Soft pumpkin cookies with brown butter glaze

These soft pumpkin cookies with brown butter glaze or frosting are a delight. They are a sort of hybrid between an old fashioned cookie, and a soft cake. They are very very soft and fluffy, and a little crunchier on the outside.

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These cookies call for pumpkin puree, which makes them very moist and full of flavor. To finish them off, they are topped with a little bit of toasted butter frosting, and they come together beautifully. This frosting or glaze is made by “toasting” butter in a regular pan. The butter is heated little by little, stirring non stop, until the it turns brown in color, and begins to have a caramel-like aroma. The smell actually reminds me a lot of the smell of roasted hazelnuts.

Now, when we “toast” the butter we have to be very careful, because butter can burn very easily. You have to stir non stop to avoid this from happening.

These cookies have a spice mixture that is delicious, and also is the perfect fit for autumn. They have cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a little ground clove. This spice blend is what fall smells like to me.

There is something very comforting about eating this kind of thing when this time of year comes around. With a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, while it’s cold outside, and eating one of these cookies, it is thoroughly enjoyable.

Now, for the pumpkin puree, you can use pumpkin puree from the supermarket, which they sell canned, or make it at home. For this, just cook a pumpkin, in boiling water until soft, and then mash it to make the puree.

If you like this recipe, you have to go check out our pumpkin scones, a recipe that uses pumpkin puree to make scones that are very soft and moist.

Soft pumpkin cookies with brown butter glaze
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 22
For the cookies:
  • 1/2 C (3.17 oz) (90 gr) salted butter
  • 1/2 C + 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 C pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, big
  • 2 1/2 C all purpouse flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
For the brown butter glaze:
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 – 3 C confectioners sugar (powdered)
For the cookies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 355º F (180º C). Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (to prevent the cookies from sticking).

  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer or hand whisk, beat the butter for 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

  3. Add the white sugar and brown sugar and beat for 1 more minute or until the mixture turn fluffier. Add the pumpkin puree and mix again.

  4. Add in the vanilla and egg and mix until everything is well combined, the mixture will look a little lumpy at this point.

  5. In another bowl, a small one, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove powder.

  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time, in three separate additions, beating after each addition. Only beat until the flour is combined, to avoid overbeating. The mixture will be sticky, more like batter.

  7. Use two spoons to form balls directly on the baking sheets. Each ball should be about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half in quantity. Leave about 2 inches of space between each cookie, because they grow a lot during baking.

  8. Bake the cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, just until the top of the cookies are no longer shiny, and they look dry. The idea is for the cookies to not overbake, and be very soft. Then remove them from the oven.

  9. Let the cookies cool on the same baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely.

For the glaze or frosting:
  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the salted butter. Stir the butter occasionally with a rubber spatula and let it continue to cook. A kind of white foam will form on top, then this foam will disappear a little and some brown bits will form on the bottom, this is when the butter is browned, and will have a hazelnut aroma. It is necessary to stir a lot to prevent the butter from burning.

  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, and continue to stir with the rubber spatula, until you get the texture you like. It could be more like icing or thicker.

  3. Once the cookies are cooled down, add a little icing or frosting on top of each one and a pinch of ground cinnamon to decorate.