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Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

These caramel-frosted pumpkin cookies are as much a part of our holiday as mistletoe and carols! They are a great way to use our home-canned pumpkin. —Priscilla Anderson, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    7 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in pecans.
  • Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil. Cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; beat in milk. Gradually beat in enough confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cookies.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 69 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 56mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • angela32
    Oct 3, 2020

    I left out the pecans and as a result I ate far too many of these tasty cookies! YUM

  • kredhead
    Dec 10, 2017

    These are delicious little soft, moist pumpkin cookies packed with flavor. I made them without the frosting & nuts for a party & didn't miss it. I'd make them again for the pumpkin lovers in my family. Easy peasy! They take no time at all & are completely different on a holiday plate. Love!

  • havingfunwithmyfamily
    Nov 5, 2015

    I already have recipe requests from other women! This was a big hit at our party. I did not have butter, can you believe it?! I completely ran out, even the butter in the freezer. Gone! I substituted 1/2 cup of coconut oil, and it was perfect! What a great way to reduce fat! The pumpkin cookies were moist and fluffy. The icing was the best! The only thing I might do differently next time is spice it up with a little allspice or ginger?! Thank you for sharing!

  • lovesbeach123
    Oct 5, 2015

    what size can of pumpkin?

  • jthibeau
    Nov 5, 2013

    These are delicious and so easy to make. They freeze well too.

  • ashleywarsaw
    Dec 1, 2012

    No comment left

  • 2mnyk9z
    Jan 23, 2012

    No comment left

  • Bellabear01
    Nov 5, 2011

    No comment left

  • corrienat
    Nov 2, 2011

    YUMMY. Good with or without the icing

  • Jeniele
    Sep 29, 2011

    I make this recipe about 12 times from October through December each year, and if I missed bringing them for our church's Reformation potluck everyone would be disappointed. This has become my signature cookie because of it's uniqueness and popularity. I don't add the pecans but the penuche frosting is a must and is what really sets this recipe apart from other pumpkin cookie recipes. It seems like it's a hassle, but it comes together really well and is TOTALLY worth it.