumpkin, and spices together. Yum!
- Gluten-Free Flour. We keep things simple with a gluten-free flour blend. I highly recommend this King Arthur Measure For Measure gluten-free flour blend, since it’s our favorite for cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, and more. (Not sponsored!) If you use another blend, be sure it contains xanthan gum and weigh or measure the flour VERY carefully. Also using a tiny bit of cornstarch helps with the chewiness. (Pro tip!)
- Warm Spices. A mix of cinnamon and nutmeg plays off the pumpkin, brown butter, and vanilla to create unbelievable flavor. We LOVE it.
- Cream Of Tartar. For that signature snickerdoodle flavor! It’s worth using for this recipe. Pinky promise.
- Baking Soda. For softness and spread.
How To Make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Step By Step:
- Brown The Butter. Dice the butter into cubes then add to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly until the butter is golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool. (Get step-by-step instructions for browning butter here)
- Cool The Butter To Room Temperature. Then, allow the brown butter to cool to room temperature. This can take 30+ minutes, but you can speed the process along a bit by placing it in a bowl in the refrigerator and setting a timer for 20 minutes. Don’t let the butter solidify, as it should still be liquid for this recipe.
- Add The Sugars. When the butter is room temperature (you do NOT want it warm or the cookies will spread too much!), add it to a large bowl or stand mixer along with the sugar and brown sugar. Mix until well combined. The mixture will look like wet sand.
- Mix In Pumpkin, Syrup, Egg Yolk, And Vanilla. Stir to combine for 1-2 minutes.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Then, add gluten-free flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Stir until just combined.
- Chill The Dough. Cover the dough and chill 1 hour before baking. This helps control the spread and hydrate the flour, which gives the cookies a better shape and texture.
- Preheat The Oven & Prep The Pans. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Scoop And Roll. In a small shallow bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and whisk to combine. Use a large cookie scoop (3 Tablespoons) to scoop large balls of cookie dough. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat well, then place on the prepared pan.
- Bake & Cool The Cookies. Bake 6 cookies at a time at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are set and the centers look set. (They’ll continue to set on the baking sheet as they cool.) Cool the cookies 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Repeat with remaining dough until all the cookies are baked and cooled.
FAQ + Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Do I Have To Use Cream Of Tartar? Yes. I know it’s annoying to buy an extra ingredient, but the tangy flavor of cream of tartar gives snickerdoodles their signature taste. It’s also one of the leavening agents in this recipe, so it’ll help with spread and rise. (Plus, you can make our caramel stuffed snickerdoodles later!)
What To Do With Leftover Pumpkin: So many things! This Pumpkin Streusel Bread uses 1 cup of pumpkin, so you’d have enough leftover to make it! Go big with a batch of gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes, whip up some pumpkin oatmeal pancakes, or add some to a batch of chili. (Yes, seriously.)
Can I Use Pumpkin Spice Instead? If you love pumpkin pie spice (with cloves, ginger, allspice, etc.), you can try swapping it in for the cinnamon and then use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in addition. I prefer the combination of spices below.
How Do You Get Chewy Pumpkin Cookies?
Pumpkin adds LOTS of moisture to a recipe, which is why it’s great for pumpkin bread, cakes, etc. But if you DON’T want cakey pumpkin cookies, you can try a few of the tricks we used to get a chewy pumpkin cookie texture in this pumpkin snickerdoodles recipe:
- Use brown butter instead of creaming the butter. Melted butter gives your pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies a more dense (and less cake-like) texture.
- No creaming. Similarly, creaming butter incorporates pockets of air into the dough, which can contribute to a more airy, cakey texture. Mixing the sugars with melted butter instead eliminates extra air in the dough.
- Use less pumpkin in the recipe. This keeps the cookies from getting too moist and cakey.
- Use JUST the egg yolk instead of the full egg also adds density and richness, which translates to a chewier texture.
More Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipe To Try: