Simple, chewy and deliciously soft molasses cookies with a touch of pumpkin pie spice to make them out of this world! These Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Maple Cream cheese frosting are the perfect balance out all the fall flavors.
This recipe was originally published September 2016 and updated September 2020.
Nothing says fall like a chewy, spicy molasses cookies. Nothing. (Ok, maybe a pumpkin spice latte, (or maybe some Pumpkin Pie sort of goodness), but molasses cookies have been around so much longer.)
These Pumpkin Spice Cookies are a soft molasses cookie with a perfect hint of pumpkin spice and smothered in a maple cream cheese frosting. If saying goodbye to summer is hard for you, I offer these as your welcome to fall condolence prize.
No cookie is easier to make than a molasses cookie. You don't have to dust off the electric mixer or cream any butter or sugar.
Seriously, these pumpkin spice cookies simply are a matter of:
- stir it all up
- chill the cookie dough
Beyond that, after you taste a few (or ten), you just ice these spicy treats up, pop a pecan on top and show off all of your cozy fall spirit.
To share or not to share...that's clearly the question!
So let the fall times roll, friends!
Ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
How to make this recipe:
- Combine the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla and molasses. Whisk to combine. (steps 1 and 2)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, flour, pumpkin spice, sea salt and baking soda. Add the mixture into the wet ingredients and stir only until fully combined--don't over stir here. (steps 3 and 4)
- Chill the cookie dough for at least 20 minutes. The cookie dough will not form into balls as is but will set well with chilling. You will easily roll into balls or scoop them after chilling. (step 4)
- After chilling, roll into approximately one inch balls and roll into regular white sugar or a coarse sugar. If you plan on icing the cookies, pop them in the oven from there. (step 5)
- No time to ice? Make them extra pretty by pressing a pecan half into each before baking. (step 6)
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes--until the edges just faintly begin to turn a light golden brown. You don't want to over bake these-- they may seem just barely under baked and that's ok. 8 minutes solid is the golden number for me so I know not to go anything over it.
- Before you do anything, please make sure your baking soda is fresh! You want a little bit of lift and soft goodness in these molasses cookies. If your baking soda is expired, your chances of success are gonna decrease big time.
- No pumpkin spice? Make your own! Just because you don't have any on hand, doesn't mean you have to miss out on these!
- Make a fun twist in these cookies and make them into more of a whoopie pie! Spread the cream cheese icing extra thick in between two of the cookies!
- The Maple Cream Cheese Frosting would be SUPERB on these Pumpkin Carrot Muffins--basically turning the muffins into cupcakes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I am the first person to skip this step when making cookies, but for these pumpkin spice molasses cookies, it's a must. The dough un-chilled will not hold together or form into bowls.
You can chill for as little as 20 minutes and should be fine.
You do not have to refrigerate these cookies after icing them. Store them in an air tight container and you can keep them at room temperature. They will keep about 3 days.
They will last longer if you keep them in the refrigerator--about 1 week.
Check out these other fall recipes:
- Pumpkin Chip Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
- Apple Pie White Bean Bars
- Pumpkin Pie Crumble
- Carrot Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies
For the Cookies:
- 2¼ c flour
- ¾ c butter, melted
- 1 egg, large
- ¼ c brown sugar
- ⅓ c molasses
- ⅓ c sugar (plus extra for rolling)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Maple Cream Cheese Icing:
- ½ c unsalted butter (softened)
- 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
- 2-3 T maple syrup
- 3½ - 4 c confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together flour, sea salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, and baking soda to combine. Set aside.
- Whisk together in separate bowl the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, egg and molasses until combined
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient, only until combined.
- Chill for about 20 minutes or until you can easily roll into balls.
- On a parchment lined baking sheet, roll dough into one inch balls. If desired, press a pecan into the cookies if not icing. If not, leave them as is for baking. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are just barely browned--they may not seem like they are done, but grab them just before you think they are done.
For the Maple Cream Cheese Icing:
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add the maple and beat to mix in. Add the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time and beat to mix in. Add the powdered sugar until desired thickness. Spread on completely cooled cookie.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for about 1 week. If storing in the fridge, allow to come to room temperature before eating for best chewiness!