pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

Fall abruptly ended here last weekend with the arrival of 5 inches of snow. As excited as I am for winter, I’m not quite ready for this beautiful season to end. After missing out on fall for the last 3 years, I want it to last forever! So even if the weather won’t cooperate with my wishes, my baking and the smells coming from the oven can.

I’ve been thinking about making pumpkin cookies since the leaves barely started changing colors, (maybe this little announcement had something to do with that) but didn’t get around to making them until this past week. As soon as I took my first bite of these, I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you!

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

There are so many things to love about these cookies. First, they have lots of spicy, warm flavors, which you already know I prefer. The addition of molasses makes them reminiscent of a gingersnap, but it doesn’t overpower the pumpkin or other spices, it compliments them. Texture wise, it’s much more cake-like than a gingersnap, but the oatmeal gives it a bit of chewiness too. The thing that makes these cookies so fun are the different variations you can make! It’s kind of like a “choose your own adventure” story, but with cookies! I couldn’t decide which I wanted more, so I divided the batter evenly between three bowls and mixed bittersweet chocolate chips into one, butterscotch chips into the second and dried cranberries with white chocolate chips into the third. I brought these over to a friend’s house and none of us could pick a favorite! I’d say that’s a success! I think the addition of toasted pecans, walnuts or coconut with any of those chips would be delicious. Other types of dried fruit are always a great option too or, if you’d rather leave them plain, they are so full of flavor that I know they would be delicious like that too!

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

These cookies are delicious alongside a cup of pumpkin spice coffee or on their own as a treat after dinner. I also think they would be a perfect hostess gift if you’re traveling for Thanksgiving this year, as they will transport much easier than most other baked goods. You’ll definitely be the most popular guest once everyone gets a taste of one! No matter when you bake these, (which you definitely should) I hope it makes fall last a little bit longer for you too.

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Category: Dessert, Recipes

Servings: 30 cookies

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian


  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, blotted with paper towel (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups total add-ins (I used 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup butterscotch chips and a 1/4 each of white chocolate and dried cranberries. See notes for more options)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and salt together. Stir in the oats. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium size bowl. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before continuing.
  4. Whisk in the molasses, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
  5. Once combined, whisk in the egg.
  6. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and whisk until completely combined. Mixture will be thick.
  7. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently. The dough will be thick and sticky. Keep mixing until just combined, being careful not to over mix. If the dough seems too runny, the butter may not have been cool enough when first added. Let it sit at room temperature, stir, and it should firm up a little.
  8. If using different combinations of add-ins, divide dough evenly between mixing bowls. Gently fold in chips, dried fruit or nuts.
  9. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of dough (I used my black, #30 cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheets. Slightly flatten the cookies with your fingers to help them spread in the oven. I know this seems weird for cookies, but don’t leave this step out! If the dough is sticking to your fingers, wet them slightly with a little water before flattening.
  10. Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned on the edges but still slightly soft in the center.
  11. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes on baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  12. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. These freeze very well too. Freeze in an airtight container or zip bag for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or warm in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.


1. Believe it or not, you do want to try to get rid of some of the moisture in the pumpkin, otherwise you will end up with very cakey cookies. To do this, add the measured 3/4 cup pumpkin to a mesh strainer or bowl lined with a couple layers of paper towels. Place a few paper towels on top and press down to blot out as much moisture as you can.

2. I love how flexible this recipe is with add-ins. Any combination of chocolate, butterscotch or white chocolate chips with pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries or coconut would be delicious. Feel free to try other ingredients that I haven't mentioned or whatever you have in your pantry. Just make sure it adds up to 1 1/2 cups.

3. As I mentioned in the recipe, I used my black, #30 cookie scoop (2 1/2 tablespoons of dough) which made 30 cookies. If you need more cookies, you can use a smaller scoop, such as the purple #40 (1 1/2 tablespoons of dough), which should make about 48 cookies total. The baking time will probably need to be shorter for the smaller cookies so watch them closely in the oven!

Serving Size: 1 cookie Calories: 180kcal Carbohydrate: 24g Fat: 9g Protein: 2g

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

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